(Corrects spelling of surname Simonetti-Bryan throughout)
By Leslie Gevirtz
NEW YORK Nov 13 Bargains for the world's great
wines may not be easy to come by but experts believe value can
be can be found at any price point and to suit any preference or
Whether it is buying second label wines -- the younger
cousins of the grand chateaux -- or vintages from lesser known
regions or countries, they say bargains are there for those who
know where to look.
"Given the price of top growth Bordeaux, one way to get a
reasonable bang for your buck is in the second labels," said
Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, the author of "The One Minute Wine
Master: Discover 10 Wines You'll Like in 60 Seconds or Less."
Second label wines from the Bordeaux region's major houses
usually represent 90 percent of the quality for less than half
the price. A 1996 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauilliac can be
found for about $650 a bottle, while the chateau's second label,
Carruades de Lafite '96, sells for about $100 a bottle.
For cheaper priced wines experts suggest a fourth-growth
Bordeaux, Chateau Prieure-Lichine Margaux 2009, which sells for
about $60 a bottle while its sister, Confidences de
Prieure-Lichine Margaux 2009 has a price tag of about $28.
Christian Moueix, who makes the most expensive Bordeaux in
the world, Chateau Petrus, which sells for about $1,000 a
bottle, also produces Christian Moueix Merlot that can be had
for under $20 a bottle.
Simonetti-Bryan, one of 300 people worldwide who is holds
the qualification of Master of Wine, described second labels as
"often wines made from younger vines, but it's the same terroir
and the same high-quality producer."
Mike DeSimone, who with Jeff Jensen is a co-author of the
just published "Wines of the Southern Hemisphere," suggests when
ordering wine at a restaurant to steer away from the most
well-known appellations or regions such as Bordeaux or Burgundy.
"Instead, if you're interested in French wines, look for
something from the Southwest, Languedoc or the Loire," he said.
"But I think, in many cases, you'll find better values by
going to the Southern Hemisphere. Wines from Argentina,
Australia, New Zealand or Chile can be very good bargains, and
just based on the currency valuations, they're simply less
Simonetti-Bryan also recommended Argentine wine.
"You rarely see wines from Argentina above $30, but some of
their wines are so rich and concentrated, you are getting lots
of flavor for reasonable prices," she explained.
Madeline Triffon, chair emeritus of the American Chapter of
the Court of Master Sommeliers which was established to improve
standards of beverage service in hotels and restaurants, also
urged consumers to explore unfamiliar regions and uncommon
varietals, wines made from a single grape variety.
She suggested trying a Pinot Grigio, a grape synonymous with
Italy, from Slovenia or trying wines from Puglia, Abruzzo or
Sicily, Italian regions often overlooked.
"I, myself, will look for wines that way - something that is
super off-beat and reasonably priced," she said.
Her go-to region, she added, is the Iberian Peninsula for
wines from Spain and Portugal "that truly over deliver at any
(Reporting by Leslie Gevirtz; editing by Patricia Reaney and