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Drink Good Cheap Wine

Satisfying your newly sophisticated wine palate may no longer be economically feasible. So we asked Morgan Rich, director of wine at Del Posto, to choose three of his favorite special-occasion wines, then propose bargain alternatives.

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Instead of: Krug Brut Champagne Collection 1985 ($1,350)
Try: Gruet Brut ($13)


Gruet is produced by a French family that used to bottle Champagne and still uses the same labor-intensive process. But today’s Gruet is made in New Mexico, which makes this rich, solid sparkling wine an amazing bargain.


Instead of: Terlano Chardonnay 1995 ($225)
Try: Lamoreaux Landing Chardonnay 2006 ($12.99)


Lamoreaux Landing is made upstate near the Finger Lakes, and the cooler climate makes for a fresher, crisper, more elegant Chardonnay than what you’d typically get from California.


Instead of: Braida Barbera d’Asti Bricco dell’Uccellone 2004 ($125)
Try: Daniel Bouland Morgon Vielles Vignes, 2007 ($19.99)


This Morgon may not be as full-bodied as the Braida, but it is versatile, elegant, and its Gamay grape is similar to Barbera. It is a Beaujolais, which many people mistake as uniformly mediocre. This one’s not.

Annual Savings: $2,205 (Averaged from the three recommended bottles, four celebrations a year.)


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