wine http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/107/all en-US 7 Everyday Things That Are Surprisingly Awesome Investments http://www.wisebread.com/7-everyday-things-that-are-surprisingly-awesome-investments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-everyday-things-that-are-surprisingly-awesome-investments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/star_wars_legos_000019766199.jpg" alt="Learning which everyday things that are awesome investments" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Strapped for cash? You could be sitting on a small fortune that's hidden right under your nose. Find out what everyday things are surprisingly awesome investments, so you can start building your ordinary empire today. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-boring-investments-make-life-exciting?ref=seealso">4 Ways &quot;Boring&quot; Investments Make Life Exciting</a>)</p> <h2>1. Comic Books</h2> <p>It's not just first-issue Supermans, Spider-Mans, and Batmans that command big bucks. Other comic books and graphic novels &mdash; even contemporary titles, like first-printing Walking Dead #1, which is <a href="http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?ItemID=26643716&amp;gclid=CjwKEAiA58a1BRDw6Jan_PLapw8SJABJz-ZWQRwaCQ5Wx2-CCT08iALxyWKDvEVcFMe1O9O9xDR1-hoC4Lrw_wcB">listed for $15,000</a> on online retailer MyComicShop.com &mdash; can help you bring home some serious bacon.</p> <p>&quot;While everyone's heard stories of people cleaning out an attic to find comic books they sold at a hefty profit, it's not just the older books that are valuable,&quot; explains Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of New York-based Metropolis Collectibles, the world's largest vintage comic book dealership, and ComicConnect, the largest online vintage comic auction house. &quot;Even comic books from the last 20 years are becoming more collectible. Some have jumped from just a few dollars each five years ago to $50 to $100 today. Smart investors are finding that they can make money off of this trend, but only if they treat it like they would any serious investment.&quot;</p> <p>Vincent and his partner, Stephen Fishler, hold five Guinness World Records for the most expensive comics and related collectibles ever sold.</p> <p>&quot;Once you jump into the comic book market, remember to protect your investment,&quot; he adds. Store books in a cool, dry place, such as a safe deposit box. Finally, use professional appraisers and consider purchasing insurance for your collection.&quot;</p> <p>A quick search of your comic's name and issue on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.comicconnect.com">ComicConnect</a> can help you gauge your comic's value.</p> <h2>2. LEGO Sets</h2> <p>Anybody who watches <a href="http://amzn.to/1Qnie5w">Pawn Stars</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/1oluCws">Antiques Roadshow</a><em>,</em> and the like knows that some toys &mdash; particularly mid-century and earlier &mdash; are worth a bundle. But little did we know that one of the most popular toys on the planet today is accruing incredible value right under our noses.</p> <p>Late last year, it was revealed that Lego sets have appreciated in value better than numerous investments, most notably gold. Yes, <em>gold</em>.</p> <p>According to the U.K.-based Telegraph, &quot;Lego sets kept in pristine condition have <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/11817380/Lego-a-better-investment-than-shares-and-gold.html">increased in value</a> 12% each year since the turn of the Millennium, with second-hand prices rising for specific sets as soon as they go out of production. Modern sets are performing even more strongly, with those released last year already selling on eBay for 36% more than their original price.&quot;</p> <p>In contrast, &quot;Those who invested in gold received a 9.6% annual gain over the past decade and a half, while those who went with a savings account generated 2.8%, according to investment company Hargreaves Lansdown.&quot;</p> <p>So which Lego sets are the most coveted? Star Wars, of course (at least currently), with the Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon bringing in the top value at more than $2,000, while the Death Star II and Imperial Star Destroyer are close behind at well above $1,000.</p> <h2>3. Birkin Bags</h2> <p>Just a couple weeks after Lego was reported to be a surprisingly good investment, news came that Herm├ęs' popular Birkin bags also held up well against traditional investments &mdash; outpacing both the S&amp;P 500 and the price of gold in the last 35 years.</p> <p>Scarcity is the leading factor in the bags' huge hikes &mdash; they're not advertised and there's still a six-year wait list &mdash; though you will have to put out a decent chunk of change for the initial investment (they start at about $12,000). If you've got that kind of capital for a handbag, however, you could walk away a winner in a few years. According to Time magazine, the annual return on a Birkin was 14.2%, compared to the S&amp;P average of 8.7% a year and gold's 1.5%.</p> <h2>4. Art</h2> <p>If you're one of the lucky ducks who owns a building that Banksy has tagged, or you were in the right place at the right time when he sold nearly a quarter-million dollars worth of art for $60 a pop in Central Park a few years ago, you're sitting pretty &mdash; but he's not the only artist whose work is worth much more than canvas it's on. In fact, you might have a sizable payday hanging on your walls right now.</p> <p>Personally, I invest in art &mdash; mostly local artists where I live. I don't buy based on their success (most of the artists whose work I purchase are unknown), but rather I make my decision on what piques my interest and catches my eye. I then follow their careers to stay educated about my investments.</p> <p>And it's a wise habit to practice, says Mallory Greene, community manager at Wealthsimple.</p> <p>&quot;If you don't think buying art is a good way to make money, there are some pretty fancy numbers that argue otherwise,&quot; she explains. &quot;Consider the case of the artist Jacob Kassay. Kassay is known for making beautiful photo-mirrors by painting canvases with reflective metallic paint. The result is affecting, producing an eerie, crude reflection of the viewer. One of his paintings sold for about $4,000 at a gallery in New York City. That sounds expensive until you consider that nine months later the painting sold at auction for $150,000. That, if you're keeping score, is a return of 3,650%.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Wine</h2> <p>Here's a sobering fact: You could be drinking your retirement fund away as you read this.</p> <p>While you probably won't be able to sail off into the sunset by selling off that case of Barefoot Merlot, you may have better luck focusing your investment on wines that come from specific regions, particularly Bordeaux, Champagne, Tuscany, Burgundy, and the Rhone.</p> <p>Forbes magazine reports, &quot;While the four latter regions are gaining in popularity, the Bordeaux region continues to serve as the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/northwesternmutual/2013/12/03/sip-it-or-cellar-it-the-basics-of-wine-investing/#6f04884f76f7">gold standard for wine investors</a>. According to wine trading platform Cavex, two cases of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2005 &mdash; an iconic wine from the Bordeaux region of France &mdash; recently traded for &pound;4,100 GBP (about $6,566 USD). Meanwhile, four cases of the Burgundy wine Ponsot Morey St. Denis Alouettes 2009 went for a more modest &pound;275 GBP (about $440 USD).&quot;</p> <p>Greene provides more context.</p> <p>&quot;The London International Vintners Exchange (a.k.a. the Liv-ex) indices have dramatically outperformed the S&amp;P 500 and the FTSE over the last decade and a half,&quot; she says. &quot;And how often have you enjoyed an ETF with a braised leg of lamb? The main reason to invest in wine is because it's fun.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Internet Domains</h2> <p>Last fall, ex-Google employee Sammy Ved did the nearly impossible: He purchased Google.com during a <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/29/10868404/google-reveals-how-much-it-paid-the-guy-who-bought-google-com">momentary lapse in domain ownership</a> by Google itself. He only owned it for about a minute before Google recognized its snafu and reversed the transaction. Google offered to pay Ved a reward of $6,006.13 (which spells out Google numerically), which it then doubled when Ved said he'd donate the money to charity. How nice.</p> <p>Alas, there's no provision that says you have to be so altruistic if you're ever in a similar position, which isn't all that uncommon. In fact, the truth is you can purchase any domain that's available, hold onto it, and hope that somebody with deep pockets wants and needs it someday.</p> <p>Digital marketing and social media strategist Brad Hines says that registering words like, a newly coined word or expression, as a .com domain name is an in-plain-sight investment that people overlook all the time.</p> <p>&quot;Domain names have an enormous aftermarket,&quot; he explains. &quot;A brief glance at a website like <a href="http://www.dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm">DnJournal</a> shows that average sales of domain names start at $3,000. And 100% of these domain names start as initial registrations at any domain name registrar &mdash; GoDaddy, 1&amp;1, NameCheap, etc. &mdash; where they tend to register for $10 to $15.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Registering domain names has low barriers to entry, so it's competitive, yes, but reading things like trade journals and niche blogs can help keep you ahead of words that are not in public fashion yet,&quot; Hines continues. &quot;I've done this for 15 years.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Sports Memorabilia</h2> <p>Remember when you were growing up and you found a rookie in your pack of baseball cards? Well, you should've held on to it, as it could've made your 20-somethings a little less ramen-reliant. Moreover, you'd really be living large if you had it signed by somebody like Mickey Mantle, Cal Ripken Jr., or Albert Pujols &mdash; because authentic autographed memorabilia is where it's at!</p> <p>According to the Upper Deck blog, authentic autographed memorabilia, like a Wilson basketball featuring Kevin Durant's signature, or bat signed by Ken Griffey Jr., can command top dollar at auction.</p> <p>If you're new to the memorabilia investing game &mdash; or want to get started, like, stat! &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/39444167">consider these rules</a> shared by CNBC.</p> <p><em>What ordinary things do you own that are worth a pretty penny? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-everyday-things-that-are-surprisingly-awesome-investments">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate">The Only 5 Rules You Need to Know About Investing in Real Estate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-monthly-telecom-bills-you-can-negotiate">The 6 Monthly Telecom Bills You Can Negotiate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-25">10 Smart Things to Do With $25</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-value-of-forever-stamps">The Real Value of Forever Stamps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Investment appreciation art comic books Internet legos sports memorabilia wine worth money Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:30:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1658151 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things That Cost More in 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bottled_wine_000023538266.jpg" alt="Learning which things that cost more in 2016" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If your New Year's resolutions included trimming the fat from your budget, you'll want to avoid these nine purchases that will see a price hike this year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-necessities-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2016?ref=seealso">8 Necessities That Will Be Cheaper in 2016</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cable and Satellite TV</h2> <p>NBC recently reported that DirecTV and AT&amp;T's U-verse packages, channel bundles, and premium channels will see increases ranging from <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/cable-satellite-tv-costs-will-climb-again-2016-n484531">$2 to $8 per month</a>, a change that went into effect Jan. 28. Dish Network customers also will experience a similar pricing increase on its bundles, which started on Jan. 14.</p> <p>Cable industry watchdog Chris Brantner (Mr. Cable Cutter of CutCableToday.com) says these increases are not limited to just a couple companies. In fact, most of the big national names in the cable and satellite TV game will be jacking up prices.</p> <p>&quot;Comcast is raising its broadcast fee to $5 from $1.75, and its sports programming fee to $3 from $2,&quot; he says. &quot;Time Warner is raising both broadcasting and sports fees as well &mdash; from $1 to $3.75 and $2.25 to $5, respectively. This seems to be a yearly trend, as pay-TV prices have skyrocketed over the last few years, with average bills breaking $100 a month.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Medicare Premiums</h2> <p>If you're retired and new to Medicare Part B, beware. <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2015/11/20/some-retirees-pay-higher-medicare-premiums-in-2016">Double-digit price hikes</a> &mdash; about 16% over last year &mdash; went into effect at the beginning of the year. Previously enrolled Part B recipients aren't faced with the increase because Social Security didn't see a cost-of-living adjustment in 2016, and Medicare payments, by law, are prevented from increasing faster than SS payments. Thus, just consider the $16.90 more you have to pay per month than older retirees your dues for being the new kid on the block.</p> <h2>3. Netflix</h2> <p>Remember back in 2011 when Netflix announced it would increase its then $10 dual streaming-plus-DVD-by-mail combo plan to $16, and the Internet lost its collective mind? Netflix stock dropped 40% after the announcement, and some called on CEO/co-founder Reed Hastings to resign. Because unlimited DVDs, y'all!</p> <p>Well, Netflix has learned several lessons since then, and while it abandoned all those 2011 plans (including an ill-fated breakaway brand called Qwikster), it raised prices $1 to $8.99 in 2014, and it plans to <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/08/media/netflix-raising-price-standard-plan/">increase the price of its streaming service</a> by another dollar to $9.99 this May for new customers. If you're already a Netflix subscriber, however, you won't get hit until 2017.</p> <h2>4. Chocolate</h2> <p>If you can't trust Forbes, who can you trust? Its 2016 consumer predictions include higher prices for chocolate. According to the publication, &quot;the Ivory Coast, center of world cocoa production, is under strain from drought &mdash; putting the world's chocolate industry at risk.&quot;</p> <p>Better start rationing those leftover Kisses from Christmas.</p> <h2>5. Domestic Wine</h2> <p>If you fancy a nice glass of wine, you may have to switch up what you're drinking &mdash; at least from domestic bottlers.</p> <p>The blog SVB on Wine reports that according to its annual State of the Industry report, 41.74% percent of winemakers plan to <a href="http://svbwine.blogspot.com/2015/10/bottle-prices-are-going-up-in-2016.html">implement a small price increase</a>, while another 16.12% are planning a moderate increase in 2016. Another 2.07% are really going for the jugular with a strong increase. Alas, at least 34.71% of respondents will have pity on your pocket when you're at the liquor store: They'll hold prices steady they said, while an additional 5.37% will decrease prices slightly.</p> <h2>6. Postage</h2> <p>A summary of postage rate increases show prices for First Class Mail Letters, metered mail for First Class Mail Letter, and First Class Mail Flats will remain constant into 2016, but <a href="http://www.stamps.com/usps/postage-rate-increase/">most other services</a> will see an increase.</p> <p>Priority Mail Express recently saw an average rate increase of 15.6%, while traditional Priority Mail has increased 9.4%, as of Jan. 17. Other hikes include 11.6% for Priority Mail Express International, 10.2% for Priority Mail International, and 21.6% for First Class Package International Service.</p> <h2>7. Girl Scout Cookies</h2> <p>Your undying love for the Girl Scouts' Thin Mints will make your wallet a little thinner now that boxes of the good stuff are <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiesola/2015/11/05/girl-scout-cookie-price-increases-spark-outrage-but-experts-say-its-good-business/#16819fbf4deb">$5 in some areas</a> like Massachusetts and California, up from $4 last year. Pricing is set based on factors like ingredient costs, market size and availability, and shipping costs. From the new fee structure, troops would receive about $.90 per box sold opposed to the $.62 they made on the $4 box. Expect more troops across the country to adopt the new pricing in 2016.</p> <h2>8. Hotels</h2> <p>MarketWatch reports that according to the 2016 Global Travel Price Outlook, hotel prices around the globe are expected to rise this year, with North America taking the lead with a 4.3% increase. Hotel prices are estimated to increase 1.8% in Europe, 3% in Asia Pacific, and 3.7% in Latin America. Luckily, there are plenty of deals to cash in on &mdash; if you're a savvy shopper &mdash; and you can also save some dough by booking private short-term accommodations from services like Airbnb and Roomorama.</p> <h2>9. Prescription Medication</h2> <p>Drug companies aren't relenting on seemingly never-ending price increases. The Wall Street Journal reports that Big Pharma players like Pfizer, Amgen, Allergan, and Horizon Pharma &quot;have raised U.S. prices for dozens of branded drugs since late December, with many increases between 9% and 10%, according to equity analysts.&quot; Vanda Pharmaceuticals increased by 10% the price of its new drug Hetlioz, which treats a sleep disorder in blind people, resulting in a 76% hike from when it was introduced in 2014.</p> <p><em>Has &quot;Pharma Bro&quot; Martin Shkreli started offering classes on how to rip people off that we don't know about? What are you spending more for this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-five-senses-tricking-you-to-spend-more">Are Your Five Senses Tricking You to Spend More?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping cable chocolate expenses medicare postage price increases wine Tue, 09 Feb 2016 18:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1650372 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wine_popsicles_000065100551.jpg" alt="Popsicles that are made with wine in the kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I often crack open a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-drunk-on-the-cheap-wine-tastings">bottle of wine</a> and find myself with a cup left over by the end of the night. I've splashed some in stir-fries and other dishes, but I've never made anything to write home about.</p> <p>Well that's about to change. Here are 12 fresh and flavorful ways to use wine in cooking and baking.</p> <h2>1. Wine Popsicles</h2> <p>Serve these very adult <a href="http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/roasted-strawberry-red-wine-popsicles.html">roasted strawberry red wine popsicles</a> at your next gathering. To make, just roast quartered strawberries coated in balsamic vinegar and sugar. Pulse half the strawberries in a food processor before mixing with the wine. Spoon remaining strawberries into popsicle molds and fill with the liquid before freezing.</p> <h2>2. Wine Chowder</h2> <p>Use a half cup of leftover wine in this <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/scallop-corn-chowder">scallop and corn chowder</a> recipe. A dry white wine works best with the light flavors in this dish. If you follow a pescetarian diet, you can easily substitute vegetable broth for the chicken and omit the bacon entirely.</p> <h2>3. Wine Poached Pears</h2> <p>Here's a refined dessert that will wow your guests: <a href="http://www.angsarap.net/2012/02/20/poached-pears/">red wine poached pears</a>. You'll need three hefty cups of your favorite sweet red wine. Otherwise, the process is quite simple. Pour lemon juice on your pears. Bring wine, sugar, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick to a boil before adding pears. Cook 12&ndash;15 minutes on all sides.</p> <h2>4. Wine Tartlets</h2> <p>These <a href="http://drizzleanddip.com/2013/04/12/red-wine-caramelised-onions-goats-cheese-tartlets">red wine caramelized onions and goat cheese tartlets</a> would make an incredible appetizer. To infuse the onions with the wine flavor, you'll first brown them on the stove. Then deglaze the pan with half a cup of the wine. Add the onions back in and cook with the remaining wine before assembling the tartlets.</p> <h2>5. Wine Mushrooms</h2> <p>Or try these <a href="http://www.jocooks.com/healthy-eating/red-wine-and-garlic-mushrooms/">red wine and garlic mushrooms</a> that require only five ingredients to make. Start the dish by melting the butter with olive oil and garlic. Pour in the wine and then toss in the mushrooms. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are golden on all sides.</p> <h2>6. Wine Cupcakes</h2> <p>Grab a glass of your favorite prosecco and make these <a href="http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/12/sparkling-champagne-cupcakes.html">champagne cupcakes</a>. You'll mix the sparkling wine with sour cream and then fold it into the rest of the vanilla cupcake batter. Then hollow out the centers of the cupcakes to fill with the pastry creme filling.</p> <h2>7. Wine Beef Tips</h2> <p>Simmer tender sirloin to perfection in this <a href="http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/beef/beef-tips-in-red-wine-sauce.html">beef tips in red wine</a> recipe. After cooking the beef cubes, add onions and mushrooms until they are browned. Then add your wine, flour, and spices and heat around 20 minutes more on low. Add egg noodles to the dish before serving.</p> <h2>8. Wine Pasta</h2> <p>Start by cooking noodles in water and finish them in wine for this <a href="http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2013/4/9/drunken-pasta.html">drunken pasta</a>. As with most other recipes on this list, the alcohol cooks off before you eat. In this dish, though, your noodles will soak in a beautiful rose color to make your plate pop. Top with parsley and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.</p> <h2>9. Wine Bread</h2> <p>This <a href="http://thebreadmakers.blogspot.com/2013/07/olive-bacon-and-cheese-bread-recipe.html">olive, bacon, and cheese bread</a> is one of the most interesting loaves I've encountered in a while. It contains five ounces of white wine along with all sorts of robust ingredients. Each slice is so nutritionally complete, you can grab one to bring to work for a simple lunch.</p> <h2>10. Wine Brunch</h2> <p>Rabanadas are Portugal's answer to French toast. These <a href="http://casarosada-algarve.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/rabanadas-tipsy-slices.html">tipsy slices</a> are typically consumed during the Christmas holiday, but they would be a great brunch item no matter the time of year. In this recipe, the wine is in the syrup, so feel free to use the topping on pancakes, waffles, or whatever else you'd like to booze up.</p> <h2>11. Wine Fondue</h2> <p>I usually put beer in my cheese fondues, but this <a href="http://www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com/2010/06/2010-fifa-world-cup-italy-and-switzerland-pesto-fondue/">pesto fondue</a> has me itching to try something new. Along with the basil, pine nuts, cheese, and spices, you'll pour in one and a half cups of your favorite dry white wine. Eat immediately for the best experience.</p> <h2>12. Wine Soup</h2> <p>Just in time for CSA season, check out this <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/silky-leek-and-red-wine-soup">silky leek and red wine soup</a>. It'd go wonderfully with crusty bread and a good Bordeaux. As always, you can easily make this recipe vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to use wine in cooking?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">10 Smart Uses for Food That&#039;s About to Go Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-throw-that-out-19-great-meals-you-can-make-from-scraps">Don&#039;t Throw That Out! 19 Great Meals You Can Make From Scraps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smoothie-bowls-you-want-right-now">11 Smoothie Bowls You Want Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-uses-for-instant-mashed-potatoes">5 Perfectly Respectable Uses for Instant Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol Cooking desserts recipes snacks wine Mon, 08 Jun 2015 13:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1445022 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Drinking http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guys_beer_cheers_000035827748.jpg" alt="Guys learning how much they spend on alcohol each year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like most working adults in America, you like to let off steam at the bar. And, the economy is certainly showing that trend. In 2012, the U.S. bar, tavern, and nightclub industry took in over <a href="http://www.statista.com/statistics/281711/us-bars-taverns-und-nightclubs-industry-revenue/">$23.4 billion in revenue</a>. It's projected to reach $24.35 billion this year, and that doesn't include the alcohol we buy from liquor stores.</p> <p>And while that's good for those businesses, it means that we the consumers are literally drinking away our savings. Depending on what kind of drinker you are, you could be spending way more than you think on your little stress reliever. But, knowledge is power, so here we examine the costs involved, and just how easy it is to cut back.</p> <h2>How Much Do You Drink?</h2> <p>If you enjoy just one beer or glass of wine every night with dinner, then guess what &mdash; you are in the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/">top 30% of alcohol drinkers</a> in the U.S. If that shocks you, you're probably not alone. Two drinks? Then you're in the top 20%.</p> <p>However, to get into the top 10%, you'd have to up your drinking considerably. How much? Over 10 alcohol drinks each and every day. That's right, according to the U.S. Department of Health &amp; Human Services, the top 10% of drinkers in the U.S. consume an average of 74 alcoholic beverages per week. That equates to 18 bottles of wine, or over six 12-packs of beer.</p> <p>But even if you're just having a few drinks a week in the local bar or pub, the costs can really add up.</p> <h2>What is it Costing You?</h2> <p>If you're a heavy drinker, you probably aren't getting your alcohol from a bar; that would be crippling to your monthly budget. With most people spending $10 on a bottle of wine, it would come to over $200 per week including taxes, or over $800 per month. That's two or three car payments right there. Annually, that's almost $10,000.</p> <p>Let's look at the budget of someone who goes out twice per week. Once during the work week, and once on a Friday or Saturday night.</p> <p>When you go out to a bar during the week, you will usually order food with your drink. And with most people ordering two drinks, plus tip, you are looking at around $40-$50 for the evening. This, of course, doesn't include the costs for cab fare, babysitting, and other expenses.</p> <p>On the weekend, a typical night out at a bar is a little different. You will most likely take advantage of the fact that there's no work the next day, and order several drinks over the course of the evening, along with food and snacks. You may also order cocktails, shots, or other specialty items to make it a good night. You will be looking at around $100 for the evening, depending on where you live. And keep in mind, that's per person. As a couple, you will spend at least half that again.</p> <p>Do the math. $160 per week, or roughly $650 per month, can easily be spent by someone who enjoys six or seven drinks a week when they go out to bars or restaurants. It is, in fact, very similar to the amount of money that would be spent on alcohol by a hardcore drinker. By going out just a couple of nights a week, and drinking moderately, you're spending over $7000 a year.</p> <h2>The Big Question: How Can You Cut Back?</h2> <p>It's actually quite easy to make a few small adjustments to your weekly bar tab. In fact, you may not even notice the difference, depending on how strictly you follow the guidelines.</p> <h3>1. Only Bring Cash Out</h3> <p>By far the easiest way to stick to your booze budget is to hit the town with your plastic left at home. It's easy to rack up money on a credit or debit card, but cash is finite and you can see it going down throughout the evening. You can also preload a debit card and use that. Either way, once the cash is gone, it's time to go home.</p> <h3>2. Take Advantage of Happy Hours</h3> <p>Do you have to go out when everyone else is hitting the town? If you have your friends with you, why not do something a little earlier than usual? You'll get great specials, including two-for-one drinks, free appetizers, and even free shots. You can always head back to a friend's house later and finish the evening there.</p> <h3>3. Eat (and Drink) at Home Before Hitting the Bars</h3> <p>Food costs can really add up quickly in the bars, and the food may not even be that good. If you go out with a full stomach, you will not only save money on overpriced food and snacks, but avoid getting tipsy too quickly. As a student, my friends and I would usually have a few cheap beers at home with our food, too. Then we took the bus down to the bar, and were already quite happy before we'd ordered one drink.</p> <h3>4. Order Water Between Drinks</h3> <p>This is great for several reasons. First, a glass of tap water with ice and lemon is free at every bar. You can drink this and stretch your money over time. Second, and perhaps more important, it stops you getting drunk, and makes hangovers much less severe.</p> <h3>5. Pitch in for Pitchers</h3> <p>Bars and restaurants often offer pitchers of beer at a discount. Combine that with happy hour, and you can get enough beer for four or five people for just $5-$7. Also, consider domestic beers instead of imports and craft beers. They may not be as tasty, but they are usually much less expensive.</p> <h3>6. Look for Freebies</h3> <p>Bars know the importance of deals and coupons. They will often have specials on their websites, and in local papers and flyers. Save them, and bring them out the next time you visit. They can take a nice little sum off the final total.</p> <h3>7. Ladies&hellip; You Can Get a Lot of Free Drinks</h3> <p>Sad, but true. Many bars and clubs make special offers to women in the hopes of attracting a larger crowd. Some will let women drink free, or for $1 per cocktail, all night. And of course, many men will offer to buy you a drink. Just be careful who you accept these from, and if in doubt, say no.</p> <p><em>How much do you spend on drinks per week? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink alcohol bars beer nightclubs taverns wine Tue, 05 May 2015 13:00:26 +0000 Paul Michael 1407935 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/restaurant-wine-488031279-small.jpg" alt="restaurant drinking" title="restaurant drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Drinking isn't cheap. We all know that whether it's a quiet glass of wine at home in the evening or a full-fledged night out on the town, alcohol can cost you. But do you know the <em>true</em> costs? Those that go beyond just the actual price you're paying for that can of Coors or bottle of chianti? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine?ref=seealso">How to Make Moonshine</a>)</p> <p>Check out some of the common pitfalls associated with your drinking expenditures, as well as frugal ways to still have your wine and drink it too.</p> <h2>1. Transportation Costs</h2> <p>Taxis, limos, and other chauffeured vehicles are necessary for a responsible night of drinking. However, they don't usually come cheap. Even new ride services like <a href="https://www.uber.com/">Uber</a> can run up the tab. So, what to do when you've had a few, but want to save on your transit costs?</p> <p>If you're lucky enough to live in a city with reliable and safe late night public transportation, by all means take advantage of this cheap alternative to a cab. Another option is to pick nearby restaurants and bars where you can easily walk home. Or, take turns being a designated driver within your entourage each weekend, so that everyone can save and be safe.</p> <h2>2. Restaurant Dining</h2> <p>Having a nice drink with your meal at a restaurant makes for a great night. But, that markup on your drink is hefty. Take wine for example. Some restaurants can <a href="http://www.restaurants.com/blog/how-much-do-restaurants-mark-up-wine/#.U8BEsNm9LCQ">mark up bottles</a> as high as 400%! And, if you and your other guests start ordering wine by the glass, your bill can skyrocket.</p> <p>First off, if you even think there's a chance that you and another guest will have more than one glass of wine each, then buy the bottle. It's almost always cheaper. Or, find restaurants where you can bring your own drinks (BYOB), and avoid the restaurant markup. Lastly, you can always stick to ordering the restaurant's cheaper drink options, such as domestic beers or house liquors and wines, instead of perusing the more expensive drink menus.</p> <h2>3. The Gracious Host</h2> <p>If you have thrown anything from a dinner party to a wedding, you know that a big chunk of the budget can go to alcohol. Events can get expensive quickly when drinks cost more than your food. Still, the best hosts usually find ways to provide the booze.</p> <p>Short of cutting out the alcohol or forcing a cash bar on guests, try cheaper options, like bulk wine (yes, you could even do wine-in-a-box for the less discerning crowd) or kegs of beer, which all give you a quantity discount. Another option is to make up large batches of your own punch, sangria, or other affordable mixed drinks. This can help save as people can't take the liberty to pour more of the expensive stuff in their concoctions. You can also try for cheaper substitutes. One of my favorites is using Cava instead of Champagne. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-luxury-save-50-or-more-on-5-fabulous-substitutions?ref=seealso">Discount Luxury: Save 50% or More on 5 Fabulous Substitutions</a>)</p> <h2>4. Late Night Food Run</h2> <p>A late night food run may seem like a fun way to top off your night. However, don't forget that even fast food can cost you, especially if you indulge and aren't thinking as clearly as you might otherwise after having a few drinks.</p> <p>To alleviate the extra spend on calories you probably don't need, try to wait until you get home and eat there where it's cheaper. Fast food restaurants, diners, and food trucks may seem cheap at the time, but they add up. Or, if you are lucky enough to know where to find $1 pizza slices, make sure to only hit up these types of super cheap places if you just can't resist.</p> <h2>5. Running a Tab</h2> <p>Tabs can get out of hand when you slap down a credit card and don't realize how much you are truly spending. And, they can be especially dangerous when you buy drinks for others and are feeling festive (a round of shots anyone?).</p> <p>Next time, try paying cash for your drinks, so you'll be more aware of your spend. If you need to use your credit card, set a limit and ask the bartender to automatically close out your tab once reached. Or, if you are looking to treat others, hit the bar when you can save, such as during happy hour or when regular specials and promotions take place.</p> <h2>6. Shopping and Impulse Buys</h2> <p>Any time you've had a drink during the day, whether it be a lunch date or happy hour splurge, beware of your lowered inhibitions and the expenditures that can follow. It's certainly fun to have lunch and go shopping, but you may overpay or buy stuff on impulse.</p> <p>In order to suppress your urge to splurge, try making sure you have a budget or list in mind before you hit the stores. You can also ask friends to keep you in check or use cash to make sure you don't overspend. And lastly, don't fall into the trap of buying just because whomever you're with starts doing so.</p> <h2>7. Your Crowd</h2> <p>If you run with some high rollers, you may find yourself draining your wallet at fancy clubs and restaurants. The ordinary draft beer at such places can cost you four times more than the pub down the street. And, other beverages are sure to run you a small fortune in such places.</p> <p>To avoid the spend of the rich and famous, perhaps it's time to pick your crowd wisely. You can always go out with more like-minded friends to lower-key establishments. Or, make sure you are the one to pick the venues, so you can choose places with reasonable prices or no cover charges. If you still find yourself confronted with absorbent pricing, limit your intake and stay clear of champagnes and signature mixed drinks, which always run higher than most other items.</p> <h2>8. Health Care Costs</h2> <p>We all know that there's a flip side to most guilty pleasures. Consuming alcohol can affect both your health and your wallet. Continual use or over-consumption can cause a number of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/alcoholism/possible-complications.html">alcohol related health problems</a>, from liver disorders to heart problems to violence and depression. A <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0813-excessive-alcohol-use.html">CDC study</a> has estimated that excessive drinking has cost the country at least $224 billion per year in the past, the majority of which is health care costs. As an individual, this means money lost on doctor's visits, costly procedures, missed pay, decreased quality of life, and higher health insurance premiums.</p> <p>It's obvious that the way to combat such problems is to aim to drink less or not at all. Preventive programs and seeking help for excessive alcohol consumption are measures that can be taken. Be sure to limit binge drinking and search for other ways, besides alcohol, to relax and unwind.</p> <h2>9. Long Term Consequences</h2> <p>Excessive or irresponsible drinking can certainly lead to some grave consequences, especially if you drink and drive. Besides the physical dangers, the <a href="http://money.msn.com/auto-insurance/dui-the-10000-dollar-ride-home.aspx">financial fallout from a DUI</a> is a lot more than you may realize. It has been estimated that by the time you pay bail, legal fees, and insurance, a DUI can cost you $10,000 or more. From the insurance perspective, a DUI will <a href="http://www.esurance.com/violations/dui-and-car-insurance">increase your premium</a> by several hundred dollars, which can last for up to five years. You may also be required to carry more than the state-mandated amount of coverage, further driving up your costs.</p> <p>The obvious way to avoid such expenses is to not drink and drive. A DUI can do all kinds of harm, much of which can last well beyond the initial offense.</p> <p><em>What are some other extra costs you have come across when it comes to spending on drinks? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Lifestyle alcohol alcohol costs booze drinking wine Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1171611 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Wines That Taste Pricier Than They Are http://www.wisebread.com/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-485408247.jpg" alt="wine" title="wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Value, when it comes to wine, is in the palate of the beholder. But it also depends on the wallet of the beholder, as well. Frankly, what is considered to be a great deal on a wine for dinner is worlds apart depending on whether you have that conversation with Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or with little ol' me. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-tasty-wines-to-get-you-through-tax-season?ref=seealso">10 Cheap and Tasty Wines</a>)</p> <p>You can start with a $5 gallon jug and work up from there until you hit the pinnacle of bad wine purchases, which was the bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafite that sold for $156,000 plus or about $26,000 per glass in 1985. Given that Bordeaux lasts about 50 years, what is known as the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold was really the most expensive bottle of vinegar ever sold.</p> <p>Luckily for everyone else, there's a lot of ground in the middle. The Wine Enthusiast, for example, reviewed 16,000 bottles of wine in 2013, coming up with a list of <a href="http://www.winemag.com/Web-2013/The-Enthusiast-100-2013/">100 Must Have Wines</a> for the year. And &quot;must have&quot; essentially means that all 100 on the list were considered worth the price.</p> <p>Their list includes a $98 bottle of Cavallotto 2007 Vignolo Riserva Barolo, a good deal for some, if you have that kind of coin. Unfortunately, I don't.</p> <p>Here are some bottles with pedestrian price tags you might enjoy. They certainly taste better than their price tag would indicate, so you can impress your guests without spending too much.</p> <p>I've leaned on reviewers I trust and my own excursions into the field (or into a bottle) to come up with these.</p> <h2>5 Red Wines</h2> <p>Red wines are for romance, beef or lamb dinners, and windy porches. Picnics, too. And outings on the boat. And for impressing your boss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-wine?ref=seealso">10 Reasons to Drink Wine</a>)</p> <h3>Zestos Old Vine Garnacha 2011</h3> <p>This is a quaffable <a href="http://www.reversewinesnob.com/2013/04/zestos-old-vine-garnacha.html">$8 steal</a> from Spain that gets high marks from reviewers, who declare it is delightful for informal outings &mdash; a good backyard wine, rather than a dinner table wine. It will wash down a hamburger quite well, one reviewer said. With this price, I had to put it on the list.</p> <h3>Dr. Konstantin Frank Cabernet Franc 2011</h3> <p>Speaking from experience now, this is a surprising New York wine that sells for $16 and is both mature and lively. It has a gutsy punch that is sometimes defined as bright, peppery, and elegant. For a dark red, it also has a soft underbelly. You might say it has exotic overtones. What I like is the tang that accompanies New York reds, which some find a distraction, but I have grown fond of over the years. It makes the wine more versatile when choosing something for dinner, because this wine will go with anything and it will please your snooty wine friends and please your less-experienced drinkers, as well.</p> <h3>Borsao Berola 2008</h3> <p>Another bottle from Spain, this is a blend with a bright bouquet that retails for under $20 and has dark red color and a complex taste. This wine tastes older than it is; it has matured well and has a bold, fruity flavor blended into a soft presentation. It's full-bodied, in other words, but with a tickle, rather than a punch. Whereas I would have said &quot;seductive,&quot; it is also described as &quot;silky.&quot; (I figured that was a polite way of saying seductive, anyway.) The blend in this bottle is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, which reads to me like an excellent potion. It is matured in French and American oak barrels and consistently gets rated with 90 points from reviewers &mdash; a great rating for an inexpensive wine.</p> <h3>Ex Libris Cabernet Sauvignon 2009</h3> <p>This is a fashionable wine from Washington State about which Chelsea Wine Vault owner David Hunter said &quot;over-delivers&quot; for the price. He is not alone in that assessment. The Reverse Wine Snob says this bottle &quot;<a href="http://www.reversewinesnob.com/2013/02/ex-libris-cabernet-sauvignon.html">drinks like a $45 Cabernet</a>,&quot; and yet it retails for $14. I haven't tasted this one myself, but those are two reviewers I consider very reliable.</p> <h3>Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2011</h3> <p>This is a spicy, complex wine from New Zealand that averages a rating of 89.4, which brings up expectations of a $30 price tag. Not so. This wine has a hint of cranberry, black cherry, and a hint of oak, says reviewer Jon Thorsen at The Reverse Wine Snob. Further, it's a &quot;<a href="http://www.reversewinesnob.com/2014/01/mt-beautiful-north-canterbury-pinot-noir.html">medium bodied&hellip; [with] absolutely fabulous balance</a>&quot; wine that retails for $18.</p> <h2>5 Whites</h2> <p>White wines are good for pasta dishes, fish, the salad course, wine beginners, and family gatherings (or other gatherings where some might shun the punchier red wines).</p> <h3>Herman Wiemer's Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2012</h3> <p>Now that we're here on the whites, let's start with my favorite. This is a warm wine with more than a hint of apricot and an aftertaste that hints of lemon-tinged butterscotch. It is often used as a dessert wine, but who likes to wait for dessert, anyway? This makes a great starter wine or something you can serve with soup, salad, and poultry, and it will have your guests talking and expecting surprises all night. Of course, that would only work if you are following up with white wines, because you don't follow this with reds. That would be like following a ballet with a boxing match. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/dining/reviews/in-the-finger-lakes-devotion-to-riesling-shows.html?pagewanted=2&amp;_r=0">For $16</a>, it&rsquo;s a serious crowd pleaser.</p> <h3>Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner 2011</h3> <p>This is a feel-good wine from Austria that is fruity and crisp and sophisticated &mdash; only wine can present all those contradictions in one glass. This is a wine you want around if you have lots of guests, because it is <a href="http://www.wine.com/v6/Laurenz-V-Singing-Gruner-Veltliner-2011/wine/117134/detail.aspx">under $20</a>, so you can pour liberally. If anyone complains (and that is not likely) tell them the money you saved went into the meal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-dinner-party-for-6-feed-em-for-under-20?ref=seealso">Feed a Dinner Party of 6 for Under $20</a>)</p> <h3>Donnafugata Lighea Zibibbo Sicilia 2011</h3> <p>How is it that an imported Italian Moscato wine <a href="http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/donna+fugata+lighea+zibibbo+sicilia+italy">selling for $12</a> tastes so exceptional? I almost believe that the cheaper the wine the more ethnicity it can claim. This is a dry, regional, perfumy wine that has bursts of fruity and flowery flavors. There are subtle hints of pear and peach that are quite exhilarating. Anyway, if it's good enough for the man on the street in Rome, it's good enough for me &mdash; and my budget.</p> <h3>Indaba Chenin Blanc 2011</h3> <p>My budget friendly pick from South Africa costs $7 per bottle and tastes like&hellip; well, if I had a $50 bottle to compare it to, I would. But this is certainly a surprise for most wine buyers. After all, it's not from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, California, New York, or any of the standard wine regions. Nevertheless, a $7 bottle of wine (how can they even ship it for that cost?) is not going to break many budgets out there. But this is a bright wine that has a citrus-like, tangy, but full flavored. Hard to pass that up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars?ref=seealso">Great Wines Under $10</a>)</p> <h3>Kris Pinot Grigio 2011</h3> <p>This $12 bottle of Italian wine provokes a question: Are you ever in the mood for a white wine that is totally unpretentious, but has startling fullness? Sometimes, rather than &quot;a subtle bouquet&quot; or &quot;an elegant, but shy aftertaste that is reminiscent of blackberries,&quot; you just want a wine that is belly-slapping yummy? This wine might be that. Reviewers say the Pinot Grigio grape has managed to settle comfortably in Northeast Italy, and that sounds reasonable to me. But when a white wine is robust and affordable, I'm going to be pouring some of that to go along with chicken or fish and maybe pork, as well. And this import will fit the bill nicely for that.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite great tasting, low cost bottle of wine? Pour us a taste in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anthony-hall">Anthony Hall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars">10 Great Wines Under 10 Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cinderella-wine-gary-vaynerchuks-nightly-deals-means-more-wine-for-less-money">Cinderella Wine: Gary Vaynerchuk&#039;s Nightly Deals Mean More Wine for Less Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable wine wine Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:24:24 +0000 Anthony Hall 1135879 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Great Reasons to Drink Wine http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-wine <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-great-reasons-to-drink-wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-dv1717004.jpg" alt="drinking win" title="drinking wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may view wine as nothing more than a drink to complement your dinner. But while wine has an amazing way of bringing out the taste in certain foods, this isn&#39;t the only reason to enjoy an occasional glass. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheers-to-the-holidays-10-affordable-wines-perfect-for-the-season?ref=seealso">10 Affordable Wines</a>)</p> <p>In moderation, wine has many surprising health benefits. So before you grab a beer, tea, juice, or (especially) soda to go along with your lunch or dinner, consider these 10 great reasons to drink wine.</p> <h2>1. Good for the Heart</h2> <p>If you&#39;re looking to reduce your risk of a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, a daily glass of red or white wine might be your ticket to a healthier heart. <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089">Red wine contains the powerful antioxidant resveratrol</a>, which has been shown to reduce fat accumulation in arteries and improve heart function. And according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, <a href="http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/the-health-benefits-of-white-wine">white wines with high levels of the antioxidants tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol provide similar heart benefits</a>.</p> <h2>2. Improves Lung Function</h2> <p>Not just a beverage for healthy heart function, white wine has also been linked to healthy lung function. University of Buffalo researchers reported, &quot;<a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020521072618.htm">drinking wine recently and over a lifetime was associated with better lung function.</a>&quot; The study evaluated approximately 1,500 Caucasians and African-Americans with varying alcohol consumption and lifestyle habits. Participants were given a lung-function test, and based on the findings, the wine drinkers &quot;had the highest levels of protective antioxidants in their blood&quot; and better lung function.</p> <h2>3. Lowers the Risk of Cataracts</h2> <p>A family history of cataracts increases your risk for this eye disease, but there&#39;s good news if you&#39;re a red wine drinker. A <a href="http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/504341">2001 study on age-related eye diseases in Iceland</a> evaluated the link between cataract development and alcohol use. According to the study&#39;s findings, red wine had a noticeable protective effect, as both non-drinkers and &quot;heavy drinkers of any sort of alcohol had a substantially increased risk for cataract development, while moderate red wine drinkers had only half the risk.&quot; The effects of white wine were not included in the study.</p> <h2>4. Reduces the Risk of Cancer</h2> <p>Whether it&#39;s colon, prostate, or ovarian, the antioxidants in a glass of red wine can fill your body with cancer-fighting properties. &quot;A glass of wine a day may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as half,&quot; <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/good-reasons-toast-health-wine-article-1.1150684">according to Australian researchers</a>.</p> <p>A second study revealed that the &quot;daily amount of resveratrol in two glasses of wine can reduce the rate of bowel tumors by around 50%.&quot; And while regular alcohol consumption typically increases the risk for breast cancer, moderate consumption of red wine has the opposite effect &mdash; actually lowering the risk of breast cancer, <a href="http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/253718.php">say scientists from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-natural-remedies-for-stomach-pain?ref=seealso">Natural Remedies for Stomach Pain</a>)</p> <h2>5. Better Brain Function</h2> <p>Crossword puzzles and other brain activities can help ward off dementia and Alzheimer&#39;s. But while you&#39;re giving your brain a workout, don&#39;t forget to pour yourself a glass of wine. &quot;Wine helps prevent clots and reduces blood vessel inflammation, both of which have been linked to cognitive decline,&quot; <a href="http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20410287,00.html">explains Tedd Goldfinger</a>, DO, of the University of Arizona School of Medicine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-memory-and-even-get-a-little-smarter?ref=seealso">How to Improve Your Memory and Get Smarter</a>)</p> <h2>6. Stronger Bones</h2> <p><a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=7111282">According to a recent study</a>, milk isn&#39;t the only beverage of choice for strong, healthy bones. In postmenopausal women, one to two glasses of wine a day contributed to higher bone mass. This is because alcohol ups the body&#39;s production of estrogen, which reduces bone loss.</p> <h2>7. Reduces Risk of Diabetes</h2> <p>Moderate consumption of red wine helps control blood sugar. A 12-year study involving over 300,000 participates at Amsterdam&#39;s VU University Medical Center in 2005 revealed that &quot;<a href="http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/3/719.full">moderate drinkers have a 30 percent less chance of developing type 2 diabetes</a> compared to their non-drinking counterparts.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-risk-of-diabetes?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes</a>)</p> <h2>8. Healthier Skin</h2> <p>A good facial cream and skin cleanser aren&#39;t your only options for reversing the effects of aging. The antioxidants in wine, especially red wine, are shown to <a href="http://www.webmd.com/beauty/aging/drinking-wine-antiaging">reduce wrinkles and fine lines</a>. In moderation, wine can improve your overall appearance, helping your skin look its best.</p> <h2>9. Prevents Tooth Decay</h2> <p>You may steer clear of red wine in an effort to keep your teeth white. However, <a href="http://www.nhs.uk/news/2009/12December/Pages/Red-wine-and-tooth-decay.aspx">red wine is a key to healthy teeth</a>. It reduces the risk of tooth decay, stops the growth of bacteria in the mouth, hardens the enamel, and reduces gum inflammation.</p> <h2>10. Lengthens Your Life</h2> <p>With all the amazing health benefits of wine, it&#39;s no surprise that moderate consumption can increase your lifespan. In fact, &quot;<a href="http://www.nhs.uk/news/2009/05May/Pages/WineandLivingLonger.aspx">Half a glass of wine a day can add five years to your life</a>&quot; claims a Dutch study that compared alcohol intake and mortality rates among 1,373 men within a 40-year timeframe.</p> <p>And when compared to those who drink beer, an <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050131224416.htm">article published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis says</a>, &quot;drinkers of wine benefit from its cardio-protective effects, more so than those who drink beer or other spirits, and may also live longer.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have another reason why it&#39;s great to drink wine? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-wine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-less-sugar-with-these-10-simple-tricks">Eat Less Sugar With These 10 Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-there-be-a-fat-tax-on-junk-food">Should There Be a &quot;Fat Tax&quot; on Junk Food?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty health benefits wine Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:31:14 +0000 Mikey Rox 1098974 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 No-Fuss Wine Destinations Anyone Can Visit (and Enjoy!) http://www.wisebread.com/7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-153717773.jpg" alt="wine tasting" title="wine tasting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wine-tasting can be a reasonably frugal activity, or it can be a very expensive one. If you are staying in a very popular area with a developed high-end tourist industry, like Napa, where hotels and restaurants are expensive, then your costs can rapidly skyrocket. Lodging and food in Napa will burn a hole in your pocket as quickly as tasting fees at celebrity wineries (which can be as much as $60). Luckily there are many lesser-known wine-producing areas in and near the US that still offer inexpensive tastings, unpretentious lodgings, and reasonably-priced food, not to mention delicious wines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Wine Tasting Basics</h2> <p>I prefer walk-in tasting rather than joining a wine tour, which allows you to explore little-known, smaller wineries that are off the beaten tour bus path. It also gives you the freedom to taste a few wines, take a break for a picnic or a walk, and taste a few more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheers-to-the-holidays-10-affordable-wines-perfect-for-the-season?ref=seealso">10 Affordable Wines for the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>A great way to save on food is to pack some good bread, salami, cheese, and pickles; the perfect counterpoint to a bottle of wine. Take the time to enjoy the area &mdash; I often visit just three wineries throughout the day and take time to hike and snap some photos. That way, I'm out just $15 to $30, but I've had a great day on vacation. And don't feel obliged to buy a bottle if you're trying to be frugal; just savor the experience.</p> <p>If you love wine tasting, here are a few lesser-known wine destinations that won't break the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-vacations-the-entire-family-will-love?ref=seealso">Frugal Vacations for the Whole Family</a>)</p> <h2>Willamette Valley, Oregon</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winetaste-willa-151564339-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Oregon's Willamette Valley is a large wine region stretching from Portland to Eugene. Although it is Oregon's largest wine-producing region, many wineries are still family-owned and run, and the Willamette Valley lacks (for the most part) the snobbishness and commerciality many have come to associate with Napa. In fact, it has been likened to Napa Valley 25 years ago. The Willamette Valley isn't known for its big reds &mdash; this cool-weather region focuses on pinot noir, pinot gris, and chardonnays, as well as sweeter whites, such as riesling and gewurztraminer, more than bold cabernets and zinfandels.</p> <p>Larger wineries tend to charge more for tastings ($10-$15, which is often waived if you buy a bottle), but the smaller wineries further off the freeway often charge a more frugal $5 or offer free tastings. There are hundreds of wineries, so make a plan using the <a href="http://willamettewines.com/wine-tasting-tips/">Willamette Valley Wineries</a> website. You can find reasonably priced accommodation in any of the cities along the wine trail, from Portland to Eugene. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways?ref=seealso">14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a>)</p> <h2>Sierra Foothills, California</h2> <p>Just a few hours' drive inland from Napa you'll find the <a href="http://www.discovercaliforniawines.com/discover-california/sierra-foothills/">Sierra Foothills wine country</a>, what some call &quot;one of California's best kept wine secrets.&quot; Less sophisticated restaurants (no <a href="http://www.frenchlaundry.com/">French Laundry</a> here) and more affordable lodging mean that if you're looking for a wine tasting experience in Northern California without the Napa prices, the Sierra Foothills are a good bet. Zinfandel, cabernet, and syrah are popular grapes grown here as well as many other varieties.</p> <p>The scenery is outstanding, and if you're headed for Yosemite National Park, tasting the wines in the nearby historic &quot;Gold Country&quot; (site of the Gold Rush) is a great complementary experience. Since this area is off the beaten path, you'll find a lot of cute B&amp;Bs and independent inns rather than chain hotels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path?ref=seealso">Reasons to Travel Off the Beaten Path</a>)</p> <h2>San Luis Obispo County, California</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winetaste-sloca-177418872-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Within the Central Coast wine-producing region of California, Santa Barbara may be the most well-known wine-tasting area (popularized in the movie Sideways), but just an hour north of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo county is a huge wine-producing area with more down-to-earth prices. A host of small, family-owned wineries line the coast from Arroyo Grande to Atascadero, and up to Paso Robles.</p> <p>San Luis Obispo county has a wide variety of climates with an accompanying wide variety of grapes. Paso Robles has the warmest temperatures on the Central Coast, which produces intense, award-winning cabernets, as well as zinfandels, syrahs, merlots, and other Rhone varieties. For example, the wildly popular and affordable $12 merlot by <a href="http://www.jlohr.com/">J. Lohr</a> is produced in Paso Robles (and the winery offers free tastings). Meanwhile, Arroyo Grande has cooler temperatures and produces delicate pinot noir (my favorite is <a href="http://www.laetitiawine.com/">Laetitia Winery</a> right off Hwy 101).</p> <p>The coastal scenery is one of this area's many draws. Pristine beaches, craggy cliffs, and sweet towns line the coast, perfectly complementing the region's delicious wines.</p> <h2>Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada</h2> <p>If you're visiting Niagara Falls, or if you live in New York or in Southern Ontario, the <a href="http://wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com/">Niagara-on-the-Lake</a> wine region is a worthwhile trip. The village of Niagara-on-the-Lake, located where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario, is known as one of the most picturesque towns in Ontario. There are a wide variety of wineries to visit in the vicinity, from larger corporate wineries to small family-run, organic and sustainable wineries. Often tasting is free, or the $5 to $10 fee is waived if you purchase a bottle &mdash; and you might want to do so if you find something you like, as many of these wines cannot be found in big box stores. Many tastings may include a tour of the winery as well.</p> <p>The soils in this area, formed by the the recession of Lake Ontario, offer a distinctive terroir you will not find anywhere else. Pinot noir, chardonnay, and cool-weather red blends are the local specialty, as well as cool-weather whites such as riesling and gewurztraminer. This is one of the best places to get ice wine and late-harvest wines.</p> <p>Niagara-on-the-Lake is a tourist destination, so there is a good selection of hotels at reasonable rates as well as cute little B&amp;Bs. If you are staying in nearby glitzy Niagara Falls, just a half-hour drive away, you'll find a wide variety of reasonably-priced hotels. If you don't want to cross the border into Canada, there is a small wine trail on the US side of the border as well, known as the <a href="http://www.niagarawinetrail.org/">Niagara Wine Trail USA</a>.</p> <h2>Finger Lakes, New York</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winetaste-finlakes-93332898-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you're a fan of riesling, you'll probably love a visit to the <a href="http://www.fingerlakeswinealliance.com/wineries.html">Finger Lakes wine country</a> in New York State. The cool lake country, which specializes in white wines, has been compared to the Rhine River Valley wine growing region of Germany. With over 100 wineries, it is one of the largest wine producing regions in the US outside of California. As a bonus, you can gaze out at the gorgeous Finger Lakes while you enjoy your wine.</p> <p>The Finger Lakes are a popular destination, so there is a range of accommodation ranging from frugal motels to upscale hotels. If you're looking to save on lodging while enjoying the great outdoors, there is also the option of camping in one of the area's many campgrounds.</p> <h2>The Western Slope, Colorado</h2> <p>Colorado isn't just a destination for skiing and hiking. If you're up for a change in pace, the <a href="http://www.gadling.com/2012/07/10/exploring-western-colorados-undiscovered-wine-region/">Western Slope</a> area of Colorado is an emerging wine region that has seen an explosion in wine production in the past few decades. This unstuffy, family-friendly wine region offers the highest altitudes of any wine region in the US. The area has stunning scenery, with views of vineyards set against majestic mountains, as well as fresh local produce and charming hotels. Find very affordable accommodation in the wine country towns of Grand Junction or Palisade. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-travel-accommodations?ref=seealso">How to Save on Travel Accommodations</a>)</p> <p>Tastings are affordable with many wineries offering tastings for $5 or less, and prices for bottles in this up-and-coming area are very reasonable, too. The high desert climate in this area is suitable for growing a variety of white grapes, but there are also large plantings of merlot, syrah, and pinot noir.</p> <h2>Hill Country, Texas</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winetaste-hillcountry-89506674-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.texaswinetrail.com/">Hill Country</a> around Fredericksburg, Texas, is another emerging wine region that has been producing excellent wines in the last few years and doesn't yet have the high prices of more established wine regions like Napa. There is plenty of reasonably-priced accommodation and restaurants in the historic town of Fredericksburg and there are several wineries within a short drive of the city. On Saturdays there is also a free wine shuttle from downtown Fredericksburg that takes you to several wineries so you can imbibe without worrying about driving. Tastings cost between $5 and $15 and often include a free glass. Many wineries also have tasting rooms downtown.</p> <p>The landscape is reminiscent of Italy's vineyards and lends itself to Mediterranean varieties like syrah and tempranillo, but of course with distinctive Texas flair. If you've always wanted to enjoy BBQ with your wine tasting, this is the place.</p> <p>There are many other little-known wine regions around the country that the limited scope of this article cannot do justice to. With wine tasting becoming an increasingly popular pastime for many Americans, emerging wine regions abound and there are sure to be some near you. Going to your local wine producing area is one of the best ways to go wine tasting on a budget, with the added benefit of supporting local vintners.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite place to go wine tasting? How do you do it frugally?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-never-buy-souvenirs">Why You Should Never Buy Souvenirs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-around-the-guidebook-techniques-for-researching-your-trip-without-spending-a-fortune">Getting Around the Guidebook: Techniques for Researching your Trip Without Spending a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-drunk-on-the-cheap-wine-tastings">Wine Tastings: Finding Cheap Wine That You Like</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel frugal travel wine wine tasting Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:36:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1099006 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheers to the Holidays: 10 Affordable Wines Perfect for the Season http://www.wisebread.com/cheers-to-the-holidays-10-affordable-wines-perfect-for-the-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheers-to-the-holidays-10-affordable-wines-perfect-for-the-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holiday-187375129.jpg" alt="wine" title="wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everybody thinks that the turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are holiday dinner essentials, but they've never dined with your family, have they? You know the real star of the show is the case of wine hiding in the corner to help you get through the holiday.</p> <p>This year, save some money on your saving grace by stocking up on budget bottles to kick off this annual season of giving (and breathing very deeply). Thus, here are 10 fresh and flavorful picks to help you conserve cash and sanity this Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa &mdash; all $15 or less.</p> <h2>2012 Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc</h2> <p>($10.99)</p> <p>We start drinking early on Thanksgiving Day in my family &mdash; if only to recharge after a night of pre-holiday festivities (&quot;Black Wednesday&quot; is the biggest night out of the year, dontcha know) &mdash; and the <a href="http://www.cecchettiwineco.com/Buy-Wines/Sauvignon%20Blanc/17">2012 Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc</a> is a nice wine to dip into after breakfast as we prepare the midday snacks. It opens with crisp and refreshing aromas of grapefruit and lemon citrus with subtle grassy characters that lead into a clean finish. Perfectly fine all by its lonesome, the Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc also complements shellfish, like a cold shrimp cocktail before the afternoon's games kick off.</p> <h2>2012 A to Z Chardonnay</h2> <p>($15)</p> <p>Oregon isn't the first place that comes to mind when you think of on-the-mark wine, but the <a href="http://atozwineworks.com/chard.html">A to Z Oregon Chardonnay</a> may change that. With a pop of the cork, aromas of kiwi, tangerine, white peach, and quince waft from the glass, followed by deeper, more complex aromas like honey, melon, and beeswax. Upon first swish, notes of pear and toasted coconut reveal themselves in a concentration balanced by firm acidity that provides vitality and persistence. Pair with <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/salmon-rillettes">salmon rillettes</a> to tide company over until supper is served.</p> <h2>Palacio de Borno Verdejo Rueda</h2> <p>($14)</p> <p>If you're forgoing a turkey this Thanksgiving in favor of a more exotic meal &mdash; say, something with a Spanish flair &mdash; then you might want to try the 2012 <a href="http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1141091">Palacio de Borno Verdejo Rueda</a> from Rueda, Spain. The Rueda region of Spain excels at producing crisp, minerally white wines made from the Verdejo grape. The favorite white wine of Spanish natives, this particular Rueda is a perfect example of the fruity and incredibly pure Rueda style. Consider sharing a glass with your amigos as you munch on tapas of chorizo and cheese.</p> <h2>Rey Santo Rueda</h2> <p>($9.99)</p> <p>Another great pick from the Rueda region of Spain is the <a href="http://www.bagandstringwine.com/product-p/02536.htm">2012 Rey Santo Rueda</a>, a smooth blend of 50% Viura and 50% Verdejo grapes that produce a fine nose of pineapple and passion fruit aromatics with mineral notes. Rich and well structured on the palate, this Rueda pairs well with roasted fish and chicken.</p> <h2>Skinnygirl Chardonnay</h2> <p>($11.99)</p> <p>Watching your weight around the holidays? That's no fun &mdash; but you'll have an easier time choosing between another drink or a second dessert if <a href="http://skinnygirlcocktails.com/the-cocktails/the-wine-collection">Skinnygirl Chardonnay</a> is on the menu. A complex combination of white peach, French oak vanilla, and orange blossoms, this wine with a light finish and rich flavors lets you leave room for one more smidge of pie with zero smidges of guilt.</p> <h2>2012 Hahn Winery Pinot Noir</h2> <p>($14)</p> <p>Hailing from California, this <a href="http://store.hahnwinery.com/Hahn_Winery_Pinot_Noir_2012_California">Hahn Winery Pinot Noir</a> harvested in fall 2012 provides aromas of dried plums, black currants, and cola, while notes of black cherry, vanilla, and spice linger on the palate. A silky mouthfeel builds on fresh acidity as you savor its depth of flavor &mdash; after an appreciative pause for its deep purple color. Perfect for serving with a nontraditional bird, such as duck, goose, squab, or pheasant, or a well-braised rabbit.</p> <h2>2011 Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti</h2> <p>($15)</p> <p>As long as you're not serving fava beans as a side dish, you can offer this <a href="http://wineawesomeness.com/wine-list/rocca-di-castagnoli-chianti-rosso-della-rocca-tuscany-italy-2011.html">Chianti from Rocca di Castagnoli</a> without inciting fright. Ripe notes of pomegranate and mulberry lead into secondary notes of balsamic, tomato, braised fennel, and herbs, making it the perfect complement to a savory Italian-style feast. Pair with an al dente pasta with a robust red sauce.</p> <h2>Terra Fossil Cabernet Mendoza</h2> <p>($11.99)</p> <p>Born from hand-selected grapes from Mendoza, Argentina, this <a href="http://worldwinesathome.com/Terra_Fossil/Terra_Fossil_Cabernet_Mendoza">100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Terra Fossil</a> features complex aromas of dark fruits, spices, and black pepper to complement a strong, elegant, full-bodied structure. Well balanced with velvety tannins, this mature red wine pairs well with spicy dishes and game, including lamb and bison.</p> <h2>Casa Larga Cab-Merlot</h2> <p>($12.99)</p> <p>If chocolate dishes are on the dessert table, you'll want to pour a glass of <a href="http://www.casalarga.com/index.cfm?method=storeproducts.showdrilldown&amp;productid=2847cb62-bb40-acdc-0e7d-82a70bcfc2b9&amp;ProductCategoryID=707aa007-1b78-7bfe-4cfe-9f0f174a33bb&amp;WineryID=ac96dc47-bb2a-7f76-f34a-e9fd51c1aec9&amp;WineTypeID=&amp;ProductType=&amp;wineVarietalID=&amp;wineRegionID=&amp;vintage=&amp;lowprice=&amp;highPrice=&amp;WineBrandID=&amp;WineAppellationID=&amp;lowletter=&amp;highletter=&amp;OrderBy=PXPC.DisplayOrder%20Asc,%20P.ProductName%20ASC&amp;ShippingState=NY">Casa Larga Vineyard's medium-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot</a> and enjoy an extra special treat as you wash all that deliciousness down. Dark berry and oak aromas complement a velvety palate developed as a result of grapes hand picked very late in the season to maximize ripeness and tannin development.</p> <h2>The Gambler Malbec</h2> <p>($11.70)</p> <p>After all the dishes and children are tucked away for the evening, break out the cards, dice, and dollar bills for some family-friendly competition. <a href="http://www.getwineonline.com/sku01552_CULTIVATE-MALBEC-THE-GAMBLER-750ML">&quot;The Gambler&quot; Malbec</a> from Cultivate Wines is just what the Maverick ordered for these reindeer games with its broad and brawny mouthfeel of blue and black fruits, leather, and spice. Better still, Cultivate Wines donates 10 cents of every dollar in gross sales to local charities across the United States &mdash; so you won't feel as bad about downing a few bottles in a single sitting.</p> <p><em>What're your favorite affordable wines for the holidays?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheers-to-the-holidays-10-affordable-wines-perfect-for-the-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-gift-guide-thoughtful-ideas-for-every-list-and-every-budget">Ultimate Gift Guide: Thoughtful Ideas for Every List and Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-for-your-co-workers">20 Gift Ideas for Your Co-Workers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-holiday-stocking-stuffers-for-techies">10 Holiday Stocking Stuffers for Techies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-gift-ideas-for-geeky-fanboys-and-fangirls">10 Great Gift Ideas for Geeky Fanboys and Fangirls</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Buying Guides buying guide gifts holiday gift guide wine Tue, 26 Nov 2013 11:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1098711 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on Wine http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-on-wine <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-on-wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-wine-5088680-small.jpg" alt="wine" title="wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to save on wine, career strategies of high earners, and things you can do to live a happier life.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pfadvice.com/2013/05/09/10-ways-to-save-money-on-wine/">10 Ways to Save on Wine</a> &mdash; Are you a wine drinker? Buying by the case and avoiding imported wines can help you save money! [Personal Finance Advice]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/05/07/career-strategies-of-high-earners/">Career strategies of high earners</a> &mdash; People who earn high salaries tend to negotiate and speak up. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Happiness-Studies-30444303">9 Things You Can Do to Live a Happier Life, According to Science</a> &mdash; If you want to live a happier life, own pets and be around happy people. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/05/what-would-you-be-willing-to-do-to-retire-early.html">What Would You Be Willing to Do to Retire Early?</a> &mdash; Would you sell your car and take public transportation to be able to retire early? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/how-to-spend-less-on-some-of-your-needs/">How to Spend Less on Some of Your 'Needs'</a> &mdash; Instead of paying for water bottles, consider purchasing a filter to save money. [Free From Broke]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2013/05/5-tips-for-better-negotiating-and-getting-what-you-want/">5 Tips for Better Negotiating (and Getting What You Want)</a> &mdash; Seeking a win-win outcome will help you negotiate better and get what you want. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2013/05/08/college-debt-101/">College debt 101</a> &mdash; Minimize the potential damage of college debt by being practical and going to community college. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/5-reasons-to-plant-a-garden-this-year/">5 Reasons to Plant a Garden this Year</a> &mdash; Planting a garden this year will help you save money on your favorite foods. [Good Financial Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/steps-to-successful-investing/">3 Steps to Successful Investing</a> &mdash; If you want to invest successfully, remember to diversify. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/last-minute-mothers-day-shopping-tips-for-clueless-fathers-and-children">Mother's Day Shopping Tips for Dads and Children</a> &mdash; When shopping for a Mother's Day present for mom, consider her interests and hobbies. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-on-wine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are">10 Wines That Taste Pricier Than They Are</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cinderella-wine-gary-vaynerchuks-nightly-deals-means-more-wine-for-less-money">Cinderella Wine: Gary Vaynerchuk&#039;s Nightly Deals Mean More Wine for Less Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips saving wine Fri, 10 May 2013 10:00:32 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 974005 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Things That Will Be Less Expensive in 2012 http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-that-will-be-less-expensive-in-2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-that-will-be-less-expensive-in-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6634503467_46497362ea_z.jpg" alt="2012" title="2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Does the sagging economy, national debt, and our previous list of the <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/11-Things-That-Will-Be-More-Expensive-in-2012/534358.html?eref=wisebread" title="11 things more expensive in 2012">11 things that will be more expensive in 2012</a> have ya feeling down? Well, here's something to look forward to &mdash; to help counteract some of that 2012 gloom, we've gathered 12 items we predict will cost <em>less</em> in the coming year. From TVs to laptops, cash-strapped shoppers should keep an eye on prices for these items; even wine might see notable discounts next year! So cheer up and read on for the good consumer news. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-discounts-on-schedule-the-best-days-to-shop" title="Deep Discounts on Schedule: The Best Days to Shop">Deep Discounts on Schedule: The Best Days to Shop</a>)</p> <h3>1. Apple iPad 2</h3> <p>The iPad 3 will not feature a significant price drop (if any at all), but one thing is guaranteed &mdash; Cupertino's forthcoming tablet will most certainly bring down the price of <a href="http://dealnews.com/c568/Computers/iPad-Tablet/iPad?eref=wisebread" title="iPad 2 deals">refurbished iPad 2s</a>. (As the iPad 2 did for its predecessor.) The iPad 3 may even cause resellers to offer more deals on <em>new</em> iPad 2 models as they try to move yesterday's tech to make room for Apple's latest and greatest.</p> <h3>2. Wine</h3> <p>Oenophiles, perk up! Wine connoisseur extraordinaire, Robert Parker, predicts the coming year to be the &quot;<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/20/uk-usa-wine-prices-idUSLNE7BJ01W20111220" title="falling wine prices">Age of the Buyer</a>&quot; &mdash; a prolonged period of time with stable or declining wine prices. With less disposable income, folks have left wines priced at $30 and above untouched on store shelves. So to move stock, retailers are expected to offer more <a href="http://dealnews.com/c216/Home-Garden/Food-Drink/Wines?eref=wisebread" title="wine deals">sales and even flash deals on wines</a>. Price is also affected by industry competition, as consumers note the quality-to-price ratio from wines originating in countries like Australia, Argentina, South Africa, and Chile. Aficionados should check out sites like <a href="http://www.lot18.com/" title="Lot 18">Lot 18</a> for their boozy offerings.</p> <h3>3. Desktop Replacement Laptops</h3> <p>Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs may be dominating the laptop landscape, but it's AMD's recession-friendly Fusion APUs that are driving prices down, particularly in the realm of desktop replacements. The star of the show is AMD's A Series APU, which promises better battery life, better video playback, and more affordable prices among <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops?eref=wisebread" title="laptop deals">desktop replacements</a>. Just last week we <a href="http://dealnews.com/Toshiba-Satellite-AMD-Dual-Core-1.9-GHz-17-LED-Laptop-for-350-free-shipping/530268.html?eref=wisebread" title="expired $350 deal">saw systems</a> plummet to $350, an unprecedented price low for any desktop replacement.</p> <h3>4. Android Tablets</h3> <p>The Kindle Fire has been Amazon's most <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1640193&amp;highlight=" title="Kindle purchase rate">successful product ever launched</a>. The release of this groundbreaking tablet has, a-hem, <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44712651/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/kindle-fire-may-force-android-tablet-makers-cut-prices" title="Kindle Fire may force cut prices">ignited a fire</a> among tablet manufacturers as they scramble to match Amazon's $199 price tag. For consumers, the competition translates to better <a href="http://dealnews.com/c594/Computers/iPad-Tablet/Tablets?eref=wisebread" title="tablet deals">tablet bargains</a> in 2012.</p> <h3>5. Solid State Drives (SSDs)</h3> <p>The floods that hit Thailand in 2011 created a shortage of hard drives and a subsequent spike in prices. <a href="http://dealnews.com/c625/Computers/Storage/SSDs?eref=wisebread" title="SSD deals">Solid state drives</a>, however, were not affected by the flooding and while their cost per gigabyte is still higher than that of a traditional hard drive, <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-57334159-64/micron-thailand-causing-demand-pick-up-for-ssds/" title=" greater demand for SSD drives">their demand</a> is now greater. In addition, dealnews data shows that <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/dealnews-Price-Trends-Is-Now-the-Right-Time-to-Invest-in-an-SSD-/495276.html?eref=wisebread" title="SSD price trend">SSD prices are steadily dropping</a>; in 2011 the price of a 64GB SSD drive dropped 33% while the price of a 128GB drive dropped 21% &mdash; a trend that we expect will continue in 2012 as more SSDs permeate the market in place of 2.5&quot; hard drives.</p> <h3>6. Car Rentals</h3> <p><a href="http://dealnews.com/features/11-Things-That-Will-Be-More-Expensive-in-2012/534358.html?eref=wisebread" title="things more expensive in 2012">Gas and airfare</a> may be going up in 2012, but car rental rates are expected to remain flat, as agencies across the country reportedly have excess cars available. More stock and subsequent competition is thus expected to keep rental rates low throughout the new year, and we anticipate to see an increase in the number of discounts on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c209/Travel-Entertainment/Car-Rentals?eref=wisebread" title="car rental deals">car and SUV rentals</a>.</p> <h3>7. eBook Readers</h3> <p>Each new generation of Amazon's Kindle reader has <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/The-Most-Discounted-eBook-Reader-Amazon-Kindle-vs-Barnes-Noble-NOOK/516814.html?eref=wisebread" title="discounted ebook readers">chipped away</a> at the eBook reader's price tag, sometimes by as much as 61%. Assuming there's a new Kindle in 2012 (rumor has it that an <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/03/e-ink-dashes-hopes-of-a-next-gen-display-in-2011-but-pencils-in/" title="e-Ink update">e-Ink update with video support</a> will debut), we expect to see continued price cuts on Amazon's popular eBook reader, sending <a href="http://dealnews.com/c551/Electronics/Ebook-Readers?eref=wisebread" title="ebook reader deals&gt;previous Kindle models&lt;/a&gt; into all-time low price territory.&lt;/p&gt;<br /> &lt;h3&gt;8. Apple MacBook Air Refurbs&lt;/h3&gt;<br /> &lt;p&gt;In 2011 the price of a refurbished 4th generation 11&quot; &lt;a href=" http:="" dealnews.com="" c514="" computers="" apple-computers="">MacBook Air</a> dropped from $849 to $699 (17%). Not bad for a notebook that's single-handedly changing the laptop industry. Apple is bound to refresh its <a href="http://store.apple.com/us" title="Apple store">MacBook Air</a> in 2012, and the new model (which would be the 6th generation) is guaranteed to drive refurb prices down even lower. Don't care for a refurb unit? In 2011 we also saw aggressive deals on new, current 5th generation MacBook Airs with prices dropping from $999 to $850 (14%).</p> <h3>9. Standalone GPS Units With Lifetime Maps</h3> <p>The smarter our phones get, the greater the number of gadgets they're capable of <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/The-One-Gadget-To-Rule-Them-All-5-Devices-that-Smartphones-Have-Replaced/476412.html?eref=wisebread" title="gadgets that smartphones replace">replacing</a>. And no gadget is as close to extinction as the GPS unit. So it comes as no surprise to see manufacturers slash prices on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c357/Home-Garden/Automotive/Automotive-GPSs?eref=wisebread" title="GPS deals">standalone GPS units</a> with lifetime / live maps. dealnews data shows that in 2011, units that were once fetching around $160 reached price-lows of just $70.</p> <h3>10. Media Streamers</h3> <p>We love <a href="http://dealnews.com/b1466/Roku?eref=wisebread" title="Roku deals">Roku</a>, but when Blu-ray players with built-in streaming start to cost less than the price of a Roku box, it's time for the latter to get aggressive. In order to remain relevant in 2012, media streamers (such as the Roku player and Boxee Box) must out-price Blu-ray players. We anticipate seeing more deals and lower prices on these electronics.</p> <h3>11. 3D HDTVs</h3> <p><a href="http://dealnews.com/c159/Electronics/TVs?eref=wisebread" title="TV deals">3D HDTVs</a> are a tough sell. Not only are they pricier than traditional CCFL-based LCDs and standalone LED-based sets, but they also require a bigger investment as you'll have to purchase 3D glasses, a 3D Blu-ray player, and 3D Blu-ray discs to get the most from your 3D TV. In 2011, we saw prices for 55&quot; 3D televisions drop 33% from $1,499 in January to $999 in December. The new year will bring an influx of new 3D TVs, which means vendors will try to combat <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/07/3dtv-sales-hollywood/" title="3D HDTV sales">lagging sales</a> with discounts on 2011 3D HDTV models.</p> <h3>12. Home Prices</h3> <p>Despite record-low mortgage interest rates, United States home prices are expected to limp their way into the coming year. In 2011, average <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-27/home-prices-in-u-s-cities-decline-more-than-forecast-case-shiller-says.html" title="falling home prices">home prices across the country</a> were down 3.4% (compared to the same period of August to October, 2010). And with unemployment expected to remain high, 2012 is looking like it will remain a buyer's market.</p> <p>Excited for these less-expensive items next year? Start preparing by setting up a dealnews <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread" title="dealnews email alert">email alert</a> now, so you'll receive a message as soon as we see a discount on the category or specific product of your choice. While we can't help you find a better price on a home, we can certainly point you toward cheaper electronics and other online goods.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a href="http://dealnews.com/" title="dealnews"><em>Dealnews</em></a><em>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From electronics to wine to even rental cars, savings-minded shoppers should keep an eye on prices for these items in 2012. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-that-will-be-less-expensive-in-2012">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts">8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-keyboards">The 5 Best Computer Keyboards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blu-ray-players">The 5 Best Blu-ray Players</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016">9 Things That Cost More in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping car rental dealnews electronics home prices wine Mon, 16 Jan 2012 10:48:17 +0000 Dealnews 863117 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap Fun and Libations: Brewery and Winery Tours http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-fun-and-libations-brewery-and-winery-tours <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-fun-and-libations-brewery-and-winery-tours" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brewery_tour2.jpg" alt="Woman on a brewery tour" title="Woman on a brewery tour" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Brewery and winery tastings used to be more of a way to score a free drink. Today, however, they offer not only <em>gratis </em>samples of select drinks, but also an opportunity to learn the difference between a regular brew and a microbrew or how your favorite vineyard fared during Prohibition. If you don&rsquo;t consider yourself a full-fledged beer enthusiast or oenophile, fear not &mdash; that&rsquo;s why tours and tastings are offered in the first place. And, if you don&rsquo;t even know the first thing to expect when embarking on one of these experiences, read on! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars">10 Great Wines Under $10</a>)</p> <h2>What to Expect on a Brewery or Winery Tour</h2> <p>Most brewery tours are free, with more in-depth tours or experiences costing extra. Anheuser-Busch, for example, has a <a href="http://www.budweisertours.com/toursBeermaster_stl.htm">Beermaster Tour</a> that takes guests to more behind-the-scenes locations than its free version and costs $25 for guests over 21. It also has a <a href="http://www.budweisertours.com/stl_Beerschool.htm">Beer School</a> that teaches visitors pouring techniques, food pairings, and the different ingredients used for brewing and costs $10 for guests over 21.</p> <p>Winery tours and tastings, on the other hand, often cost a flat fee, depending on the size and prestige of the winery. I have been on tours of wineries dotting the Midwest countryside for as little as $2.50 per person, while others in more prestigious locations can run you about $40. Unlike brewery tours, which often run continuously throughout the day, winery tours and tastings are sometimes by appointment only. <a href="http://www.cakebread.com/tours/tours_tastings.cfm">Cakebread Cellars</a>, one of my personal favorites located in Napa Valley, is just such a winery.</p> <p>Generally people of all ages can participate in brewery and winery tours, although those under a certain age (normally 21) must be accompanied by an adult. The tours often end with a free tasting of select products which can, of course, only be sampled by those of us who are aged 21 or over. Although all ages can tour, however, it doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean they should &mdash; think about whether your pint-sized companions would enjoy said tour without the promise of a pint of their own at the conclusion of the visit.</p> <p>As far as the size of your tour or tasting group, it varies widely depending on the time, day, and season of your visit, as well as the size of the facility. Groups of 6-40 are standard. Like most attractions, brewery and winery tours and tastings are more crowded on the weekends, particularly during the summer when people are vacationing. If you choose to take part in one of these attractions during those times, be prepared to be jostled, and don&rsquo;t get upset if you can&rsquo;t hear the tour guide or tasting leader that well. It comes with the territory. If you really want to ensure individual attention, you can sometimes reserve private tours or tastings by calling ahead of time. Unlike the option open to the general public, though, private events often cost money.</p> <p>Your tour or tasting will be conducted by an employee of the brewery or winery who has been trained in that establishment&rsquo;s history, beer- or wine-making process, and products. The guide won&rsquo;t necessarily have any training beyond that, although many are required to become <a href="http://www.tipsalcohol.com/about-tips.html">TIPS</a> (Training for Intervention ProcedureS to help recognize potential alcohol-related problems) certified.</p> <p>On average, tastings and tours alike last about 45 minutes. As expected, though, the more the tasting or tour costs, the more in-depth the information you will receive, and the longer the experience.</p> <p>One little-known fact about both brewery and winery tours is that there are cold parts of the tour. Fermentation in both the beer- and the wine-making process occurs best at low temperatures, so you&rsquo;ll most likely be spending time in pretty chilly areas. Consider dressing in layers when going on these excursions. Also good to know &mdash; closed-toed shoes are required for the majority of brewery tours. I honestly can&rsquo;t say why (please share if you know!), but I have seen it on the vast majority of brewery websites and in the breweries I&rsquo;ve visited. Another good tip is to avoid cologne and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sample-before-you-buy-perfume">perfume</a>, as well as smoking, during your visit. Particularly during wine tastings, scent is an integral part of the experience. Taste is also important to both beer and wine tastings, and smoking affects taste.</p> <h2>How to Find Brewery and Winery Tours and Tastings</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for the real deal, try this list of <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/slideshow/photos-americas-10-best-brewery-tours-11878277">ABC's ten best brewery tours in America</a> or find the best wine trails (groupings of wineries by region) at <a href="http://www.winetrailsusa.com">Wine Trails USA</a>. If you&rsquo;re looking for things local to your area, a quick Internet search of breweries or wineries should yield useful results, although you should pair that search with one for reviews of that establishment to avoid disappointment. You could also try your friendly local chamber of commerce or tourism bureau &mdash; both of those offices often has information on attractions in the area, including breweries and wineries.</p> <h2>When to Try a Tour</h2> <p>Although grapes are harvested from early September until early November in the U.S., winery tours and tastings are generally conducted year-round. As expected, though, more people tend to visit wineries when the weather is best, starting in May each year, through mid-October. Winery tasting and tour groups swell to their largest size during grape harvest season, which is in full swing in September and October. Like wineries, brewery tours also tend to be more crowded in the summer months. You should also expect large crowds during Oktoberfest (held from mid-September to early October).</p> <p><em>Do you have any tips for how to have an enjoyable brewery or winery tour or tasting? Share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-fun-and-libations-brewery-and-winery-tours">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-host-an-oktoberfest-party-on-the-cheap">16 Ways to Host an Oktoberfest Party on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend">40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-a-frugal-dinner-club">How to Start a Frugal Dinner Club</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink beer things to do tours wine Tue, 09 Aug 2011 10:24:24 +0000 Janey Osterlind 637571 at http://www.wisebread.com Best of Personal Finance Roundup: How to Be a Cheap Drunk with Taste http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-how-to-be-a-cheap-drunk-with-taste <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-how-to-be-a-cheap-drunk-with-taste" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/winy.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <strong><a href="http://wisebread.com/topic/best-of-personal-finance">Best of Personal Finance</a></strong> roundup. Today, we spill some tips for sipping wine and other spirits for a little less than what you'd expect. Plus, we share the benefits of raised garden beds, a quick and cheap hurricane lamp tutorial, and habits for highly effective budgeting!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><strong>How to Be a Cheap Drunk with Taste</strong> &mdash; Hey! Trader Joe&rsquo;s has a lot to offer the frugal drinker these days. (You can drink to the rest of the affordable tips here.) <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/dollarsandsense/detail?blogid=139&amp;entry_id=56592">SF Gate</a></p> <p><strong>28 Tips to Save Money on Car Expenses and Save Thousands of Dollars</strong> &mdash; Thousands of dollars are actually there to be saved &mdash; believe me! These tips will help you get started. <a href="http://genxfinance.com/2010/03/04/28-tips-to-save-money-on-car-expenses-and-save-thousands-of-dollars/">Generation X Finance</a></p> <p><strong>How to Make Money on Facebook</strong> &mdash; Whoops! Sometimes you should rethink that status update &mdash; especially when large purchases or financial matters are being discussed. <a href="http://www.bripblap.com/2010/how-to-make-money-on-facebook/">Brip Blap</a></p> <p><strong>10 Benefits of Raised Garden Beds</strong> &mdash; We are definitely starting some raised beds after reading this post. The hard work it takes to get started is well worth it! <a href="http://beingfrugal.net/2010/03/08/10-benefits-of-raised-garden-beds/">Being Frugal</a></p> <p><strong>Quick, Easy, and Frugal Homemade Hurricane Lamps</strong> &mdash; Beautiful and affordable, these would light up any room for just a few bucks! <a href="http://www.frugalupstate.com/2010/01/quick-easy-frugal-homemade-hurricane-lamps.html">Frugal Upstate</a></p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><strong>The 20 Best Money Websites</strong> &mdash; This list is a great place to learn about everything going on in the world of commerce. Check out the extra commentary on iPhone apps as a bonus! <a href="http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/moneymag/1002/gallery.Best_money_websites.moneymag/">Money Mag</a> via <a href="http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2010/03/20-best-money-websites.html">Budgets are Sexy</a></p> <p><strong>Walmart Wins: Top 10 Most Valuable Retail Brands </strong>&mdash; Coach, Best Buy, or Target? Which one took second place? <a href="http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3if3d775aa9c43698eb98617ae58d04b1c">Brandweek</a> via <a href="http://consumerist.com/2010/03/walmart-wins-top-10-most-valuable-retail-brands.html">Consumerist</a></p> <p><strong>7 Habits of Highly Effective Budgeting</strong> &mdash; It&rsquo;s not all about debits and credits, as this post points out. Ask the important questions to ensure a successful budget plan! <a href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/money/7-habits-to-highly-effective-budgeting/">The Centsible Life</a></p> <p><strong>Eat Your Green</strong> &mdash; Want to green up your bread crumbs, mashed potatoes, or more? These simply instructions can get you into the St. Patty&rsquo;s Day spirit with ease! <a href="http://www.slashfood.com/2010/03/11/how-to-make-food-green/">Slashfood</a></p> <p><strong>College Jobs That Pay Real Money</strong> &mdash; I loved the job I had in college, but admittedly, it didn&rsquo;t pay much. Check out this list of not-so-shabby college gigs that can help you pay those bills! <a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/career/students/gen-y/college-jobs-pay-real-money">Mainstreet</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-how-to-be-a-cheap-drunk-with-taste">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-what-the-ipad-is-and-is-not">Best of Personal Finance Roundup: What the iPad Is and Is Not</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-3-ways-to-prepare-for-the-card-act">Best of Personal Finance Roundup: 3 Ways to Prepare for the Card Act</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-the-25-best-places-to-retire">Best of Personal Finance: The 25 Best Places to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steak-into-gucci-prime-steak">Best of Personal Finance Roundup: How to Turn Cheap &quot;Choice&quot; Steak into Gucci &quot;Prime&quot; Steak</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-how-to-make-homemade-poptarts">Best of Personal Finance Roundup: How to Make Homemade Poptarts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best personal finance wine Fri, 12 Mar 2010 18:00:01 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5789 at http://www.wisebread.com A Box of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, and Thou: 6 Box Wine Comparisons http://www.wisebread.com/a-box-of-wine-a-loaf-of-bread-and-thou-six-box-wine-comparisons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-box-of-wine-a-loaf-of-bread-and-thou-six-box-wine-comparisons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006940345XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What on earth inspired me to try boxed wine?</p> <p>The price.</p> <p>A five-liter box of wine can sell for as little as $11. As a Wise Bread reader, I am sure you understand the pull of a bargain. I confess that, for years, I snubbed it. Boxed wine is nothing new, but I wouldn&rsquo;t give it the time of day. For that matter, I was also slow to come around to synthetic corks and, (gasp!) screw-tops. However, I could no longer ignore that price sticker. Was it drinkable? I set out to investigate. A heart-warming side note to this story was the ease with which I found assistance in my research. My husband, my daughter, and my friend, Anne, kindly and enthusiastically agreed to sip wine and take notes. I appreciate their sportsmanlike attitudes. Another close friend, MZ, summed up her (and, I&rsquo;m afraid, my) prejudices:</p> <p>&ldquo;Wine in a box? I guess if you find something really good, let me know; maybe I'd get it for a camping trip or something like that. I think I'm too much of a snob to just buy it to have around the house. It just seems wrong - like something a redneck would do.&rdquo;</p> <p>So why put wine in a box? Well, for several reasons. It is economical. It is easy to store. Because it is actually in a plastic bag, which collapses inside the box as it is emptied, the wine is exposed to less oxygen, so it keeps longer. Finally, box proponents assert that it&rsquo;s eco-friendlier than bottled wine. Bottled wine is heavy, which impacts its fuel cost. Some vintners use unbleached paper and soy-based inks in their packaging.</p> <p>It takes a little getting used to. Seeing frothy (temporary) bubbles on top of my wineglass threw me a little. We theorize that the bubbles occur because of the speed at which the wine shoots out of the small spigot when the box is full. (My old science teacher would probably use terms like fluid velocity and Venturi effect, but this isn&rsquo;t a science blog.)</p> <p>We tried six red wines. Here are our results. (Please note that the prices quoted are from Hawaii. Mainland prices should be lower, depending upon your location.)</p> <p><strong>Vella Burgundy</strong>: $13.48, Safeway, five liters.</p> <p>Once dispensed (one says &ldquo;dispensed,&rdquo; when talking about boxed wines since you can&rsquo;t pour wine from boxes, and you certainly can&rsquo;t decant), we agreed it had a pleasing, deep burgundy color. We noted tones of cherry, berry, and a nice, light anise finish. There was no astringency in the aftertaste. We would buy this, again.</p> <p><strong>Franzia &ldquo;Chillable Red&rdquo;</strong>: $15.99, Sack N&rsquo;Save, five liters.</p> <p>Wow. Holy smokes, this wine is SWEET. My husband said I should have been tipped off by the &ldquo;Chillable&rdquo; description. The color was very light, almost a pink. If you like a chunky red, this is not for you. Even our daughter, a wine neophyte, said &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like juice!&rdquo; If you like a really sweet wine, feel free, but this isn&rsquo;t one to our tastes.</p> <p><strong>Black Box</strong>: $23.99, Kmart, three liters.</p> <p>It has a very beautiful, deep burgundy color. There were very nice berry overtones to this wine. What it was lacking, we felt, was complexity in the &ldquo;finish.&rdquo; One enjoyable aspect to drinking good wine is to be able to taste various flavors &ndash; like cherry, berry, maybe even chocolate, etc. But this wine just didn&rsquo;t seem to have much of that. It was &ldquo;okay,&rdquo; though, and the price was reasonable.</p> <p><strong>The &ldquo;Wine Cube&rdquo;</strong>: $9.99, Target, 1.5 liters.</p> <p>A product of Trinchero Vineyards, we suspected we had a winner. We were right. This has a woodsy nose, with flavors of plum and chocolate. Nice, long finish. Not only would I buy this again for us, but I would buy this as a gift &ndash; the packaging is pretty fun. This would make a good hostess gift.</p> <p><strong>Bota Box</strong>: $13.99, Costco, three liters.</p> <p>My friend, Anne, pegs this wine as a good value. (Our Costco does not carry this particular wine.) &ldquo;I think cheap Zinfandel tends to be better tasting than other red wines that need more aging to be enjoyable.&rdquo; </p> <p>As to Bota&rsquo;s Chardonnay, she wrote, &ldquo;The Chardonnay was very tasty. I prefer a more &lsquo;oak-like&rsquo; flavor but what do you expect from a box? I read the description from the box after I tasted it and was in full agreement with their description: &lsquo;This Chardonnay is full of tropical aromas and flavors of fresh pineapple, citrus and a touch of vanilla.&rsquo; What I like about the boxed packaging is that the flavor stays pretty good for up to 3 weeks. Most of the cheap stuff I drink in a bottle may be OK when first opened, but goes downhill really fast.&rdquo;</p> <p>Would I really buy these products, again? Yes. In fact, I have. I certainly wouldn&rsquo;t say we are total converts at this point, but we have lost some of our snobbery about boxed wine.</p> <p>Like many other innovations that have come along in this stubbornly traditional craft, boxes have been slow to catch on; but also like many other innovations, the practicalities of the box are difficult to ignore. So, while I wish there were more varieties to choose from now, there probably will be more choices as the box gains acceptance. If readers have tips on other wines available in boxes, please chime in.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-box-of-wine-a-loaf-of-bread-and-thou-six-box-wine-comparisons">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-just-some-junk-in-a-box">Not Just Some Junk in a Box</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cinderella-wine-gary-vaynerchuks-nightly-deals-means-more-wine-for-less-money">Cinderella Wine: Gary Vaynerchuk&#039;s Nightly Deals Mean More Wine for Less Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are">10 Wines That Taste Pricier Than They Are</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink box wine Chardonnay wine Zinfandel Mon, 28 Dec 2009 14:00:08 +0000 Marla Walters 4291 at http://www.wisebread.com Cinderella Wine: Gary Vaynerchuk's Nightly Deals Mean More Wine for Less Money http://www.wisebread.com/cinderella-wine-gary-vaynerchuks-nightly-deals-means-more-wine-for-less-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cinderella-wine-gary-vaynerchuks-nightly-deals-means-more-wine-for-less-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finca sandoval.jpg" alt="Cinderella Wine" title="Cinderella Wine Sample Deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it...many of us enjoy wine, but don't always have the room in <a href="http://manvsdebt.com/finances">our budget</a> to branch out and try new varieties.</p> <p>But there is good news. Freshly launched website, <a href="http://cinderellawine.com">Cinderella Wine</a>, makes saving money on wine incredibly simple. Best of all, their rock-bottom special switches every night, meaning there is plenty of opportunity to expand into new wine territory without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Gary Vay-ner-chuk</h2> <p>Cinderella Wine is the latest extension of Gary Vaynerchuk's Wine Library brand. Gary is a <a href="http://tv.winelibrary.com/">wildly popular video blogger</a>, <a href="http://manvsdebt.com/how-not-to-suck-at-blogging/">social media authority</a>, and <a href="http://crushitbook.com/">best-selling business author</a>. Gary has leveraged hard work, passion, accessibility, and business instinct to build an intense relationship with his fans.</p> <p>Part of Cinderella Wine's appeal is its close association with these other brands including, Wine Library, itself.</p> <h2>Site Features</h2> <p>If you're a wine lover the benefit is clear. The more money you save the farther your wine budget can stretch! Here's how it works:</p> <p>Each weekday night at <strong>9 PM EST</strong>, Cinderella Wine features <strong>one (and only one) bargain-basement special</strong> on a specific wine. The specific type, vintage, and cost will vary from night to night. Once the limited quality has sold out, the special is appropriately replaced with the graphic of a pumpkin (a nice touch...).</p> <p><strong><em>Is it really that good of deal?</em></strong></p> <p>Well, value is a fickle beast. And most of us will be drinking it, which means personal preference will play a big role in what is considered a &quot;deal.&quot;</p> <p>But Cinderella Wine takes transparent steps to ensure that the amount of money saved is clear. First, Cinderella Wine features a long list of ratings and professional reviews in the right hand sidebar. Another unique feature is the <strong>community focus</strong> and the comments section, which allows an instant snapshot of what others think of the wine and the price.</p> <p>Cinderella Wine features the <strong>suggested retail price</strong>, their own (Wine Library's) <strong>regular sale price</strong>, and even the <strong>&quot;best deal on the web&quot;</strong> as quoted by the independent <a href="http://www.wine-searcher.com/">Wine-Searcher.com</a>.</p> <p>Obviously, the special one-night price is always lower than the cheapest available. <strong>And we aren't talking by 10% or something.</strong> There is usually a large, noticeable difference.</p> <p><strong>Here are a actual examples of recent deals on the site:</strong></p> <p>Finca Sondoval '05</p> <ul> <li>Suggested Retail: $49.99</li> <li>Wine Library Sale: $31.98</li> <li>Best Deal on Web: $31.98</li> <li><strong>ONE NIGHT SPECIAL: $19.54</strong></li> </ul> <p>Argiano Solengo '03</p> <ul> <li>Suggested Retail: $69.98</li> <li>Wine Library Sale: $49.98</li> <li>Best Deal on Web: $37.34</li> <li><strong>ONE NIGHT SPECIAL: $23.33</strong></li> </ul> <p>Aldo Conterno Barolo Granbussia Riserva '00</p> <ul> <li>Suggested Retail: $299.98</li> <li>Wine Library Sale: $178.98</li> <li>Best Deal on Web: $190.60</li> <li><strong>ONE NIGHT SPECIAL: $98.88</strong></li> </ul> <p>As you can see the the wine featured can vary greatly ensuring that overtime every budget, taste, and preference will have a chance to catch a deal.</p> <h2>Shipping Details</h2> <p>Every night there is an opportunity for free shipping. The number of bottles that you need to purchase will vary depending on the offer, but it is usually somewhere between 1-3 bottles.</p> <p>The wine industry has a few select limitations on where they can ship, but you can find any additional information on the official <a href="http://cinderellawine.com/shipping-info/">Shipping Information page</a> over at Cinderella Wine.</p> <h2>Final Thoughts</h2> <p>Nobody is claiming that this concept is original. Retailers, both in the wine industry and out, have been using these sort of &quot;one-time deal&quot; incentives to help build loyalty and get buyers in the door.</p> <p>What I love about Cinderella Wine is their focus on community (active comments, ratings, and social media sharing options), their close association with trusted brands (Wine Library and Gary Vaynerchuk), and the fact that they go the extra mile to show as much pricing information as possible.</p> <p>The only downside I can see is the potential to overspend your budget trying to take advantage of multiple deals. Just like with any opportunity, be sure you have a clear budget in mind and leverage <a href="http://cinderellawine.com">Cinderella Wine</a> to make it stretch even further!</p> <p>If you'd like to stay up-to-date with the offers, you can sign-up for <a href="http://cinderellawine.com/join-for-free/">free e-mail alerts</a> or follow <a href="http://twitter.com/cinderellawine">@CinderellaWine</a> on Twitter!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/adam-baker">Adam Baker</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cinderella-wine-gary-vaynerchuks-nightly-deals-means-more-wine-for-less-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are">10 Wines That Taste Pricier Than They Are</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-wine">10 Great Reasons to Drink Wine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink wine Fri, 27 Nov 2009 14:00:03 +0000 Adam Baker 3873 at http://www.wisebread.com