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12 replies
price o' drinks
Kahnerr
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Is it difficult, in general, in France and Italy to find cheap, great wine? What IS cheap wine? Does it go for 20 E at cheapest:best ratio or can I pick up a decent bottle for only a few E? I’m headed specifically to Bordeaux, Paris, Perpignon, Venice, Florence, and Rome. How fares the drink?

I am leaving from Missoula, MT with $1500 for 32 days
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I am leaving from Missoula with $2000 for 32 days
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Kahnerr
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Follow-up: How about Spanish wine? Are the Spaniards any good at the trade? Expensive? Going to Barcelona.

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Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
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Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Munich, Venice, Florence, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
Bigfoot
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What is cheap great wine? You mean in restaurants or in shops?

You can buy pretty good wines for less than 10 euros. Even for 4-5 euros you can buy very drinkable wine. But of course, the big names go for much more, starting around 20 euros

luv_the_beach
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I agree with Bigfoot, I would put “cheap wine” at less than 10€ (US$15), although that doesn’t mean you can’t get good wine at a low price, especially in Italy/France/Spain.

Kehnerr, all three of the countries you mentioned are traditionally wine-drinking and wine-producing societies and are therefore world renowned for their wines. So to answer your question, yes the Spaniards “are good at the trade” and some of the country’s wine regions, like La Rioja, Navarra, and Ribera del Duero are just as famous as France’s Bordeaux region, but this is by no means an exhaustive list of Spain’s wine regions.

Where specifically you buy the wine shouldn’t make any difference…you can find wines from all over France in any sizeable French city, for example the supermarkets in France really do have a huge wine section. Ditto in Madrid or Barcelona, for example, you can find wines from all over Spain, and in Rome/Milan you can find wines from all over Italy. You don’t have to be in a specific region to buy its wine.

Wine for Southern Europeans is an essential beverage that you have with family and friends at the dinner table, not something “trendy” or “snobby” as we tend to think of it in Anglo societies. They drank wine long before it became trendy to do so in the 20th century. So, as a result, wine is widely available in Southern Europe. Of course, you can, if you want to, tour a wine region that interests you, or that happens to be near one of the cities/towns you’ll be visiting.

It’s also worth noting the difference between the way wine is produced/marketed in Europe versus the so-called “new world” wines (from the United States, Australia, South Africa, etc): European wines emphasize on their labels the place where the wine was produced (designation of origin), whereas wines in the United States will emphasize on their label the grape variety used. Americans have become accustomed to names like “pinot grigio” and “merlot” which are grape varieties commonly grown in California, while European wines might be a blend of two or more grape varieties and the bottle’s protected designation of origin name (like “Bordeaux” “Navarra” “Côtes du Rhône” etc) is more important. So, don’t be looking for “merlot” in Europe, is my point. You might find it, you might not…although European wine labels are much more likely nowadays to list the grape varieties used (as a response to the American demand for grape varieties not wine regions), however the wine region is still more important and more prominently displayed.


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tigrouflip
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In France, I buy 1 liter of rosé wine for 2-3 euros (normal bottles are 70cl). Its got one function: to get smashed. It may not taste great, but its not terrible either. Look in supermarkets, you can often get a 70cl bottle of rosé for 70 cents – 1 euro.

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $3000 for 36 days
Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, Mostar, Sarajevo, Bol, Makarska, Florence, Málaga, Seville, Barcelona, Ibiza Town
Kahnerr
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Wow, this was exactly what I was looking for. What are some favorites? I’m relatively new to the wine scene. Is there an all-around good one? What are some favorites of European connoisseurs?

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Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Missoula with $2000 for 32 days
Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Munich, Venice, Florence, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
Bigfoot
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In general, wine is much less expensive in continental europe than in the USA. Except for the Nordic countries of course, where it is heavily taxed.

Also the so-called ‘cheap’ wines are often very drinkable. I remember when I was living in the US, the cheapest wine in a shop would be $5,- and this would be pretty much undrinkable. When I go for a bottle of wine in the Netherlands, the cheapest is about 3 euros and it will be perfectly drinkable. Most people buy wines for about 5 euros, and you can have very good deals on this.

You can buy a guide book in the Netherlands, e.g. Best Supermarket wines, or Best Wines under 5 or 10 euros, and there are many excellent wines to be found. Especially the Dutch department store HEMA has some very good choices for 5 euro, the so-called ‘Omfietswijnen’. They are all highly recommended.

Also in France, I often buy wine ‘en vrac’ . Many wine stores offer the opportunity to fill a container with about 4-5 liters of wine. This is usually so-called table wine, it costs about 2 euros a liter, and when you don’t wait to long drinking it, it will be often quite nice.

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Here’s a picture of filling a container of wine (‘en vrac’)

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Kahnerr,

If you really want to get to know wine better, then try different wines…that’s really the only way to develop your own tastes, learn the wine producing regions, and figure out what type of wine goes with what food (red wine with red meat, for example, or white wine with chicken, seafood, etc). Or you can buy a guidebook as bigfoot suggests, some sort of literature that will give you the basics of wine and suggest some wines you may like. No one can really tell you which wines “taste better”. There’s a million different wines. And as I noted earlier, for South Europeans, wine isn’t a “snobby” thing for connoiseurs….it’s a beverage that friends and family share at the dinner table. It is true that sometimes certain wine regions may have good or bad years, and as a general rule: if it’s really cheap, it’s proabably not good.

But then again: for tigrouflip the main point of wine is “to get smashed” (this would horrify South Euros)…if that’s your intention as well (which is what you hinted on your last post), then I really think you’re putting far too much effort into it. Just buy whatever alcohol is cheap and be merry.


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tigrouflip
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No need to act elitist luv. All I said is that the only point to the low costing wines is to get smashed. Did I at any point say that the only point o wine is to get smashed? no. If you want to sit and ‘sip’ bad tasting wine, be my guest.

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $3000 for 36 days
Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, Mostar, Sarajevo, Bol, Makarska, Florence, Málaga, Seville, Barcelona, Ibiza Town
luv_the_beach
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That’s not how most people will interpret your first post:

tigrouflip wrote:
In France, I buy 1 liter of rosé wine for 2-3 euros (normal bottles are 70cl). Its got one function: to get smashed. It may not taste great, but its not terrible either. Look in supermarkets, you can often get a 70cl bottle of rosé for 70 cents – 1 euro.

Asking Kahnerr to clarify whether he’s seriously interested in wine or just looking to get drunk, is by no means “elitist”. It’s a perfectly relevant question so that I know not to waste any more time in this thread.

Otherwise, I’m more than enthusiastic to help, as you can tell from all the thought and effort I put into my first post.


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tigrouflip
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Ok, so we agree that cheap wine is mostly for getting drunk. Thank you for your effort, but demeaning posts, like your first on this thread, are unnecessary.

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Kahnerr
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I think I can clear a thing or two up: I’m looking for a wine that’s delicious so that I won’t be wasting my Euros, as I’m going on a very tight budget. Getting smashed as a side effect will be my little compliment to a good manufacturer, meaning the wine was good enough to drink in excess. For the most part, I’ll save getting smashed for the club scene, as I am a man who enjoys his Bailey’s Wink I appreciate both of your approaches to my question though: cheap is good for getting smashed, but one can still find good cheap wine if one has the patience and maybe does a little research.

I am leaving from Missoula, MT with $1500 for 32 days
Barcelona, Perpignan, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Venice, Florence, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Missoula with $2000 for 32 days
Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Munich, Venice, Florence, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights