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10 key words to look for on your wine label


By Theo Thimou,

In the market for a nice bottle of wine that won’t bust your budget?

Here are 10 key words to look for on the label (courtesy of Business Insider) that will satisfy both inner cheapskate and your inner oenologist!

Classico (Chianti)

Skip labels that only list ‘Chianti’ by itself. What you want to see is ‘Chianti Classico.’

By doing that you’ll ensure you’re getting a wine from the key growing areas with the best terroir and sun orientation.

Gran Reserva (Rioja)

Again, ‘Reserva’ by itself should be avoid. Opt instead for labels that read ‘Gran Reserva.’

You’ll be rewarded with this popular Spanish wine’s signature strong oak flavor, which comes from being aged in oak for more than two years and then three more years in the bottle on top of that!

Cru Bourgeois (Bordeaux)

Find these words on the label and you know you’ll be getting classic Bordeaux flavor at a fraction of the price, usually around $25.

“[Cru Bourgeois is] the level right under the Grand Cru level people are paying thousands for,” wine expert Jörn Kleinhans says.

Grand Vin (Bordeaux)

This term on your bottle indicates you’re getting the first and best berries of the vintage.

Trocken (Riesling)

Turned off by Riesling because it’s too sweet? The word “Trocken” on the label means it’s on the drier side of sweet.

Cru (Beaujolais)

Forget everything you know about Beaujolais as being fruity and frivolous in your palette. The inclusion of the word “Cru” on the label means you’ve found a Beaujolais that is serious and stout, comparable to the great red Burgundies.

Premier Cru (Burgundy)

Now we’re getting a bit pricier. But it’s not impossible to find a “Premier Cru” (meaning “first vineyard”) for less than $25. If you do, it will stand up nicely to the loftiest Burgundy.

Meritage (California cabernet sauvignon)

Did you know “Mertiage” is a portmanteau word that’s a combo of “merit” and “heritage”? Neither did we!

Think of Meritage as an off-brand U.S. version of a Bordeaux. U.S. winemakers can’t come out and used the protected ‘Bordeaux’ name, so they came up with Meritage to indicate the same grape varietals.

Old Vine (Spanish grenache or California zinfandel)

If you like heirloom flavors, look for “Old Vine” on your label. It means the berries are from a plant that’s 30 to 100 years old. Such plants produce smaller berries with intense bursts of strength, boldness and flora.

Riserva (Italian wines like Barolo or Chianti)

The “Riserva” moniker means the wine has been aged for a minimum of five years.

Curious about the best and worst days of the week to buy alcohol?

As the weekend rolls around, do you get a taste for a glass of wine or a bottle of beer? Better watch your wallet! Those are the most expensive days of the week to buy your favorite libations at the store. You might want to consider buying on these days instead…

Best and worst days of the week to buy alcohol

Ibotta, the popular mobile shopping app, took a look at the data from 50 million receipts submitted by users and came to this conclusion: Saturdays and Sundays are the most expensive days to buy wine or beer at the store.

When should you buy instead? Try picking up your wine on a Tuesday, or your beer on a Monday, for an average savings of 6% and 9%, respectively.

What about the question of where to buy alcohol to get the best prices? Ibotta has some suggestions about that too.

Their research, which was conducted over three years, shows you should skip the liquor store and traditional grocery stores. Instead, try Costco, Sam’s Club, Walgreens or Walmart if you’re a wine drinker. Meanwhile, if brews are more your style, head to Kroger, Target or Walmart.

But back to the vino for a minute. On average, Ibotta found white wine will run you $9.29 per bottle at Sam’s Club. Walmart, meanwhile, will set you back about $9.31 for the same.

When it comes to red wine, the difference in price is more stark depending on where you shop. Prices for your average bottle of  red range from $9.34 at Costco to to $10.64 at Walgreens. That price difference can really add up if you’re buying several bottles for a party at the latter retailer.

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