It’s true -- life is too short for bad wine -- but that doesn’t mean you should discriminate when it comes to price.
The trick to discovering a drop that’s as tasty as it is economical? Research.
“It comes down to trying a few different styles and sticking to what you like, because a great wine under $10 is still the exception, rather than the norm,” Peter Nixon from the Dan Murphy’s wine panel told The Huffington Post Australia.
Nixon explains those looking for bottles under the $10 mark aren’t necessarily looking for finesse -- rather a well-made, flavoursome drop -- which means for a foolproof find, chase the sun.
“Look for wine regions that have lots of sunshine and good natural light. Reliable conditions generally equates to valuable wine,” Nixon said.
If a bottle of crisp, zesty white gives you love-heart eyes, look for bottles which are unoaked.
“Oak is effectively expensive, and cheap oak is not very nice. Instead look for fresh drops that don’t require much oak treatment,” Nixon said.
His top picks for white? Italian Pinot Grigio and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
If red is your poison, look no further than South Australia for affordable bottled happiness.
“McLaren Vale or Barossa Shiraz are both great options if you’re after a richer, full bodied drop,” Nixon said.
Internationally, there are some really good wines coming from Sicily and Spain, too.
“Rioja is Spain’s biggest wine region and they make a blend from a grape variety called tempranillo -- which is to Spain what shiraz is to Australia -- it makes most of their wines,” Nixon said.
Look for Malbec from Argentina -- which is also considered their equivalent to Australian shiraz.
Chile does cabernet, merlot and pinot noir and the south of France offers some great juicy, grenache style blends.
“Grenache is often called poor man’s pinot noir -- it’s slightly lighter in colour and a little spicy -- but also fantastic value,” Nixon said.
And of course, we couldn’t leave off the cleanskins.
“This wine category was introduced in the 1950s and allowed Australian winemakers to not only minimise waste, but also offer great value wine,” Nixon said.
If you've been holding onto an empty flute wondering whether bubbles were getting a gig, don't despair.
“As far as sparkling goes, stick to Prosecco,” Nixon said.
3. Frontera Pinot Noir CHILE, $9.99
4. Evans and Tate gnangara merlot AUSTRALIA, $10.99 (not quite $10 but still, a steal!).