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by Laura Duffy
I admit it. I’m a wine snob.

I’m not the type of person that can walk into a restaurant and say, “I’ll have a glass of red.”  No, I have to ask questions about each (affordable) wine’s qualities and taste a couple of them before deciding. No matter how desperate I am to drink. Servers hate me.

The truth is, I’d rather not drink wine at all than drink bad wine. And good wine costs money. There are some things in life that I can say, “why do people spend that much?!” and I can truthfully say that I can find the same product, equally-nice, at a fraction of the cost. Not wine. No, I love me some expensive wine, the few times I’ve been fortunate enough to have it. It’s ruined me.

So my challenge has been to find wines that intrigue me that are still within the budget I can justify spending on liquid bliss (currently $10 a bottle or less). I’m happy to say that I’ve found several very good options AND I’m going to share them with you! Keep in mind that these are based on my very specific tastes. I do not like wine that is exceptionally dry or acidic, I prefer red wine that has jammy and earthy qualities. Syrah and petite syrah, red zinfandel and merlot usually provide an option I like, but I also like a good cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir. On hot days I sometimes have a white wine, like a buttery chardonnay or viogner, and I occasionally enjoy a port or vin de glace.

On the (rare) occasion that I crave something other than wine, I enjoy low-sugar cocktails like a gin and tonic or an old fashioned. But no red dye in my cherry juice, please! That’s right, I even try to make my alcoholic beverages “healthier”.

Below you will find links to the affordable wines and low-sugar cocktails I enjoy. I hope you enjoy them, too!