Everyone loves some good wine, especially when you’re abroad in Tuscany, and if you’ve got some days off from your courses, why not celebrate and let off some steam with your friends? But you also know that you’ve got a lot of friends to celebrate with and a long night ahead, so one bottle won’t last, and you don’t want to spend 30€ a bottle. I mean I know I wouldn’t unless I’ve got to meet my partners’ parents. So what to do? Settle for beer? No need to worry I’ve got you covered with some tips I learned along the way.
Nothing less than 4€
Let’s start talking about money, that’s what this article is really about, so I’ll start right off the bat with the economics of buying wine for cheapz. Any wine under 4€ is going to give you a headache so intense that you wish you could just unscrew your head off and leave in a jar for the rest of the hangover. So I think that’s quite self-explanatory, be cheap but don’t be that cheap. It’s for your own good and the well being of your friends. And if you’re asking yourself “Is Wine cheaper than water in Italy?” I’ll say that it could be, but I wopuld strongly advise against buying it for that cheap.
Check if the production is local
Now after you’ve dropped the 4€ and under wines, start looking at the region in which they were produced (we at StudentsVille do not endorse picking up bottles and dropping them on the floor). Luckily you’re in Tuscany so most of the production is valid, and you also have a wide variety to select from that is locally produced, thus transport costs less for the supermarket. Now make sure that behind the bottle you can read one of these two lines “prodotto e imbottigliato da” or “prodotto all’origine da” followed by the name of the company and not some abbreviation that has nothing to do with it.
DOC, DOCG, DOP, IGT are you’re new best friends
If you don’t see any of the abbreviations on the bottle you’re looking at, don’t buy it. I’m saying it again. DON’T BUY IT. Simply because these acronyms show you that the wine producers follow certain guidelines and these guidelines ensure that the consumer knows their receiving a wine that follows a higher standard of production.
This is always a savior, I mean who doesn’t like a discount? That’s usually what gets you some good wines that go over the 10€ mark for 8€ and that way you know you’re getting something worth your euro. Also, you might get some 6€ wines for under 4€ and in these cases, you might be excused going under the limit we imposed at the beginning of the list.
Bottom shelves are a no-go
The most dangerous zone of them all, the bottom shelf. I mean you might find some good deals there, but don’t fall for them. The infamous bottom shelf is for the big producers, the ones that are so industrialized that they sometimes don’t follow the standards of decent wine making, and other times you’ll just find expensive wines that are really good, but I’m here to tell you about how to buy for cheap.
Famous Grapes will automatically cost more
Grapes are the celebrities of the wine world, and I’m sure you’ve heard of lots of grape names back home, the ones you know are gonna be pricier, or maybe you come from a family of sommeliers and this doesn’t affect you in any way. When you’re looking at a Pinot Grigio, a Chardonnay, a Sangiovese, these will cost more.
Whites compared to reds cost more
Decent whites are always more expensive than reds, the production costs more and usually, the best whites come from northern Italy, the islands and the south. As you can see on a map Tuscany doesn’t fall in any said category, this doesn’t mean you can’t find a good white at an affordable price, but I’d say stay over 6€ when you’re looking.
Never buy rose at a supermarket
Rosé is fun and everyone enjoys it, but that doesn’t mean everyone has good taste. Rosés are generally a lot more expensive than other wines because it takes so much more to make them. But if you’re craving for a rosé you’re gonna have to leave the supermarket and go to an enoteca or a vineria to buy some, they’ll have a better selection.
Vinerie, Enoteche, Vini Sfusi
Now that I’ve got you out of the supermarket cause you wanted a rosé, you might as well just not buy the rest of the wine there. You’re in Florence, jeeeeeez go to an enoteca, if you want some insanely good wines (prices may be a bit higher than usual though, but sometimes you’ve gotta Treat Yo Self.), or to any vineria that sells vini sfusi (a rough translation is draft wine) they’ll always have a good range of local wines that they sell for very little, and if you wash the bottles and bring them back, you’ll pay so much less than you did the first time cause they’ll use them again, thus you’re being eco-friendly and putting money into the local economy. Also on the plus side, you’ll get to see some Florentine life in action.
If you buy box wine in Florence they’ll revoke your student permit
Ok, maybe not, but if you do Nardella (the mayor for now, if it’s not him when you read this, whoever it may be) will come to your house and grab you by an ear and have you walk around the town. Like the Shame scene of Game of Thrones. Actually no that won’t happen either. I’m just trying to scare you from buying it. Remember drinking box wine seriously harms you and others around you.