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“There’s a place and a time for everything,” the saying goes.

There’s also a wine.

From everyday wines to once-in-a-lifetime rare vintages, there’s a wine for almost every occasion.

A well-chosen everyday wine can enhance our dayto-day meals. It may be enjoyed with last night’s leftovers, paired with sloppy Joes at the kitchen counter or poured for no other reason than it’s Wednesday. For these wines, most of us are seeking the best value — wines we can serve with confidence that won’t break the bank or even pinch the budget.

For the best savings, buy by the case, check for instore specials or shop on a retailer’s “wine day.” When a favorite goes on special, be sure to stock up. These tips can land you an everyday drinking wine well below the everyday retail price.


  • 2011 Red Rock Merlot, California (about $10 retail)


  • 2011 McManis Cabernet Sauv i g n o n, California (about $15 retail)

For birthdays and anniversaries, we often turn to our favorite once-a-year wines. These are bottles that mark special occasions and memorable moments while still keeping on budget.

For savings, look to substitute vintage Champagne with blanc de blanc, cabernet sauvignon with malbec, pinot noir with merlot and vintage port with late-bottled vintage port.


  • NV Schramsberg Winery Blanc de Blancs, California (about $40 retail)


  • 2007 Bell Napa Valley Claret, California (about $69 retail)

The most meaningful moment for many wine lovers is savoring the once-in-a-lifetime wine. For one it may be Bordeaux; for another, a 100-year-old Sauternes Yquem. The wine itself is the reason for the celebration. For those lucky enough to have their own cellared stash, these wines are awaiting patiently. But for most of us the best opportunities to experience a once-in-a-lifetime wine may be found at a winery tasting room, tasting events, restaurant wine lists or on a shelf at your local fine wine retail shop.


  • 2008 Duckhorn Vineyards Three Palms Merlot, California (about $98 retail)


  • 2005 Chateau Lascombes Margaux, France (about $158 retail)