Pouring red wine

How to make budget wine taste expensive

Think of all the money you’ll save!

By Charlotte Brouwer, 18 October 2016
How to make budget wine taste expensive

Who says wine needs to be expensive to taste expensive? Many cheap wines are not only better for your bank balance, but often taste better than more expensive wines too. In fact, the world's best bottle of wine (as voted at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards) is our very own La Moneda Reserva Malbec from Chile, and it costs less than a fiver! The wine was picked by a panel of 240 international wine experts at a blind taste test of 16,000 red and white wines from across the world. Our low-cost Malbec was judged to be the 'ultimate crowd pleaser'. In other words, we think it’s safe to say that a wine doesn’t need to be expensive in order to taste expensive!

But there are a fever clever tricks that can help make a bottle of average plonk taste pricey – and the first trick takes just 30 seconds…

1. Blend

By pouring red wine into a blender and blitzing it, you create age the wine five years in just 30 seconds. 

In a new series of life hack books by Dan Marshall, he recommends pouring budget wine into a blender and whizzing it around for just 30 seconds. This is supposed to aerate it and allow the flavours to develop more. By exposing a young wine to so much air, it softens the tannins – the technical term is called hyperdecanting.

2. Decant

Decant, even if you don't have a decanter (if you don’t have a decanter, any old pitcher will do). The wine will taste better with a little bit of air. You could also invest in an aerator.

3. Chill

Don’t just chill white wines, chill red wines too! You'll find that the red wine will taste better longer.

4. Cheat

Have a cheat sheet of good-but-cheap regions to buy from, and know exactly what to buy from them. For example:

New Zealand : Sauvignon Blanc

Australia : Riesling and Shiraz

Argentina : Malbec

Portugal : Vinho Verde

Chile : Cabernet Sauvignon

Spain : Cava

5. Fake it

Another sneaky way to make wine taste more expensive is simply by telling your friends that it is.

According to a study in the Journal of Marketing Research, preconceptions that the vino is pricey can actually alter the chemistry in the brain, so the drinker will enjoy it more. Sneaky!