1. Use a flash sell site
A flash sell site like WinesTilSoldOut sells one bottle of wine at a time until it's sold out. Deals sell out fast — so be sure to check their site or Twitter feed often. So how much can you save using WinesTilSoldOut? Their prices are typically 30-70 percent off the retail price. For example, they recently offered a $265 bottle of Napa Cabernet for only $99 — including free shipping! And be sure to watch for their special flash sale days — last year they offered a different wine every 15 minutes for only 12 hours, and every bottle cost less than $19!
2. Try LocalWineEvents
The website LocalWineEvents lists new wine auctions, festivals, tastings and tons of other wine-related activities every single week. Wine events like these are not only an entertaining way to spend the afternoon, they can also lead to some awesome discounts! Vendors tend to offer wines at discounted prices at these events in the hopes that you will buy more than one bottle or to attract new customers. Discounts vary from place to place, but I was able to score a $37 bottle of Merlot for $20 at a local wine tasting.
3. Don't buy imported wine
Imported wine, like those from Italy or France, are typically marked up by $5 or more — and that's just because they are from a well-known "wine country." Skip the extra costs and buy wine from New York or California wineries, which tend to be less expensive (but still amazingly delicious). For example, a bottle of the Italian wine Barolo can cost up to $300, but Nebbiolo wine from California is under $50.
4. Join a wine club
Enroll in a wine club like Wine.com to try out a variety of wines each month for one low price. Wine.com offers three clubs: the Discover Tour Wine Club for $29.99/month, which gets you two bottles of wine each month from a variety of regions; the Wines of the Worlds Wine Club for $39.99/month, which offers two bottles of premium wine every month; and the 90 Point Rated Wine Club for the avid wine-drinker who prefers ultra-premium wines. I find that I save at least $5 a bottle on average. Plus you get a 15 percent discount if you decide to re-order one of the wines you received.
5. Use a price comparison app
Use apps like Snooth Wine Pro for iPhone (costs $4.99) or Wine Secretary (which is free) for Android to compare prices on wines. Once you type in the wine you are looking for (or take a picture of the wine bottle), the apps will show you prices at nearby stores, user reviews and wine descriptions.
6. Buy from low-profile regions
If you must buy imported wine, buy it from lesser known countries and regions. For example, Spain, Chile and Argentina all offer affordable yet tasty wines. Try Reserva, which costs about $15, or a Spanish Rioja Crianza for only $10.
7. Don't buy by the glass
Although it can be tempting to buy just one glass at a time at restaurants, you will save money if you purchase the bottle and split it with your dinnermates (assuming they are 21 or older, of course!). Just consider this — you will pay about $7 per glass of wine at most restaurants. A bottle of wine should yield four or five glasses. So, if you buy the $25 bottle of wine instead, you'll save $2 a glass!