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Ask a Chef: Charlie Barra

How can I find great wine on a budget?

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“How can I find great wine on a budget?” For an answer, we turned to Charlie Barra, who farms certified-organic grapes in California’s Mendocino County to produce his Barra of Mendocino and Girasole Vineyard wines, which include vegan varieties. Here’s what he said: â?¢  In my 65-plus years in the wine industry, I cannot remember a time when consumers have had as many quality wines available to them at such reasonable prices. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to satisfying your palate without emptying your wallet: Make friends with local wine shop owners. These folks are in the know and can keep you informed about all the great specials on wine. Just tell them your price range, and they’ll do the rest. â?¢  Sign up for a wine club or two. Club member purchases are typically discounted by 20 percent or more. You get to try a variety of wines, and you might even win a free trip to the winery!