7 cheaper alternatives to your favourite wines - including a budget-friendly fizz

With the weekend almost upon us and pay day a distant memory, many of us are looking for ways to save some cash while still enjoying a good glass of wine.

Published 6th Feb 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

To help, the experts at Winebuyers.com have shared their top seven wines, which are as good as more commonly known grape varieties but, as they aren't as popular, are priced a bit lower.

With like-for-like swaps on wines such as Malbec, Pinot and even fizz, why not try something new this weekend?

Swap Malbec for Frankovka

Picture: Winebuyers.com

The team at Winebuyers say: "Croatian wines are hip through and through. Frankocka is comparable to Malbec because it's similar in body (medium-bodied), dark fruits abound, with earthy undertones and dusty un-invasive tannins – this is cracking value."

Swap Pinot Grigio for Grüner

This Austrian Grüner Veltliner grape is grown just across the border in Hungary, and makes for a superior dry white at an affordable price.

Low-intervention wine-making is only growing in popularity, making this natural wine very on trend.

This new generation Austrian Gruner has the same neutral style as Pinot Grigio but has a fruitier finish.

Swap Sauvignon Blanc for Furmint

Hungarian wine is becoming more popular, meaning you'll see these appearing on wine lists more often, as well as popping up frequently in trendy bars.

Winebuyers say: "Furmint has flavours of zingy gooseberries, ripe bears and limes. The finish is crisp, dry and mouth-watering."

Swap an expensive Provence Rose for an affordable version from the same vineyard

Picture: Winebuyers.com

"Created by the Provence chateau that remains owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Studio De Miraval has a very pale pink colour," say the team at Winebuyers.

"It’s a crisp and precise wine which has a lovely mineral freshness, delicate aromas of citrus, red fruits and white flowers. And you can’t beat the price of under £10."

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Swap Merlot for Tempranillo 

Tempranillo is ideal for Merlot fans as it is a smooth wine that is a deep, black cherry colour.

It has intense aromas of fresh red berry fruit (strawberries, raspberries), which mingle with subtle creamy notes.

Sweet on the palate, round, with a balanced acidity, this one is more than half the price of an organic Merlot - so very good value.

Swap Champagne for Cremant 

Picture: Winebuyers.com

Described by Winebuyers as: "Champagne but without the price tag, this award winning Cremant uses the champagne method but as the grapes are grown out of the region it can’t be called Champagne."

Fizz fans can expect extremely fine bubbles, and a fresh, aromatic quality on the nose with lemony notes.

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Swap Sancerre for Picpoul de Pinet

Winebuyers say: "Becoming more well-known and affordable option appearing on many wine lists, this dry, refreshing minerally white is from France’s Languedoc.

"Fresh with delicate hints of citrus zest, a great match with fish, shellfish and paella. This wine deserves more recognition."

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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