The Wine Esquire’s List of the Best Cheap Wines & Tips on Wine Tasting Like a Pro

Recently, I’ve gotten the opportunity to sit down and chat with some of the fabulous women in my network. These trendsetters and tastemakers are ladies with bright futures who wanted to share their advice, tips, and tricks to success with you!


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Regina, the Wine Esquire, (pictured above with her husband, Adam) started her blog and Instagram about a year ago as a creative outlet. She has always been a writer, but she says that she wanted to do something fun with wine to mix it up from her job as a lawyer. Her passion project has since gained tons of followers and she plans to see where it goes in the future!


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Regina’s advice to aspiring bloggers and Instagrammers is to stay authentic to yourself, your brand, and your followers. This is why she uses almost exclusively her own photos and she only posts her genuine opinions, even when she is gifted or her meal is comped. Regina says that being the Wine Esquire has changed her life because it has inspired her to savor everything – each glass of wine, each moment in life – and she wants to share this happiness with others as organically as she can.


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The last thing she googled: How to insert a video into WordPress. Turns out you have to do it through YouTube. 

Celebrity crush: Kate Middleton, Blake Lively and Victoria Beckham. Though my husband is most definitely male, all my celebrity crushes are female. The list goes on and on, but these are my leading ladies. I’m open for lunch any day next week girls, have your people call my people!

Favorite thing to binge-watch: Walking Dead. I’m a season behind but I like to let it build up so I have a lot to watch. When it’s over, I actually crave it. I may have a secret zombie bug out plan…

Favorite junk food: Pizza. I could literally eat pizza Every. Single. Day. Also, cake. And ice cream. Always vanilla. I have a huge sweet tooth. 

Favorite color: Burgundy, like the color of burgundy hydrangeas (and wine). But I pretty much wear black every day.

Zodiac sign: Libra (October 16)


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The Wine Esquire’s Favorite Cheap Wines:

1. Segura Viudas Brut Cava – $8.99 and perfectly delicious. Regina always keeps a few in her house because you never know when you’re going to need some bubbly!
2. Everything from Michael David, especially the Petite Petit. It has a great label which I’m a big sucker for and it’s under $20.
3. If you’re buying for a party and need to go Jumbo, I always go with the Robert Mondavi Private Selection line. The 1.75’s go a bit farther and are under $20!
4. The Coppola Claret is another one I keep going back to. Rich, deep wine for under $18! It’s a great deal!
If you need anything else from me just let me know! Looking forward to seeing the feature and sharing it with my followers! Thanks again for the opportunity!


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The Wine Esquire’s Top Tips to Tasting Wine Like a Pro

When you’re in a pinch and need to impress someone when it comes to wine, especially if that someone is yourself, Regina says to always go with the 5 S’s of wine tasting: See – Swirl – Smell – Sip – Savor

1. See: Look at the color. Admire how the light hits the glass. Say something impressive like, “Wow, great color.” If you’re in a dark corner table at the restaurant, you can skip this part.


2. Swirl: Start small, nothing too dramatic, the goal is to get some air in there, make some surface contact with the sides of the glass. Say something impressive like, “nice legs” (but only if you see some of those “tears” coming down the sides, or if you have a pair of nice legs).


3. Smell: Gracefully put your nose over the rim of the glass, it helps to have your mouth open while you do it (don’t be awkward about it, and hopefully your nose doesn’t get stuck inside). Don’t be afraid to get in there and take a whiff. Say something impressive like, “Mmmm, what a nose” (start talking after you smelled, not while your nose is still in the glass). Hopefully you can pick out some flavors. Berry and jam are good bets for big reds. Stone and citrus are typical for a lot of whites.


4. Sip: Now you can go for it, but don’t gulp, at least not yet. A small sip is best to taste. You want to coat the whole of your mouth. If you’re feeling really brave, give it a nice swish around inside your mouth. The pros make a really weird noise when they do this. I would try that at home first.


5. Savor: Once you’ve swallowed, take a second to concentrate on the flavors you just experienced. Say something impressive like, “Wow, what body, what texture, it was like drinking a fine piece of velvet.” But only if you liked the wine.


If you’re at a restaurant, it never hurts to ask for the waiter’s recommendation on a bottle, assuming the wait staff is trained in wine and food pairings. If there’s a sommelier on staff, definitely take advantage of them! Word to the wise: it may not be a good idea to ask for recommendations at Chucky Cheese or the local diner.

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Love you so much! Thank you for reading!

Rachel McCord

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PS – My piggybank wasn’t injured while making this post. I was gifted prior to posting but I’m sharing it because I curate my list of fabulous things with you.