updated 4/16/2009 5:46:33 PM ET 2009-04-16T21:46:33

Thinking of getting wine to drink at home but don't want to spend a lot of money? It's possible to get an inexpensive bottle of wine — say $10 or less — and still have one that tastes good, says Phil Bilodeau, owner of Thief Wine bar and shop in Milwaukee.

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Here are some tips:

Ask your local wine store for help. The employees have likely tried everything and can make recommendations based on your previous purchases or ask you questions to figure out what you'd like.

Don't be afraid to try new regions and varietals. Look for lesser-known ones, since they can offer good value because there's no premium on their reputation.

Try wines from Spain, Portugal and South America. Those areas have hot wines for low prices, such as Malbecs from Argentina and Grenache from Spain.

Avoid wines from California and Australia if you want to spend less than $10 a bottle. For the most part, wines at that price can taste mass-produced.

Newer is better when it comes to cheaper wine, and be sure to drink them while the fruit is still fresh. Inexpensive wines are not meant to age. They come from larger areas, so climate conditions have less of an effect, and bottles from year to year will taste similar.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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