Billionaire Secrets to Drinking Wine (When You’re Not a Billionaire)

Avoid ordering wine by the glass, know how to spot sneaky sommeliers, and recognize that a high price does not always mean quality.

Those are some of the tips Mark Oldman, a two-time winner of the Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year Award, shares  in his just-released book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine With Joie de Vivre.

“Pleasure is not proportional to the price of a wine,” Oldman, , writes in his third book.  And, he says, “in restaurants, some sommeliers are saviors and some are sinners, trying to upsell you or trying to get rid of a certain wine they need to move.”

Another tip: Hard-to-pronounce wines are often cheaper and the best value on a restaurant wine menu. “In general, the harder a wine is to pronounce, the less popular it is because everyone is afraid to tackle its syllables,” says Oldman.

Don’t order wine by the glass, he says.  “Wine by the glass is a huge trend these days but it is the most expensive way to drink wine,” he says.   Not only is it overpriced but sometimes it’s stale, a result of being open for days on end.  “To offer some perspective, the price of a glass of wine at a restaurant or bar is generally the wholesale price for the entire bottle.”

The book has in-depth lists of the cheaper alternatives to billionaire wines, and encourages people to ignore wine snobs who impose rules around drinking wine.

“I know wine collectors and experts who are not afraid to drop a cube of ice in a glass of red wine, they have only one type of glass for all their wines, and they protect their glass from being prematurely filled by waiters.

“Billionaires know how to hone in on the most delicious wine for the least amount of money. They cut through the sales pitches and geekiness to enjoy wine to the fullest.”

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