Bottling limits/ Bastards

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I had heard that there are production limits of certain wines by law. Over production from these grapes are bottled “incognito” and sold for very reasonable prices. Trader Joe’s sold a wine labeled Bastardo and claimed that is was a high quality wine that was limited by this law and sold for a much lower price than it’s “legitimate” counterpart. ABC liquor is also selling “plain label’ wines and making this same claim. “you can buy a $100 bottle for $25.00”.
Is this claim based in fact? How can I know which wines to buy?
I thank you in advance for your help in understanding this issue and helping me to purchase higher quality wines on a budget!
Sincerely,
Christine

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Christine,

As a consumer, all the information you are getting has gone through the gauntlet of advertising, and as such should never be relied upon.

There is a lot of misinformation to unpack in your question. First, that is not how regulations work in the wine trade. Second, there are no work-arounds on buying wine –no secret sauce to get better wine for less money– except for one: knowledge. The golden rule in buying wine is the more you know the better choices you can make.

Third, the idea of “better wine” is a red herring, largely because the way that is defined is a moving target. Wines are priced at three basic price points that conform to what the marketplace wants.:

Under $10: value wines. The majority of wine sold.

Under $15: varietally correct wines

$15 and Over: prestige wines.

Hope that helps.

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