Try this experiment: Walk into the nearest wine shop and ask for an “everyday wine” recommendation. Refuse to give a price range, and see what the merchant suggests. My guess is you’re out 15 bucks. Critics seem to be pushing this price point as an appropriate range for “everyday wine”...I'll offer my recommendation - Prairie Fume, from the Wollersheim winery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. Feel free to add yours in the comments - I'd be interested to hear what they are.
Ernest Gallo, who, along with his brother Julio, popularized wine among the American masses, understood the psychology of wine better than anyone. He used to pour two glasses of wine for potential buyers, telling them that one sold for 5 cents, and the other for 10. According to Gallo, his guinea pigs invariably chose the more expensive option. What they didn’t know was that the two wines were exactly the same. Researchers have recently reproduced Gallo’s results, proving that our appreciation of a wine depends on how much we think it costs. If you can break yourself of this psychological quirk—or have your spouse lie to you about the cost of your wine—you’ll save a small fortune....
You’re probably hoping for some recommendations. You don’t need them. Reviews and recommendations are great for cars or televisions or overpriced wines, because bad decisions are expensive. If you hate your cheap bottle of wine, just uncork another.
And the Slate article is a bit Eurocentric in its focus; I wonder what the cost of everyday dinner wine is elsewhere in the world.