I've found a wine store I like, I've got a relationship with the manager who gives me good recommendations, and I feel like I'm learning quite a lot about wine (finally). But most of my wine shopping happens at the deli in my neighborhood where the selection is pretty pedestrian and I just don't know what's worth buying and what isn't. I feel like I drank without discrimination for so long that even though I know what different grape varieties taste like, I'm not good at picking out quality. When faced with Yellow Tail, Jacob's Creek, Penfolds, Little Penguin, Mondavi, Barefoot, Coppola, Columbia Crest, Lindemann's... any tips?? I mean, sometimes I read something like "Yellow Tail cab sav is surprisingly good", but if I read that 4 years ago, that can't still be valid. Should I stick to a particular country that generally produces good quality? Is there a particular grape that is never good at a low price point? Is there one bargain label that is almost always a good bet? Or is deli wine just what you get in a pinch, keep expectations low?
Thanks! This forum has been really helpful in the past!