By Imani Brammer

If you’re looking for the perfect date wine or a bottle to celebrate a special occasion, take note that the higher priced ones aren’t always the best.  For a long time, it’s been a common misconception that the greatest wines are the most expensive.  But, thanks to Elyse Luray, author of Great Wines Under $20, we now know better.  After starting to believe that it was normal to drop $100 on a nice vintage, Luray, a licensed auctioneer for high end wine, decided to halt her way of thinking by doing a little experimenting to see if there were any great tasting wines under $20.  Thankfully for all of us, there are and now she’s sharing them with the public.  You’ll no longer be stumped about the taste that will come out of that $16.00 bottle of Merlot.  Luray teaches all of us how to choose an affordable and appealing wine as she introduces us to over 200 great ones in her book and they’re all for less than $20.

Here are some things you’ll learn:

A wine’s vintage refers to the year it was produced

Only expensive wines get better with age.  Inexpensive wines are best when they are no more than three-years-old

When it comes to choosing the right wine for a particular food, it’s best to match the wine’s region of origin with that of the meal.

For those of you who are new to the wine scene, the author advices not to act like you know more than you do.  It could add unnecessary pressure and your date could call your bluff.  You should always be yourself.

“Nothing is worse than listening to someone brag about wine and what they know when it turns out they have no clue what they’re talking about,” says Luray. “If you know about the vintages, regions and wines themselves, it’s great to share this information. But if you don’t, just try and find some great bottles under $20 and enjoy learning.”

Though a wine expert, Luray is nervous too when it comes to dating.  “I hate cooking, so you can imagine the stress when I invite a date over for an intimate dinner,” she says. “I always start with a great glass of wine and some simple appetizers.  It gives us time to talk and chill.”

When asked about her opinion of wine as an aphrodisiac on the first date, Luray showed no signs of a closed mind.  “Many people find wine relaxing,” she explained. “I say, whatever works for you.  If it makes you feel sexier and have more desires, then go for it.  Nothing is better than good food, good wine, and good vibes with another person.”

To purchase a copy of Great Wines Under $20, visit  Amazon, where you can even get a sneak peak of the first few pages.  Cheers!