This Guy Will Help You Find Affordable Wine That Is Actually Good

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Illustration by Chris Danger

Wine consultant Alfonse Mele has been holding court at DEPs Fine Wine & Spirits for the last 18 years. When he arrived, he brought with him excellent taste, a wide breadth of knowledge, and an army of little green men. Mele shares his go-to bottles, his expectations of affordability, and just what makes a wine alien-approved.

We noticed the “Alfonse picks” at DEPs are denoted by a little green alien icon. Why aliens? I call them my “alien picks” because they’re out of this world.

What makes a bottle worthy of the little green guy? It has to be totally affordable and taste really expensive.

What wines do you wish more customers would try? Prosecco and rosé. They’re up and coming, they’re awesome, and they’re still affordable. Prosecco is an Italian sparkler, like Champagne, and rosé is a French wine from Provence, normally, and it’s always under $10. It’s dry and clean, not sweet. It would be a red wine, but they take the skin off early so it’s pink.

What are your go-to bottles for entertaining with friends? The Santa Christina “Santa” blend from Tuscany is my go-to red.

What do you love about your work? People count on us. Our team is putting together two parties tonight; they just call us, and we slap it together. We know just what they need.

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