There’s something classy about seeing someone with a long stem held gracefully between their fingers, bold flavours and aromas filling their glass.

As long as that dainty sip isn’t followed by a round of shooters.

Once consumed only by royals and those of the church, wine has never lost its association to the aura of higher class.  For many students the sophisticated libation can offer a hit to fading bank accounts at semester’s end.

The Weal spoke to the experts to find the best wines at an affordable price.

Self-proclaimed “wine cheapskate” and author of Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, Natalie MacLean has dedicated her life to finding the best wines on a budget. MacLean claims wine no longer needs to hold a hefty price tag to hold a luxurious flavour.

“It is no longer uncommon to find a great wine for a bargain,” said MacLean. “Over the past decade, wine makers know more, competition has increased, and technology has improved.”

MacLean said that when the recession hit many consumers traded down in wine price points and never went back.

West Restaurant & Bar wine director Karen Beck believes not all wine is subjective.

“Each wine will taste different to each person’s palate,” said Beck. “But a good wine has to be made well.”

With the wine world at the forefront of its evolution,  Beck believes it has become exposed enough that anyone can afford to try it.

But buyer beware, a cheaply made bottle of wine won’t fool even the most inexperienced palate.

Top 5 wines for under $25:

Dona PaulaMalbec, Argentina. $13 (Beck)
Dr. L – Riesling, Germany. $14 (MacLean)
See ya later – Pinot Noir, Canada (B.C.). $22 (MacLean)
Stoneleigh – Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand. $17 (Beck)
Wolf Blass – Shiraz, Australia. $24 (MacLean)