Worthless Wine Reviews
I'm not much of an expert on wine, but I though I'd pass on one of the few good pieces of advice I've ever read: buy the importer, not the wine
. That is, you're unlikely to go wrong if you buy a wine distributed by a good importer. There's a list at the end of the Slate article in the link. I can personally vouch for Robert Kacher's $10-$12 wines from the south of France.
Sure you can read wine reviews in a newspaper or on the web, but what good will it do you? You won't remember the name of the wine when you go to the liquor store, and if you write it down, the liquor store won't have it anyway.
I once made a serious effort to track down a great wine I had in a New York restaurant. It turned out to be sold in one store in NYC, and was impossible to find in DC, even if I'd been willing to special-order a case.
Of course, with wines produced in large quantities, reviews are worthwhile, so let me point out that Zardetto Prosecco
(a sparkling, dry white wine) is great and widely available. As I learned at DC's second-best pizza place
(Matchbox is the best) it pairs really well with pepperoni pizza.