By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Whether you prefer a crisp white or a full-bodied red, during the recession many wine drinkers had to retool their budgets.

“Yeah, maybe I’ve spent a little less,” said one wine drinker shopping at the Martingnetti’s in Brighton.

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WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Jim Carmody is the General Manger of the Seaport Hotel and a wine expert. He watched consumers change their behavior during the recession.

“They didn’t want to cut back, so they traded down but in that experience, they found wines that were very interesting and taste very good for much less money,” he said.

The wine industry says sales are back, but consumers apparently liked what they found at lower prices.

A survey by Neilson found the wines seeing the biggest rebound are those in the $9 – $12 range.

Carmody believes the range is higher, but he says there are plenty of great wines available at reasonable prices.

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“The difference between a $15 bottle of wine and a $45 bottle is very difficult to detect, even by an educated palate,” he said.

According to Carmody, most wine retailers have a knowledgeable sales staff that would be happy to help you find a great wine at a great price.

Bargain shoppers are also finding good deals in an unlikely place.

“Costco and BJ’s are some of the largest movers of volume categories of wines. There are premium wines selling anywhere from $10 to $20,” he said.

Carmody also warns consumers to avoid expensive wine traps.

“When you are paying the price for an expensive bottle of wine, you are paying for what it’s going to deliver in the future, not what it’s delivering today.”

There are a number of web sites that will help you find great tasting, inexpensive wines.

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Here are a few:

Paula Ebben