If you're invited to one party a week this season, you'll need at least four bottles of wine to give to your hosts, and that's not including the extras you'll want for yourself. Last year, Americans spent over $1 billion dollars more at wine, beer and liquor stores in December than they did in November, according to retail trade reports.
The solution: Wine shops and liquor stores usually offer better deals before Thanksgiving, Pavini says. November also happens to be the end of the harvest season, she adds, so stores will be eager to move older merchandise to make room for the new. Pavini suggests picking up a case or two (you'll save 10 to 20 percent more than if you buy individual bottles) in mid-November to last you—and your guests—through January. Those oenophiles looking for year-round sales might consider signing up on a wine flash-sale site, like Wine Woot!, Lot 18 or Invino, which recently offered a 2007 PB Hein Cabernet Sauvignon (from Napa Valley) for $24.99—42 percent off the retail price.