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Kevin O'Leary: 3 tips to pick a great bottle of wine for under $20

Kevin O'Leary is famous for his role as an investor on ABC's "Shark Tank," but you may not know that the entrepreneur has interests far beyond business and bottom lines.

In addition to playing guitar and studying photography, O'Leary is passionate about drinking wine.

He's the founder and chief sommelier of O'Leary Fine Wines, and even belongs to a secret society that meets to sip centuries-old vintages.

"I'm a member of a group called the Confrerie Des Chevaliers Du Tastevin. It is a secret society of Burgundy drinkers," O'Leary says on a 2014 "Shark Tank" episode. "Every 90 days, somewhere in the world, we gather and we drink wines as old as 1902."

At the meetings, participants drink from a tasting cup of pure silver.

Clearly, O'Leary is serious about his wine. So when showing off an $18,000 bottle on the Instagram of fellow "Shark Tank" investor Barbara Corcoran, O'Leary wasn't amused when Corcoran mimed dropping the bottle. "Barbara, that's enough," he says.

And of course, O'Leary himself is fond of showing his Instagram followers what he's drinking.

Despite his fancy tastes, O'Leary understands that most wine drinkers are just sharing a bottle with friends at a dinner party or cocktail hour.

For that, anyone can pick out a great bottle of wine on a budget by following three easy tips, he says.

"You have to make the first decision: red or white?" O'Leary tells CNBC Make It. To choose, consider whether the beverage will be enjoyed along with food.

"If you're going to take white wine to a dinner party, it's because you're hoping they'll serve it before the meal, because most meals are better with red," he explains. "If you want to reduce your risk, always buy red wine."

Courtesy of Kevin O'Leary

Next, you'll want to decide on a price point. You don't have to pay as much as you'd think to purchase a quality wine.

In America, 97 percent of wine is sold for under $14.95, according to O'Leary Fine Wine's website. "So if you go in and buy something maybe, $15.99 or $20, you're in a very special 3 percent category, and most people know you've done something very special for them and still you haven't busted the bank," O'Leary explains.

Lastly, pick a variety that has broad appeal.

If you're going with a red wine, "Cabernet Sauvignon from California is a great deal and there are many brands you can buy for under $20," O'Leary says. "Most people love a Cabernet Sauvignon."

When opting for a white wine, he recommends selecting a Chardonnay unoaked, which he says is "now the most popular white wine in America."

Great taste doesn't have to be expensive, according to O'Leary: "Stick with those two, stay under $20 bucks, people will love you."

Catch Kevin O'Leary sipping $60,000 whisky on the season premiere of "Secret Lives of the Super Rich," which airs Wednesday, March 7 at 10pm ET/PT on CNBC.

Don't miss: 'Shark Tank' investor Kevin O'Leary: Here's how to get rich

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