There is a large part of the wine drinking public who takes great pride in claiming they know nothing about wine, and that it all tastes the same to them. I am not for eugenics in many cases but I will add this one to the list.
Where does this mindset come from? Is it born of pure frugality? The ability to grit your teeth through stemmy swill and lie to yourself about how ambivalent you are about wine as a whole isn’t something to be proud of. I am all for finding a inexpensive wine to drink with dinner but I also want something really good.
As I talked about in an earlier In Vino Veritas, people buy wine for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with the actual wine. A cute label or a memorable name is an understandable reason to purchase a wine. It’s years of psychological marketing laser guided to your brain to maximize the chance that you will choose their product.
My goal in this piece is three fold. I want you to learn a little about where the value is in wine. I want you to spend a little bit more on your wine and in turn you will probably drink less and save yourself the money in the long run.* I hit the point in my life where if I was going to drink and brave a hangover the next morning, I was going to make it worth my while.
I am going to give you four wines that are priced under 20 dollars that will knock your socks off.
1. Beringer Founders Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: North Coast California: Bright, full, round berry fruit, powder tannins and it’s all for about 18 dollars. I love this one because it really lingers flavour wise but it’s not jammy and sweet.
2. Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc: Marlborough, New Zealand: A clean, easy drinking white with lots of grassy notes paired with a nice grapefruit punch. The finish is gooseberry but it’s short and sweet(not literally). Great acid but nothing overbearing.
3. Rocca Della Macie Chianti Classico Riserva: Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy: A bright acid punch upfront belies how delicate this wine is. A floral nose of rose petals and game meat** works well with a palate of red fruit, truffle and rubber. For 15 dollars you cannot beat the value on this one.
El Hada Verdejo: Rueda, Spain: Verdejo is one of my favourite white variety. It has great acid but also really interesting fruit combinations. El Hada has a nose of orange blossom which is so pungent and perfumed it will blow your mind. The flavours in the wine begin with grassy and fade into lime and other citrus fruit. Unlike stoneleigh this wine is medium to full bodied. The acidity creates almost a creamy mouthfeel but at the same time clean. The perfect patio wine. This one comes into at around 17 or 18 dollars.
So you now have no excuse to by barefoot or naked grape again. You have four news ones to try. I suggest you expand your horizons.
*Here is my sneaky footnote where I say if you still drink wine only to get drunk, stop reading this right now. Go buy some tequiza, drink it in the bath tub and puke in your soap dish. This piece is not for you, and you probably find this blog insulting on a bunch of levels but if that works for you I guess keep reading.
**Yes this sound very strange but it works.