Thursday, August 27, 2009

Buying Wine To Enjoy

When it comes to wine, you can talk about appearance, sensations and finish. Dwell on aroma, complexity and character, if you wish. But lets get real. You either like it, or you don't. It all boils down to flavor. How does it taste on your palate? Is the wine easy to drink without overwhelming your taste with bitterness or acidity? Or, is it smooth and well-balanced? While individual preferences come into play, and certain wines taste better with particular foods … you know a great tasting wine when you drink one. I'm no expert so I asked Bill, a knowledgeable wine consumer, for his pick.

Bill lead me to the first great find:
Vrac Cotes du Rhone 2007 – Here's how it got its name: For everyday drinking many French locals headed to the town winery to buy their wine in bulk (“en vrac”). Deep red in color and modest in intensity, this wine goes well with grilled chicken, tacos and just about everything. Bill says, “This is no bulk wine, it's a very good blend.” Costs $8 - $10.

For a Chardonnay try:
Bodegas Catena Zapata Alamos Torrontes 2007 – A white wine from Argentina, it's medium bodied, vibrant and fruity with a dry finish. The taste is clean -- a perfect blend to sip alone, or pair with BBQ chicken and potato salad. Cost: $9 - $11.

Selecting a Rosé, try:
Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Rosé 2008 – This French wine is delicious chilled. It has a racy body and is refreshing to sip solo, or to serve with meat and potatoes. Cost: $9 - $10.

Finally for a splurge I asked Mitch, a wine magazine editor, what he likes, and the answer is from his twitter post:
Frescobaldi Chianti Rufina Montesodi 2001 – "Elegant, refined, with great silky texture and strong finish. 93 points non-blind." It's a sangovese blend. Later he wrote to tell me, "This is a great Italian wine that will still age for several years." Cost: $50 and up.

Thanks Bill and Mitch for your input. Uncork a bottle and raise your glass!

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