Listening to NPR's Fresh Air this afternoon, they had on Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher who write about win in the WSJ, I learned they agree with me on several things:
1) this wine enthusiastic couple, who have been together for 28 years, agree with me that there's lots of delicious wines under $10 or $12 a bottle
2) you pay for 'staying in your comfort zone': go with the popular cabernet and it will cost you; get the Santa Margherita and it'll be much more expensive than lesser known but much more delicious wines on the same menu. Just because you can pronounce its simple English name doesn't mean it's good. Go off the beaten path, and there's lots of delicious wines to enjoy.
3) cheap wine glasses are better than expensive ones; break a cheap wine glass and I'll get you some new ones next year
4) Spain and Italy and South Africa and other regions have some really tasty wines for < $10 a bottle out currently
5) Wines by the glass are really a gamble ("it might've been opened in the Clinton Administration"), get a demi bottle, or a full bottle and in most of the lower 48 US states, it's legal to take the left-over wine home.
6) Wines with animal names are typically not very good ("Beastly & Foul")
7) Many US Wine makers have gotten high on their own myopically perceived greatness, trying to mass produce wines that should be small vintages, slapping "Reserve" on many bottles meaninglessly,
8) Champagne and other sparkling wines do NOT need to be consumed in flutes
9) all wines have sulfites in them naturally occurring, it's just the Americans who are so damn litigious that they have to label that sulfites are contained.
What they failed to mention, were the naming conventions and standards that the Europeans use, (Appellation d’Origine Controlee in France, Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) Indicazione Geografica Tipica in Italy, Denominación de Origen for Spain, by example) to help guide one when selecting a bottle.
I also learned that I may have a lucrative career ahead of me in writing about wine, if I ever need to make a career change. If you're interested in getting my one page summary of inexpensive red wines - I updated it recently for a few SW Ohioian friends who wanted a copy - please let me know. [my profile here has an email link, if you don't have my address already].
1 year ago