What many people seem to forget is that part of the appeal, to collectors of course, of the great wines of the world is their ability to age. This often means that a great wine can suck in its youth, while a less expensive wine which is created with near term consumption in mind can deliver a great experience as soon as you pop the cork!
So take a look at these options that you may have not considered. And while you’re at it, consider this, more than nine out of every 10 bottles of wine purchased in the U.S. is consumed within 24 hours of purchase. Don’t get caught up in the whole great wine web. Drink what you like, and drink well for less. Don’t drink that, drink this!
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Don't Drink: Crappy Over-Priced Chardonnay
Chardonnay is the world’s favorite white wine and the most reviled at the same time. Yes, we love our Chardonnay, but we don’t love your Chardonnay, so there!
One of Chardonnay’s biggest assets is also its biggest liability, it comes in all flavors and styles. It’s tough to recommend a specific style of Chardonnay, but I have to say that I’ve been drinking more Chardonnay lately as I’ve been able to identify the styles I like. Want to experiment with super Chardonnay on a budget? Check out the range of wines coming from Italy. Seriously, it’s planted all over the place and it’s relatively difficult to sell, so values abound!
A crisp wine from the North: Alois Lageder Chardonnay 2009
A richer version from the South: Tormaresca Chardonnay 2009
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Don't Drink: Crappy Over-Priced Merlot
Merlot is the wine no one wants to admit to liking. Besides that whole “we’re not drinking any f*c&ing merlot” episode in the movie Sideways, I’m at a loss for a reason. The truth is, Merlot is easier to drink than Cabernet. It’s rounder and lusher, and with darker, somewhat chocolaty fruit. In other words, it’s what many producers wish their Cabernets tasted like! There’s no shame in loving a smooth Merlot, and if you are after something smooth and rich, check out the Merlot from Washington state, where warm days and even nights lends the wines an uncommon polish.
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Don't Drink: Crappy Over-Priced Cabernet
Cabernet with a famous region’s name attached to it frequently sells for several times the price of the wine in the bottle. So what are you to do? Check out the lesser-known regions, of course. Cabernet is grown just about everywhere in the world and the notion of terroir effects only the top wines. So if you’re looking for a good daily drinker that won’t break the bank, check out someplace with a nice consistent climate. Chile has really stepped up its game over the past decade or so, and their Cabernets certainly compete with the world’s best, even if not all of us are ready to fully admit that!
Two Classic Reserve Cabernets:
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Don't Drink: Crappy Over-Priced Sauvignon Blanc
We’ve been inundated with a certain style of Sauvignon Blanc over the past few years and are being asked to believe that that is the epitome of its expression. On the other hand, white Bordeaux, much of which is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc, has been slipping down lower on the wine list. That always puts pressure on pricing, and the truth is that the quality of white Bordeaux has never been better. While the value of red Bordeaux is approaching zero, white Bordeaux is one of the wine world’s great value secrets.
Looking for light and crisp? Check out: Chateau Bonnet Entre- Deux-Mers 2010
A classic white Bordeaux: Chateau Graville Lacoste Blanc 2009
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Don't Drink: Crappy Over-Priced Rhone Blends
You are not going to believe I’m saying this, I hardly do, but Australia is getting ready for a come back and it is in part because of the phenomenal value of the GSM blends. That’s Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, and the Grenache in particular is a wine to watch. I recently had one of my favorites, the Yalumba Bush Vine, and it was a testament to all that Grenache can achieve.
A great GSM: D'Arenberg d'Arry's Original Shiraz/Grenache
Killer Grenache: Yalumba Grenache Bush Vine 2008
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