A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life

red wines

This tag is associated with 27 posts

The Dueling Inexpensive Red Wine Line-Ups — Which Ones Went To The Drinking Round And Which Ones Went Down The Drain?

I have always been curious. In all of my endeavors, I have referred to this trait as “turning over rocks.” You have to turn over rocks to see what is underneath. That takes some effort. Many people do not care. But for those that do, there is no assurance of what you will find. Maybe it will be a gold nugget or maybe it will be a rattle snake! Or, even more likely, it will be something in between. So it is with wine.

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THE OLD BURGUNDIANS

A few years ago, my friends and contributing editors, Edward Lazarus and John Brincko, and I, along with John’s wife, Debbie, and my wife, Laurie, decided to form a group dedicated to drinking old Burgundies from our cellars. We named the group The Old Burgundians, not because of our ages, but because of the old Burgundies that would be our focus.

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You Don’t Know Jura?

In the past I have known very little about Jura wines. What little I did know recalled a Sherry-like wine that I tasted sometime long, long ago. But, as I recently discovered, there are new things happening in Jura and it is being re-discovered. Here is the story.

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Under The Radar 2009 Wines

We’ve been talking about the very favorable growing conditions in almost all parts of the world in 2009. So continuing with that theme here is a representative sampling of generally inexpensive 2009 wines that are distinctive and generally not well known. Hence, the “Under the Radar” theme. Be adventuresome. Try a few. I think you will be really glad you did and I expect you will find many new favorites.

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Recession Busters/Best Buys

Here are 28 wines, perfect for everyday drinking, and, priced at $10 or below, offering good value to the wallet or pocketbook and the palate. Eighteen of the wines are priced below $5. All are pleasant surprises, interesting, inviting and worthy of buying again. Until the last year or so, good wines in this price range were very difficult to find in the U.S., other than Two-Buck Chuck or wines found in stores’ bargain bins. These very affordable wines fill a vacuum in the American wine market: vin ordinaire and vino de tavola for the American table. Some are surprisingly good, some could benefit from additional aging and some are just nice, early-drinking quaffers. While quality and price are generally positively correlated, this is not always the case. You don’t need to be embarrassed to serve these wines to guests or to let them be the second wine served at a party. However, keep in mind that you can’t expect these wines to be perfectly balanced with great complexity and richness. While these wines may not interest a connoisseur, they are fruity and flavorful, perfectly quaffable on an everyday basis to the vast majority of the wine drinking public. Moreover, the wines are quite food friendly.

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Ah, Spring, The Vintage of the Century Is In the Air!

Ah, Spring, The Vintage of the Century Is In the Air!

Last November when we were in Burgundy, we were impressed with the 2008 red wines. They showed better balance and richness than the 2007s tasted from barrel (our review will follow shortly – stay tuned). But nearly everywhere we went, when tasting any 2008s and expressing a positive opinion, the reaction was “just wait for the 2009s.” Later, this year we will go back to Burgundy and taste some of the 2009s. But even without tasting the wines, it seems obvious that given the quality of the harvest, that there will be many lush and concentrated Burgundies of great appeal. And, more recently, at the opening tastings of the 2009 Bordeaux, the cry is echoed. Here are just a few of the early proclamations: “2005 a great vintage or better,” “the best young vintage I have ever tasted,” “Best wines ever.” So it looks like we are in for another “Vintage of the Century.” Again? OK. In my 40 years of tasting wines, I have only heard this about 10 times. Wow! I am not that old!!

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DEAR SANTA, WE’VE GOT A LITTLE LIST

In Volume V, #5 of The Underground Wineletter from 1983, we wrote a letter to Santa with our wine wish list, which is reproduced below: One Winedrinker’s Opinion Dear Santa, We’ve Got a Little List . . . Dear Santa, Get ready ol’ boy, the time is at hand.  Everyone has a list.  We’ve got […]

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