January 2009

Value Wines

Author: Krissy Cantelupe

January is here along with all of our New Year’s resolutions. Some people will vow to save money, lose weight, start and finish that project, but my resolution is to drink more wine.

With the holidays ending, many of us are struggling with a “lack of funds” in the bank account, or a credit card that can’t bear any more damage. So what kind of delicious values are there in the wine world?

If you are a white wine drinker, prefer something acidic and want something for every day, Look for a Torrontes from Argentina, or a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. Both wines are moderately priced (in the $10.00 range) and are perfect to drink alone or with food. Torrontes is the grape that grows well in Argentina and expresses high acidity with crisp citrus notes. Sauvignon Blanc from Chile also has high acidity but expresses more pink grapefruit and herbal notes. Both wines are great with seafood and lighter poultry dishes.

Pinot Noir is another big favorite. Look to the South of France for a great value. In the Languedoc region, Pinot Noir is grown in abundance, allowing for inexpensive wine. Many California producers suffering from a Pinot Noir shortage, buy the grapes from the south of France, bottle them under the U.S. winery name, but show a French appellation. These are also great values. Most of these Pinot Noirs have a softer mouthfeel, are more fruit forward and have plenty of bright cherry flavors. These wines are also delicious alone or with poultry and light meats.

Australia has always held some fantastic values. If you are looking for spicy, racy and hints of white and black pepper, an Australian Shiraz is the way to go. Many that hit the $10-$15 range have a big, full-body flavor, perfect with burgers, steaks, and zestier foods. Many of the Australian producers blend Shiraz grapes with others such as Cabernet to make a less spicy wine, but still holding that fuller body.

While January always seems like a tough month—bills, resolutions, and getting that calendar on track for the year—I recommend a glass of wine to help ease the pain.

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