~ It's National Drink Wine Day, and we've gotcha covered - from what to call yourself to which bottles to indulge in. ~
What does it mean? An Oenophile - pronounced "ee-nuh-fahyl" - is a connoisseur of wine, or simply a person who enjoys wine.
To help you become this without breaking the bank, our very own KC Wine Guy has compiled some helpful thoughts.
First, and foremost, drink what you like and like what you drink!
The experience of enjoying a glass (or bottle) of wine should not be determined by a journalist, a magazine or anyone who feels they know more than you on the subject. It's a process and a journey! If you do not know wine: find someone who does - someone who knows what you like and can recommend from there!
Second, and almost as equally as important, price does not equal quality ... this is not just for wine but many other beverages as well! Finding a $200 bottle is not a challenge. Finding a $20 bottle that tastes as good as a $200 is a real experience (Note: they are out there!). Some things to look for (keeping in mind that wine availability varies state-to-state):
- Younger wines will typically be less expensive. Look for $10 to $15 Pinot Noir from California or Oregon for a softer lighter red to pair with fish, cheeses, and some pasta! Brands like Castle Rock, King Estate's Acrobat & Ramsey (maybe $15+) do a great job giving you the true flavors of the grape and it's growing region too! Worth the bucks: Schug and some quality second label Red Burgundy's from France (this may require some wine shop work as well).
- Travel to Europe, South America, Australia or New Zealand (not necessarily physically but drink like they do): Spanish Tempranillo or Granache are amazing values: Vina Mayor, Palacios Remondo or Borsao work great!) Malbec from Argentina is a great buy too (Bodega Norton Malbec or Alamos Malbec are perfect flavor for the price typically around $15/bottle). Looking to kick it up a notch: Aussie Shiraz or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc are great as well! Mitolo Shiraz is their entry level line ($16) and Kim Crawford, even though it's mass-produced, is a great value at $16/bottle too!
- Go Big or Go Home: If you are drinking the bigger reds from California, France, Italy, etc. you know you are going to spend a few more dollars. But that's not always the case! There are many stellar options to consider: Try Sonoma (B.R. Cohn's Silver Label Cabernet comes in around $21/bottle and tastes like you spent more!). Brancaia's Tre (Italy) is a great value blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet ($18/bottle) as well as Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino (another Sangiovese option from an award-winning Brunello producer - Typically $16/bottle!
These are just a select few of our favorites ... each community and wine shop will have their own go-to values and a great store will have a knowledgeable staff to help direct you in your search. If all else fails: go to area wine tastings and chart what you drink and what you like (as well as what you don't like). This will help you or a wine shop professional narrow down what to suggest for your next bottle! And of course, shoot us a note: we are more than happy to help guide you as well!
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