Archive for the ‘Sparkling Wine’ Category
Wine Re-characterization – What is it & Why do I care?
Psst! Wanna buy some great wine at a HUGE discount? This can be the REAL DEAL!
Now is the time to visit the wine shops! This includes your local wine shop and liquidators such as BevMo and trader Joe’s!
The reason is that wonderfully magic thing wine makers do . . . Re-Characterization!
Every year at this time wineries run into TROUBLE! They have too much wine! The new grapes are crushed and fermented and the wine is going into storage (aging). HOWEVER, they likely too much have wine from last year! Every year there is tax due on wine in storage and the storage costs money!
Some of the wine is mediocre or even bad and some of it is GREAT and everything in between. The winery generally does what is called RE-CLASSIFICATION . . . a fancy word for SELL CHEAP! Some of it goes to brokers who bottle it as a weird label (2 Buck Chuck, Benefactor, etc.).
Another is they aging barrels and tanks . . . the bottom and top have grape debris and taste slightly different. Most wineries bottle it and sell it with strange label. I remember one major winery selling it for under $3 and it was WONDERFUL
Go to look for the small run bottles over the next month . . . and enjoy!
Life is good.
There are times I walk into a store and need a bottle for something – a party, a work function, or maybe just for myself. When traveling it can particularly difficult to find a good wine, many times I don’t speak the language enough to even read the label!
Most markets and stores have 100′s (say 300) wines. Often the clerks’ only skills are limited to using a box cutter and a bar code reader.
QUESTION: How can you be reasonably sure that a wine is decent?
You can pick a good wine in under 3 minutes . . . even if everything is in a language you don’t speak!
Look for 3 things:
1.) Price! Why beat around the bush, this is IMPORTANT! Scan the selves, look for the cheapest wine and add a couple of bucks to set the range. If you want to go higher end so you don’t look cheap, double the number!
CONGRATULATIONS, you eliminated 90% of store’s selection! That leaves~ 30 wines of 300 to choose from.
2.) Next – heavy or light? – Heavy alcohol is 12%+ and light is 11% or less. If it’s cold or a young crowd go heavy, if it’s warm or older crowd go light. We’re now down to say 20 bottles (some will fall in the middle).
3.) “It Factor” – Now we’re down to the last choice. Look at the BACK of bottle. Is there an essay on the wine (maybe a picture of wine maker?) GREAT! The people making are proud of their product! Usually any of these is good.
Put them all in the cart, eyeball them and pick the one that strikes your fancy!
Open & Enjoy!
========>>> SHORTCUT! Look at people’s shopping carts, if you see several people with the same wine – that’s likely a good wine!
It’s a beautiful day and a bunch of friends are coming over and said, “What was that white wine with a spritz we had on the boat the other day? It was like a cooler right from the bottle!”
I know immediately which one they mean, Espiral Vinho Verde (green wine in Portuguese) is a white wine with just a touch of carbonation. The green in the name is because they bottle the wine before fermentation is finished.
When we had it the sun deck on the Sausalito Ferry was very warm. A young lady came over and asked if we were enjoying the wine? Of course we immediately offerred the lady a glass. She admitted her interest was not altruistic but was a promoter of Portuguese products! We spoke highly of the wine which she of course agreed with! She asked if she could mention the incident in her material and of course since one never should turn down a pretty young lady, we readily agreed!
This wine is soft and goes down easy on a hot day and is low alcohol.
Perfect for a B-B-Q
Drink immediately after buying, it doesn’t age well.
Trader Joe’s $4.99 / bottle
Plus + Very drinkable. Ready to drink on opening. Good value and should be a regular. Soft so serving iced is fine.
Minor Down – A little fizzy with large bubbles.
Goes down well, light aftertaste (smooth finish)
Very good buy for price.
Goes down easy, light aftertaste (finish).