Sep 14 2009
By Maggie Smith
Whether you’re new to wine or a seasoned connoisseur, a common thread between the two is finding a wine to drink that is of good quality for a good price and makes you warm and fuzzy on the inside. With new wine regions emerging around the world, this task is easier then it used to be. We now see places like South America, New Zealand, and Spain emerging on the global wine scene, making great quality wine at very affordable prices, now available at your local grocery store.
With these great, affordable wines within arm’s reach, why would you pay $50 on up for a bottle of wine, and what is the difference? When purchasing a bottle at this price point, it should be obvious from the attack, the middle, and the finish…. the very long finish that never seems to end and will keep developing as it lingers. It should keep you guessing with the emergence of layers, flavors and aromas that it exudes. It should surprise you, transport you to a place where you can actually envision the mountainside vineyards where it grows. Now, this is a tall order and not always obtainable. The majority of these wines will need to age for a few years to develop these nuances to get the most out of your purchase. Well, who has this kind of time? All you wanted was a great bottle to take home for that special dinner you’re putting together. My advice is buy a decanter. [A Decanter is one of those beautiful crystal or glass carafes that looks great on a dinner table but also functions to “open up” your wine.] If you aerate the wine for at least a half an hour, you get a different wine then just tasting it right out of the bottle. When you decant the wine, it will speed up the aging process and those subtleties that weren’t showing off will suddenly become more obvious.
Now there is still no guarantee that you will like that $50 plus bottle just because you paid more for it. When purchasing wine at the lower price points, they are much more approachable, friendly and easy to drink. You’ve gotten used to the raspberry, the black berry, and the spice; it’s what you know and what you like. You may not like the espresso, the barnyard, the forest floor that comes with the better bottles, and that’s okay. Why would you pay a million dollars for a Jackson Pollock painting if you didn’t understand his layers and splashes of color? It’s okay to hang your painting of the still life bowl of fruit, it brings you pleasure, you understand it, it suits you.