Eric Asimov’s latest post, “Everyday Wines: The Most Important Bottles You Will Drink,” at his New York Times Blog, The Pour, is a gem.
And I’m not saying that just because he said to “find a good wine shop” with a link to his article saying that “[i]nstitutions like Chambers Street Wines, Flatiron Wines & Spirits and Crush Wine & Spirits in New York are great for expert and novice alike, and they serve a nationwide clientele.” No, this has nothing to do with validation in the National Press…
It’s because Eric has, once again, nailed how we actually drink wine. His eight tips are spot on and we’d recommend you read them. Here is a helpful link to read it now.
Their spot on but, of course, we all have our own twists to add. Here are my four addenda, together with a case of everyday wines to embody the principles.
- Don’t let the hunt for novelty blind you to the charms of the classics. There’s a risk of a kind of reverse snobbery, “Oh, I never drink [Bordeaux/Sancerre/Rioja/whatever].” It’s trite but true: the classics are classics for a reason. There may be oceans of indifferent, factory-made Sancerre and Bordeaux; but there are also tons of fantastic, terroir focused growers making wines that have stood the test of time.
- Don’t worry about finishing the bottle. Lots of wines, especially young, hardy ones, will easily last a day or two after you’ve opened them. In fact, just like grandma’s stew, many of those wines will be better on the second or third day, when a little oxygen has helped them to open up and show what they’ve got.You don’t need a fancy system to keep the wine, either. Just put the cork in it and put it back in the fridge. Or if you want to keep the wine even longer, as soon as you open the bottle, pour half of it into an empty half-bottle, cork it, and stick it in the fridge. It will be exposed to almost no air and will last for days and days.
- Get a decanter. Just like lots of young wines do better on the second day thanks to the extra air, so do they do better out of a decanter. Not sure if you like your wine decanted? Throw half the bottle in the decanter and leave the other half behind. Compare them in 30 or 60 minutes and see which one you like better.
- But wine by the case (and off our Newsletter). Eric is right that it helps to go above the $10-$12 price range to find wines that are much more interesting. One way to afford to reach a little is to take advantage of case discounts. Flatiron, for instance, offers 10% off (our already low prices!) when you buy 12 or more bottles.
And now, to put our money where our mouths is, here’s a case of wine, at a super-extra-special 15% discount for blog readers, who purchase all the featured selections, below. It embodies Eric’s principles and ours and we think it’s a great way to load up on the kind of reasonably priced gems that can make any dinner at home a special treat. For those who prefer to build their own case, you are welcome to do so at 10% off.
Without further delay, here are our featured selections. Happy reading and, when you are ready, purchase The Pour inspired case by clicking on the button above or build your own case here now!
1. Duzsi Tamas Kekfrankos Roze 2016 ($16.99)
An organic, dry rose from Hungary with a citrus nose and floral tones. 100% Kekfrankos, the Hungarian word for Blaufrankisch. This has become a staff favorite as be believe there is no better value for a mineral driven rose.
2. J.H. Selbach Riesling “Piesporter Michelsberg” 2015 ($12.99)
An excellent value in classic Mosel Riesling from the great 2015 vintage. This is a great place to start if you want to get to know Mosel Riesling, but also a great every-day drinker for whenever you need something delicoius.
3. Casa de Mouraz Dao Blanco “Encruzado” 2015 ($17.99)
Encruzado Is a grape with the remarkable ability to convey a rounded weight in the midpalate while maintaining crisp minerality. That means it can handle full-flavored fish dishes, but can also be just fine on it’s own. Croquetas de Bacalao were made for a wine like this. Biodynamically farmed by a husband and wife team, they lost their winery and half of their vines in the devastating fires last year, but they won’t be down for long.
4. Montesecondo Toscana Rosso Sangiovese 2016 ($21.99)
Sangiovese can be so pretty, especially in the hands of master winemaker Silvio Messana, who crafts wines of remarkable purity and balance. The quality/price ratio of his rosso (which could be classified as Chianti if he wanted it to be) is always exceptional, but the 2016 vintage is just ridiculous.
5. Ryme Cellars, Vermentino “Hers Carneros, 2016 ($22.99)
Ryme, a husband and wife team who set out to make terroir focused wines in California from mostly Italian varietals. This cuvee is the result of competing winemaking styles. Hers is pressed, settled clean and bottled early resulting in crisp, citrus notes with a slightly herbal and bitter almond finish.
6. Fabre Montmayou Gran Reserva Malbec 2014 ($22.99)
Fabre came from Bordeaux and found old vines — like over 100 years old — in high altitude sites in Argentina. He’s been making incredibles Malbecs and Cabernet from those sites ever since, showing the exuberance of Argentinian fruit but with Bordeaux sensibilities.
7. Bodegas Albamar Rias Baixas Albarino 2016 ($20.99)
Here we have lightning in a bottle: mineral verve & tenacious salinity. Albamar’s take is elegant & cutting—dancing across the palate with electric ease. Clean, fresh, and wonderfully balanced.
8. Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Rouge 2016 ($12.99)
Medium-full and well made. Herbal accents written on rich black cherry. Good vintage through and through. Terroir is there. A label you can look at day after day and still think “Hey, that looks good to drink”. One of the best bargains in the shop.
9. Domaine des Terres Dorees (Jean-Paul Brun) Beaujolais “L’Ancien” 2016 ($17.99)
Totally delicious, easy to drink, but with never cloying. Light bodied but fine; an elegant texture married to bright juicy fruit. Planted on limestone for a strong kick of minerality. And from a great bojo vintage!
10. The Whole Shebang North Coast Red “Eleventh Cuvee” NV ($15.99)
Shebang is the second label from the guys at Bedrock. This is an unabashedly big wine, but not made big by oak. Rather, it is the old vines (Zin, Syrah, and Grenache) that gives it its size, which is then tempered by some older wine (it’s 35% solera). An all-occasions red.
11. Chateau Bournac Médoc Cru Bourgeois 2015 ($19.99)
Classic Bordeaux is a beautiful thing, and the Bournac really delivers. You get smoky, spicy aromas and the plush, dark fruit of the excellent 2015 vintage. A perfect burger wine.
12. Domaine Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Vieilles Vignes “Clos des Allees”, 2016 ($15.99)
Some of the most serious Muscadet out there, and yet it’s so easy to love.
Luscious but nervy, with plenty of minerality. So much complexity for the $.
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