A Sarcastic Appetite

A Little Bit About Wine
April 19, 2009, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I love to read articles about new wines to try, and wines that give you the best bang for your buck, and wines that haven’t been popular since that August in 2004 when Venus was in a six-week retrograde and your Qi had never been more centered. Except nine times out of ten I don’t write a damn thing down, so all that helpful information slips away into the ether to join other useful tidbits like, Where did I put my keys? Did I pay the electric bill this month? Have I showered today? Oh, that last one’s not an issue for you? Well, pardon me.

At any rate, my very long-winded point here is that I’m not going to list a bunch of wines willy-nilly. Instead, I’m going to write about different grapes and regions, which I find easier to remember anyway – though I’ll leave you to your own devices to procure the wines themselves. Or call me and stop by for a glass – I usually have something hanging out in the wine rack in my bedroom. (It was $2 at a library sale and there’s nowhere else it will fit.) Or take this as a means to strike up a conversation with the guy in your local wine shop, or the waiter or sommelier when you’re next out to dinner.

So, onward.

The Tempranillo grape produces full-bodied red wines and is the principal grape in northern Spain’s famed Riojas – but it’s slightly lesser known and therefore much more reasonably priced. Now it’s grown all over the world – from South America to Australia. These wines are ruby red in color and berry-heavy in taste, though not overly fruity.

Malbecs from the Mendoza Province are Argentina’s most popular red wine. Vineyards here are planted in the eastern foothills of the Andes and at some of the highest altitudes in the world as a result. These wines are also berry-heavy – plum, blackberry – and are more violet in color. They’ve become increasingly popular so you won’t have any trouble finding them in stores or on wine lists – but they’re still pretty reasonably priced (for now, anyway).

On the other hand, try wines made from the Torrontes grape for an Argentinian white that’s very crisp and refreshing and goes with just about anything. These wines are also made in the Mendoza region, and in the Rioja region in Spain, among others. They’re citrusy, some with hints of peach or grapefruit, but still very dry – and cheap, though very highly regarded.

Verdicchio is a white grape grown in Central Italy, in a region bordering the Adriatic known as Le Marche. It makes a straw colored wine that’s usually pretty reasonably priced in restaurants, so it can be a nice option, but be forewarned: these wines are often very, very acidic. The nicest wines from the Verdicchio grape are produced in the Castelli de Jesi and Matelica regions, so look for those.

1 Comment so far
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Astonishing style. I would love to write that way.

Comment by MeSoCutte

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