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Savvy Wine Buying
Article Published in Lifestyle Magazine of Central Florida - by Andres Montoya
The economy has been dominating many of the daily headlines, flooding our news channels, foreshadowing turbulent waters ahead. Regardless, I feel that wine, for me, and possibly many of you, will continue to be an important element of our daily lifestyles, and it can continue to be so, with easy to follow wine buying strategies that can help you stretch your hard earned dollars and even make your wine education a more exciting experience, as new regions, grapes and styles are begging to be discovered. By following a few simple steps, you will not need to worry about sacrificing quality or drinking pleasure over price. There are terrific wines out there, many which deliver immense flavor, complexity and memorable wine experiences. Here are some savvy wine buying tips that will have you shopping like a pro.
Smaller yields = Better wine: Don’t settle for second best, even with price points in mind. Search out, explore and ask for wines made from smaller yields, were quality reigns over quantity, because when it comes to this matter, there is no exception to the rule: The world’s best wines will always come from vines that are pruned to yield less grapes, or vineyards that naturally produce less fruit, usually from old age. This in turn creates compelling wines, packed with more flavor, intensity and overall higher richness and complexity. Believe me, these are qualities any wine lover would be very, very happy to find the next time they pop a cork. Grapes/Regions to keep an eye on: I want to point out some incredibly exciting grapes & regions that deliver wines of exceptional quality, at exceptional prices. Try a few wines from these grapes/regions and prepare to be surprised: Touriga Nacional/Douro, Mencia/Bierzo, Cabernet Sauvignon/Paso Robles, Merlot/Walla Walla, Merlot/Cotes de Castillon, Garnacha/Campo de Borja, Cabernet Franc & Chenin Blanc/Loire, Gewurztraminer & Riesling/Alsace, Malbec/Mendoza, Torrontes/Salta, Monastrell/Jumilla, Aglianico/Campania, Chardonnay/Macon, Albarino/Rias Baixas, Tempranillo/Toro, Verdicchio/Marches, Ice Wine/Washington, Syrah/Chile, Pinot Noir/New Zealand, Bonarda/Mendoza, Carignan/Montsant, Muscadet/Loire, Chardonnay/Mercurey, Grenache/Cotes du Rhone.
Read the back label on imported wines: While the front label on a wine is imperative for identifying the most important characteristics inside the bottle: vintage, producer, region or grape, consumers will be greatly rewarded if they pay close attention to the importer listed on the back label. Only a handful of dedicated, passionate importers that represent some of the finest values (and un-manipulated wines) in the marketplace make the cut here, so take note. Here is the shortlist (in no particular order): The Stacole Co., Vineyard Brands, Vine Connections, Jorge Ordonez, Kermit Lynch, Robert Kacher, Winebow-LoCascio, DSWE, Neal Rosenthal, Dalla Terra, Eric Solomon, Boutique Wine Collection, TGIC, Winesellers, Louis Dressner, Epicurean and Weygandt-Metzler.
Don’t let your love for wine be let down because of troubling economic times ahead. Smart buying is the key, so go out, explore and see why many studies show that people who enjoy wine live happier lives. There are many great wines out there, and I am sure that many of them will put a smile on your face, and a few extra dollars in your pocket!