Here's what always annoys me about wine writing: babbling about floral notes and up-front fruit is all good and well, but for those of us who don't have an encyclopedic memory, it very rarely matters - not because we don't care, but because we aren't likely to stumble upon the bottle in question. I've read about wines that sounded so good I wrote them down and kept my eye out for them, but that is not the norm. What I want to know is, what great, affordable wine should I be looking for at the nearest wine shop? Where can I actually find a wine worth buying?
In an effort to address that need, I'm launching "Wine find of the week," a regular spot on the blog where I'll tell you exactly where you can go to get a certain, decent bottle of wine. Because my budget is limited (as I'm assuming yours is - if not, bully for you), I'll be keeping my finds in the under $20-range.
A couple of disclaimers before we get started: while I hope to cover a broad range of wines in this spot, the wine find of the week will reflect my personal tastes a bit, which come with some prejudices. I hope to challenge many of those prejudices - perhaps there is a huge, buttery California chardonnay that I'll come to love (I doubt it). I'm a bit of a Francophile, so be forewarned. Very bold red wines with huge tannins give me migraine headaches. I'm talking, like, after one sip. So I probably won't be covering too many of those here.
Beyond that, I'll try to be as broad as possible. If you have tips for me - especially if you've found a fantastic bottle at a local store that you think I should feature here, please email me about it: email@example.com. And now to this week's find:
Chateau Cantelaudette 2006 Graves - $16
Available at Tinderbox Vino 100 in the Lenox Mal
Lord, it's mall season - I swear, every year I promise myself I'm not going to end up at the mall for holiday shopping, and every year I do. This year, I came across Vino 100, which is in the Tinderbox store (near Urban Outfitters). The store's premise is that they have 100 wines for under $25. I didn't find a whole lot there that excited me, but I did find this - a white Bordeaux that's a blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. I was pretty surprised - this would be a wine to stump someone in a blind taste test. Big, tropical, almost over-ripe - it reminded me of some Australian Semillons - but then it finishes dry and almost smoky, without any unpleasant lingering oak. This is a fairly rich white, and would stand up to a lot of food, even some game dishes. If you get dragged to the mall this year, sneak away ("It's a secret" actually works quite well this time of year) and grab a bottle.
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