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The Wine Curmudgeon is a sucker for wines made with less known grapes from less known parts of the world. That’s because the revolution in winemaking and grape growing technology over the past 20 years has allowed these regions to improve quality with grapes that aren’t in great demand. Hence, a much better chance of quality wine for less money. The Guilhem ($12, purchased, 12.
Because it’s always worth knowing what the six companies that control 60 percent of the U.S. wine business, plus their biggest competitors, are up to: • The biggest producer you’ve never heard of: Delicato Family Vineyards makes 5 million cases of wine a year, almost all of it Great Wall of Grocery store stuff, and almost all of it in anonymity.
You can always trust a man in a hat who talks about cheap wine. This has not been the best of times for the Wine Curmudgeon, as anyone who has visited the blog over the past three or four months may have noticed. The posts have been a little crankier, my patience has been a little shorter, and the supply of quality cheap wine has seemed ever smaller.
Quality? Who cares about quality? It’s not enough to advocate cheap wine; consumers need to know how to tell the difference between cheap wine and wine that is made cheaply. The Wine Curmudgeon was reminded of this yet again when I struggled through the 2014 five-day, $3 wine challenge, where the producers cared more about price than they did about quality.
Far be it for the Wine Curmudgeon to criticize a multi-national company and a marketing campaign devised by people who are brilliant enough to work for it, when I’m just a guy at a keyboard who writes about cheap wine. But a recent Redd’s Wicked Apple commercial reminded me how creatively bankrupt so much of post-modern media is: “Let’s sell our product by making fun of wine!” O ...
Aldi’s Vina Decana, one of the great cheap wines in the 20-plus years I’ve been doing this, has apparently gone, leaving us almost as quickly as it appeared on the grocer’s store shelves. This is not unusual in wine, though I’ve never quite grown used to it. Wine can’t be made like a car, with a new model every year; there are too many vagaries of production, the supply chain, a ...
• You can’t learn from me: A study reported at the Partnership for Drug Free Kids found parents can’t teach their children responsible drinking. The catch? One definition of teaching responsible drinking is parents buying the booze for a beer bash. Sigh. How about parents letting their children have wine with dinner, to show them it’s not something unusual or forbidden? The stud ...
The Wine Curmudgeon has entirely too much experience cooking like this. Who knew, after last December’s ice storm and four days without power, that the Wine Curmudgeon would get to do it again — and only nine months later? Ain’t electricity deregulation grand, TXU? We lost power for 2 1/2 days at the beginning of October after 30 minutes of rain and high winds.
The Wine Curmudgeon has long been in a quandary about Argentine wine. The best tend to be expensive, and there are other wines I’d rather spend the money on than its malbecs and red blends. The least expensive wines are too often corporately dull, and overpriced at that. Which is why it was such a pleasure to taste the wines from Nieto Senetiner, a 126-year-old Argentine produce ...
This is not the current vintage of South Africa’s Mulderbosch chenin blanc ($12, purchased, 13.5%). In fact, it’s two vintages old; the current is the 2013. But it’s the best I could do in Dallas, where we view chenin blanc as the spawn of the devil and a wine to be ignored at all costs. Nevertheless, it’s worth reviewing for three reasons: First, because it’s a quality white wi ...
Winebits 354: Costco wine, wine demographics, wine and drugs October 07, 2014 Wine Curmudgeon Annette Alvarez-Peters • Costco’s Peters speaks: Annette Alvarez-Peters, who buys alcohol for the Costco warehouse chain, is one of the most important people in the wine business; as such, she rarely gives interviews.
“The horror, the horror. …” In one respect, this year’s five-day, $3 wine challenge was no different than last year’s: I made it through unscathed. But the results were also depressing in a way they weren’t last year. I wanted to find a wine among the six — five $3 merlots and a $4 red blend — that I could enjoy without reservation and use as another example in my campaign to he ...
This is the second of two parts discussing why Spanish wine may be the best value in the world today. Part I, an overview of why Spain offers so much value, is here. If wine drinkers know Spanish wine, it’s tempranillo from Rijoa or Ribera del Duero. Older wine drinker might know Spanish sherry, while the hipsters know garnacha and the Winestream Media-hyped wines from the Priorat.
This is the first of two parts discussing why Spanish wine may be the best value in the world today. Part II, with some of Spain’s best-value wines, will post tomorrow. The reasons are many, and they add up to the same thing: Spanish wine, whether red, white, pink, or bubbly, probably offers the best value in the world, and certainly for the cheap wine that we celebrate here.