This is so obvious it hurts.
I was scrolling around one of those news websites that's sort of like the USA Today of the internet in that it was not so much about news as it was about entertainment. Maybe I was looking for the Think and Do page. Anyway, I found a wine column that asks the question, "What's the best way to make sure you're not overpaying for wine?"
Simple enough, I thought. Then reading on, the writer said to look for wines from the parts of the world that don't have esteemed (high priced) models, and I thought of Chile and Spain. And yes, I know there are expensive Spanish and Chilean wines...just not as a rule. If ninety-eight percent of what we get here is under twenty dollars, then the chances of overpaying is greatly reduced, especially if you recognize the value in the twelve dollar wines from those places.
So just to make sure the point is made: If you buy a fifty dollar Bordeaux you should get a righteously fine red wine. But it might not be fifty dollars worth of fineness. But if you bought the twenty dollar Spanish red you are probably going to be more than pleased with the quality those guys put in their moderately priced bottle.
I am reminded here of my old friend who went to the fine wine shop in Buckhead and bought three older vintage red Burgundies at $250 each. They all turned out to be tainted. When he went back to the store with the bottles (with tainted wine still inside) he was informed that that store's policy was not to replace them or refund the payment. All sales final, I guess.
Regarding older vintages of wines from great appellations, that store's policy is commonplace and understandable. Retailers want to stay in business and some customers either don't get it or purposely take advantage in these situations. All the more reason to purchase with care.
In the store right now we have two twenty-five dollar Chilean Cabernets and several Spanish and Chileans reds in the ten to twelve dollar range. If you're interested, cite this article for a discount on them the next time you're in the store.
On Thursday March 29th, Frogtown winery will be here for a tasting of their fine product. Then two days later on Saturday the 31st, Taylor Carmichael of Empson Imports will be here for a tasting from his Italian portfolio. The Thursday tastings are from 5-7pm; the Saturday event starts at 1pm. Please join us!