Monday, January 5, 2009

Never Go Wine Tasting

Over the holidays I visited many of my client wineries. One of the perks of wine recruitment is that you get to taste a lot of great wine. This was very true of my most recent visits. And here's the rub. I can't stand any of the "day to day" wine in my house now.

Many wine writers mention the "tasting room" effect. This is the phenomenon where when you taste it at the winery, it is magnificent, and then once you open it up at home it isn't quite as good. I have experienced this many times. My most recent problem is a bit more economically challenging. This last year I have worked with some outstanding wineries. Tasting the wines on the premises was fantastic. And I haven't had the displeasure of the "tasting room" effect because the wines are just as good at home. Yet, they are cracking the $50-$150 per bottle price range. This would break the WineTalent bank if they became my house wines. I have to keep them in the wine cellar (or closet so to speak)--not the wine fridge in the kitchen.

I have always been a savvy shopper, whether it's for clothes, housewares or wine. I think there are a lot of great wines in the $7-$10 range that we can all enjoy on a regular basis. I've become a regular at the fancy Grocery Outlet nearby--and regularly pick up an assorted case of wines. Sometimes they are knockouts at $5. My husband also loves a good find, and picks up his favorites at the grocery store. After a day's work, relaxing and catching up over a nice, affordable glass of wine is a pleasure.

So I have been quite disappointed when my usual economical wines just haven't been up to snuff. With a busy life, I don't have time to read tons of wine reviews, visit lots of different wine shops and scout out the best deals. I also like to be adventurous and try lots of different types of wines. Don't get me wrong, I encourage everyone to go wine tasting, and to learn more about wine. I also think it is a great idea to go to any local winetasting events held at retailers or local wineries, to learn what wines are out there that you might like. Yes, those higher priced wines I've been tasting recently are excellent, but there are a lot of winners out there at a lot lower price point. If you are looking for a good bottle, ask a friend, or better yet, ask the wine shop merchant. There you can find a lot of great deals.

Oh, for the good old days before swirling those beautiful wines in my glass. A kinder, gentler, more affordable time. As I've written here before, sometimes ignorance is bliss.


Anonymous said...

Yes, the good old "tasting room effect", been there there in the past. My husband goes there frequently when we wine taste, asking me to buy 6 bottles or even better, a case! But I am wise to the tasting room effect and throttle back. I concur with you that there are so many wonderful less expensive wines to be had! Without having to go wine tasting, I've found several over the last months at K&L Wine Merchants in SF.

Amy said...

Thanks for the comment. I too have learned to dial it back at the tasting room--particularly in regards to dessert wines. I have way too many bottles of those from great tasting room experiences. Luckily they last awhile!