I am a huge red wine fan, so much so that I actually missed it a lot while we were in Costa Rica all last year. There was red wine there of course, but it wasn’t that good (excluding a few Argentinian and Chilean options), it was pretty expensive (Yellow Tail sold for over $15 dollars a bottle there, to put things into perspective) and who really wants to drink red wine in all that heat and humidity? Luckily, winter in Boston is a great time to enjoy red wine (and all those health benefits that come along with it, of course).
Although I enjoy picking out different wines, I am no Connoisseur. I always mean to write down the names of the kinds I like, but after a few glasses of wine, who is really making lists?
So, while I have no idea what I’m doing, I do have a bit of a system down for picking out wine:
1. I like to read the descriptions in the store. Trader Joes always has fun signs, and so do some liquor stores. Of course a store trying to sell the wine is always going to give it a good write up, but I’m a sucker for this. For instance if I see: “Strong tannins, fruity, goes well with cheese and pasta” I think how much I love cheese and pasta, so I buy the wine. Is there really a wine out there that wouldn’t pair well with cheese and/or pasta? If so, I haven’t found it yet.
2. The price. This is more important when ordering in restaurants for me (where the price is 5X higher than in the store). I was once told by someone (I can’t remember who, but they must have been a very reliable source) that it’s best to pick a wine in the mid-price range, the lowest probably isn’t very good and the highest are just ridiculous. So, when in Trader Joes I don’t normally go for the 2 buck chuck (which is actually $3 dollars in Massachusetts)
2. The label. Come on, we are all suckers for this! A witty slogan, a cute animal or any kind of theme and I can’t resist. Last night, I picked out a bottle of wine called ‘Tres Pinos’ because there is a food company in Costa Rica that I really liked called ‘Dos Pinos’ (who also makes great cheese, at least great cheese for Costa Rican standards.)
I realize this makes no sense, but the wine was really good (and a perfect compliment to our grilled Kobe beef burgers and roasted brussel sprouts) so maybe I’m on to something!
Do you have a system for picking out wine? Any real connoisseurs out there who would like to share some favorites and/or insult my very ineffective system??