Wine Spectator magazine for April 2008 offers an excellent write up on “Great California Values”. Best wines to drink now from $8 to $50. The article contains far too much for us to report on here, so I suggest if you are a true California wine lover, get out and purchase a copy of Wine Spectator April 2008. We will provide you with some of the criteria they used just too wet the appetite.
Written by wine writer James Laube, one of my favorites, he states “How to beat high prices and find the best the Golden State has to offer. The article profiles 190 “Outstanding Values” of red, white and sparkling wines. While they have a list of wines in the 90-100 point quality scale with a price ceiling of $50. There are also 51 great values scoring 84-89 points with a price under $25. Attention was paid to recent releases and availability (case production in the thousands).
As we said far too much for us to write about. Want a list of widely available great value wines? It can help you out when you are standing in the store staring at the vast choices of wine to purchase and want to select a great value for your money. Purchase your April 2008 Wine Spectator magazine today and read this article.
I read an interesting article in the September issue of Wine Spectator written by James Laube, who is Wine Spectator’s Napa Valley-based senior editor.
In the article Mr. Laube tells a story of helping a friend “size up her neglected wine cellar”. He states his friend, a long time wine lover living in the Napa/Sonoma area had a “functional cellar comprising of about 1500 bottles” used for storing and every day drinking.
The point of the article, which by the way if you have a cellar is a must read, was that if you purchase and store wine. You will at times forget some wines and allow them to over age. I can relate to exactly what Mr. Staube says. We own a cellar that can hold 900 plus bottles. From the day we purchased our cellar we have been in a rush to fill it. Granted at times around some holidays the rush reversed and bottles moved out faster than in. Yet, over all we move forward in filling it.
I have in the last year or so found some forgotten wonders, I have been surprised at the change when the wine virtually reaches its peak and heads down the other side. If you remember that wine at its peak and taste it on the down side, it is almost sad. Kind of like all of us, who at times feel we have reached our peak and are at an age where ever so gracefully we are on the down side. The taste may still be there but the sharpness and exciting edge is gone. If you’re in your 50’s, don’t you just feel that way some times?
Wine is after all a living thing, ever changing, maturing and yes…
After reading Mr. Staub’s article, I can assure you I am going down and take stock of our cellar. I don’t want that sad feeling drinking any of our wines, so I will get busy sorting out those ready to drink ones. Maybe a little party is in order?
Check out this great article in Wine Spectator’s September 2007 edition.
Visit our Cellaring page for storing information.
From the Wine Spectator magazine archives September 2000; a really neat article that we think all of us wine lovers can relate to. The evolution from a wine taster to having your own cellar. The article was written by Robert Brothers Jr., read and enjoy.
My comprehension of wine prior to my encounter with lots 80 and 81 was defined by the belief that any bottle that required a corkscrew had to be better than one with a twist cap. With this vague understanding, I stumbled onto the path of greater knowledge.
My first moments of enlightenment came when I began dating Doreen, now my wife. During the early days of our relationship we often spent time in our favorite spot, Blacksmith’s Tavern, a historic restaurant just outside of Hartford, Conn., where we would enjoy a bottle of wine and a bowl of popcorn. The building had been renovated from an old tavern, but kept intact small rooms and a quaint, homey feel. On each occasion, wanting to impress my date, I would examine the wine list, searching for a name I could pronounce that also had a price I could afford. It was at these informal wine encounters that I recognized an all-important principle: with whom you drink wine is as important as what wine you drink. As I look back, I cannot recall a single vintage or vineyard from the long list of wines we enjoyed. What I do remember is that every glass was well-behaved and a great value.
Within the next few years, Doreen and I married, and the restaurant went out of business. I attended the closing auction hoping to find some nostalgic piece to remind me of the place where I started my love affair with my wife and with wine. On the block were items such as a wine barrel, wine press (many parts missing), a pair of candlesticks, an antique hall-mirror, bar blender, popcorn machine, chairs and tables. As I reviewed the list of items, it hit me: Lots 80 and 81—metal wall-hanging wine racks.
Soon lot 80 appeared on the block, the first of two 100-bottle racks. Stamped “RIGIDEX-Made in France,” I applied the corkscrew theory and concluded if they came from France they must be very good. I heard a voice say, “Buy them, and the wine will come.”
I bid and bought lot 80 for $300. I had hoped the auctioneer would allow the successful bidder (me) the opportunity to purchase the second rack at the same price as the first. I was wrong. Lot 81, the companion rack, went on the block.
The only other person within three states who also found the unexplainable need to own metal wall-hanging wine racks was unhappy that he had lost the first. As the bidding again neared $300, I felt my heart pound harder, and my brain asked, “What are you doing?” I stopped, but then I realized that I couldn’t just own one; I needed a matching pair. I again bid $300, but my competition offered $325. Without thinking, I went to $350, and the hammer fell. I became the proud owner of two metal wall-hanging wine racks.
With no way to get them home, I phoned my wife and arranged for her to meet me with her father’s pickup truck. When she arrived, she asked how much I paid for them. I reminded her of the wine we had consumed that was once stored in those wine racks at the restaurant and how meaningful they would be in our wine cellar. Her eyes swelled with tears. Then she quicky reminded me that we didn’t have a wine cellar. “If you buy the metal wall-hanging wine racks, you must build a wine cellar,” I said to myself.
For one year, my two wine racks remained empty in my imaginary wine room next to the treadmill in my imaginary gym.
Today, my metal wall-hanging wine racks are displayed on the walls of my wine room, surrounded by less-expensive wooden wine racks. I now realize that buying the racks was a turning point in my love of wine. The purchase prompted me to start reading extensively about wine and to jumpstart my collection, which now numbers 400 bottles, primarily of California Cabernet. With each bottle of wine I store, I know that there is a memory or an experience also stored away, awaiting release at some unknown time. Over the years, I have experienced wine both from my inexpensive wine racks and my much more stylish metal wall-hanging wine racks. Although I can’t say exactly why, the wine stored in those metal wine racks always tastes more valuable.
If you are a wine lover or are just beginning your journey. This article says it all.
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