Wine is one of those things you could spend a lifetime learning about. It’s also one of those pursuits that there is absolutely no end to. In other words, you’re never going to taste every single wine in the world; you’re never going to master wine. It’s like playing an instrument in that sense—while you can certainly attain a certain level of mastery, you can never truly say that you are “the best” or that you’ve conquered music. At a certain point it becomes subjective. Pursuits and pastimes such as these reward the lifetime learner, the person with a perpetual thirst for knowledge.
I am by no means an expert on wine, though I’ve devoted at least a little bit of time trying to understand and hopefully appreciate the qualities and characteristics of certain wines and regions. My advice for anyone who wants to “get into” wine is to 1) pick a region and 2) just dive right in. Start with a region you know you like—for me that was the Rhône—and buy and try as many different wines from that region that you can afford. The more you try, the more you refine your palate and get a sense what that region is all about.
While there’s no denying that you can taste the difference between a $100 bottle of wine v. a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck, price ultimately doesn’t matter. What matters most in a wine is whether or not you like it. Some of my favorite “no-brainer” bottles are in the $10-15 range, like Quattro Mani Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 60, and Vina Alberdi Reserva ($18 at my local store).
How about you? What are your favorite no-brainer wines?
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style
Photography by Rob McIver Photo.