Tuesday, December 9, 2008

(Cheap) Wine Guide

A good mouse host always knows the perfect wine to serve its guests, but as you may have guessed, they may not have a lot of money to spend on it. I know almost nothing about wine so when I heard Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, the husband-and-wife team behind the wine column 'Tastings', which appears weekly in The Wall Street Journal, on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, I made sure to look it up later and take down some notes. Luckily, the lovely people at NPR already broke it down for me. And here is the link, in case you, too, need a little help in the wine aisle:

'Tastings' Columnists on What to Drink Now

Some tips that I found helpful that aren't included in the article recap:

1. Avoid animal labels
The couple did a taste testing of all the bottles with animal labels they could find and in the end concluded that most are "beastly and fowl," which is sad because those are the prettiest labels, and ones I previously always went for--woops!

2. Young and fresh are generally best
2003 vintage aren't as good as more recent and even 2008 ones that are out.

3. Avoid high alcohol content
Look for a wine from 13%(best) to 15%(ok). Avoid anything higher than that.

4. Choose "Estate Bottled" when given the choice
It means the people who grew the grapes also bottled the wine. This implies that more care is taken in making the wine which will make a better bottle.

5. Older champagne is generally better
ie: 1973-80 or older will have a more complex, nutty flavor.

6. Remember the year
This isn't a tip, but a neat tradition they mentioned. They said when they drink an older wine or bubbly, they think back to the year it was made. I think that's a fun idea.

For more tips, just listen to the show!

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