When I’m not spending the weekend visiting Wine Country, I usually check out some of the area’s local wine shops. Most wine shops offer complimentary themed tastings on the weekend as part of a try before you buy incentive. For the consumer, this is a pretty good deal. If you like what you taste and feel it’s priced fairly, take it home. Conversely, if a wine is not to your liking, either swallow it or spit it out and move on to the next splash – you are not obligated to purchase anything. During these tastings, I’ve seen people approach the bar and request only reds, only whites, or just sweet wines. Nothing is wrong with having a personal preference, even though it is rather limiting if your preference is all you reach for. I’ve found, from brief discussions during these tastings, that most limitations people set for themselves are due to misconceptions they have about a certain type of wine or wine region. A recent example would be a lady who assumed all Chardonnay wines were oaky, so she asked to skip the Chardonnay. After being told that the one being poured was a naked Chardonnay, she opened up to tasting it, and from what I recall, approved of it. If you don’t like Chardonnay, you don’t like Chardonnay, but don’t give up on a variety just because you encounter a few examples that don’t fit your fancy. Chardonnay comes in many styles and can be quite enjoyable.
Sometimes you can WIN with Under $10
Just recently during a tasting, I witnessed something for the first time. A lady walked up to the tasting bar and instead of requesting a red or a white, she requested green! She wanted to know the price points of the wines being poured. Then she went on to say that she was not going to taste anything under $10, because, as she put it, “It must be bad.” I found this a bit odd, but at the same time suggested to the lady that if she didn’t approve of the two wines under $10 she could spit them out. The lady looked me right in the eyes and said, “What I look like spitting wine out?” Thank goodness she couldn’t hear my thoughts following that comment. Needless to say, she never tried the wines and didn’t quite grasp that this was merely a wine tasting – you don’t have to drink a glass, just taste the wine and judge the wine for the wine, not the price tag. My friends and I, often times, intentionally throw less expensive wines into tastings with more expensive wines just to see how they stack up. The moral of this short story is to keep an open mind, an open palate, and keep trying new things. It’s nearly impossible to judge a wine, be it an under $10 wine, a $30 wine, or even a $100 wine, without first trying it. Lastly, if under $10 is a sin for you, then start putting together some blind tastings and put a few inexpensive wines in the mix with some pricier selections. This way, nothing is influencing what you like and what you don’t like. Click here to see what happened when I hosted a blind tasting with a $5.99 wine from Trader Joe's. Cheers!NOTE: The picture I used for this post was taken at UnWined Gourmet Wine and Cigars in Alexandria, VA. Both of their locations (King Street and Belle View) have a good under $10 wine selection. Get out and go gem hunting, friends! Have a question about this post? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!
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