Thursday, June 19, 2008

Exceptional wines for big and small budgets

Back in May, Mike Steinberger wrote an article for Slate about great lower-price wines (under $15 per bottle). He followed that up yesterday with an article on more expensive wines (under $150 per bottle).

I agree with this comment from the first article:

One usually surefire method of finding interesting foreign wines: Let the importer be your guide.

I have noticed quite consistently that foreign wines that I like come from the same importers. That's probably an artifact of the weird Washington booze laws, and the fact that we have a lot of great importers in this area, so they tend to dominate the stores. Still, if you find a wine you like, check the back label for the importer info, and remember it. Often, they will specialise in wines from a certain region (e.g. Spain, Australia, France), so having found a wine you like you can try other wines from the same region in relative safety. (They are not likely to import bad wine and ruin their brand...)

Sometimes they will have a website with more info on the wines they import, so you can build up an idea of what to try next. If you are in a physical store, you can just look for the wines from the same importer.

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