Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Wine quick hits

Since I have blown off the last couple of weeks, let me just throw a few quick recommendations at you, with only minimal commentary.

For those with a Trader Joe’s nearby, I heartily endorse a wine they stock. (No, not Two-Buck Chuck. I tried it, and it is better and cheaper than “cooking wine” but that is the only purpose to which I would put it.) Marchesi di Montecristo Nerello del Bastardo 1999, at $7/bottle, is a delight. Ripe, medium-bodied, fruity-flavored (if a little one-dimensional), it is a fine accompaniment to many week night meals, or an informal weekend gathering. In terms of value, I’ve had few better cheap Italian wines (though “good-value” and “Italian” are increasingly easy-to-find.)

For those in climates where summer has already arrived, look for South Africa’s Brampton Sauvignon Blanc 2002, $9-$11,which was one of the most popular wines at the wine tasted Mrs. K-G and I hosted last Friday (about which more another time). Nicely fruity, with an absolutely luscious nose, this is a great accompaniment to shrimp of other mild-flavored seafood. The finish is a little wimpy, but that won’t matter if you keep refilling the glasses of your guests.

Finally, for those of a more fortified disposition, you will hardly go wrong with a bottle of Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Porto 1996 at around $15-$18. A friend and I went to a Port tasting at a local retailer a couple weeks ago, and we were both most impressed with this one. Full-bodied, nicely aromatic, smoothly-wooded. There was a ten-year-old Port we both also liked, but at more than twice the price, we both bought this one. When you go to Trader Joe’s, get yourself a bar of their “Pound-Plus Belgian Chocolate,” a bag of almonds, and skip dinner. Go straight for those plus this Porto.


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