Drink This, Not That! Part II
Do you find yourself staring at the wine shelf at the grocery store, unsure of what to get? Do you reach for the cheapest thing you see and say "good enough"? Do you pick up a bottle of Apothic Red/Dark or Ménage-a-Trois and think "this is yummy wine, I can't believe how cheap it is!"
If you answered yes to any of those questions and are looking to change things up or up your game, I'm back again with some Drink This, Not That suggestions!
Listen- I know cheap wine is a lot more desirable to those of us in our 20's and 30's, but if you're tired of picking up the same damn wine, its time to make some changes. Spend the extra 5 dollars and expand your palate.
INSTEAD OF THIS...
Cupcake wines aren't bad, but for the price, you can graduate to something with a little more complexity. I remember when I was 21 and I'd immediately reach for cupcake, because it was cheap, I trusted it, and frankly I thought it was all I deserved. Edna Valley's Chardonnay is only going to be a dollar or two more and you're going to get a little more complex flavors and aromas. Also, you won't be drinking the same bottle you drank in college.
Instead of THIS..
This bottle of Dark Horse Sauv Blanc is CHEAP. Like you can often find this for $6.00. It's not bad, pretty refreshing on a hot summer day, but I'd suggest spending an extra $3-4 on this Matua Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Expand your tastes to a different country and change things up a big. I personally think that Matua is one of the better bargain whites out there, and even posted about it HERE.
Instead of THIS
Ok so I'm going to get on my soapbox for a minute. 14 HANDS HOT TO TROT IS GREAT TABLE WINE. Ok stepping down now. People are obsessed with Apothic Red... you know why it's so yummy? It is full of SO much sugar. In my opinion, Apothic Red is about the same quality wine as Barefoot or yellowtail with a slightly higher price point to make you think you're buying something better quality. This wine is yummy, that's no lie. It essentially is a thick, syrupy medium sweet wine with little tannic structure or acidity, a product of being a blend of Zinfandel, Cab Sauvignon and Merlot. This wine is GENIUS because it is a great intro wine for people who think they're expanding their wine horizons. I've actually seen tons of people talk about how they add ice cream to this wine (don't recommend this) and have it for dessert. To each his own, but personally I got tired of getting a rash from drinking this in my early 20's from the crazy levels of sulfites. I began my hunt for a new cheap go-to, and stumbled upon 14 Hands Hot to Trot about 5 years ago.
This wine is a bit drier, 13.5% alcohol, and is a red blend made up of Cab Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. This wine isn't leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors, but this is absolutely my #1 go-to table red blend. Tannins are still soft, but there's a little more acidity to this and definitely more complexity from the Syrah in the blend. There's some slight smoky earthiness to this that to me is distinctly Washington state, and brings something interesting to the table. I wholeheartedly suggest you pick this up and try it the next time you're about to pick up the Apothic.
Ok, so there are 3 THIS instead of THAT suggestions that I hope you'll keep in mind the next time you're grocery shopping.
I always recommend purchasing wine directly from wineries (especially during these crazy times) or at least from an alcohol store like Bevmo or Total Wine, but if you're trying to get all of the essentials in one trip, keep these suggestions in mind during your next walk through the grocery store.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via DM on my Instagram!