Those who are new to exploring the enjoyment of fine wine frequently believe that a high price tag is mandatory in order to ensure quality, but that is hardly the case these days. Wine culture all over the world has shifted so dramatically in recent decades that it’s entirely possible to fill your cellar with reasonably priced yet extremely worthwhile bottles of premium wines from interesting vineyards all over the world. Cheap wines don’t have to be unpalatable, especially those from the rising number of boutique wineries that are beginning to make significant marks on the viticulture industry. Following are several good wine choices that aren’t exactly cheap wines but will make your palette sing and won’t break your budget.
Mystic Vineyards Libra Pinot Noir
Pacific Rim cuisine was made for Oregon Pinot Noir. With subtle undertones of native blackberries, cinnamon, cloves and liquorice, this wine pairs extremely well with all species of Pacific salmon as well as Black Cod and Halibut. It’s also an excellent choice for afternoon picnics involving cold chicken and fresh berries of all types. The Pinot Noir grape is especially suited for climatic conditions in the Pacific Northwest; it’s possible to taste the fog in a good glass of Pinot.
Washington State’s White Wines
Until recently, most of the white wines produced in Washington state were inexpensive Rieslings. While Washington soil and climate conditions are still conducive to the production of good-quality Riesling grapes, many other white wine varieties have begun to flourish in the rich soil of the region.
Because fresh seafood is abundant on the Washington coast, local vintners are especially skilled in creating white wines that pair well with the ocean’s bounty. Buty Winery’s Muscadelle is especially suited for freshly prepared saltwater delicacies such as scallops, crab, mussels and shrimp. Hazelnut undertones are very well-represented in this wine as are hints of the wild mint that grows so abundantly in this region. No matter what part of the world you live in, your cellar should contain several bottles of this modestly priced but sublime white wine for when you want to showcase seafood or freshly picked fruits.
California Red Wines
Even though California wines have only been competing on a world stage for the last several decades, California’s warm, sub Mediterranean climate produces some of the best red wines in the world. The nutrient rich alluvial soil of the northern portion of the state combined with the long growing season combine to create optimal conditions for Cabernet grapes to thrive.
The most expensive wines on the planet tend to be Cabernets because that particular grape ages extremely well. It is not at all unusual for a 30 year old Cabernet to sell for upwards of $10,000. However, it is not necessary to spend nearly that amount for an excellent Cabernet to pair with beef or lamb.
Terra Valentine vineyards has been producing a top-quality Cabernet for a several years that has shown a consistent quality. This particular wine features an excellent cherry undertone combined with a sleek finish and a smooth but strong tannin presence.
The most important thing about the wine you drink is that you like it; the price tag and other features are merely incidentals. Exploring the world of wine is much more exciting if you turn a blind eye to the price and concern yourself instead with the actual quality of the wine.