“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized,” said Andre Simon in his book Commonsense of Wine. This quote describes perfectly how wine can enhance our lives. Still to this day, wine is intimidating to many buyers, especially if you are new to the wine buying process. Wine is classy and sophisticated. And to get one that is remotely high in quality, you have to spend an arm and a leg. Classy and sophisticated wine may be, the good news is you don’t have to spend and arm and a leg for “quality” wine. News flash, there are numerous, excellent wines out there that are wallet-friendly and deliver a satisfying wine drinking experience. Winemakers are aware that perhaps the everyday/weekly wine drinker doesn’t want/can’t spend $35 on a bottle of wine. This is why some of the large “big name” vineyards produce wine in all price ranges. Robert Mondavi, Concha y Toro, Gallo, Columbia Crest – just to name a few.
With that said, the world of wine has something to offer to every one and every price range. Living in DC, one has awesome wine bars in most areas where there is a concentration of restaurants, and there are plenty of Wine shops around the area that carry a wide selection of wine ranging in all areas of price. Calvert Woodley, located on Wisconsin Avenue, is home to a decent selection of wines from all over the world — and has long been a favorite of Washingtonians. They always seem to have a sale going on as well — always a perk.
So, let’s begin with a Pinot Noir, a grape variety you may be hard pressed to get at a good price. The Pinot Noir grape is a delicate lighter bodied variety and has become more popular in recent years. Walk into any wine shop and the selection of Pinot’s in the price range the budget wine shopper may be looking for can be slim. Some may think that to get a good Pinot, you have to spend a lot more. Incorrect. Mark West Pinot Noir is a wonderful Pinot that exhibits typical aromas and flavors — cherry, currant, raspberry and vanilla. Price wise — Calvert Woodley in DC sells this wine for $10.98 – it is on sale now for $8.99. If you can’t make it to DC, some Montgomery County Liquor stores carry it, but for a few more bucks. Still under $15 – what a bargain for such a good “pricey” grape!
Remember, budget wine doesn’t mean “cheap” tasting wine – it merely means affordable, while delivering the properties you look for in each varietal. Follow this column and even take a few notes — and you may find you will build a list of quality wines at surprisingly reasonable prices.
For more info: Visit Calvert Woodley located at 4339 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20008 – Phone # 202-966-4400. Visit Mark West for more information.
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