With the small of ozone and wet grass descending on our city, it’s difficult to bring myself to drink those “bright” wines I typically associate with warmer months. When the clouds roll in it’s time to take your wine like your weather, dour and complex. Well, perhaps not dour, but you understand the metaphor. No one wants to sip a chilled Sauvignon Blanc when it’s 46 degrees and dark at 4:00pm.
In an effort to alienate all my readers over the age of thirty-six, this month I’ve mapped each wine to a secondary character from The Simpsons. But don’t worry readers over the age of thirty-six, next month we’ll do the A-Team.
The strength of a wine is a difficult thing to gauge. When you can really taste the booze, it usually means you reached for the wrong bottle, but a wine without the alcohol kick tastes like grape juice. It’s a tough line to walk; nobody wants a boozy wine, but then again, nobody wants to not feel that warm contentedness when your dinner guests decide to make a miniature golf course out of your kitchenware.
This month’s selections from the cheapish realm happily do the trick, I should say, and not a single one reminded me of that Night Train I once smelled.
This month we will be mapping our wines onto secondary characters from the Super Mario Bros. canon. Secondary characters include everyone except Mario and Luigi. I realize some of you would potentially classify Luigi as a secondary character, but let me ask you this: who did you always play as in Super Mario. 2? That’s what I thought.
This month we tackle an interesting group of cheap wines, insofar as their cheapness is a little surprising. Seriously, with most of these guys you could have told me that they run over twenty bucks a bottle and I probably would just chalk up my then barely underwhelming tasting to an unsophisticated palette. Luckily, they don’t cost that much and they run the gamut of appropriateness-for-context drinking. The great thing about this kind of wine is that you could pass these puppies off at schmoozy dinner with the folks, or getting drunk with your frat bros. I call that versatile. I also call that value.
The second installment of the Cheapskate column finds us face to face with five wines I mostly forgot the names of. None of these was outright awful, but neither were they particularly memorable (except maybe the Sockeye, but that could just be by comparison). If you drink a lot of wine (and I know you do, or else you wouldn’t be reading this) consider these your safety options; you know, wines to put on the table when you’re cooking for your girlfriend’s parents. They will drink the wine and they will compliment your cooking, and isn’t that all you want anyway?
Enjoying wine shouldn’t require you to take out a loan, nor should it necessitate punching out the cardboard perforations of a box. With this in mind we bring you the first installment of Cheapskate, a column focusing on Washington wines in that $8 – $15 sweet spot for good quality at a reasonable price. This month, so that we’re all on the same page, each wine has been mapped to an equivalent character from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles canon. Turtle power my friends, turtle power.