Monday is April 18, the deadline this year for Americans to pay their state and federal income taxes. Which we are famous for whining about (pun fully intended). So, as a public service, here are a few thoughts about wine and how it can improve tax day.
• Drink a bottle of regional wine. Most U.S. states are suffering horrendous budget crises -- New York had to close a $10 billion gap. Illinois' was $4.9 billion. Texas' is $27 billion. So if you buy a bottle of local wine, you're supporting local jobs. Each of us can help reduce those deficits, one bottle at time, and it's a lot more pleasant than listening to the complaining and bellyaching that goes on this time of year.
• Visit Michael Franz's annual Tax Day wine column at Wine Reports Online, which he has done for almost 20 years. As someone who specializes in cheap wine, the Wine Curmudgeon applauds Franz's perseverance. Plus, he and colleague Paul Lukacs wade through more than 1,000 wines to make their recommendations.
• Try a cheap wine you've never tried before. Don't worry about reviews or scores or what other people will think. Go to the store, buy it, and taste it. If you like it, you've found a new wine. If you don't, throw it out. I promise not to tell anyone.
• My wine recommendation? Anything from the $10 Hall of Fame would do nicely, but I'd also suggest Cuvee Cep d'Or 2010 ($10, purchased), a rose from Provence. Availability may be limited, but it's a beautiful wine that is well worth looking for. There is just a touch of fruit (watermelon?), and it's bone dry with a long mineral finish. This is everything a Provencal rose should be, and is one of the best-made $10 wines I've had in a long while.