Wine drinkers are creatures of habit. Once we find a wine we like, it’s almost impossible to get us to try something different. That’s one reason why the wine business spends so much time and money on marketing gimmicks, cute wine labels, and the like. They know how difficult it is to overcome our lethargy.
But wine should not be that way. There are, at best guess, more than 15,000 different wines on sale in the U.S., so it’s not like we don’t have a lot of choices. And there is plenty of quality within that quantity. Wine, whether cheap or expensive, sweet or dry, red or white, has never been better made.
Nevertheless, how many times have we said, “But I don’t like that" when someone has suggested we try something new. The Wine Curmudgeon is no different in that regard, and it sometimes takes all my professionalism to taste a wine I just know I’m not going to like. And, more often than not, my preconceived notion is wrong and I do like the wine. More, after the jump:
• Red wine for people won’t like red wine: Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red ($6). This red blend from Spain doesn’t have the bitter tannins and harsh acid of many red wines. In fact, chill this a little, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it before.
• Sweet wine for people who don’t like sweet wine: Cupcake’s riesling from Washington state ($12), which won a gold medal winner at this summer's Lone Star International competition. It’s not sweet like white zinfandel, but the sweetness is a pleasant part of the wine.
• Regional wine: Too many wine drinkers know regional wine stinks, even if they’ve never tried it. My pal Dave McIntyre spoke at the Wine Bloggers Conference over the weekend, on a panel about regional wine to an audience of mostly California-centric wine drinkers. Talk about having your work cut out for you. But there is well-made, more-than-drinkable, affordable regional wine -- if you'll let yourself try it with an open mind.