The wine section of the liquor store can be intimidating. Bottles upon bottles, crazy labels, boring labels, and prices that mean nothing to the average buyer. I have been there. Before I was a bonafide wino and wine geek, I too stared into that abyss and reached for the cutest label. While I will always look fondly back on the days of drinking Cupcake Moscato on my dorm room floor, I have discovered a whole universe of delicious wine that was intimidating to me before. I have gone ahead and done the hard work of geeking out, now you can reap the rewards.
I describe wine in terms of cocktails because most drinkers can name a delicious cocktail and tell you why they like it. It’s the same with wine- love Margaritas? You’ll probably dig German Rieslings. They are sweet, sour, salty and citrusy. See? Not so hard. So pick your favourite cocktail and I will tell you how to find it’s twin in the wine section.
1. Cosmopolitan: Grenache Rose
Rose is finally cool again, which is great news because it is the perfect summer drink. Craving the bright, fruity refreshing taste of a perfect cosmo? Get yourself some Grenache Rose. The Grenache is best known for being a spicy, heavy, serious red wine grape but when you make Rose with it, you get a pink wine that’s bursting with berries and peaches. Is your mouth watering? Good. Get thee to a store and pick up this killer example that comes IN A CAN. You heard me right. Hand-picked, wicked good and $7. You are welcome. Oh, and it fits in your purse you so can sneak it to the park
and drink it al fresco on the DL.
Alloy Wine Works Can Grenache Rose 2015- $7
2. Margaritas: Dry German Riesling.
“The Margarita Effect” is actually a term used by German winemakers to describe the perfect balance of citrus fruit, salt and sweet in the most
popular grape variety of the country. Ask for dry so you don’t get stuck with a
sugar bomb. People often say they can taste the stony slate that this grape is grown on, I think that it tastes like there’s an ice cube in your glass giving you that bright minerality.
Geil Reisling Kabinett- $14
3. Negroni- Beaujolais Villages
Somebody’s fancy! So there’s a misconception that red wines are for the colder months- not true. Beaujolais can be delicate, with the tannins to satisfy the part of you that clearly appreciates a little bitter in life. Like the negroni, it is seasonless. As comforting on a fall day as it is refreshing on your balcony in August. Make sure to chill it before drinking – it makes a huge difference.
My suggestion: Domain Lagneau Beaujolais Villages 2014- $17
4. Old Fashioned: Georgian Rkatsiteli (Orange Wine)
Orange Wine is probably the most exciting trend in wine right
now. It is nothing new, though, it has been made in the Caucuses for 5,000 years. The very first wine was made in clay vessels called Kvevri- and it still is to this day. Onto the fun part. Rkatsiteli will appeal to Old Fashioned drinkers because of the honey, dried fruit, and orange rind notes. Because the grapes ferment partially with the skins and seeds, it has tannins that make it delightfully bitter. Citrus rinds + bitter tannins + woody undertones = a wine Don Draper himself might fall for. Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce the name, I can’t either.
My suggestion: Pheasant’s Tears 2013 Rkatsiteli – $15
*This was originally for a US based site, so the prices are in US dollars but almost all of these are available in the EU as well*