One piece of advice that’s given to new writers is to “write what you know.” This same bit of wisdom can be applied to novice wine buyers.
As an example, I recently wrote about a wine, a tempranillo that was sent to me to sample. Created by one of Spain’s oldest wineries, Bodegas Monticello, I enjoyed it because the Reserva was warm and earthy. You could almost taste Spain in each sip.
A few weeks later I was browsing the aisles of a neighborhood wine shop looking for a reasonably priced albarino, a Spanish white wine that has become my go-to wine of late. (Unfortunately, other folks have discovered it as well and prices which not long ago were quite reasonable are now creeping up.)
There on the shelves was a bottle of Bodega Monticello Verdemar Albarino. I knew I liked their other wine and I knew I liked Albarino. Why not give it a try?
The first sips were interesting; a little oakey and unlike other Albarinos I’ve tried. But then – as did its red sister – once the wine warmed a bit, the true flavors shone through. A little grassy, a hint of grapefruit and other citrus, this wine was clean and crisp. I could see paring it with any fish or fowl. And at less than $12.00 a bottle, it would make a great hostess gift.
So by “knowing” the wine and the grape, I discovered a nice little wine.