Buying On The Down Low
Down at the mouth… down in the dumps… downhearted… down the tubes. Seems as if phrases that include the word down have a negative connotation. But as the late comedian George Carlin used to say, “Au contraire, mon frère.”
An good example would be the inventory display in a lot of wine shops. There’s a reason the term top shelf is apt. Bottles displayed eye level and above pull the consumer in with their high-end quality − and prices to match. They’re top-of-the-line, given elevated placement in the pecking order of marketing, distanced from the plebeians huddling below.
It is on those lower shelves, however, where decent, bang-for-the-buck wine can be unearthed, without having to hastily calculate how many bottles can be stacked in the cart while staying on budget. The type to buy in multiples, you know, just because. Wine that costs less than $10 a pop and doesn’t require all of that analysis or flowery description.
Tikves Vranec 2011 ($8.98)
A walk on Macedonia’s wild side with a nod to Bordeaux.
Castillo Monjardin La Cantera Garnacha 2012 ($6.98)
Food friendly, but juicy and tasty enough to stand on its own.
Laila Verdiccchio di Castelli di Jesi 2014 ($7.98)
Your day at the beach – open, pour, sip, relax.
DiLenardo Toh Friulano 2014 ($9.98)
When you want something more substantial than Verdicchio.
Rio Madre Graciano 2013 ($8.98)
Proof positive that there’s more to Rioja than Tempranillo.
Librandi Ciro Rosso 2012 ($9.98)
A rustic kick from the toe of Italy’s boot.
Casa de Santar Dao Tinto 2010 ($8.98)
The Dao is up several points with this cuvee of native grapes.
Marques di Riscal Proximo 2010 ($8.98)
Toasty and darkly appealing Tempranillo from a reliable estate.
Chateau Oupia Minervois 2013 ($9.98)
Down to earth Languedoc-easy drinking, no fuss or frills.
Pizani Negroamaro 2011 ($9.98)
Pizza, anyone? Yes, and don’t scrimp on the garlic, this wine can take it.
And if you’re willing to shell out another dollar or two, you won’t be disappointed in this pair:
Chateau Andezon Cotes du Rhone 2012 ($10.98)
An atypical CDR, more reminiscent of a northern Rhone Syrah.
Copertino Riserva 2008 ($12)
All the funky earthiness and flavor you expect in Negroamaro from Puglia.
All wine reviewed for this article was purchased at Wine Works in Marlton, NJ