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Rediscovering Wine

January 17, 2014

Five wine posts in a full year is disgraceful. That was my output in 2013. And to call it five would be generous, since really it was three stories. It’s just that two of those stories were told in two parts.

The sad truth is that I don’t drink wine as much as I did when I lived in California. Mostly it’s because I don’t buy wine as much in New York. Honestly, it’s just not as much fun shopping for wine in the Empire State.

I take a lot of joy in finding the greatest wine bangs for the buck. Oftentimes these are from lesser known regions or made from grapes that haven’t become a household name in the U.S. Sometimes they are even from producers who are folding up shop or importers who bit off more than they can chew. My favorite hunting grounds was a place called Grocery Outlet, but even being back to an area where Trader Joe’s has a wine section is reinvigorating. To the best of my knowledge, nothing like this exists in the Capital Region.

But recently, I reached out to a fellow blogger and offered some one-on-one Wine 101, and that was a ton of fun. In the spirit of having fun with wine, let’s play a little wine game.

One big problem with social media is that far too often I forget who directed me to a particular corner of the internet. Maybe you saw this quiz on Wine Folly. It’s really quick and I’m curious to learn what it says about your relationship to wine, if you have one at all.

Based on my results, I’m a serious wine geek. I can live with that.

Original Source: Quiz: What Type of Wine Drinker are You? | Wine Folly

There’s another wine rediscovery that has less to do with drinking and more to do with reading. I’ve been sitting on this story for a while, but Dorothy J. Gaiter is now regularly writing for a site called Grape Collective. You can read the archive of her posts here.

She used to have a weekly wine column in the Wall Street Journal with her husband John, and it was one of the best conceived pieces of wine journalism around. Instead of fetishizing one particular winery or wine maker, or awarding points to any given bottle, this pair would blindly taste an entire sub-category of wines. This would inform that reader that Bordeaux wines under $20 were particularly good right now, or that California chardonnay over $30 was in decline, or that Chilean carmenere was generally a good value (and a great pairing with Hattie’s fried chicken).

I still mourn the loss of this weekly column, but I’m very glad that Dottie is back to writing about wine. It would be a shame to lose her voice in the wine world.

Recently, the big bummer is that I’ve had a head cold and haven’t been able to drink any of the wine I’ve been stockpiling from the local Trader Joe’s in Princeton. I also got sucked into buying a mixed half case of wine from an outfit called which I’ve been meaning to tell you about. But I’ve only had one of the bottles. That said, I really enjoyed it. For the adventurous wine lovers out there, this operation has a unique model. It’s a little too complicated to get into right now, but when I make it through the other five bottles, I’ll make sure to tell the whole story.

Don’t hold your breath though, it’s going to take a while.

And please don’t forget, I love answering questions about wine. If you have any, and are shy about leaving them in the comments, please just send an email to and I’ll get back to you privately. Learning about wine is a gateway to eating better food, and that’s my ultimate goal. Every little bit helps.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2014 12:01 pm

    Egads! I’m equally split between Wine is a Grocery & Wine Geek. Analyze that.

  2. January 17, 2014 1:02 pm

    Why? Why do you post things like Don’t you already know I have a slight problem? That was after several years of being on the wagon after a serious Wines Til Sold Out binge. Have you no shame? YOU can explain to Addie why she can’t go to camp this summer. Sheesh. PS: I got wine geek, too.

  3. Susan L permalink
    January 28, 2014 2:25 pm

    Wine as Art Geek, that’s my preferred title. Ironically, I happen to have a bottle of Eric Kent Chardonnay that I refuse to drink because of my niece’s artwork used for the label.

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