Whether you’re purchasing wine for an annual get together or simply picking up a few selections to share on a chilly autumn evening with your significant other, ensure the bottles you take home are excellent ones. Too often are those unfamiliar with good wine fooled into buying something that is too sour, too tart, or virtually undrinkable. I was in this boat a couple of years ago during a trip to France when I found that one of the free things to do in Paris was learning about their beautiful wine. When presented with an abundance of options, it can be difficult to know which ones have quality. Thankfully a point system has been developed by wine enthusiasts to guide you in the right direction.
If you want an impressive bottle of wine that carries extraordinary complexity and character, look for one that is rated at 90 points or higher. If you take a peek at what online retailers are offering, you’ll see they typically indicate which ones are high-quality selections so they’re distinguishable from the rest. Wine Online for example has an entire page on their website dedicated to these exceptional vintages, and many can be purchased for under twenty-five dollars.
When you order online, you have better access to a huge selection of 90 point wines than shopping at the liquor store — and each bottle is delivered to your doorstep. The Acentor Garnacha Calatayud by Isaac Fernandez Selección, vintage 2015 from Spain, is a delicious medium to full-bodied red coming in at a satisfying 91 points. Made from 100% Garnacha grapes, and produced from vines that are over fifty years old, this wine offersdrinkers a deep, ripe and complex nose of black cherries, grilled venison, coffee grounds, and a touch of fresh herbs. On the palate,it is sophisticated with plush black fruit and hint of soil with a fine depth and a lovely tannic finish. It is of outstanding value for its quality, priced at merely $14.95 a bottle!
For a classic French blend that is well aged, drinkers can give the Cotes du Roussillon by Domaine Cabirau a shot; this is a 2011 vintage from Southern Rhône and has been awarded a respectable 91 points as well. It has an obvious brightness irrespective of its high alcoholic content, with scents of tar and tobacco accenting the smoky blend of Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz) and Carignan grapes. On the palate it boasts a juicy finish of blackberry and black raspberry fruit. Pair this selection with red or cured meat, hard cheeses, breads and roasted vegetables.
For those who prefer an excellent white wine, consider the Estate Pinot Grigio Monterey by Craftwork Wines (vintage 2014) next time you’re hosting the dinner party everyone looks forward to this year. This 95-point bottle from California consists of 100% Pinot Grigio/Gris grapes. Open the bottle and you’ll immediately get a whiff of stone fruit and citrus aromas followed by pear and tropical delights. In the mouth you’ll enjoy its crisp acidity and fruit forward finish. It’s a very versatile option so pair it with fish, white meats like chicken, delicate cured meats, soft cheeses, or enjoy it all on its own.
If you’re looking for that perfect wine experience but you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices, specify your criteria and look for a 90+ point bottle that is in your price range; with these white and red selections available for affordable prices, you really can’t go wrong this season.