Posts Tagged Wall Street Journal

The Obscure Will Almost Always Cost Less

18 August 2012
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A fantastic article by Lettie Teague in today’s Wall Street Journal served as a reminder of why I love drinking the unusual and obscure in the first place. And in 150 posts to this blog, I’m not sure I’ve ever made that truly explicit. There’s the fact that I find oddball wines and spirits thoroughly fascinating, but I suspect that if I were fermenting in vats of cash, I would be drinking far more famous Burgundies and Bordeauxs than Moschofileros and Macabeos.

Honestly, a big reason I gravitate towards the unusual and the obscure is simply price. It’s right there, in big letters on page D6: “The obscure and the uncurated will almost always cost less than the well known and well placed. If you don’t know what a wine is, you’re unlikely to pay a high price for it.”

If you, like me, have to buy wine on a budget, you will frequently get the biggest flavor bang for your buck by buying something without a major name. I’ve reviewed a lot of delicious wines on this blog, and though there are exceptions, the majority cost less than $15. You don’t have to be rich to drink fabulously. Just a little adventurous.

Do check out Lettie Teague’s excellent article in praise of the “Miscellaneous” or “Interesting” section on the wine list. She makes some tempting recommendations, and more important, she reminds us of the joys of drinking fearlessly.

Vermouth? Really?

20 April 2011

Like most people with moderately well-stocked home bars, I have a couple dusty bottles of aging vermouth. A whisper of the dry vermouth occasionally provides a veneer of propriety to what would otherwise just be a big glass of vodka, and the sweet, red version appears in slightly greater quantities in my Manhattans.

That’s about as far as I’ve gone with my vermouth experimentations. Europeans sometimes order a glass of vermouth, as I learned years ago in Paris when a friend ordered a martini. The waiter returned with an aperitif of Martini & Rossi Bianco, a dry vermouth, on the rocks.

She felt less than pleased with her “martini,” but according to the Wall Street Journal, she is one of the few Americans to have drunk vermouth properly. The recent article Straight Vermouth, No Chaser claims vermouth can be a lovely drink all on its own. And who are we to doubt the Wall Street Journal?

I’m particularly looking forward to trying some Cocchi Vermouth di Torino:

Resurrected this year from a 120-year-old formula, this Italian sweet vermouth produced in the Asti region of Italy could give Carpano Antica a run for its money. Amber in color and using muscato grapes as its base, there are notes of tobacco, orange peel and raisin as well as hints of cola and leather. 750ml, $19

I’m curious — are there any readers who have actually tried vermouth straight up or on the rocks? (Drinking it as a last resort at a college party doesn’t count.)