Posts Tagged Lettie Teague

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.

My Top 10 Odd Summer Whites

9 June 2012
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Here in Chicago, we’re blessed with an array of well-stocked wine shops and adventurous wine bars and restaurants. It’s surprisingly easy to find exciting white wines far outside the American comfort zone of Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. But that’s not necessarily the case for people living elsewhere.

In this 2011 article in The Wall Street Journal, New York wine critic Lettie Teague condescendingly writes that she’s “willing to declare [Chicago] the second-most important wine city in the country right now.” Her jaw dropped “incredulously” when a Chicagoan had the temerity to assert that our city is actually the most important wine city, with a better scene than New York’s. But her article goes on to prove just that, citing our diverse wine bars, low prices relative to New York’s, and huge stores like Binny’s (where, admittedly, she correctly notes that the service is crap).

Because my readers from New York and other such cities may have trouble finding some of the individual wines I write about from week to week, I thought it might be useful to list a number of favorites all in one place. Hopefully a wine shop near you will have at least one or two of my Top 10 Odd Summer Whites: