Monday, September 28, 2009

Wine's Sweet Spot

It's no big secret that the price point selling well right now in wine is the under $10. Blame the recession, trading down, and just to be fair wine's improving quality for this shift in spending. The good news is people have not stopped drinking, the bad news is that this shift spells disaster for many family producers who couldn't possibly make a profit on wines retailing in this category.

Here is the real rub: these producers tend to make the most interesting, well-made and fairly priced wines. Wines that speak of the land that produces them, interesting varietals that embrace new flavors, and (for the most part) sustainable agriculture practices are from small producers who generally retail their wines from $15-$25. There is this idea among many consumers (perpetuated by mass-marketers) that spending more on a bottle of wine is for fools. Sorry, it's just not true (well, with some exceptions). For the most part spending just a bit more gets you a lot more and if budget is an issue then drink less. I know that last bit in unconventional advice from a wine retailer but its what I do to afford the wines I want. Buying from smaller producers will reward you with wines that tastes unique and delicious with subtle nuances that just can't happen with bigger production-lower cost wines. Plus it supports an alternate economy of family wineries, distributors and retailers who care about the product and its impact on our environment more than the bottom line.

Here is my pick for just such a wine: Inama Vin Soave 2007, $17.99
This is a great wine for lovers of Italian white wine. You won't find something like this in California. Rather than the bland, mass produced style that too much Soave has become, this example is aromatic and packed with flavor. Aromas of lemon zest and flowers give way to flavors of honey almond with some citrus background. Good body without being too heavy. This is the perfect wine to enjoy with prosciutto and other hors d'oeurves or with seafood dishes.
Here is what The Italian Wine Blog had to say about this wine.

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