It’s National Wine Day, and since millennials drink more than half the wine in the U.S., we know what you’ll be up to tonight. To help you save money while still enjoying your vino, we asked Whole Foods Market’s Master Sommelier, Devon Broglie, for his recommends on this very special holiday.
THE MONEY SAVER: Pick out a Sicilian white. That’s right. Sicily. The island, its people, its history and its distinctive indigenous varietals make it Sicilian wines totally unique, but they’re still a great value! Sicily is home to aromatic and robust indigenous white varietals like Catarratto, Inzolia, and Grillo, while also providing a perfect growing landscape for internationally popular varieties like Chardonnay.
THE PICK: Piccolo Fiore Terre Siciliane Bianco IGT ($8) – Fresh and dry with crisp, delicate citrus and peach fruit and subtle floral notes. A perfect wine to sip throughout the day!
THE MONEY SAVER: Buy liters! You’ll get an additional 25 percent more wine in one convenient package. One liter bottles are gaining in popularity by delivering excellent quality in a larger package.
THE PICK: Innovacion Malbec-Tempranillo Mendoza in a 1L bottle ($11) — A rich blend of Tempranillo and Malbec with aromas and flavors of red cherry, raspberry and plum with loads of character on an earthy, structured foundation. The Zuccardi Family is one of the most influential in Mendoza and Sebastian, and the newer generation is pushing the envelope on both quality and creativity. They’re experimenting with both viticultural and vinification practices to coax the highest quality from the land with the least intervention.
BONUS PICK: Austrian Gruner Veltlinersin a 1L Bottle – There are many great makers to choose from when it comes to Austrian whites, including Berger, Lenz Moser, Hugl and H&M Hofer to name a few. All are crisp and dry with tons of fresh citrus and herbal undertones that are great to drink in quantity!
THE MONEY SAVER: AVOID ANYTHING BUT CABERNET/CHARDONNAY/PINOT NOIR FROM CALIFORNIA – California has a rightful spot in the pantheon of amazing wine regions in the world, and the best of the best command some pretty mythical prices. But to get maximum value for the money, I look to emerging or resorting grape varieties.
THE PICK: Joel Gott Grenache ($16) – Brings blackberry, blueberry and raspberry with hints of vanilla and spice, and a slightly above average octane of 14.3% alcohol by volume. This wine is fresh, ripe and heady. One is really surprised by not only the drinkability, but also the, shall I say “effervescence” of thought, that comes after a few glasses.
PRO TIP: NO PARTY (OR LIST) IS COMPLETE WITHOUT BUBBLES! - The knock-down, drag-out, slam dunk, brass tacks, absolute quintessential “bang for your buck” wine choice is Grower Champagne. Yes, it is not technically low-priced, but IT IS A TRUE VALUE!!! Farmer Fizz is where it’s at. That is, grower champagnes which are produced and bottled on the very property where the grapes are grown and made by the folks who grow them. The nuance and expression of the grapes is what makes it interesting, and often several vintages will go into one bottle of grower champagne. It’s the complete opposite of big-brand house champagnes who strive for the exact same thing year after year. We say branch out, and save some money in the process!
THE PICK: J. Lassalle Preference Premier Cru Brut ($40) - Elegant peach and apricot fruit, and hints of licorice and fennel with a smooth, bright, textured palate and a long finish. Three generations of tough, hardworking women tend 16 Hectares of vines and hand riddle every bottle of these exceptional champagnes. Are you kidding me?! This wine is delicious and many, many dollars less than all of those overhyped, mass produced behemoth brands.
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