I have dedicated this week’s food and wine column to the promotion of wine drinking at Cornell University. In moderation, daily wine consumption can have both short and long term health benefits. Many studies have shown that drinking a glass of red wine each day can help in preventing future heart disease and cancer. It has also been shown to reduce physical and mental stress, as well as aiding in prolonging the average lifespan. Moreover, drinking wine is a great learning experience, especially for those who plan to go into the business world, where a basic knowledge of wine can give you a competitive advantage.
If you’re slightly interested in learning about wine, there are two actions that you should partake in: Professor Mutkoski’s wine course at the Hotel School (HAdm 430), and the hundreds of wines that you can purchase for under $10. Once you’ve expanded your palate by trying numerous “value” wines from the different wine regions of the world, you will then be able to better appreciate the finer, more prestigious wines that exist within the higher price brackets.
The cold weather’s here, which presents an ample opportunity to stay at home and drink wine on a cold evening, instead of venturing to a local bar for dinner and a glass of wine. Drinking wine at home can be a lot of fun. It also eliminates having to worry about driving home after a few drinks. Go to the local market and pick up some cheese, fruit, and a baguette. Then stop by a local wine merchant for a bottle of wine. For the aspiring wine enthusiast, purchasing a case of wine is a very economic decision. Since most of the wines you select will cost under $10, and most wine merchants offer a 10% discount on a case, you can probably end up spending around $100 for 12 bottles wine. This can last you up to 2 months (at a glass a day). When purchasing wine that you don’t plan on drinking immediately, make sure to keep the bottles on their sides in a cool, dry place.
The following are some great “value” wines that I suggest trying. All the wines are under $10, which makes drinking these wines very affordable. Each wine is drinkable with or without food. They have lots of character but are not too complex in style. All are excellent examples for the learning palate. Enjoy!
Domaine de Vaufuget Vouvray, Loire Valley, France 2002 — $9
Argiolas Vermentino di Sarengna, Costamolino 2002 — $9
Wyndam Estate Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia, Bin 222 2002 — $9
Duck Pond Pinot Gris, Oregon 2001 — $9
R.H. Phillips Sauvignon Blanc Dunnigan Hills California 2002 — $7
Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc Rapel Valley, Chile 2002 — $8
Indaba Chenin Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa 2002 — $7
Domaine de la Brune Coteaux du Languedoc, France 2001 — $7
Daniel Bessiere Cotes du Roussillon, France 2001 — $6
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages, Flower Label, France 2002 — $8
Masciarelli Montelpulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy 2000 — $7
Agricola Quinta do Gradil Estremadura Berco do Infante, Portugal 2001 — $4
Hijos de Antonio Barcelo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, Spain 2000 — $6
Penfolds Merlot, South Eastern Australia 2001 — $9
Camelot Zinfandel, California 2000 — $8
Parducci Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2001 — $9
La Playa Merlot, Colchagua Valley, Chile 2000 — $7
J. & F. Lurton Bonarda, Uco Valley, Argentina 2002 — $6
Archived article by stephen asprinio