I decided to get back into the swing of things in a straightforward kind of way – using the most finicky-yet-popular grape on the scene right now for the lay wine drinker: Pinot Noir. Redolent with redcurrants, blackberries, mushrooms, musk. It’s got social cachet, and has the flavor intensity to back it up. Besides France, New Zealand and Oregon remain my favorite places to go for wines made from this wonderful grape.
Usually, though, these wines don’t come cheap: a decent bottle of red Burgundy will generally run you around $30 (from Mercurey in the Côte Chalonnaise, say), and the best Pinots from the Sonoma Valley in California average $60-80 a bottle. So what’s a poor boy to do? Easy! Hunt, hunt, hunt. Never give up: there are bargains to be found.
Which brings me to the subject of today’s long-anticipated post: the 2008 Wellies Pinot Noir, that rarest of rare finds: an extremely affordable, highly quaffable wine made from the most prestigious of grapes. It’s just fantastic – bouncy cherry aromas waft up as soon as this wine is poured, which shows a nice bright red in the glass. Some hints of spice and earth, but mostly fruit, fruity fruit loop fruit. Its acidity springs forward, but remains well-balanced overall, leading to a medium finish. Fun. $12 a bottle. Pairs with itself, mostly, but I guess you could also spring for some wild mushroom risotto or braised lamb. Buy a case.