Being a wine geek seems to mean you have to spend a lot of money on wine. But it’s just not true. There are terrific wines out there for even the slimmest of budgets.
Yet I recognize that the better wines often do cost more than most people want to spend, unless it’s a really special occasion.
Even then, I think a lot of people aren’t sure why they’ve just spent a lot of money on a bottle of wine. Sure, it tastes good. But an hour later when the bottle’s all gone, they wonder, was it really worth $20, or $30, or more? Was it better than something I could have gotten for a lot less?
No and yes. If you’re looking for “flavor,” you can find a lot of that in many cheap wines. Perhaps not the complexity or subtlty of a better wine. But these days, it’s not hard to find something for $10 with a ton of flavor.
For me, spending more on wine is all about texture. And texture is worth the money, if you’re interested.
Texture? Isn’t that winespeak? I don’t know enough about wine, you’ll say, to know about this texture thing. I disagree.
Now I’m not cloth expert, but I know fine fabric when I feel it. Whether it’s high thread count bed sheets or a horribly expensive shirt that I of course won’t buy, am too lazy to even try on, yet still drool over on occasion, there’s nothing quite like the feel and the feeling of really nice fabric.
Wine’s no different. You don’t need to be a wine geek to know great texture when you feel it. You just need to know to look for it.
Take the 1998 Domaine de la Cote de l’Ange Chateauneuf du Pape that I had recently. This moderately aged wine is a case study in texture, showing how really good wine makes itself known to you by the high thread count feel in your mouth.
With this wine, you know you’re on to something when you smell the subtle fragrance of rocks, berries, old wood, and some light farm scents. But one sip and it’s all about texture, the firm but soft, worsted texture that covers your mouth and makes you pause and reflect just as you do when you slide into a fancy sheeted bed.
Yes, this is the stuff. And if I had all the money in the world, I’d drink wine like this every night. And you should, too. Don’t just settle for flavor. You wouldn’t buy colorful bed sheets that felt like cardboard, would you?