Wine can easily be one of the luxuries that is nice to splurge on during a big celebration. When P-Diddy celebrates going to the club, he buys a few bottles of “Cristal” to splash all over the bar. When you and your colleagues finally close on that big over seas account, a bottle of “Opus” or “Silver Oak” makes the occasion seem more special. Graduation days are always full of “Moet” and “Veuve”. New Years boasts the most pricey bubbles you can afford. Christmas and Thanksgiving are good reason to crack open the “Caymus”, and “Shafer”. It’s Saturday night, and you have a babysitter, you want to buy a bottle that you’re thoroughly going to enjoy, what are you going to buy? What would I buy?
I’m going to buy a wine that I know my fiancée and I are going to enjoy. I know that she enjoys big bodied spicy reds. She enjoys the rich, and full flavored wines. A special occasion may call for a bottle of Clio, or an expensive Amarone. A normal Saturday night will probably go just as well with a nice Shiraz, or a fruity California Zinfandel. I’m seeking that wine that I know we will enjoy. I’m usually all for taking risks, and I won’t buy something that I’ve had before, but I need something familiar. For example: I know that she likes Orin Swift wines. We’ve had “The Prisoner” about 1000 times, so I’d feel safe buying the recently released “Machete”. I know that I enjoy McClaren Vale Shiraz, “Yangarra” is one of my favorites, I’d feel safe picking up “Jester” by Ben Glaetzer.
The answer to the “babysitter” question should be: “The best bottle that I’m at least 90% sure I’m going to enjoy.” If you just got your tax return, and a promotion, and just won a small amount in the lottery, and won a bundle at the track this morning, and took quite a bit from the casino this evening, a bottle of First Growth Bordeaux could be a REALLY stupid purchase. A $900 bottle of Margaux sounds cool, but I wouldn’t appreciate it. P-Diddy probably doesn’t know a whole lot about great Champagne and the methode traditionelle. His groupies would probably be much happier with a $25 bottle of Moscato d’ Asti.
Drinking expensive wine because it’s expensive is a waste of wine, and a waste of money. If all you normally drink is Central Coast Pinot Noir, you’re going to HATE the Margaux. If light and fruity California Pinot Noir is your everyday wine, I wouldn’t even suggest a Burgundy. If you drink $10 bottles of wine every day, splurging should be (2) $30 bottles. I typically spend $16-$25 on a bottle for everyday drinking. On a special occasion, I won’t spend more $70 on a bottle. I drink expensive wine pretty regularly, and I wouldn’t even appreciate a bottle over $100.
Fact: Wine that YOU enjoy and appreciate tastes better than the other stuff!