This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Monday, Jul. 28, 2008 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20080728.php.
Recession busters - making a list
With prices rising and fears of recession all around, it's well past time for thrifty wine lovers to start making lists of really good, drinkable affordably priced wines to see us through the hard times.
That's no challenge for us at WineLoversPage.com, where quality-for-value has always been a priority, and the quest for wines of "Quality-Price Ratio" is a constant guidestar.
We're not talking about wines that are cheap and taste cheap here: I hope you'll never catch me making excuses for a mediocre inexpensive wine that's "good enough for what it is."
But when gasoline hovers around $4 a gallon and the cash-register receipt at the grocery store can make you suck in your breath, it's time to re-double at least a good part of our effort to finding those wines that offer real drinking pleasure without costing an arm and a leg.
I'm not saying we won't continue to throw a midrange or even high-end wine at you from time to time. Variety is the spice of life and, as Oscar Wilde famously said, "nothing succeeds like excess."
But you may have noticed recently that I've been kicking up the proportion of reports on good wines in the $10 range; and at least until the economic picture looks brighter again, I'll endeavor to include at least one such wine of "QPR" in every week's reports.
Today's featured wine, Tiziano Chianti (a Tuscan blend of 95 percent Sangiovese and 5 percent Canaiolo grapes, strikes me as a benchmark for good, modest Chianti, with its bright cherry flavors, dry, food-friendly acidity and, best of all, a simple elegance that moves it a step above the old-fashioned "spaghetti red." That's a lot to like for $10 or so; in some U.S. markets it's available for several dollars less.
My tasting notes are below. I'd love to hear your reports on your favorite "recession buster" wines. Please drop by our WineLovers Discussion Group forums, where I've posted today's column at
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Tiziano 2005 Chianti ($10.99)
Dark ruby with crimson glints. Good ripe black-cherry aromas with just a discreet touch of spice. Fresh and crisp fruit well balanced with food-friendly acidity. Simple but appealing, good and characteristic simple Chianti; at this price, a recession-buster. U.S. importer: William Grant & Sons Inc., NYC. (July 25, 2008)
FOOD MATCH: Simple Chianti is a stereotypical match with pasta in tomato sauce, but it's food-friendly and versatile, pairable with a range of Italian dishes. It was excellent with simple beef meatballs poached in beef broth with touches of aromatic smoked paprika and cumin for spice.
VALUE: With prices rising and fears of recession around, it's time to start making a list of really good, drinkable $10 wines like this to see us through the hard times. Note also that Tiziano may be found for well under $10 in some markets.
WHEN TO DRINK: This 2005 is drinking just as a simple Chianti should right now, but a couple more years on the wine rack or in a cellar certainly won't hurt it.
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Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns. Please note that for a small summer break, we've put the FoodLetter on a short-term vacation and are skipping some (but not all) Friday editions.
Old-fashioned Zin (July 23, 2008)
Screwcaps turn to pricey wine (July 21, 2008)
Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
Wine Advisor Foodletter archive: