30 Second Wine Advisor: Recession, inflation

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 The California Wine Club
Pour With Confidence! The California Wine Club.

In This Issue

 Recession, inflation
Gasoline is $3.50 a gallon, and it's getting harder and harder to find good wine for less than $10. This week we're polling your personal limit for everyday wine.
 The California Wine Club Pour With Confidence! The California Wine Club.
 Château Saint Martin de la Garrigue 2005 Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc ($9.99) subtle flavors and sharp acidity work particularly well with seafood, fish and vegetarian fare.
 This week on WineLoversPage.com
Writer Tom Hyland reports from Vinitaly 2008, and our WineLovers Discussion Group debates whether there's ever any occasion to knowingly drink "corked" wine.
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Recession, inflation

There's been a lot of talk lately about inflation and economic recession, and we've been responding in recent weeks by focusing many of the wines featured in these pages at the $10 point or even below.

Even $10 is a bit of a shock to those of us who remember when the cutoff between "affordable" and "special occasion" wines fell around $5. If inflation in wine prices doesn't quite approach the shock of gasoline at $3.50 to $4 a gallon in the U.S., it's startling enough, and prompts wine lovers to watch our budgets a little more closely than we might have done in the past.

To put a number on just how inflation is affecting our wine buying habits, we've resurrected the old Wine Lovers Voting Booth and invite you to select the point at which budget discomfort begins for you in the wine shop. The poll invites you to check off the most you're comfortable paying for a bottle of "everyday" wine: $5, $10, $15, $20, $25, $30 or even more?

To ensure a meaningful result, I hope as many of you as possible will take a moment to click to the Voting Booth,
and select the choice that feels right for you. (If you're outside the US, simply guesstimate the conversion between your local currency and US dollars.)

Then, if you'd like to discuss this issue in more detail, drop by our WineLovers Discussion Group, where I've posted today's article at this link:

Now, for my recommendation on another good $10 wine, see today's featured wine below.

Château Saint Martin de la Garrigue 2005 Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc ($9.99)

Saint Martin de la Garrigue

Clear straw color. Simple white fruit, citrus and a hint of almond; a "vinous" character suggests higher alcohol than the label's 13% would provide. Fresh, medium-bodied, seems richer and more complex on the palate than the nose with melon and delicate citrus with a hint of beeswax over tart acidity. The subtle flavors and sharp acidity work particularly well with the mixed toppings and cheese on an excellent veggie pizza. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (March 9, 2008)

FOOD MATCH: A natural match with seafood or fish; fine with vegetarian fare such as my choice, primavera pizza with spinach, red and green bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes and artichokes.

VALUE: Very good buy at $10.

WHEN TO DRINK: Not a cellar keeper, but no rush to drink it. It should hold up well for the next year or two.

WEB LINKS: For a brief comment on the 2006 vintage, page down to the end of this PDF newsletter on the importer's Website:

Check prices and find vendors for Château Saint Martin de la Garrigue Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc on Wine-Searcher.com:

Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article
or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group. This link will take you to the forum home page, where you can read discussions in all the forum sections:

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To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.

Here's a simply formatted copy of today's Wine Advisor, designed to be printed out for your scrapbook or file or downloaded to your PDA or other wireless device.

This week on WineLoversPage.com

Italian Wine Guide: 2004 Vinitaly 2008
Tom Hyland is back from VinItaly, the massive wine fair held each year in early April in Verona. He tasted more than 250 wines during five days at the fair, and reports on a number of the best.

WineLovers Discussion Group: Intentionally drink "corked" wine?
You open a bottle of wine only to discover to your disappointment that it's spoiled by the musty stench of "cork taint." Would you ever consider drinking the wine anyway? You'll find plenty of debate on both sides of this question in our WineLovers Discussion Group:

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:

 Think pink for spring (April 25, 2008)

 Wild white blend (April 23, 2008)

 Benchmark Grenache (April 21, 2008)

 Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:

 Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Carbonnades a la Flamande (April 24, 2008)

 Wine Advisor Foodletter archive: