Common question to wine writer: What is your favorite wine?
Answer: whatever you are pouring.
I try not to drink the same wine twice. In my fantasy, readers breathlessly await my next tasting notes, next Tweets. So many wines, so little time.
Given today’s abundance of good wines, you, too, can always drink something new—at least a new vintage. Embrace adventure. If you don’t enjoy, go back to tried and true. But give adventure a try.
I do have favorites:
• Red blends over varietals. Actually, pure varietals are not as common as you might think—in most cases varietal only has to be 75 percent of the blend. Strictly pure varietals often lack complexity and depth, although that is not true for quality efforts, especially pinot noir.
GSM (grenache-syrah-mouvedre) blends are wonderful. Gigondas, Chataneuf du Pape (France) at high end; Stump Jump (Australia) for the rest of us.
Spain makes tasty tempranillo-garnacha blends. Italy soars with sangiovese blended with a tumult of other varietals, especially super-Tuscans (sangiovese with Bordeaux grapes).
Bordeaux (cab-merlot-cab franc-petit verdot-malbec-carmenère) with cab dominant on left bank and merlot on the right are classics. New World does these well, too. Many New World wines labeled as varietals really are blends, thanks to 75 percent rule.
• Champagne, Spanish cava, Italian spumantes, sparklings from New Mexico, New York, West Coast. Sparkling sparks celebration the instant the mushroom cork pops out of the bottle.
• Sauvignon blanc. Goes with almost every food.
• Malbec. Is there a better value-for-price? Don’t cry for Argentina as long they produce this astonishingly delicious varietal.
• Australia. Down under is on top with with shiraz and other great values. Throw in nearby New Zealand for sauvignon blanc and, increasingly, pinot noir.
• I now reject the smarmily smug ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) cult because there are so many dinner-party-friendly chards at prices under $12. Chard is world’s Number One white for a reason.
• Off-beat changes of pace: vinho verde, grüner veltliner, maderia, gewürztraminer, viognier (especially in blends), others.
Happy to narrow it all down for you.
Last round: Sometimes I take a bath because it is difficult to drink wine while taking a shower.