By The Glass
Simple way to rate wines is whether they are delicious
THE OTHER day, I was listening to a couple of wine enthusiasts debate the validity of a popular wine publication and its system for rating wines.
The detractor heatedly insisted that the wine writer for that publication only gave high scores to wines that were ripe to ultra-ripe, substantially oaked and grandiose.
The supporter countered that other writers also had preferred grapes, regions and wine-making styles, which they inevitably scored high on their own rating scales.
It sure made me think. Let's see .... ultra-ripe, substantially oaked, grandiose ... grape, regional and stylistic prejudices ... wow, what's the real dealio?
I would like to suggest a new criteria for rating wines: deliciousness. I am not sure there is in fact such a word, but if you really think about it, deliciousness would sum up the kind of wine I would buy and take home to have with dinner tonight.
If you agree, here are some highly recommended, delicious wines worth searching for:
Ruggeri Prosecco "Gold Label" ($17): Here is an off-dry, effortlessly light and crisp Italian sparkler, which when served well-chilled will certainly quench your thirst. Ideal for the upcoming holiday season.
2003 Novellum Chardonnay ($10): I absolutely love this wine's delicate, quietly exotic perfume and its sublime, elegant mouth feel. At this price, it is a value that's very hard to beat.
2005 Rusack Sauvignon Blanc ($16): Where most California sauvignon blancs either have hard edges or lush, chardonnay-like fullness, this Santa Barbara wine is sleek, refined and so wonderfully delicious. It is one of the best I've had from the Golden Bear state.
2005 Wishing Tree Shiraz ($11): Here is an Aussie red loaded with ripe, juicy blackberry fruit and a dollop of freshly cracked black pepper. It has no hard edges whatsoever. You will find it so delicious, you will keep going back for more. And at this price, it won't hurt your wallet, either.
Chuck Furuya is a master sommelier and a partner in the Sansei restaurants.
This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org