As I’ve mentioned before in this space, I receive wine samples…a lot of wine samples. This is not a problem, generally speaking. No doubt, I am more than a little spoiled wine-wise because if I didn’t get these samples I could not afford to try many of the wines I write about.
From time to time, I ponder what would I drink if I had a regular job. Sure, I’d have some stellar bottles for special occasions that would be in the $30 to $50 range. And, I might even invest in some iconic wines to lay down for future contemplation as the art inside the bottle evolves. In many ways, these selections would be easy.
But what wine would I buy a case of (or two!), a wine that I could pop open at any given time and maybe even cook with? A much more difficult question as I find most of the bottom-shelf bottles fall into one of two categories: average and lame-o. Every now and again, however, I find an exciting wine that I would buy a lot of…if I had to actually buy wine.
Most recently, I popped a cork on a 2009 Hahn Winery GSM from California’s Central Coast. Boy, I loved this wine (and I’ve loved it in years past, too). This red wine had a velvety smoothness, but also plenty of tart, berry acidity. The GSM, which stands for the grapes grenache, syrah and mourvèdre that make up the blend, had just the right peppery intensity, too, to make it a solid player on the food-wine team.
Best of all, I think just about anyone could afford it at $12 a bottle.
(Wines are rated on a scale ranging up from thumbs down, one thumb mostly up, one thumb up, two thumbs up, two thumbs way up and Golden Thumb Award. Prices are suggested retail prices as provided by the winery, one of its agents, a local distributor or retailer.)