As I write this, I am sipping one my favorite discoveries of this confinement. On day 14 (aka yesterday, whatever day of the week that was), I opened a bottle that is light and carefree and wants to keep me company. We made friends immediately, it’s an extroverted wine. I like wines that are ready to be here and seek to endear themselves by being affordable and easy to understand. We all have a lot of things on our mind right now; we don’t need pretention in wine.
Many of us are not working or are working much less during confinement. Does that mean we have to stop drinking wine? No, absolutely not! I am here to help you drink good wines all through confinement: these wines are affordable (yeah!) and available in supermarkets and other stores that might still be open.
I have always been a firm believer in sipping wines from lesser known regions. And now is their time to shine. Why? Well, because they tend to be more affordable (less hype and fame means lower cost). So, this is a great time to get to know these wines and even make friends with some of them.
1. Muscadet Sévre et Maine: this lesser known (at least in the US) white from the Loire Valley is one my most favorite whites. Light, friendly, non-pretentious and happy to play with many different foods, from salads and raw vegetables (think veggies and dip) to light fish and seafood and even pasta. One of the unsung heroes of the white wine world, this wine is an all-around adored wine and also very gentle of the wallet.
2. Primitivo from Puglia, Southern Italy, is a medium-bodied red, fruity but not jammy, with a great balance of acidity and flavor. Easy to drink on its own or with pasta, pizza, chicken or that salmon with steamed veggies, primitivo is likely to become your new favorite and visit you regularly even after confinement.
3. Tempranillo from Spain: generally fuller bodied than primitivo, but also very versatile (from light to quite intense), this Spanish red is a regular guest at my dinner table. Affordable and non-pretentious, it goes well with most meats and also strong cheeses. And the fact that it can vary significantly depending on where it comes from makes it interesting: there is always something to learn from a bottle of Tempranillo. So, join me in learning.
In general, when you want to keep the cost of wine down and also drink wines that do not require special treatment (aging, decanting, etc.), look for wines from lesser known regions. This is where the surprises and discoveries are. So, not only will you sip something delicious, you will also learn. Enjoy!