Taxed for money and time? A few wine suggestions

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008

Got the tax time blues? Whether you are getting a return or not, this is the time of year when we all think about money - or lack of it. Hopefully the following suggestions will help you handle that stress.

There aren't as many wines under $10 as there used to be, but if you look you can find enough to get you through tax season and beyond. One of my wife's faves is Twisted Zin Old Vine Zinfandel. You can get a 1.5-liter bottle at the big box store for $9.99 and we find it quite quaffable. Speaking of the big box store, you can find a number of other wines there for under $10, and they are all usually a good value.

But what about the other local wine merchants? Most of them now offer 10 percent off if you get six bottles or more, which makes stocking up a good idea. I usually get two or three bottles around $12.99 and some for $9.99 and call it good.

In this price range the wines tend to vary in price around town. Taking a little time to look around can pay big dividends, as you can stumble onto some sales. The following brands usually have wines for under $10 and over the years I have found them to be quite reliable: Lindemans, Penfolds, Jacob's Creek, Santa Rita and Fetzer are just a few. I checked for a popular wine at my local store on Douglas Island and was told the Smoking Loon Merlot was a big seller.

Another option is a wine club. This is a good way to try wines not found locally. I am a bit torn about this as I know most of the local brokers and they try hard to bring quality wines to town, and a couple of them do a great job of bringing us unusual and interesting wines. So I usually order from the wine club once a year, then support my favorite shops the rest of the time. This is a little wishy-washy, I know, but hey, it's tough to get new stuff in Juneau, for the brokers as well as for us.

Perhaps the best option of all: wine tastings about town. Usually you get a glass for 10 to 25 bucks depending on the event, and more often than not it comes with food. I have found these events to be special in that you run into people you might not usually hang out with, and you can taste a lot of different wines at the same time. If you made the last one at the Home Show then you know what I'm talking about.

Also, if you did go out and buy several bottles of wine after reading my last article, then you can also drink something from your cellar. It is already paid for and that makes it a special bottle in its own right for free, sort of.

Next time "Wine and appetizers about town".

Cheers till next time.

• Kirk Stagg can be reached at beamster@gci.net.



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