Cool value wines for fall en­ter­tain­ing

The Welland Tribune - - LIFE - CHRIS WA­TERS

The quest for wine bar­gains is never-end­ing. But be­ing on a bud­get doesn't mean hav­ing to set­tle for bland, one-di­men­sional wine. Ex­pand your hori­zons and you can score some im­pres­sive wines with­out bust­ing the bank.

It's clear there's no short­age of en­joy­able wines that can be pur­chased at the LCBO in the $20 range. Look­ing for choice wines at half that price be­comes more of a chal­lenge, which in­spired me re­cently to search lo­cal stores look­ing for bar­gain bot­tles to en­joy in th­ese cash-strapped times.

Of course, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween a wine's price and its abil­ity to please isn't al­ways a di­rect one. The price at­tached to a wine sel­dom cor­rectly pre­dicts how much you'll en­joy it.

If you're not a fan of red wine, you're bound to have the same reser­va­tions whether the bot­tle costs $10 or $100.

My ad­vice to you is keep tast­ing, look­ing to key in on what you most en­joy about the wines you like. Wine ap­pre­ci­a­tion is an ad­ven­ture that can take you around the world. The more you know what styles of wine you en­joy, the more coldly cal­cu­lat­ing you can be­come when you shop.

Since the launch of this col­umn in 2000, wine buy­ing pat­terns have dra­mat­i­cally changed.

Savvy wine lovers have be­come ruth­lessly dis­loyal. Bur­gundy has a bad year and they look for qual­ity wines with sim­i­lar char­ac­ter­is­tics from other re­gions. When the pop­u­lar­ity of a pro­ducer or par­tic­u­lar brand sends its price sky­rock­et­ing, they look for the next big thing, of­ten with spe­cial at­ten­tion paid to­wards smart money re­gions like Spain, Por­tu­gal, south­ern France, Chile or South Africa.

Highly rated bar­gain wines are al­ways in de­mand, so this col­umn will con­tinue point­ing out suit­able ex­am­ples like this week's fea­tured wines from Chile and Por­tu­gal. A flavour­ful white and fruity red, th­ese are prime ex­am­ples of great val­ues to be had. Email: chris.wa­ters@sun­media.ca Twit­ter: @wa­ter­s_wine

WA­TERS ON WINE

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