Are you there, staring at the wine aisles, in the Cabernet Sauvignon section thinking to yourself what now? So many wines, so little time, brands, pretty labels, scary labels, prices with .99 at the end, 90+ points, it’s enough to drive a wine lover to turn to the craft beer section but wait, it’s now confusing over there too (who knew the world had so many variations of IPA).
In 2016 I have made a commitment to myself to drink by seeking out vintage, to embrace relative value and to continue to add new variety to my wine life. While the three Vs may seem a logical approach the reality is, buying wine with age for the right price from small producers in far away places is not an easy task.
I thought it might be a useful exercise to take the 3 V Challenge on two large, respected purveyors of wine, Zachys and Sherry-Lehmann in NYC to prove my point on why taking on the 3Vs will enhance your life with wine in 2016.
The 3 V Challenge
1) Take the year and subtract five, let’s start with the first challenge of finding wines with at least five years of age on them. We all drink wine too young, its not our fault its just the way the business works and wines are seasonal, they are grapes after all. Grow them, pick them, bottle them, sell them, repeat. Good buyers and good suppliers recognize the importance of a consumer experiencing age on a wine.
2) Start with $20 and add and subtract $5, look at the country and region, the vintage, points and the back label and think what that $15 or $25 is going to bring to you. A new region to explore, a new varietal to compare, a producer you are yet to meet. Good value means you get something from the wine beyond the experience in the glass (although that is important too). Price is all relative but within your budget manage your expectations to find value.
3) Variety is the spice of life and whether it is a varietal you have never heard of or a region of the world you never knew made wine, step up and try the wine you can’t pronounce.
For me a great wine shop is like a great bookstore. I see producers as authors, styles as topics, and thoughtful reviews as guidance to the content. A place of reflection that leaves me in awe of the sheer expanse of the human mind and the output from it that makes life so interesting. Take the time to look through the shelves or the inventory, use the 3 Vs to guide you to a great wine you might not have tried if you just went by label and price and enjoy all that wine has to offer.
As an advocate for a stronger direct to consumer market and empowerment through actionable analysis and peer to peer connectivity, VinTangible, is the first vertical at Tangible Management. VinTangible will seek to identify quality wine at the right price for your cellar, will fill your glass with worthy experiences and shall build relationships between producer and consumer. Working with you and your advisors to connect to a well lived life is what WE do.