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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Brother, can you spare a wine?

TormarescaFed Chairman Ben Beranke finally uttered the R-word, unemployment is at its highest level since 2003, the dollar is at par with the Loonie, and home values have tumbled as much as 20 percent in some areas. And, as anyone who eats regularly has probably noticed, food prices are on the rise — due, in part to increased motor fuel costs.

As consumers adjust their spending, some changes will occur in the wine industry. For one thing, some of the wines that normally only appear on restaurant wine lists will hit the shelves in retail stores, as people cut back on eating out. And high-production domestic wine producers like Bogle, Franzia (maker of the Charles Shaw brand) and Columbia Crest will win more business as the weak dollar forces up the price of imports.

But here's a bright spot: There will be bargains to be had as distributors wheel and deal to improve cash flow by unloading products that are moving slowly.

Just such a bargain is the Tormaresca Negroamaro-Cabernet 2005, an 87-point wine that is being closed out at Grapevine Cottage in Zionsville for $3.99 per bottle. (It hasn't been advertised yet, so WineCanine readers have a couple of days to stock up before it sells out next week.)

This is a really decent everyday drinker, perfect for pizza, burgers or red-sauce pasta dishes. Those with an appreciation for old-world wines will take to it more easily, but after decanting the nose moderates, the tannins mellow, the the rich, plummy fruit comes to the fore. (I left half a bottle uncorked for 24 hours, and was pleasantly surprised.) A case or two should fill out the wine rack nicely....
J. Silverheels Gray, 8:44 AM


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