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Friday, June 19, 2009

Bere Means "to Drink"

With the recession making everyone think twice about spending money, we're all moving toward drinking lower-priced "weekday" wines on the weekend. Ask any wine merchant and he'll tell you that people are buying less expensive wines.

That's why wines that cost less than $10 are more important than ever. People who used to pride themselves on serving expensive wines to guests are now looking for the cheaper wines that pass the "guest test."

It also makes us pay attention when a wine dealer is having a sale—we mean a real sale, with real bargains. When you find a really good wine in one of those bargain stacks, go for it.

We lucked out recently when a wine merchant we know put a bunch of cases on sale for $60. That's $5 a bottle.

It's difficult to find any drinkable wine for $5 these days. How could we not try a few of these?

Our favorite was from the Viticcio winery, in the small town of Greve, in Tuscany's Chianti region. Viticcio is known for Chianti Classicos, but like many premium wineries, it also makes a blended red wine. Viticcio's is named Bere, which in Italian means "to drink."

Viticcio's Bere is 50% Sangiovese grapes, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon.

We found it rich, full-bodied with a long finish, and far superior to the usual casual blended reds. If we hadn't found it on sale, the bottle probably would have cost us $11 to $15, and it would have been well worth that price.

This is a very balanced wine with notes of blackberries and chocolate. It stands up well to pasta or anything with a red sauce.

And we find ourselves happily drinking it even on weekends.

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