Lazy person’s guide to picking great cheap wines

Good wines will have at least 13% alcohol
Marco Ferrara of Universal Motion passed along this simple tip that saved me years of worry when buying wines.

Look for wines that have at least 13% alcohol content.
Marco’s logic is that great wines take time to develop and so does the alcohol content. A mere 12% wine is young and probably not fully developed. A 13% alcohol wine is older and has a greater chance of being full bodied.
Picking a good to great wine has always seemed like too much work. You have to memorize French or Italian labels, perhaps a little Spanish. The vineyards change names. Who has the time?

When I was young and living in Montreal, Le Régie des alcools published a book of their wines every year or so. We made a study of all the ones we could afford rating them by our young palettes.
 

Since Marco gave me that tip years ago, I’ve used it as my guide and ignored the name on the label. Other than checking to see that the wine is dry, I’ve used that little trick to great success in finding low priced but good wines. Tip of the glass to Marco Ferrara.
Wine is said to be a healthy drink which is good reason to imbibe in moderation.

Click HERE to read more columns by Stephan Pate

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