Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Budget wine woes...
Long gone are the days of buying a decent bottle of wine just to drink a glass, or pouring mediocre wine down the drain (as samples from mom’s market). I spent at least a half-hour tonight in the wine aisle of one of the better markets, searching for...a decent white under 9 bucks. I figured that this shouldn’t be THAT hard, since even in Hawaii where shipping prices are sky high, you can get a bottle of Yellowtail chard for under $8 (a couple of years ago, it was less than 5 in Honolulu, and that stuff is decent). And, I’m in Oregon. Anyway, after much reading and deliberation, it was a toss up between an Argentinian Chardonnay, and a California Viogner. The latter was only $5.99, on sale from $9.99, while the other was $8.99. I was interested in trying a new varietal, and feeling really broke, so I went for the viogner (Pepperwood Grove, 2004). Bad move, bad, bad move. I really should have known better—that if a wine is marked down that much, it either hasn’t sold in months, or more than one customer probably brought it back to the store complaining how horrible it was.

As a part of my extensive in-store research, I read in a wine guide that a viogner is a “glamorous” grape, with fruit and floral notes. I like fruit in wine—cherry, raspberry, apricot, grapefruit even, when it comes to sauvignon blanc. But this one, I dunno, was trying too hard to be something it’s not. Though I could sense where the flavor wanted to go, the taste was all wrong. This wine was like a guy in drag, a mahu masquerading as the “Sweet Lady of Waihole,” selling her papaya. Trust me guys, of all the fruit flavors out there, you do not want your wine tasting like papaya. There’s that wierd sickly taste in there that is just not good.

But, does this mean that I’ll pour the bottle down the sink? Does this mean that I won’t drink it tomorrow? Probably not. I’m warming up to it about now. Well, maybe it’s warming me up. I am, after all, starting to really groove to the Reggae cd my sister sent me today along with some arare and li hing mui. “Sweet, sweet lady of Waihole...she’s sittin’ by the highway, sellin’ her papaya, her pa-pa-paya, and eating ripe ba-na-na...” ;)

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