Friday, November 16, 2012

My Not-Quite-Definitive Wine List

When I say "not-quite-definitive" I mean, I'm a niche market. I don't care for red wine. I used to exclusively drink Pinot Grigio, until I discovered Moscato. My lovely, sweet, bubbly heart's desire, perfect, I have determined, with everything, even red meat. So here is my penultimate (for now) list of the best of the best. And guess what guys? They're all under $15! Score! Be a cheap drunk with me, okay?

1. Villa Rosa
2. Cupcake
3. Cavit
4. Yellowtail
5. Fisheye

I first tried Villa Rosa Moscato D'Asti at a tiny Greek market in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The shop keeper offered free samples of all of the wines in stock and I eagerly asked for a sample. Have you ever tasted something that immediately made you smile? The burst of pears and peaches and subtle white grapes that danced amongst the bubbles were like happy friends. Fast forward many months when I actually found this in a local liquor store in Augusta, Maine. I may or may not have screamed and alarmed John. Okay, I screamed. And begged him to buy a bottle. And got him hooked. So far, I haven't found a Moscato to knock this off the top of my list.

Cupcake was my number one for a very, very long time. It was, you might say, my gateway Moscato. I first tried it at John's aunt's house. She'd bought it at the grocery store to try, and the bottle was empty very quickly thereafter. Cupcake makes a lot of stuff, and their Sauvignon Blanc is decent (I've used it in my mussel recipe). I've also seen that they have a line of flavored vodkas that I've been curious about. But this Moscato, again, has notes of pear and is delightfully sweet and crisp. Extraordinary with brie and crusty bread.

Cavit has been my go-to for wine for ages upon ages. I've been drinking their Pinot Grigio since I started drinking wine, I think, so it was only safe to assume that once I saw that they had jumped on the Moscato bandwagon, I had to try it. It's excellent, really, and it's honestly a tie for second with Cupcake, or just a really, really close third. It's clean, it's crisp. And if I'm opening the bottle, you get bonus bits of cork! (Seriously... I can't open wine bottles for shit, but that is an entire blog post, and possible dissertation) Of the listed wines, this is the most expensive unfortunately, so I don't get this one as often, but as wine goes, it's something like $14.99, so that's still not bad. Just not in my budget.

Yellowtail is what I drink the most regularly now because it's the second most cheap on this list. By being fourth on the list in no way makes it terrible (I'll get to that), on the contrary, it is tasty, crisp, and fruity. I have a bottle chilling in my fridge right now, for whenever I have a wine emergency. I can drink a bottle and feel okay about it, because it doesn't cost a lot. I actually tried this because John and I had bought a bottle for someone as a gift, and I got curious, so I tried some. I had my sister try it, and she was pleased to find that it did not trigger a migraine (which wine sometimes does to her). So yay Yellowtail! And, twist-off cap!

Fisheye was an unexpected surprise. I just tried it last weekend. I had stayed away because it's so cheap.  It's good, but the key is that you have to let it chill, because if it's not cold enough, it tastes like cheap wine. But properly chilled, those wonderful fruity notes come through. Now that I know it actually tastes good, I'll get it again. Also, my grocery store often has it on sale, so score! And another huzzah for a twist-off cap! No cork for me to fuck up!

So you know how I like all of these and I didn't include anything bad on the list? It's because I can't go to wonderful and yummy to absolute terrible skunk water in the same list. So, take it from an avid Moscato fan, avoid Barefoot and Gallo like the plague. They are absolutely, hands-down disgusting. Cheap wine disgusting. They didn't even taste like Moscato. Absolute crap.

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