Buying Wines for Different Occasions
Buying a Wine
Buying wine for the home falls roughly into three categories, (1) Wine for every-day drinking — and the numbers of people who like a glass or two with the evening meal are soaring; (2) Wine for special occasions, such as dinner parties; and (3) Wine for laying down (and if you have not the facilities many merchants will store it for you at little cost). The choice in the first category is ever widening. Austria, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Chile, Hungary and Yugoslavia and especially Spain, produce wines which are often cheaper than those of France and Germany. From the English-speaking world there are the excellent wines of Australia and South Africa, the United States and Canada. Some wine is bottled by the chateau (or domaine) and others by the shipper. There is a higher mark-up on chateau-bottled wine than on wines bottled by the shipper in the country of sale because of costs of transporting the bottles.
Cheap table wine
Some of the most consistent ordinanes, to be sure, come from France and may still be found at most reasonable prices — a pitcher containing approximately three bottles is about as cheap a party ‘buy’ as you will find. Whatever the source, it can be said that those wines imported in bulk and bottled under the labels of the big supermarket chains — in such quantities that they can be sold cheaply — do represent value for money. Most of them are adequately described so that choice is made easy. And do not be afraid to blend, say a sweetish red with one much dryer, to arrive at a wine to suit your taste.
Wine for dinner
For special occasions, a vintage Claret or Burgundy from France will not only embellish the meal but flatter the guests. Clarets of 1061 and 1966 are outstanding, red Burgundies of 1062 and 1064 are very good indeed and the whites of 1062 exceptional. Champagne before the meal is my top choice (again a compliment to the guests) with a white Burgundy or Loire wine (or a Hock or Moselle if you want something a trifle sweeter) to start the meal, and a dessert wine such as a rich Sauternes with the sweet if you really are lashing out.