We care about the food we eat. But what about the wine we drink?
We shop for organic fruit and produce, grass- fed beef, free-range chicken, fresh seafood.
But how much thought really goes into the wines we buy?
It’s easy to reach for wines with the cute labels, discounted price stickers, or one of the big name wines when picking something up for dinner in the grocery store.
I get it. I really do. It’s “convenient!”
But consider for just a moment how that wine was made and what might be in the bottle beyond a pleasant tasting, buzz-inducing beverage.
Sadly, some of the wine market is awash in an ocean of additive-laden, mass-produced, formula-made wines. Truth be told, they can taste damn good; but let’s be honest, so does a Big Mac.
Many grocery and big-box stores feature wines that are produced in 100k, 200k, million case lots. Grapes along with the stems, leaves, and god knows what else, are picked by machines as big as your house, whether they’re fully ripe or not. They’re planted and picked to get to market as soon as (and as cheaply) as possible, regardless of “quality”.
But not to worry, that can all be fixed in the winery. “Fixed” is where chemicals, additives, oak chips, coloring, and heavy-handed manipulation, etc. comes into play.
Again, I get it. I really do. Like the mega-farmers of wheat, corn, and soy, wine can be big business – very BIG business. To combat Mother Nature’s vagaries, desperate measures may be taken to protect the harvests’ bounty and the multi-million dollar cash crop.
Good wine – and good for you wine – begins in the vineyard as Mother Nature intended. Pesticide-free grapes are hand-harvested in small batches, often over a few weeks time, when the grapes are ripe, not according to a schedule.
In the winery, as one small-production winemaker once told me; he believed his job was to give the winemaking process “an occasional loving nudge”, but basically to stay out of the way and the fermenting grapes will do the rest! Not quite that simple, but you get the idea.
At The Wine Store, we carefully select each and every wine we sell to ensure the wines you purchase come from sustainable, organic, or biodynamic vineyards and are minimally hand-crafted by family- owned farmers. Our wines are not owned by mega-corporations where accountants managing the bottom line dictate the way the grapes are grown and produced.
Our selection is small – decidedly so. Many of our featured wineries produce a few hundred cases a year and are not found in supermarkets or super-stores. To ensure our wines stay fresh, our store thermostat is set at 68 degrees.
We markup our wines, starting at about $14 that “over-deliver” for the price!
Look, there’s no doubt that there are more options than ever when wine shopping and yes, many wines in general are getting better, but (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) just like much of our food supply, there is also a sea of mediocre, adulterated wines in today’s market.
So before you reach for that supermarket or discount-chain store wine, think about what went into the bottle… And most importantly, know that you have wine-buying options!
See you at The Wine Store!