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March 25, 2013 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Bacchus Knows Best – Water into Wine

Well, that delicious holiday Easter is upon us again. In the past (around the time a certain young man was hanging on the cross) wine was commonly used for cerimonial purposes as well as to open and expand our minds… Nowadays the bloody bottle store shuts down for two days! If you’re like me and have a slight paranoia that there’s a chance it may not open again, it pays to stock up.

Last time we looked at some special bottles of wine around $15-$20; this time lets aim for two bottles at that price. The key here is going to be discounted specials, so instead of recommending specific deals let’s look at how to get the best bang for your buck.

Looking to white wine options, Chardonnay, and to a lesser extent Pinot Gris, benefit from time in oak and other ageing techniques which cost $$$. They can use cheaper and quicker ways to get a result, but it can lead to a cheap nasty wine and we want a cheap yet delicious one. If you’re on a budget you should focus mainly on Sauvignon Blanc as the high-intensity passionfruit and capsicum flavours develop while the grapes are still on the vine. Then all needs to be done is to pick them, ferment them, bottle the results, and put it on a shelf for me to buy. I may have simplified that a little, but you get the idea. There is a heap of wine coming out of Marlborough, so don’t be afraid of brands you’ve never heard of, chances are they are second labels of more prominent wineries which are trying to move excess juice. You can identify these guys as they usually have some bullshit on the label about a shell or plant in the region but don’t mention an estate specifically.

Moving to red, I’m thinking we should steer clear of Pinot Noir—if you’re getting anything less than $8 you might as well mix red cordial, vodka and water together. In fact, it pains me to say this, but I almost think we should forget about New Zealand altogether as last year was diabolical for ripening big reds. While the Spanish always have good ripe reds, those big Aussie reds are just too easy and there are so many of them on the shelf. Give the Cabernet/Merlots a miss and jump straight into a Shiraz: big, warm, round and plush flavours of plums, chocolate and black pepper. This could even be a match for a chocolate bunny on Easter Sunday.



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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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