Rachel's Team Pick:
A "real journalist" has finally said what all the rest of us secretly know: expensive wine is confusing and weird and pointless, and cheap wine is awesome.There is no shame in drinking it. (Also, in his calculations about price he assumes that you and your significant other are drinking 5 bottles a week, which I appreciate.)
If hints of cassis, subtle earthiness, and jammy notes don’t interest you, you are not a lesser person. Wine is not art. There’s no reason to believe that aligning your tastes with those of a self-appointed elite will enrich your life, or make you more insightful or sensitive. If wine critics want to spend lavishly on the wine they like, that’s great. Leave them to their fun. Be grateful that you can gain just as much pleasure, if not more, without bankrupting yourself... rest assured that cheap wine in the United States is good, to the extent that the term has any objective meaning. Falling market share over the last 15 years has forced discount vintners to compete with upmarket brands, and modern technology has enabled them to crank out consistent wines, case after case. So, if you win your $3 gamble on the first bottle, you know you’ll like the next.
There are, of course, people out there who can afford to buy wine at upwards of $20 a bottle; perhaps some of them even read this website! But let's be real, you're going to need some Franzia at Dinah Shore. And I know I haven't bought any wine that wasn't marked down at least 40% since, oh, ever. Why feel bad about it, and why pay twice as much? Sometimes it will taste like juice, but hey, there are worse things! How do you feel? What do you drink? How does Manischewitz figure in? I have a lot of questions.