What you should be drinking, 2009
Year end lists are usually self indulgent and lazy, and this one is certainly no exception.
Stop drinking Argentinian Malbec: Seriously, most of it is terrible.
Start drinking cot: A malbec by any other name would taste as sticky sweet? Not quite. See what can be done with malbec (cot is another name for malbec, which is most famous as a blending grape in Bordeaux) when not over-extracted, oaked and ruined.
Start drinking Pineau d’Aunis: My prediction is that this is the grape of the year. Capable of making some of the most rustic, interesting wines around. Good producers include Thierry Puzelat, Domaine Belliviere, and Clos Roche Blanche.
Keep drinking better Beaujoulais/Gamay in general: A good wine that has been the victim of a marketing scheme that ruined the image for everyone.
Find new champagnes: There are so many good small producers that i can’t think of any reason you whould still be shelling out money to mega-corporations that have fallen off. Now if only i could get my hands on some Selosse…
Drink more sparkling wine while you’re eating: Enough already with sparkling wine as an exclusively party beverage.
Bugey-cerdon: i’ll admit that i take wine too seriously. So it is a pleasure when a wine comes along that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Bugey-cerdon does it not with wacky packaging or an ill conceived marketing plan, but by being such a simple wine to quaff. Light, low alcohol, and an almost embarrassing shade of pink, this reminds us that we can just drink without all the pretense.
Chinon: Cabernet franc has the unfortunate distinction of having a binomial relationship to that other cabernet (you know the one) and has suffered a slight perception problem. So this year i think we should all go out and buy several bottles of Chinon and take back the name.
Small producers: In this recession we owe it to the small producers to seek out their gems and buy. The big names aren’t going anywhere, but my guess is a lot of pain is heading downstream to the unknowns.