The Grapevine

What They’re Reading – Great Wine Values from Serious Eats

March 21st, 2013

This week your customers might be reading the Ask A Sommelier Feature from the Drinks column on Serious Eats.

First on the list is our new favorite sommelier, Savanna Ray from Wildwood Restaurant in Portland, OR. [level-members]She earns our love with her pick of the Loire Valley as a top value. Like her, we have a giant crush on the wines of the Loire, and not all of them are inexpensive enough to be top values, but all are great values even at the higher end. (Which is still pretty low compared to Bordeaux, Burgundy, etc. Ms. Ray singles out Chenin Blanc based wines in particular.

German Rieslings get a nod, as do the range of Spanish wines, Portugal, and Italian reds. The Loire, though, gets lots of love with mentions by 5 of the 14 sommeliers polled. Stock up. Given how rarely we see wines of the Loire in local shops, there’s an opportunity to carve out a niche with an affordable, food-friendly alternative to the mass-market wines. 

They may also be reading Wine Spectator’s Health Watch feature. I’m glad I did. Apparently a regimen of low-to-moderate doses of Champagne can boost brainpower. This according to Dr. Giulia Corona, whose team gave lab rats Champagne for six weeks. They got the human equivalent of a glass a day and at the end of the study the rodents improved their “spatial working memory, thanks to improved cell-cycle regulation in the cortex and hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls learning and memory.”

I suppose we should hope this news doesn’t reach college campuses, though given the cost of Champagne vs. cheap beer, students would have no choice but to drink less …

By the way, it’s the phenolic acids that make the magic happen, and the study cites Champagne specifically, though it does not seem to rule out other sparklers. [/level-members]