I buy all my groceries – and wine because I’m too lazy (and scared) to go to a bodega – from Whole Foods. When I was doing my weekly grocery run last week, I came across their Top 10 Wines sale – a collection of their best wines that are all around the same price as a Chipotle burrito bowl with steak and guac. Since you save 10% when you buy six or more bottles at a time, I decided to buy all 10 (not kidding). I don’t possess a heavyweight liver (or I might have just hoarded them all to myself) so I invited the few friends I have over to my place to try, swirl, and enjoy an evening that didn’t include cramming for an exam.
Now before I go into that, let me just say that wine isn’t for snooty old women. It’s ok to be in your early 20s and prefer wine as your drink of choice. It’s a healthy sign that you’re on your way to adulthood having moved past your #basic frat bro days drinking natty light on some oversized bench outside some dump of a “house” (that reference is for my GWU readers). With a little due diligence, navigating some book of a wine menu becomes a lot less daunting. You probably won’t recognize the majority of the names, but a few you will.
The best part about wine is the more you drink it, the better you become at knowing the good from the bad from the really bad. Knowing how to pick out a good bottle (whether it’s for a night in by yourself or with a group of friends) can save you from the unpleasant phenomena of waking up the next day feeling as if you’ve been hit by a train. I’m not saying it’s fail-proof, but – from my experience – a night filled with Barefoot rarely leads to a pleasant morning.
Now – the fun stuff – the wine. I wouldn’t call myself a wine connoisseur, but my Mother’s a total wino and so I like to think that I know a little more than the average Joe. All of these wines are fantastic, but different in their own ways. Here’s the verdict:
Squadra // Mild, fruity, with a much more impactful aftertaste.
Marius // Dry with a massive personality (kinda sounds like me). It has a big body, but a nice finish. Definitely not for the person with the sweet tooth.
Sea Pines // Probably the best bottle of wine I’ve EVER gotten at Whole Foods before. It’s right, a little on the dry side, but very fruity. No joke, I refused to share the bottle once everyone had a sip.
Santa Julia Reserva // Darker fruitier flavor, but with a very nice aftertaste. It’s a blend so there’s a lot going on with this wine.
The Stash // It’s a great intro wine – peppery, fruity, and a little earthy here and there. I also love the label…
Grenache // Probably my second favorite wine that I already picked up for round two. It’s not as bold as the Sea Pines, but has a fantastic aftertaste that’s a bit earthier.
Bula // STRONG body, but surprisingly not that dry (yay). Definitely a richer, heavier wine.
Madame Liberte // Really nice brut. I love champagne, but sometimes it can be hard to drink where there’s a high level of carbonation. Great for celebrating something fun or using for a round of mimosas.
Casas del Bosque // If you don’t like buttery whites, this is the one for you. It’s crisp, VERY earthy, and has a hint of spiciness to it.
Cave de Lugny // Very acidic, but not too dry. Mild body, crisp, and a little on the sweeter side.
So – put down the beer and stop buying horrible wine that punishes you the next morning. It’s just not worth it. You don’t need to become an expert in the field, but knowing a thing here and there will serve you well. After all, with finals around the corner we could all use a nice glass (or bottle) in-between study sessions…