The real reason for the existence of grapes

I like wine, but I really don't know anything at all about it aside from some very general, personal observations. Such as I like chardonnays, especially from Australia or New Zealand; I like Rieslings, and I haven't met a red wine that I really connected with. Thus I have sort of avoided them. Anyway, I am attempting to branch out by trying red wines when offered, since I have this idea that like a lot of alcohol, you have to sort of get used to it before you can appreciate it. Like working my way up the beer food chain from PBR to oatmeal stout.

Anyway, that being said, I recently started reading "The Pour," a blog/NY Times column by Eric Asimov. Today's post (Man! I Feel Like a Roussanne!) focuses on how women apparently shop for wine differently than men — we seek out the bargains. (Men supposedly look for the expensive stuff and assume it's good.) I don't know if that's a female thing, but that's how I do it. "Oh, this is more than $13? Let me find something else . . . ah, $9.99. Perfect." Anyway, this was interesting — he's paraphrasing some wine-buying advice from Ursula Hermacinski, about whom I know absolutely nothing:

The best values, she says, are $15 to $20 bottles from France and Germany (I would add Italy). She urges readers to try chenin blancs from the Loire, rieslings from Germany and chardonnays from Chablis. She recommends cru Beaujolais, and cabernet francs from the Loire. She also recommends shopping by importer, and lists some of my favorites: Louis/Dressner, Weygandt-Metzler, Jenny & François, Neal Rosenthal, Kermit Lynch, Becky Wasserman, Robert Chadderdon, Terry Theise and Martine’s Wines, among others.

So, anyway, I offer this as some sort of basis for picking out wines if you are as clueless as I am.

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