Pacific Rim Dry Riesling ($10), Washington
The world of cheap wine is in flux as we celebrate the Advocate’s 10th annual Cheap Wine extravaganza and $10 Wine Hall of Fame. Cheap wine is more popular than ever, but the wine industry — and especially the wine writing part of it — seems to resent cheap wine more than ever. Their reasons aren’t quite clear, but chalk up much of the backlash to the fact they’re tired of cheap wine, and want to get back to making and writing about the expensive stuff. We can be a bit snobbish, no?
Nevertheless, the 2011 Hall of Fame added seven wines, and dropped only four: Anne Aimee Muller-Thurgau and the Vinum Cellars chenin blanc and white blend, which are scarce around here, and the Toad Hollow Pinot Noir Rose. It’s especially sad to drop the Toad Hollow, which has been a fixture since the Hall started. But the current vintage, for whatever reason, is more white zinfandel than rosé, and it doesn’t meet the Hall’s standards.
The seven new wines are Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, a sweet wine which has been in and out of the Hall several times; Dry Creek Fume Blanc, a stellar sauvignon blanc from California; Chateau de Riviere, a French red; La Fiera Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a classic Italian red; the Santa Julia + Torrontes, an Argentine white; and the Segura Viudas brut and rosé sparkling wine from Spain.
Here’s the rest of this year’s Hall of Fame:
• Notorius, a white wine from Sicily, which represents the couple of dozen Sicilian wines that I have enjoyed over the past four years. Literally. I have not had a bad Sicilian wine in four years, and most of them have been $10 Hall quality.
• The $10 wines from California’s Bogle Vineyards, and especially the old vine zinfandel.
• Cristalino, the Spanish sparkling wine, which comes in brut (dry), extra dry (sweeter than brut) and rosé.
• The Yellow+Blue 1-liter boxed sauvignon blanc from Chile.
• The Gascon Musketeers: White blends from southwestern France, including Domaine Tariquet, Domaine Artigaux and Domaine Duffour.
Ask the wine guy
How popular is wine in the United States?
Depends on whom you ask. We drink more wine than anyone else in the world, but our per capita consumption is very ordinary. Wine and beer have been trading off as the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country, but very few of us drink that much wine: Just 20 percent of the U.S. adult population accounts for 91 percent of all wine consumed.
Ask The Wine Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With your wine
Sweet and sour cole slaw
Cole slaw exists in an infinite number of variations, and this version tweaks it yet again. Serve this on New Year’s with black-eyed peas and your favorite $10 wine.
1 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 c distilled white vinegar
1 lb green cabbage (about half a medium cabbage)
1 large carrot, peeled
1 small white onion
1/2 bell pepper
1. Whisk together the first eight ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, and heat in microwave until just about boiling.
2. Shred cabbage and carrots. Slice onions and pepper.
3. Add vegetables to the bowl with the dressing. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour; longer is better.
Serves 8, takes about 2 hours