Wild About Wine

Before I delve into the world of wine, a story about an attempt by some overzealous fans inspired our desk assistant, Kevin. He had a great idea for a bet between the mayors of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for the upcoming Stanley Cup semi-finals.

Kevin says based on an effort by some Penguin fan to get someone in Philadelphia to put a Pens jersey on the famed “Rocky” statue, Mayor Luke Raventstahl should make this bet with Philly mayor Michael Nutter. If the Pens beat the Flyers, the Rocky statue should wear a Pens jersey for a week. If the Flyers win, the Roberto Clemente statue at PNC Park should sport a Philly jersey.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Now onto wine .. and the winding down of the Pittsburgh Wine Festival. The week-long celebration, designed to get consumer to consider wine as part of their daily dining fare, concludes with tonight’s Grand Tasting at Heinz Field. Over 600 people will be able to sample wines from 200 vineyards from around the country. It’s one of the best parties of the year .. but for those who think it’s an exercise in excess, be warned.

Wine tends to carry that cache of luxury and elegance. However, an article in today’s New York Times confirms what I think many of us suspect about wine: it’s not about the cost, it’s about the taste to the individual palette. A recent study had 500 people sample 540 unidentified wines ranging in price from $1.50 to $150. It found that the cheaper wines constantly outscored the pricier bottles with consumers. However, the study also found that once people are told how much a bottle of wine costs, they are more likely to enjoy it.

Bottom line here is that wine will always be seen as being related to the good life, but the good life need not cost you a arm and a leg. Kelly just did a story Wedneday about how to enjoy the millionaire’s world of wine on the budget of a beer drinker … with all the wines that were suggested by local dining insiders costing under $15.

As for me, it was the movie “Sideways” that got me into wine .. and I still prefer the cheap stuff. Sharon once brought home some imported wine costing $75 a bottle. I tried a glass and I still don’t know what the difference between that stuff and the typical bottle of Clois Du Bois chardonnay I normally buy.

Oh well, taste is in the tongue of the beholder. Enjoy.


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