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Review – Jacques De Merial Chardonnay ’06

This is our second Australian wine, and our first Sauvignon Blanc. Australia is a major wine producer partly because Australians drink well over twice as much wine per capita as do Americans. The wine reviewed below comes from Victoria, Australia’s smallest mainland state, which is second in the country’s wine production.

Third, you may want to try some of the inexpensive imports now available. Australia and Chile have become very large players in the import market today and their wines are much better than American and French wine at comparable prices.

When you have brands of wine that you like, you can start buying those brands regularly. Buying by the case is especially beneficial, since discounts can go up to 10% for cases as compared to individual bottles. This is great if you like throwing dinner parties. Remember that wine will keep for a long time, as long as you store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Otherwise, the wine may smell and taste funky the next time you open a bottle.

The first step in starting a wine collection is determining how much money you are willing to spend. With $1000 to $1500 you can build up a fairly nice cellar. You can work with less though. There are many good budget vente de grand crus en ligne that come out of Argentina. The most popular Argentine red varietal, Malbec, can be had for around $15 to $20 a bottle. A wonderful white Torronts costs around $15 to $20 as well.

When I first got into reviewing wines, I debated the use of a rating system. I thought about using the 100 point system, but not beholding myself to the Parker ratings (if there were any), but quickly dismissed the idea. I settled in, for a time, with a 5 star system, with ratings going for zero stars to 5 stars, with varying spots in between (think Star Search with a 3.75 star rating). For a time this worked for me, but I still felt as though it limited me.

I tried the Samos with fresh strawberries. It was long, and had a good balance of acidity and sweetness. But after the strawberries were gone, the tea taste came back. I closed the pairings with a single cheese, Emmenthaler (Swiss). The combination was fairly interesting, the wine was sweet with fine acidity and some fruit.

Still, after having tasted some of these wines, I still walk away wondering if that bottle was worth $500, $300 a bottle, or even $200 a bottle? Wine lovers today can buy a darn good case of wine (12 bottles) for $500. Taking this logic further, it is still about perceived value. The sommelier at Aureole Restaurant in Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas confirms that they have a bottle of wine at $14,000 and swear that it will sell for consumption. They claim that wine in this price range can be moved around to sister restaurants around the world. Right now, Asian markets are seeing strong demand for high-priced wines.

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