Most recently I have been rediscovering wine drinking, mainly because a friend of mine who is a composer and an avid appreciator of the stuff was staying with me for three weeks while in town visiting from his home of Boston. That and because I am getting bored with beer. By all means I do not claim to be a wine connoisseur, I am just an amateur appreciator with a meticulous passion for good tasting fermented grape beverages that don’t leave cranium piercing headaches in their wake. I found two great dry red wines that I have been purchasing in large quantities, and because of my newfound love I am finding that supplies are diminishing as shelves are not being restocked with them for whatever absurd reasons store owners have. But I figured I would share my delight here by writing a few words about each of them.
Côtes Du Rhône, 2004, Henri de Floret, 1850-2750 dram ($6-9). This reasonably priced quality-control certified French dry wine has a smooth finish with hints of black pepper, caper, and pure cocoa. It is a great accompaniment to a fatty, low-salt Lori cheese or a Danish Blue. Definitely a satisfying choice.
Areni Country, 1998, Kimley, 1500-1600 dram ($5-5.25). Of the dozens of Areni that can be found on store shelves in Armenia, not to mention above-average homemade concoctions sold by the roadside contained in plastic soda bottles in and around Areni, this robust wine clearly stands apart from the rest. It has a fruity bouquet with subtle hints of black cherry and a very slight cantaloupe finish. You can drink it standalone as well as alongside authentic dishes like those containing lentils or strained yoghurt as I have discovered. A few Armenian dry wines walk a fine line along the vinegar side of the fence, but the 1998 Areni Country defines the makings of a proper fine-quality vintage. An excellent wine.
Select supermarkets or high-end grocery stores will most likely have either one of these wines in stock. Unfortunately I cannot reveal exactly where they can be purchased since I am quietly panicking about not being able to find them for very much longer. In any case, happy hunting.