There are few things in life better than getting a great deal, and what better to get a deal on than wine? I’m always trying to find ways to stretch our wine budget further, and stocking up for a sale is still one of the best ways I have found. Tomorrow we’ve got a trip planned to San Francisco purely for wine buying purposes. Yea, the sale is that good.
So today I guess you could say I have been strategizing, because regardless of the size of your cellar – to have a well stocked cellar you need to buy to your tastes, make sure your selection of everyday drinking wine is seasonally appropriate, and always think about long-term aging.
I have checked over the cellar to take stock of what is there, because I knew that we needed more white wines, but really had no idea where the holes were in my red selection. As it turns out I have an inordinate amount of Syrah and Petit Syrah, which is really odd because they are definitely not my favorite varietals.
I also have a dreadfully small selection of Pinot Noirs. I think I might see where this overabundance of Syrah and lack of PInot may have stemmed from – all of the tasty Pinots have been consumed while the Syrahs sit and gather dust. That is what I get for not taking my own advice and buying to my tastes. While I typically like to have at least a couple of bottles of Syrah and Petit Syrah on hand for pairing purposes, I seem to have gone a little overboard, and bought more than we’re drinking. Note to self – cook more meals that will pair nicely with big reds, so I can put a dent in the three and a half cases I have gradually accumulated.
Anyway, back to my strategizing, to buy seasonally I definitely should stay away from the big reds – as the hot weather will eventually come to the Bay Area (well that and the fact that I have been compulsively buying big red wines, but not drinking them) and gear more towards the lighter reds. I’m thinking some Pinot for sure, and Beaujolais, if they have it, Barbera, and perhaps some domestic Gamay – all of which are light enough for summer fare and delicious with a light chill.
Perhaps most importantly for the buying seasonally rule is to buy more whites and rosés! I finally got around to buying some rosés a few weeks ago, but in my excitement to have rosé to pair with our summer menu it seems we have gone through the few bottles that I purchased. As for the whites – I think it is important to have a broad range of white wines ready in your summer time cellar. Notably Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer should all be on hand in a summer foodie’s wine cellar.
My shopping list
Sparkling wine (because there is never an occasion where bubbly is inappropriate)
Sauvignon Blanc (hopefully a little New Zealand, some CA, and a little French too!)
Riesling (I love the German stuff, but rarely want to spend the $$ for it, so I look to Australia for value)
Chardonnay – but only bone dry, the oaky Chards are really not good with food
Sparkling (because you can never, and I do mean never, have too much bubbly)
Other light bodied reds suitable for summer fare
With today’s prep I think I’m ready to go. I would hate to end up buying even more Syrah – although, if I find some bottles suitable for aging….. nah, I think I need to steer clear of the Syrah until we drink some of what we have on hand. I will however keep an eye out for bargains on bottles to lay down for a while, because I love aged wine, and I hate paying too much for it. I’m so excited for tomorrow’s Mission: Wine Procurement, that I may not be able to sleep tonight. Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s gonna be great!