From the United States to the Ukraine, the leaders of one billion people were up for grabs in 2004. With voting a hot topic, elected officials serve as the lens for this year’s best wine list. While my usual lists focus on wines under $10, this year-end list gives me a chance to recommend some more expensive selections still bearing in mind good values (or QPR as it is known in wine geek parlance: quality to price
|Best wines, mayors
Mayors have limited budgets and provide lots of services aimed at making voters happy-all while keeping an eye on the price. Fortunately, many wines are available in this category. For American mayors, an excellent choice is the House Wine 2002 from Magnificent Wine Co ($10) a big red blend from Washington State. For those foreign or cosmopolitan mayors the I Portali, Basilicata, Aglianico del Vulture, 2002 ($10) represents great value from the boot of Italy, the Las Rocas de San Alejandro, 2002 ($9) of old vine Grenache from Spain, and the Duboeuf Julienas Flower Label
2003 ($10) all have a refinement and delicacy well above their price point (read: they drink like $30+ wines). More specifics on these wines are available in my lists of best wines under $10.
Best wine, governors
With prices rising faster than the hilly countryside in Priorat, savvy buyers are turning to Montsant. L’Alleu,
you can call me gov
Best wines, presidents
Check out my interactive map of NYC wine shops
Best wine for the Defense Department
2001. ($55) A blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah, this profound and indefatigable wine comes from Shafer’s prime hillside vineyard. Although it’s expensive, with a budget such as theirs, no one will notice.
Best wine for Red Sox fans
Chateau d’Yquem, 1918 ($1,029). This bottle is from the vintage of their last World Series victory. How sweet it is!
Best wine for Howard Dean
Any grands crus Bordeaux from the 2000 vintage. The quality—and the prices!—would
make anyone scream.
Best wine for ousted corporate executives who have to give back bonuses
Three Thieves, Zinfandel, NV, 1L jug ($9.99)
Best wine for Martha Stewart
During the trial: Turley,
Old Vines 1997 ($50). The 16% alcohol helps the trial.
In jail: Big House Red, 2002, $8 (or 20 packs of cigarettes)
Upon release: Louis Roederer, Cristal, 1990, ($150) by the case!
Best wine for Kobe Bryant
Chardonnay. Feeling the pressure from the ABC (anything but Chardonnay) crowd, Chardonnay’s popularity has declined. But not as precipitously as Kobe’s whose jersey used to be the top seller and now has dropped to 90th.
|Best wine for owners of an iPod
Pinot Noir. The hottest product in consumer electronics needs the new "hot wine." And thanks to the movie
Sideways, Pinot Noir is the new darling of California. Move over Merlot! Here comes something better! (and more difficult to do well)
Best ‘wine’ when Donald Trump declares "you’re fired"
Boone’s Farm, NV, Sun Pink Peach, ($2.49). Very affordable while in bankruptcy (like Trump’s Taj Mahal casino).