October 22, 2014

red wine recommendations

Fact: I love wine. I tend toward light whites, personally–pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc–but I generally won’t say no to pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon or merlot, either. That said, I am not good at picking out nice wines–I kind of gravitate to what I’ve drank and liked at friends’ homes, or a bottle with a pretty label–so in the past, I’ve avoided giving wine as a gift.

But when I was in Boston last week (more on that soon), I decided I wanted to give the friends I was staying with a bottle of wine, so my BFF Shun took me to an adorable wine shop in the South End called The Urban Grape. I knew going in that I wanted to get something nice, in the $25 range, and I knew I wanted a red wine, but that was it. Well, the saleslady, Yoko, was super helpful and immediately guided me to two cabernet sauvignons exactly within my price point that she thought I’d like. I ended up getting a bottle of Uppercut cabernet sauvignon that was delicious–flavorful and full-bodied, velvety in texture and perfect with the amazing pasta Bolgnese we ate for dinner. It made for a great gift and I’ll definitely buy it again.

And while I was shopping for my wine, Shun was picking out a bottle of his own–and it turned out to be a really interesting one, called COS Frappato. It’s a Sicilian wine (frappato is a type of Italian grape), and it’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted–it smells intensely floral and is light and fresh and fruity with a silky texture. A tip: The salesperson told us to open it about an hour before we wanted to drink it, so we did, and I’m sure it made a big difference.

So! Two solid wine recommendations–guided by professionals from an actual wine shop in a major metropolis!–from a girl who previously had no clue how to pick a bottle. I’m learning. Slowly.

P.S. A white wine I really like, and Emily’s tips for making cheap wine taste delicious.

Photo via Cupcakes and Cashmere

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