I'm of the opinion that there's no bad wine anymore. Modern winemaking and viticulture have killed off the rotgut of yesteryear, vanquished the swill of the past, and sent the skunky stuff packing.
However, that doesn't mean that there isn't some wine that's better than other wine.
Of late, I've been drinking a lot of el cheapo wine. But not too long ago, I discovered that the Whole Foods near KPCC's Mohn Broadcast Center in Pasadena carries wines imported by Kermit Lynch. As I've already blogged here at DeWine Report (heh heh), I'm a fan.
I was even more delighted to discover that Lynch is now selling his own self-branded blends. I picked up a bottle of the Côtes du Rhône ($14).
Lynch has always had something of a preferred style for reds, particularly where Rhônes are concerned: bold, lusty, rustic, expressive of place but not stingy when it comes to powerful fruit-driven flavors, and with a healthy, immensely satisfying blast of spice and oak on the finish.
With his own Côtes du Rhône, he's basically distilled this style to its essence. This can be bad for someone like me, who likes wine but doesn't necessarily want to keep a vast selection of different styles on hand. It can also be bad if you've been avoiding the $10-$20 price range for a while. I'll wind up spending more on less variety. Doh!
But what joy this wine gave me! With some nice cheeses and some nice olives, it was perfect to sip in front of a fire in mid-December on a slightly damp and somewhat chilly Los Angeles evening. I also think it would go pretty well with beef stew. Or roast chicken. Or a Big Mac. Or some fish sticks.
It is, in short, a good wine that's better than many, many other good wines.