City Gay and Country Gay

Friday, August 10, 2007

Cheap wine for poor snobs: 2004 Michele Chiarlo - Barbera D'Asti

Welcome back, Country Gay!

Let's get this party started up again with some fermented grape juice, shall we?

I'm constantly on the lookout for great deals on delicious wine because I'm always poor and slightly alcoholic.

My goal, usually, is to keep the price to ten dollars and score a label I've never tried. When it comes to preference, I'll always seek out a dry, earthy European red with just a hint of fruit to make it "accessible." It could very well be in my head, but I feel like I can taste the history of the grape in those wines, you know?

Anyway, I HATE really sweet wines for the most part, but occasionally I'll have one that isn't offensive, so I'm never going to say never when it comes to wine. I do LOVE wine that's versatile enough for sipping amongst friends or pairing with any damned thing I feel like cooking.

So that's easy enough on ten bucks, right? Not usually. Usually I end up with a bottle of sludge that I drink anyway because, again, slightly alcoholic.

But tonight I got LUCKY! (not the dirty kind of lucky. yet.)

Michele Chiarlo - Barbera D'Asti 2004

Now the grocery store I hit up tonight (QFC) claims this is a $17 bottle of wine, but gave it to me for $10.99 out of the kindness of their hearts and because I have a QFC Advantage Card. But after a bit of Internet research, I discovered it's typically ten bucks anyway, so I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER QFC!!!

But that doesn't detract from the fact that this is a fantastic bottle of wine for the price. Barbera, by the way, is a varietal of grape from Italy and Asti is the city within the Piedmont region of Italy in which these particular grapes were grown.

I found this wine to be an awesome sipping wine and went well with our salmon dinner tonight, but I've read it's real strength is when it's paired with strong flavors such as a hearty marinara sauce (it is from Italy after all). Order a bottle of Barbera instead of Chianti in Little Italy and I bet you'll sound less of an ignorant American for your efforts. Not talking about you, Country Gay. The others.

Wine Spectator apparently rated it an 86, but those numbers never mean anything to me anyway. I just want it to taste good and cost about the same as two value meals at Wendy's.

So, if you can't find it in any of your local stores, give a try because the wine and the site both kick major tokhes.

- City Gay out

1 comment:

slambo said...

I love a good recommendation for a cheap wine. I stopped at a few wineries during my voyage but only bought one bottle. (Actually, I bought two bottles, but one was for Bill.) I'll give a full report on the one I did buy. It's a rose, which is something I usually avoid, having long ago grown out of my desire to have a nice, chilly, pink wine. However, pink is in, and after tasting this rose, I couldn't resist.

On a side note - literally - the video about Vienna sausages grosses me out. I used to eat those things with a passion when I was little. What's worse is I used to smear ketchup all over them. Now I gag when I see them.