by Seema Gunda, WG’15 (Co-President of the Wine Club)
I pride myself on giving pretty good gifts. Like the time I gave my mom a pretty necklace and she stored it away in a box/museum labeled “gifts from kids”. Or last year, when I got my sister a Kindle. Granted she hasn’t taken it out of the packaging yet, but I hear the box serves as a very good coaster.
Now, class of 2016, it’s your turn. As my gift to you, I’ve gathered a list of wines to get you through the first quarter, which us second years know was not always smooth sailing. Most of these wines are available at the Fine Wine and Good Spirits store at 21st and Market. Alternatively, wine.com can be a godsend with their highly differentiated offering of…actually shipping to Philly. And in fact, most of these wines were actually tried at the latest Wine Club social, so you know, just one more reason to join the best club at Wharton.
Whether you’ve run out of fun facts to tell or you’ve found that special someone and wanna lock it down, we’ve got a wine for you:
Wines to Meet Anyone: High Alcohol Wines
If you’re tired of telling near-strangers where you’re from and where you worked for the 500th time, you’re not alone. Pre-term formalizes the conversation and the first quarter is only marginally better. So we’ve picked out some of the booziest, most motivational wines to get you through it. While most wines have an ABV between 12-14%, certain Zins or other wines can clock in at 14.5% or even higher. Look for New World wines (ie from the Americas, South Africa, or Australia/NZ), because these hotter regions produce grapes with higher sugar–and therefore wines with higher alcohol–than their European counterparts.
The Clos de los Siete blend ($19) combines the best of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. With blackberry aromas, this wine reveals ripe fruit flavors on the palate and firm, yet smooth tannins. The 14.5% ABV certainly carries itself well in this good value wine.
Saldo Zinfandel from The Prisoner Wine Company ($29) is has a whopping 15.9% ABV but hides it oh-so-well. The dark fruit flavors give way to sweet baking spices, and a touch of chocolate. Perfect for a meaty small-group dinner to transition to more interesting conversation.
Wines to Improve Your Language “Skills”: Sparkling Wines
Sure, half of us are proficient in Spanish in resume-land, but then we actually try speaking to someone who’s fluent, and it’s only a matter of time before you get found out and end up in Follies. So what’s the one thing holding you back from being the español expert-o you’ve always dreamed of becoming?
A filter. And what’s the easiest way to get rid of that pesky little filter? Getting your drink on, of course! It helps the words flow so much, I’m not sure why my high school Spanish class didn’t have a 2-drink minimum. Sparkling wines actually cut to the chase faster, because the bubbles help you absorb alcohol more quickly. Que bueno!
The Argyle Vintage Brut ($21) is a wonderful blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Hailing from Willamette Valley in Oregon, this sparkler smells a little toasty or bready and offers clean apple and lemon flavors. Easily consumed by itself or with a number of festive foods.
La Marca Prosecco ($13) is a richer bubbly, living up to its Tiffany-blue label. It has a savory-sweet aroma reminiscent of a classic pairing: apples and cheese. Crisp acidity and pleasant Meyer lemon flavors balance out the sweetness of golden delicious apple and richness of buttery brioche.
Wines to Improve Your Game: White Wines
Okay, I can’t work miracles here or anything, but I can help you avoid the one of the biggest turn-offs: wine teeth. While I personally find wine stained teeth quite sexy, others may be less keen on DFMO-ing after they see your cherry-colored chompers. White wines are a great way to keep you refreshed in this Tropical September we’re having, and will keep those pearly whites…well…pearly white.
One of my favorite wines is the super-dry Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Riesling ($19). Beyond the awesome name, is a refreshing, floral, and well-structured wine. This sleek and slender bottle reveals crisp, citrusy acidity and apple flavors typical of an Austrian Riesling.
Try the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier ($13) if you’re up for more of an off-dry white with tropical aromas. A hint of herbal grassiness and lovely lime balance out this blend. This wine is easy to drink and fruity to knock back a few glasses and let the good times roll.
Wines to Celebrate Not Drinking at Irish Pub
Any wine. Anything will do.
You’ll remember that first drink outside Irish Pub, like it is your first drink ever. And boy, will it be sweet. Cheers!