Wine on Vacation

My wife and I recently returned from a fabulous vacation in Cancun.  We stayed at Dreams All-Inclusive Resort & Spa which was a gorgeous place to relax and enjoy the sun, sea and local beverage specialties: cerveza, tequila, and margaritas (I may be the WindyCityWineGuy but don't forget I love the other bevs too!). 

There are alot of bars- beach, poolside, lounge, etc. but there will come the time to dine and you should do it right.  The wine inclusive to the resort was OK but only for chugging and not for taste and enjoyment.  When it came time to celebrate with friends, they decided to hand the wine list over to the WCWG.  Now it is time to get into how to select some quality wines while outside of your comfort zone- Home.  Let's remember this- the WCWG always likes to scour the list to find the wines which will not just save you from breaking the piggy, but which give the most bang for the buck.

  1. Go Local!  Normally you can find great wines at a great price while traveling.  We were in Mexico and it is quite hard to find some local quality.  Most grapes are used to make brandy to go along with Coca-Cola.  When confronted with this problem think of neighboring countries/continents.

  2. Be Global.  Your knowledge of what happens outside of your country can be key in many areas including selecting wine.  Since I know that the American dollar has sunk in value especially compared to a strong Euro, I realize that the European wines will be quite pricey.  And demand for champagne across the globe, especially from China and Russia, has driven the price out of control.  Also, California wine can be very pricey outside of the US- import prices and the quality level assumed.

  3. Remember your "Go-To Wines".  I am sure that when you buy wine, you buy specific favorites.  Remember when you do this to scan the shelves around your favorites and recognize the surrounding bottles.  This can help you to find comparable taste profiles when your favorites are unavailable.  You can then compare/contrast.  You just may find something you like even more for +/-!

These simple rules led me to the South American wines.  This neighboring mainly Spanish speaking continent (#1) would surely render some good value since it also does in the US (#2).  I immediately recognized Casillero del Diablo made by Concha Y Toro in Chile (#3).  They produce good high production wines for under $10!  A red and white were asked for so this called for some Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $25 on the list.  Everyone enjoyed the wine with apps and dinner- mission accomplished.