Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kestrel Lady In Red Non Vintage – Washington

Friends brought this over for dinner, having picked it up at Costco (which has been known to have some nice wines). To us, it’s just another red wine. Better than the “standard” of cheap reds (Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck - aka “2 Buck Junk”), but still just a red wine nonetheless. This has been well-rated by Wine Spectator, but for us, it’s a Maybe at best. (We originally didn’t know what our friends paid, but having found out it’s $21 retail, we’d really not bother.)

This is a good time for a digression about personal tastes. We read the popular wine press, and often agree with many of the writers – especially Matt Kramer in Wine Spectator and John Brecher & Dorothy Gaiter of the Wall St. Journal. All writers have personal favorites, and despite trying to be impartial in their reviews, their own upbringing and taste preferences can (and do) color their recommendations. Remember that applies to us, too. Another Wine Spectator writer, James Suckling, seems to be on a mission to deify all Italian wines, while we seldom find anything beyond ordinary in almost all Italian wines, no matter the price. Our suggestion, of course, is to taste a lot of wines, and read a lot of wine writers and their reviews. Once you can say, as we did above, that you agree with a taster’s tastes, then you can begin to rely more on their recommendations.