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Improving your wine life without punishing your wallet

Last week I promised you a way to change your wine life –- improving it without spending more.

Last week I promised you a way to change your wine life –- improving it without spending more. I also said that for the next few weeks I'd be focusing on value wines. So let's get on with both items.

Traditional wine drinking prescribes finishing each bottle before opening another -– drinking the second half of the bottle even if it's no longer exciting you. This could be likened to listening to the entire CD even though you've lost interest. Crazy or what?

Over the course of an evening we usually flip through different paces and styles of music to keep up with our changing moods. So why not do the same with wine? Enjoy at least two styles -– do the "wine two-step." Does this mean opening two bottles in the same evening? You bet! But it doesn't mean finishing both. Opened bottles remain in perfect condition for several days if refrigerated, so there is no reason not to have a few on the go.

Here's how to get started on my "wine two-step." Buy a refreshing white and a rich red –- such as the pair below, and open both. Pour a glass or two of the white for your evening starter. Move on to the nourishing red with supper. Repeat the next evening, and until you're ready for another twosome.

You will now be enjoying every glass because you'll be creating a match of wine and mood –- which is the key to a happy wine life. Along with bargain buys of course.

The feeling in Cesari Chardonnay is crisp refreshment, and Drostdy-Hof Merlot delivers yummy nourishment. They're a perfect pair.

Cesari 07 Chardonnay, Venezie, Italy 572461 $7.25
Drostdy-Hof 07 Merlot, South Africa 345371 $9.75


Last Saturday at LCBO Vintages: Check out one of my favourite local reds, Malivoire 06 Gamay, Niagara (#591313 $17.00) – bright flavours along with a tangy, rustic feeling.

Backwoods Beaujolais! Chicken or pork roast. Lightly chill. And consider these three winter house Reds – all $14.95.

Parducci 05 Petite Sirah, California (#75598 $14.95) – honest country feeling. An atypical Californian. More earthy than lush.

Quinta dos Roques 05 Dao, Portugal (#986075 $14.95) – gutsy, rustic wine for hearty meals with lots of Italian-style vigour.

The Ruins 06 Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon, South Africa (#18739 $14.95) – lush, rich,
charming, but not over the top. Have with grilled meats. Organic.

'Billy's Best Bottles Wines for 2009' is now available in stores, or from www.billysbestbottles.com -– the perfect gift for your favourite wine lover! Cheers.

 
 
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