Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Pink Scourge

"A good starting point when discussing bad wine is White Zinfandel..." -John Weidman

Let's be frank, the South is the only region that actually considers White Zinfandel a real wine. Many people here don't even realize that a true Zinfandel is a RED wine! That being said I can't be too critical because White Zin is where most wine drinkers start... ashamedly, even me (likely at the age of 14). Even at my wedding, the bar ran out of White Zinfandel 10 minutes after the ceremony was over. Shameful!

It is generally palatable, unoffensive, usually a little sweet, and quite cheap. If you're new to wine (read: adolescent), White Zinfandel is seen by some as an acceptable place to start. *Not condoning underage drinking.* To the rest of you, which is likely everyone reading this blog, it's time to GROW UP and begin learning to like real wine! Dr. Bright Eyes to the rescue. It is my goal through this blog to teach everyone how to choose a better bottle of wine. If you like White Zin, we have only room for improvement! Find your level and try something new this week:

Phase 1 - White Zinfandel, Arbor Mist, Boone's Farm
(Adolescent or Redneck)
Do not drink these in public, even if you like them! :)

Phase 2 - Fruity Whites
The natural progression from Phase 1 is to the fruity whites. Again, these are obviously sweet and fruity, have lower alcohol levels and appeal to the masses. In this level you’ll find wines such as Moscato/Muscat, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay... in that order. These are more acceptable on warm summer days as they can be very refreshing pool-side. Phase 2’s are easily spotted as they proudly drink Chardonnay and look down their noses at Phase 1’s.

Phase 3 - Fruity Reds
(Movin' on up)
Once Phase 2’s get tired of drinking over-oaked chardonnay, the weather gets chillier, or a particular meal or event requires them to drink red wine, they start to branch out and look for other fruity wines. This leads to Phase 3 and fruity reds. This level also includes blush and rose wines, like a Rosato. Yes, there are decent ones out there! Some of the more popular fruity reds include Dolcetto or Pinot Noir, which was made somewhat mainstream in the movie SIDEWAYS. Some lighter-bodied Zinfandels and Merlots may fall into this level too. I repeat: Zinfandel, the RED wine!

Phase 4 - Robust Reds
These wine drinkers have progressed through the first 3 phases and proudly drink the bold, robust wines that Phase 1 through 3 drinkers can’t hack. These wines typically exhibit much higher alcohol levels, tannin levels (the stuff that makes you suck your tongue against the inside of your front teeth) and often have more complex tastes. For less of a tannic effect, choose "artisan" or "hand-crafted" wines such as those at, you-guessed-it, www.BrightEyesWine.com! The fruitiness of the wines still exists but the sweetness is neutralized by the tannins and other flavors. Wines in this phase include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz/Syrah, Zinfandel, Carmenere, Malbec and some table wine and blends including Meritage.

Phase 5 - Appreciates All
(Wine Snob or Wineaux)
Phase 5’s have achieved the top of the scale in wine drinking. They believe that all wines are good, some just better than others and can sometimes be seen drinking white wines just to prove that they appreciate all wine. Level 5’s also have vast knowledge of varietals world-wide and can easily talk about the different wine regions and share their experiences from previous phases of their wine drinking days such as when they were in a Spanish or Italian wine phase. Wines that Phase 5 drinker's may enjoy include just about anything except those listed in Phase 1, which they would not be caught dead partaking.

Thank you to www.redneckwinereview.com for allowing me (not that they'll ever know) to steal some content to make myself look better, maybe even like a Phase 5.

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