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A post-grad grape guide 

There’s nothing more nerve wracking than picking out your first Merlot for a dinner party. Sure, there are births, graduations, and first real jobs, but nothing induces palm sweats and heel-to-toe rocking like standing in the aisle of a BevMo, trying to decide if you should buy the bottle with the kangaroo on it, or the one with the purple foot.

Couple that with the fact that you’re $60,000 in debt thanks to your liberal arts degree, and suddenly the idea of dropping $25 on a bottle of glorified raisins seems a bit indulgent.

But the truth is that twentysomethings want to enjoy wine as much as the seasoned veterans do. Wine tasting among the young and matriculated has become quiet vogue, and so has buying a few bottles for casual dinner parties or get-togethers.

BevMo has an endless supply of wines on the cheap that don’t sacrifice palatability for price. A 2010 Castle Rock Cabernet Sauvignon goes for $2.99, and your guests won’t be thinking “dollar menu” when you pour them a glass.

By glass three, the guests won’t even care that the meal was preheated or that the only thing you can play on acoustic guitar is “Stairway to Heaven.”

Trader Joe’s also offers a wide variety of wines to choose from, with the now infamous Charles “Two Buck Chuck” Shaw topping the list. There’s also Coastal, which offers a Merlot, Cabernet, and Chardonnay for around the same price as the Castle Rock.

Thewinedr.com is great with helping you choose what food would pair best with your wine. Your party guests will not only be impressed with your ability to pull off a feat other than paying the cable bill on time, but you’ll also be able to build a repertoire of dinner choices for future guests and dinner parties.

Another way to save big bucks is to sign up for a BevMo card. It’s free, and the benefits can knock a great deal off the sticker price. If you or your guests aren’t much into wine, there are a ton of novelty beers and ales to choose from, including a delicious “donut and bacon” ale by a brewer called Rogue.

And if booze, bacon, and donuts won’t cure what ails you—student loans, a crap job market and economy, a film industry that perpetually underestimates our intelligence—then I don’t know what will.

Intern Maeva Considine compiled this week’s Bites. Send food and wine news to bites@newtimesslo.com.

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