Why you shouldn't collect wine

No doubt about it, collecting wine is for suckers. Here's why. Most people get into wine when they realize that a Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay is infinitely more interesting than Mateus, Lancer's, or Gallo Hearty Burgundy. Those with money to spare rush right out and buy a case of the K-J right away. Problem is, a new wine lover's palate evolves very quickly, and by the time she's on her third bottle of the case, she tastes some other wine that makes her wonder why she bought the over-oaked K-J in the first place. If you're new to wine, let your tastes sort themselves out for at least a year before you buy a full case of any one wine. Even if your tastes have evolved to a point where they're stable, buying wine for the cellar is a huge crapshoot. I've put away cases of Chardonnay and Cabernet, only to discover to my absolute horror that they didn't age well. Truth is, most wines these days are made for immediate consumption, and that's how I buy them now. Only on rare occasions (Walla Walla Vineyards, for example) do I buy a substantial quantity. And even then I'll plow through it in less than a year. OK, two great weeks for cheapskates One of the things I love about this column is that readers e-mail wine recommendations to me. That's so cool! I've tried great wines that would never have come to my attention otherwise. A case in point is the '99 Canyon Road California Sauvignon Blanc. Here's an eight-dollar wine that delivers as much as Sauv Blancs at twice the price. You get tangy citrus and herb flavors with a touch of flint. Delish! I found it at Esquin Wine Merchants (Fourth and Lander, 682-7374). E-mail: wine@seattleweekly.com

 
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