In Greece, it’s considered impolite to let your party guest stand around with a nearly empty glass. A proper host circulates with a carafe of retsina, pouring to the mid-line so that you don’t have too little or too much. Moderation. The Greeks invented it. Once or twice, we even tried it. Meh.
But we’re thinking of giving it another try … starting with this column, which has run for an immoderate 10 years. Some — not all — newspaper columns should be euthanized the moment they turn 10 (which is 91 in human years). This column, for example. “Cheers” was to be a temporary lark — amusing and possibly instructive. But the jokes are starting to repeat themselves and the teaching was hardly worth learning. As Mephistopheles taunted Faust:
Is this the noble
Life of prudence?
You bore yourself,
You bore your students.
Anyway, before paddling off we have a promise to keep. Last week we left you with our nominee for best cheap white: 90-plus sauvignon blanc. We close out with our candidate for best cheap red: Alamos Red Blend. $8.99 everywhere. You cannot go wrong.
It comes from Argentina, which is like when a baseball player comes from the Dominican Republic. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Alamos Red Blend is always robust and never quite predictable. Which is what’s cool about a blend. This one is a Malbec-based and is equal parts bold and fruity. Dense with notes of plum and black cherry, it’s nice and dry and is complemented by dignified accents of herbs, dark berries and black pepper.
We thank you for your kind patience in putting up with wine review so deficient in research, insight or authority. We have liked hearing from you. And we will miss the free samples, few though they were. Speaking of which, we just received the following from a California vineyard: “We are offering you to sample two delicious Provence-style rosés which are not from Provence. Our picks include a bright rosé from the Cotes-du-Rhone and a Californian rosé. If you are interested in samples of these wines, high-resolution images or further information, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.”
We don’t like rosés, even the ones that are from Provence. The offer was a sign from God telling us to take up a new vice. Which could be a lot of fun.
And that about wraps it up, folks. Thank you, and bless you all.