What does ‘best’ mean when talking about wine under $15?

The word best is best used sparingly, I always think. Not least because ‘best’ can be interpreted in many different ways, particularly when it comes to low priced products.

For some, the concept of best is another way of saying the lowest priced product, while for others, best can mean the most widely available and lowest priced product.

In the case of a tasting I am hosting tomorrow of six low priced Med’ reds (that’s Mediterranean reds), ‘best’ is a direct reference to the wines with the best drinkability – in other words, wines that taste and feel good in the mouth and which don’t hit the wallet too hard either. All wines are under $20, some are under $15.

We will taste Graciano (often referred to as Spain’s ‘virtual’ grape because it’s tough to grow, grown in small quantities but highly sought after). There will also be reds made from grapes that are pretty unknown by many wine drinkers, including Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, Grenache, Syrah and Nero d’Avola, among others.

These wines come from southern France, inland Spain, northern Italy and even the hot, arid continent at the toe at the Italian boot – Sicily.
Best is a word best used sparingly to preserve its meaning but after 20 years of writing about and tasting wine, I am convinced that the bunch of reds we are opening tomorrow at Regional Wines & Spirits do earn the moniker ‘best value’.

Try a bunch of the best value reds from around the Mediterranean tomorrow, Saturday 4 June at Regional Wines in Wellington from 12 noon to 4pm.