Paco & Lola Albariño ($22.95)
Find it in the Spain Section
Grown in Galicia’s Rías Baixas under the damp and chilly influence of the Atlantic, the Albariño grape has, like us, developed a thick skin to survive. Thus, like us, it delivers more flavour? …. wait … scratch that comparison.
The riño part of the name comes from “Rhine” as the grape was once thought to be a descendant of the Riesling grapes that show-off clinging to the steep banks of that river. Even though that turned out to be wrong, Galician Albariño does take up minerals like the Germanic grape, but has a peachy, apricot thing going on that you associate with Viognier from the northern south of France.
The Paco & Lola is a good and fairly priced example. This is not reception wine, it’s for food, preferably fish, and very much the slivers and tiles of which you find in sushi. Screwcap is convenient and reduces the chances of spoilage. It wants to be served on the cold side of cool. Wonderful stuff we are lucky to have on the shelves. It marks a rare success in the search for affordable and drinkable white wine.
Apothic Red ($17.03)
Find it in the US Section
Possibly the most popular red wine on offer at the NLC is the Apothic Red, and no wonder, it taste like our beloved Pepsay. It’s got intensely sweet cherry cough syrup notes and a creamy vanillin/lactic thing like one of those diabetic Frappacinos from Starbucks. A weirdo blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Merlot it’s purported to have 16 grams of residual sugar!
It is execrable shite really, shouldn’t even be called “wine” but rather a “wine drink.” It does nothing for food other than to remind you how depressed you are to be eating Mary Brown’s in your car for a third night in a row since your wife threw you out and the new girlfriend, Krystal, always wants wine.
This California crap is made industrially, in big jesus vats. It tastes boiled. Does it have a purpose, a role … yes, it is drink-without-thinking, to be consumed without paying attention – to anything. If that’s how you roll, if you just cram and/or pour any old garbage in your pie hole this is the wine for you. Prediction: Diet Apothic.
And yet, Apothic Red gets scores of 85/86 from professional wine reviewers. People who are employed – paid – to review the stuff for a living, without invoking elitist biases in the process. 85/86 isn’t a top score, but it’s far above the 0 – 50 points rage the tone of this review implies.
It takes a lazy critic and a lazy writer to go to extremes, to use vitriolic hyperbole in order to come up with a review designed to gain attention/reaction, rather than write about it’s true middle-of-the-road nature because that HONEST review would be less flashy.
Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, you included, but to be clear L.P is paid for his reviews, and has written for multiple publications on the topic of food and drink.
I have never seen a professional wine reviewer dive to this level of message-board worthy commentary. There’s better – less juvenile – wine criticism on reddit, and many other discussion forums, from people doing it out of pure enthusiasm. The hyperbole here isn’t good.
“[G]arbage in your pie hole….”
What a joke.
I’m no big fan of Apothic Red, but this review has it at the level of Pruno, which is ludicrous. How’s about the writer show in the writing some of the nuance or complexity he/she desires in wine, instead of using a bazooka to kill an ant?
I wish to add that the sales volume of the wine and the price have already dictated the wine’s ability to meet the requirements of this series (being affordable and worth your dime) because the proof is in the pudding that for many, many people it is worth their time, and the price tag is lower than any other wine LP has reviewed. LP doesn’t get to dictate what is worth other people’s dime, how they spend their money. Thus the juvenile review as hissy-fit push-back, because “how dare people enjoy it?!”
Hauling the word “shite” into it adds an extra level of pretentious uppity-ness.
At least I know not to give these reviews much weight, if I do give them any more time.
You’re putting an awful lot of thought into an $18 wine review.
Re: DT’s comment about a lot of thought being put into an $18 wine review…
Seems to me like that comment could be made about the writer of the reviews, no?
Aside from this one, of course. This one didn’t require much thought.
Whatever bobs your bobber, Bobby.