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.