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March 2024 Market Brief – Vino 101 -Tax Time Supplements

Vino 101

Tax Time Supplements

“I think it is a great error to consider a heavy tax on wines as a tax on luxury. On the contrary, it is a tax on the health of our citizens.” – Thomas Jefferson

Tax Season is here and whether you’ve filed, working on your taxes, or using an extension to file in October, you may need a drink or two to help get you through everyone’s favorite time of the year. That’s the great thing about wine, it’s enjoyable for any occasion and has a way of improving your spirits. For those who are embracing an early spring, perhaps a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc on your back porch is a great way to spend your later afternoon unwinding from the burdens of the day. And for those who still have cooler evenings, a light-bodied Pinot Noir would be a great pairing. Lastly, for those who just love Cabernet Sauvignon regardless of pairings and the weather, you just can’t go wrong with a great glass of Cab.

Sauvignon Blanc

Apart from Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite white wine right now. The grape has a versatility depending on where it’s being produced to express a multitude of flavors. You might be thinking, how can one wine from the same grape taste different, it’s just wine; if you’ve had a chance to try a Marlborough SB, Napa Valley SB, and Sancerre SB, you have had the opportunity to taste the different styles and characteristics that make each region famous for their own renditions. My personal favorite expression of a Sauvignon Blanc is the Sancerre (name of the region in France, but also name of the bottle as you shop for it). Fun fact: Costco just released a Kirkland Signature 2022 Sancerre; something I am very excited to try.

Pinot Noir

A varietal that has grown on me, Pinot Noir is delicate yet tantalizingly complex. Pinot Noir traces its roots to well over 1,000 years ago to the Roman era, and it’s one of those wines that everyone knows of and for the most part, already knows if they like it or not. Many regions fight for the claim to the best Pinot Noir producer including some very well-known regions: Burgundy, Willamette, and the Californian Coast (Russian River Valley, Sonoma, Napa Valley); also, some regions who haven’t quite made the same splash, but still produces a great Pinot Noir: Germany (the grape is called Spatburgunder here), Italy (Pinot Nero), and New Zealand. When enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir, it’s best to have a glass that is ‘tulip-ed’ to help preserve the bouquet of the wine; this will enhance the flavors as you taste it as the trapped fragrances will add to the palette. And mayhaps a delectable charcuterie board to pair with it.

Cabernet Sauvignon

A wine that needs no introduction, yet here we are. Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in a wide range of climates and regions, but the most well-known are Napa Valley and Bordeaux. Being the ‘most’ well-known, doesn’t mean they are the only ones to do it or do it well at that. While France is the number one producer of the grape, Chile is right behind it, with the US bringing up third place in acreage production. The wine needs a whole page for itself, which I have done before, but when discussing go-to wines, I would be remiss to leave out the most famous grape of them all.  Cab is a phenomenal wine that is great for all celebrations: finishing taxes, thinking about taxes, or not even thinking about taxes.

Wine is such a fun and complex subject, but the bottom line is that it is something to enjoy and can be shared with others.  Whether it’s any of the recommendations above or your personal favorite, I suggest you find a reason to spend some time to slow down and enjoy some wine. If you have a great wine bar near you, many places will allow you to do half glasses to try wines that are new to you and sometimes the bartender/sommelier may even just bring you tastes of different wines that excite them!