Welcome James Wall to our new weekly Q&A Ask A Wino.
We knew Texans were big on meat but what about wine? James Wall, resident Bartender and Wine Purchaser at C4 Deli, reps the lone star state on the wine front, serving his fellow Dallas comrades proud. Drinking makes perfect and led to his expertise. “Good thing I like to practice drinking wine,” quips Hall who began his love affair with wine while working in Vegas. There he met “two classy gents named Barry Larvin and John Louis Palladin,” who were of great influence to him. He advises that when looking for a top notch bottle, nose, taste and price are signifiers of a good buy. “Hard work? Who’s complaining about tasting wine?” Hall remarked jestingly when asked about the difficulties of tasting such a multitude of varietals. Forced to answer, he narrowed his hardships down to palatefatigue. Because the C4 Deli menu is littered with his favorite wines, Hall best enjoys bringing wine and patron together by way of pairing recommendations. A notable pairing that ranks high on his list is the C4 BBQ Brisket with Humble Pie Cabernet Sauvignon. If you want to stay on his good side, beware of perpetuating the following misconceptions: legs and tears signify a quality wine; grapes are only good from one sole place; Malbec originated in Argentina. Steer clear of those and who knows, maybe he’ll top of your glass with one of his favorites the next time you’re at C4 Deli.
Q: The Higher the Price the Better the Wine?
A: Wines can range from as cheap as that guy Chuck who’s very popular at Trader Joe’s to those that cost more than the car I drive. Let’s use the analogy of the price of shoes to explain how this works. When you purchase a pair of shoes and your only goal is put a piece of leather between you and the ground, then your only objective might be to get buzzed after a few glasses.
Do you want the shoes to be really comfortable? Add a few dollars. Do you want them to look good too? Add a few bucks. Same goes for wine. If you’re looking for a decent wine that tastes good you can easily find something between $10 and $20.
Now let’s say you need some fancy shoes to wear to a party. You might want to spend a little more to elicit oohs and ahhs. As we know, people are often influenced by labels. Such is the case with wine. Sometimes we want to impress our guests or make people feel special by serving a well recognized wine but don’t let brands fool you. Just as with shoes, sometimes it’s just a gimmick.
Then of course there are the wines that make you question if the decimal point was placed in the wrong spot. Often times this reflects the rarity, age and supply and demand of the wine. Does this always dictate that it will be the best wine available? No.
I’m all for treating yourself once in a while but for day to day drinking, don’t feel like you need to spend an arm and a leg. Price should never dictate if you like a wine. If you find a $5 bottle of wine you like then be proud! After all they are your taste buds.
Wine prices range from Two Buck Chuck to $15,000 per bottle. Of course, the $15,000 price tag reflects rarity and sometimes age and certainly supply and demand. Similarly, a $2 price indicates an oversupply of sometimes good wine but in most cases, very mediocre wine. For the average consumer, wines ranging between $10 and $20 per bottle will provide access to some splendid value from all around the world.