It is an unassuming little brass rack that was given to me by a friend in Boston when I drove down to visit him in the late 90s. He had quit drinking, and the rack was just taking up precious space in his little apartment. The rack only holds seven bottles, and only six of them are actually wine - the last is a bottle of tawny port. Still, I get a small feeling of satisfaction in seeing all of the slots filled. If we ever get friends who come by to visit once in awhile, and more specifically, friends who actually drink wine, then we are set for a bit.
They are all modestly priced wines, ranging from $13 to $19 for the most part. I think there might be a $25 Malbec skulking in there amongst the cheaper wines, but that is really the outlier of the bunch.
I used to buy the more expensive wines at one time. I have never considered myself a wine aficionado, but my reasoning went that if a $20 bottle of wine was good, then a $35 bottle must be 1.75 times better. Whether it was because I was blindly buying varieties that did not appeal to me, or I was leaving them too long for a "special" occasion before opening them, I found that I was not entirely enamoured with those pricier bottles.
It is also possible that I have unsophisticated tastes.
This is not to say that I do not enjoy better wines. On the rare occasions when atara and I dine out fancy, we will usually cede to the advice of the sommelier when he suggests a wine to pair with our meals. I can never remember which wines are sweet, or acidic, or tannic, or fruity or whatever other characteristics one looks for in a wine when pairing it up with food. I could probably find an app for my phone that would tell me that, but my reasoning is that we have a professional wine steward standing right there who knows these things, and can help us make a decision.
On the other hand, when we are not dining out fancy, or just having some wine with a big serving of spaghetti, I am quite happy with plonk. A few years ago I read a column on wines written by a wine lover who, in amongst all his poetic waxing about various vintages, tossed out a bit of advice. He said that the best wines were not the ones that people like himself told you were good, but the ones that you like.
Even though the experts might tell you that the 2004 Cune Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva is the best wine ever since the invention of wine, if you happen to like that $12.95 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon then save your money and buy the wine that one. With that in mind, rather than taking a chance on a Château Larcis Ducasse St.-Emilion, I will grab a known commodity like Yellow Tail Big Bold Red or Apothic Red, not because they are classy wines worthy of me, but because I like them. I unashamedly drink cheap wine.
And I have a full wine rack to prove it.
If there is one thing that our cats have mastered, it is the art of looking unconcerned. Merry does not look like she cares in the least that she is blocking me from using my keyboard.