They say variety is the spice of life. For wine lovers today, there’s no end to the diversity of wines available to enjoy right now, and for incredibly reasonable prices.
There has never been a time when the quality-to-price ratio of wine from every part of the world has been more notable. The evolution of expert winemaking techniques and the sharing of that information among vintners globally have resulted in better wine for everyone. In an increasingly competitive market where wine drinkers know and expect more, fair pricing and good quality have become a necessity, not a luxury.
Our Top 100 Best Buys of 2013 reflects this modern bounty. Representing the most diversity ever, with more countries and grape varieties represented than ever before, this is an essential shopping list for the holidays and beyond, at prices that accommodate most wallets.
The list champions top-scoring and value-oriented bottlings from iconic wine-producing countries such as France, Germany and Italy, and discovery-driven regions like Portugal, Slovenia and South Africa. Alongside varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll find Pinot Gris, Negroamaro, Petite Sirah and Torrontés, among others, all for prices that encourage everyday experimentation.
Could the land of Barolo and Barbaresco ever be considered a value destination with competitively priced wines? Italian Editor Kerin O’Keefe combats stereotype in her article on affordable Piedmont, highlighting finds like Barbera, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo, and choosing her favorite hotel and restaurant discoveries in the area that won’t break the bank.
Discovery, or rediscovery, is the focus of Contributing Editor Virginie Boone’s article on young winemakers pairing up with old vines in California. Eschewing the mainstream in pursuit of history and production of more obscure—and delicious—varieties like Cinsault and Carignan, these artisans are stepping back in time to produce wines with a growing contemporary following.
Also in this issue: Austria’s stunning winery architecture follows the clean lines of its fine wine; rye whiskey makes a startling comeback and we announce our annual Wine Star Awards nominees.