Welcome to Wine on the Dime! I want to start my blog by talking about myself and why I want to share my love of wine with you. My name is Stuart and, much like yourself, I am a man of many roles. I am a father, husband, martial artist, and wine aficionado.
My love of wine (and the purpose of this blog) actually comes from some experiences I had while going through my M.B.A. program. I jumped into the program a while ago and quickly realized that continuing the program on students loans while also trying to pay off my wife’s student loans was becoming too much of a financial burden on my mind. So I took a couple of years off. My wife and I followed the Financial Peace plan by Dave Ramsey and paid off $73,000 in debt within three years. We were then debt free and able to pay in cash for every semester’s tuition.
Upon re-entering graduate school, I found that I had started to like wine more than beer on a regular basis. Keep in mind, I had no clue about wine and thought that really good wine was just expensive. Since we live on a $0 based budget and have to afford things like a mortgage payment and food for the baby (…you know important stuff) I had to start “slumming” and drink “cheap” wine.
Once I got into the “cheap” wines, I had enough knowledge about wine to understand that I had discovered something new to me. I found that there are some damn good wines for less than $15 a bottle. There were two wines that really changed my mind about quality over the sticker price: Casillero de Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon and Finca de Origin Malbec. Oh, holy Lord are those good! I will post reviews on those wines at some point, but I’m trying to figure out how to do that in a manner that doesn’t make it seem like you are reading a romance novel.
When I found that there were really good bottles under $15, I knew I had to share my finds with everyone. I also found that Texas has numerous wineries which must be explored by my palate. Thus, this blog was conceived in the hot, torrid union of my passion for flavor and my drive for being cheap. I admit that there are some amazing wines for more than $15, but the average person doesn’t want to spend that much on a regular basis. This is for the budget conscious consumer who wants that ‘one wine’ to make their life complete.
I am going to use a basic rating system to help identify how I feel about the wines being reviewed. I am not nearly trained enough to distinguish between an 84 and an 85 point wine. However, I can tell you if it falls into one of these three categories:
1. Try it again: Wine in this category needs more exploration through things like food pairing, more aerating, more exposure to my palate, etc.
2. Enjoy it again: This is one that I could drink at anytime without reservations of how it will taste or needing specific food pairings to make it shine.
3. Eh…: This is a wine that I have tried again and still doesn’t stir up big feelings in me. It’s not great, but it’s not horrible. I would drink it again if someone provided it but I won’t go seek it out.
4. Never again: Steer clear from these unless you have no choice. These are just so downright offensive to me that I can’t justify spending more money on another bottle.
I encourage you to read, comment, criticize, and send me leads for new things to try. Now go grab a bottle, pop it open, and get to reading!