Unlike last year, I've reviewed quite a number of wines in 2008, so I've abandoned my previous format of ranking the top wines by region, and instead bring you a normal top ten selection. Aficionadoes will note that almost half of my choices are Texas wines. Let's be honest; I am a bona-fide Texophile, yet I must note that this predominance of Texas tipples would not have been possible ten years ago. I'm intensely proud that our vinos have improved by leaps and bounds over the years, and our Nation can stand tall and proud with any wine-making country in the world. With that in mind, I bring you the Food Czar Top Ten Wines of 2008.
BECKER VINEYARDS TEXAS MALBEC (Jan)
My first Cellar Selection of the year, this wine is a worthy competitor to the great malbecs of the Argentine.
COPPOLA DIAMOND CLARET (Feb)
Believe it or not, this selection from the Italian-American filmmaker is the only California name on this list, not counting the honorable mentions.
DRY COMAL CREEK FRENCH COLOMBARD (Mar)
This little-known varietal is usually blended into cognac. Dry Comal Creek has rightfully rescued it for general consumption.
CHATEAU ST MICHELLE SAUVIGNON BLANC (May)
Washington state's best-known winery is also the most beautiful winery I have visited to date.
DRY COMAL CREEK BLACK SPANISH (May)
Little-known native Texas grape produces another winning vino for Dry Comal Creek.
TORRE DI PIETRA CABERNET SAUVIGNON (Jul)
I've promised once, and I promise again, in 2009 I'll start investigating North Texas wineries more closely. Until then, my heart is in the Hill Country.
LOUIS BERNARD COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES RED (Aug)
Proof that France is more than just Burgandy and Bordeaux.
BECKER VINEYARDS ICONOCLAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON (Sep)
If you were to poll Texas wine aficionadoes on their favorite Lone Star Cab, this budget-buster would no doubt rank high on their list.
BOUCHARD AINE AND FILS BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR (Oct)
Red burgundy is synonymous with pinot noir, and this wine proves that France still makes some of the best.
BILTMORE ESTATE HOUSE RED (Nov)
You'll be hearing a lot more about North Carolina wines thanks in part to the offerings of this former Vanderbilt estate.
-Toasted Head Cabernet Sauvignon
-Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc
Wine is meant for everyday consumption, not just for special occasions.
Develop your own wine buyers guide soon, and remember:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!