Fantasy_Island.jpgThis isn’t goodbye. Well, actually it kind of is. I’m moving to London for a year to work on depleting their wine and beer supplies. Over the past three and a half years I’ve been lucky to gain thousands of new drinking buddies, including you. We’ve shared countless bottles of wine, glasses of scotch and enough cocktails to inebriate the lower half of Manhattan and parts of Queens. And then, of course, there were the hangovers. You were always up for some healthy debate, and I’ll miss you (even the teetotalers and vegans).

Over the years the number one question you’ve asked us is “What are the great values in wine?” We quickly learned that most of you have no interest in $80 bottle of wine – even if it smells like bacon fresh from the skillet. So we set out to find those little gems that would leave you infatuated, not impoverished. We found quite a few. There are thousands of great wines out there, still waiting to be found. It seems only fitting for our last piece to leave you with suggestions to help you continue the search.

Invest in Loire Valley
Whether you love red or white wines, the Loire Valley is dripping with delicious wines that are easy to love and even easier to afford.
White Wines: Muscadet Sur Lie, Savennieres and Vouvray.
Red Wines: Chinon, Saumur and Anjou.

Rediscover Spanish wines

If you haven’t had Spanish wines in a while, it’s time to go back and reintroduce yourself. Winemaking standards and quality have greatly improved but, lucky for us, the prices haven’t necessarily caught up yet.
White wines: Rias Baixas, Rueda, and don’t forget about Sherry. It’s the best deal around.
Rose wines: Navarra
Red wines: Toro, La Mancha and Somontano

Go South

South America (Chile and Argentina) and South Africa are still a great source for good buys. Trying to grab as much market share on the ever-expanding global markets, these regions competitively price their wines because they don’t have to worry about exorbitant land costs and that pesky Euro.
South America: Mendoza (Argentina) and Maipo (Chile)
South Africa: Franschoek and Stellenbosch

These recommendations should keep us all busy for a while. Now get out there and start experimenting. You’re in the perfect city to continue this search, and with over eight million potential drinking buddies to choose from, you’re never far from a wine geek, a bar and street meat. God, I’ll miss this place.

– Tamara

And to those New Yorkers who know London well, I look to you for advice. Where should I go to get a great drink?