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Today we're delighted to feature a guest post from a fellow cheap wine lover, Jeff Siegel aka "The Wine Curmudgeon". Jeff has been promoting the merits of inexpensive wine for years at his award winning blog WineCurmudgeon.com and has also written a book on the subject, The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine. In fact, two lucky readers will win free copies of Jeff's book...keep on reading to find out how!
At the beginning of the 21st century, those of us who love cheap wine were worried. The wine business was doing all it could, in conjunction with its allies in the Winestream Media, to convince consumers that wine that cost less than $20 a bottle was swill – not only unfit for human consumption, but even for animals who liked swill.
I was there then, an ex-newspaperman who loved wine, saw what was going on, and had had enough. I started the Wine Curmudgeon, first for a Texas newspaper and then on the Internet, where the goal then was the same as now: To help wine drinkers decipher wine so they could spend as little as they wanted, since the wine business wanted to do just the opposite – confuse consumers so they'd do as they were told. Hence what I consider the only rule of wine: Drink what you like, but be willing to try different kinds of wine. Because how else will you find out what you like?
Since then, the wine business has changed completely. The recession, combined with the good sense of wine drinkers, ended all that expensive foolishness, and we're living in the Golden Age of Cheap Wine. That's just part of my book, The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine ($12.95 for an autographed copy), and is demonstrated every year in the Wine Curmudgeon's $10 Hall of Fame, which details the best cheap wine of the previous year.
Inexpensive wine is better made than ever, offers better value, and tastes better, too. Wine drinkers have discovered that we don't have to spend too much for quality. To the industry's horror (and it was horror, because I was there to see their faces), the amount of wine sold in the U.S. one year during the recession increased while the dollar value declined.
The other gratifying thing? That writers like Jon are pitching in, helping to educate wine drinkers and disabuse them of the notion that wine is elitist and snooty. Trust me: That was not something a lot people wanted to do in the bad old days, when they would have turned their noses up to anyone who featured wines at retailers like Costco and Trader Joe's. That just wasn't done.
But it's done now, and I'm having a wonderful time -- just as Jon and everyone else is – doing it.
- Jeff Siegel, WineCurmudgeon.com
Thanks Jeff! Want to win a signed copy of Jeff's book, The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine?
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