Somewhere around September, I lost track of how many wines I’d tasted this year. Fifteen hundred? Two thousand? Suffice it to say, it was enough to make me wish for a cold beer at the end of it all (never mind how many beers I tasted—that’s another story).
But what struck me, looking back through my many pages of notes, is the number of terrific wines that never made it into this column. There simply wasn’t room for them all. That’s why I’m delighted that this month’s column is a selection of the year’s top wines that have never appeared in Tasting Room before.
Representing a wide range of regions and grape varieties, from Lebanese reds to Mâconnais whites, the selection here is a global overview of some of the best wines currently in stores. I’ve limited my choices to wines customers should be able to find with relative ease (no mailing-list-only cult Cabernets) and that are, for the most part, quite affordable (a number of the bottles here are less than $20). I’ve also added a retrospective look at my favorite value wines from all of this year’s Tasting Room columns (including two really good $9 bottlings).