Chat Leftovers: Cheap wine that surprises

June 18

Wednesday is all about Food, and this week’s Food is all about farming and growing. Becky Krystal writes about the Arcadia Mobile Market, a rolling farm stand that makes weekly stops in neighborhoods where fresh produce is hard to come by. Tim Carman visits the University of the District of Columbia’s experimental farm, whose goal is to increase the number of food producers in our urban area. In her Unearthed column, Tamar Haspel explores whether synthetic substances should have a place in organic farming. Whitney Pipkin finds a garden growing at the National Capital Area Food Bank; it’s a classroom of sorts where people from partner agencies are learning how to set up gardens of their own to help feed the needy. And Arlo Crawford of New Morning Farm recalls the summer when a peculiar Russian visitor showed up to work at his family farm — with unexpected results.

Good stuff! And more awaits today at noon, the start time for our weekly Free Range chat. Tamar Haspel will join us, along with M.J. Crom of the National Capital Area Food Bank. So if you have questions or comments about farming or growing — or about anything culinary, really — do drop in.

In the meantime, here’s a question from last week’s chat to tide you over. It’s a twofer!

I love and appreciate fine wines on special occasions. On a day-to-day basis, though, I am very happy with just a dry red table wine. What is the best food-friendly, really cheap wine available in the D.C. area?

As an aside, do they still deliver plonk in France by tanker truck? The first time I saw a big hose snaking into a manhole in front of a wine shop, I thought they were delivering heating oil until I caught a whiff.

Clearly, this question cried out for an answer from Dave McIntyre, wine columnist extraordinaire. I now turn this discussion over to him. His response:

When people ask me to recommend an inexpensive red wine for everyday drinking, I suggest the Cousino Merlot from Chile. For about $8, it is dynamite, and my friends invariably think I’m a genius for suggesting it. Montgomery County Liquor Stores carry it, and it should be fairly widely available in the D.C. area.

I haven’t been to France recently enough to know about the tanker trucks, but in the countryside I believe people do still carry large jugs to a wine store to fill up, sort of like the beer growlers that are popular here now. And of course those will be everyday wines, very inexpensive.

(That’s it for this week. Thanks, Dave!)

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