The $6.99 standards

There’s a class of wines that you see at every grocery store for the same price. Little Penguin, Red Bicyclette, Barefoot, Smoking Loon… what have I left out? They’re at every grocery store because they’re consistent and well-priced. You know what you’re buying. You know what they’ll taste like and you know they’re worth the $6.99 price tag.

When you need to know what you’re getting, it’s these standards you turn to. I love to try new wines, but sometimes I just can’t chance the unknown. I need to know when I open the bottle that it’ll be good. That’s why I scooped up a Smoking Loon merlot today. Things have been crazy, I need some stability in my life. I work for the state and the state is going down in flames (another reason to stick with the under-$10 wines). My children are, well, they’re children and they drive me crazy in that way that only children can. Really, for just one day, I needed to open a bottle of wine and know it’s good. I couldn’t handle a disappointment.

I don’t really know how to review such a standard as Smoking Loon. That’s like being asked to define “happy.” What does that mean? If you’re happy, you’re just, well, happy. If you’re drinking Smoking Loon, you’re drinking good, economical wine. Sure, it’s not top-shelf, but I’d bet that it would be considered top-shelf it it cost more. It’s just a good, drinkable, drown-my-sorrows red. And that’s what I needed tonight.

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