Sip a glass of these deeply discounted Chairman's Selections reds, whites
Last month when the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board raised prices on 422 wine and spirits selections, critics protested loudly and quickly.
Note to wine drinkers: Don't panic! It never is fun to pay an extra buck on your favorite bottle, but Pennsylvania wine consumers still enjoy a distinct advantage. The PLCB's Chairman's Selections offers terrific opportunities to save big on plenty of well-made wines perfect for September grilling and every night dinners.
It works because the PLCB capitalizes on its capacity to make extremely large wholesale purchases. Wine producers offer large discounts sometimes reaching 60 percent to entice the PLCB to buy entire lots of remaining inventories. Pennsylvania consumers reap the benefits with steeply discounted Chairman's Selection retail prices.
The program's diverse wines come from just about every producing region. Quantities vary, so jump on the deals when you find them at PLCB Premium Collection stores and select regular shops.
My top picks from current Chairman's Selections include:
• 2015 François Lurton, “Melody” Côtes de Gascogne, France: (Luxury 78417; Chairman's Selection On sale: $11.99): Made from fruit grown in South West France, this unoaked, fresh white blend Gros Manseng grapes for round, fruity pineapple and mango flavors with Sauvignon Blanc for crisp grapefruit and quince flavors. It all comes together in a fruity, yet delicious, dry finish. Highly recommended.
• 2015 Lagar del Rey, Rueda “Verdejo,” Spain (Luxury 78402; Chairman's Selection On sale: $13.99): This classy Spanish white made exclusively from Verdejo grapes delivers a light golden color with light herbal aromas and followed by ripe peaches. Ripe peach and citrus flavor balance with zesty acidity and a subtle touch of oak. The wine finishes fruity and dry. Recommended.
• 2013 Shannon Ridge, Zinfandel “High Elevation Collection,” Lake County, Calif. (Luxury 78206; Chairman's Selection On sale: $10.99): This tasty red deftly avoids heavy body and high alcohol. Instead, spicy red and black fruit aromas and a hint oak lead to juicy red fruit flavors with soft tannins. The well-integrated oak adds dusty, toasty notes. Recommended.
• 2014 Domaine des Verrières, Languedoc Rouge, France (Luxury 78653; Chairman's Selection On sale: $11.99): As a classic French Mediterranean blend of Syrah, Cariginan and Grenache, the wine delivers exuberant red fruit. floral and black pepper aromas leading to juicy, easy drinking red fruit flavors. Just enough freshness and soft tannins frame a delicious red fruit finish. Highly recommended.
Dave DeSimone writes about wine for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.