Our best red wines from all price ranges
Let’s get one thing straight before we start: I’m no wine expert, to say the least. Swiss wines are what I often go for. I have fond memories of visiting my dad’s favourite winery when I was a child. While my dad would expert wine terms with the winemaker, us kids would drink apple juice and play between the wine barrels. This is why Switzerland and wine belong together to me.
Fortunately, there are proven wine connoisseurs among Galaxus and our partner merchants. I talked to «Master of Wine» Ivan Barbic from Battalion to find out how to classify wine. His experience shows that wine with some residual sugar is particularly popular. Sugar gives low-cost wine a more full-bodied taste and compensates for often unpleasant acidity. However, as Ivan Barbic says, this doesn't mean these wines are of low quality. Residual sugar can also be found in wines from higher price ranges. He prefers dry wines that don't cover up anything. According to Ivan Barbic, it’s quite normal to start with sweeter wines and work your way to connoisseur wines over the years. That’s why I decided to divide the selection into «wines for everyone» and «connoisseur wines». The first category includes wines you can't go wrong with while «connoisseur wines» are a question of personal preference.
The price of wine
How much money are you willing to spend on a bottle of wine? Defining price ranges isn’t easy. I did a (totally unscientific) survey in the office and came to the conclusion that there are three price categories: up to 15 francs for «everyday» wines; up to 25 francs for wines you treat yourself to at the weekend; over 25 francs for wines for special occasions. If you’re a big earner, this scale might move to the higher-priced end. But if that’s the case, you probably have your own wine cellar and hardly buy your wine at Galaxus.
Enough talk. Let's take to the bottle (kind of). The connoisseur wines come with an opinion from Galaxus wine expert Manuel Furrer.
Wine up to 15 francs
Wines for everyone
Aged for 24 months in big wooden barrels, this wine offers a lot of aromatic variety for the price.
A list of wines with excellent value for money wouldn’t be complete without Spanish varieties. The Beronia Reserva is a classic Rioja, with the typical woody notes, lots of fruit, velvety tannins, medium body and a certain acidity at the end, which makes the wine so well balanced and tasty.
Kracher, the top address for Austrian sweet wines, has been producing very successful dry wines for some time now. The Zweigelt offers a lot of fruit and spice.
Wine up to 25 francs
Wines for everyone
Primitivo, Ripasso and other Chianti wines are much more than pizzeria wines. Partly self-inflicted, as a lot of wine of dubious quality has been available on the market. However, it’s still – and more and more so – worth taking a closer look at the ones from good wineries. Volpaia is one of them. Biological Chianti, very typical of Sangiovese from this region; elegant and with a good balance between fruity and earthy notes.
Château Citran is a wine that may disappoint in some vintages but excel in others. 2015 was a great year for the winery, as they produced a very mature, modern Bordeaux. It might not be what purists look for, but it’s an affordable and wonderful introduction to the world of Médoc.
The little brother of the Ligornetto is a bit rougher in flavour, making it interesting. A good example of an affordable Merlot from Ticino.
Wine from 25 francs
Wines for everyone
Amazing vintage, which is soon ready to drink, but can be kept in the cellar for a few more years, too. In my opinion, Sociando is one of the most honest Bordeaux: it’s still privately owned and the owner is an oenologist and makes his wine himself. He’s a fine craftsman and his wine remains true to its style and isn’t all about Parker points. A classic, super elegant Bordeaux.
For years, the Swiss wine scene has been decisively influenced by innovative winegrowers from the German-speaking part of the country. One of them is Erich Meier. His Pinot Barrique has no reason to shy away from comparisons with well-known Burgundies and offers a much better price/performance ratio.
This one is for lovers of Spanish wine – but it has a modern touch. Unbelievably rich in finesse, perfectly balanced and with rubber notes that are only found in Spanish wines. But probably too funky to please the masses.
Have we left out your favourite wine? What do you think of our wine selection? We’re looking forward to reading your opinion in the comment section below.
Teamleader Editorial, Zurich