Oeno Files

Well-Priced Wines from a Seattle Expert

This week: Esquin’s Jameson Fink.

By Jessica Voelker July 6, 2011

Wine expert Jameson Fink is proud to drink wines that are cheap and cheerful.

Photo Courtesy: Jackie Donnelly Baisa

New series: There’s no shame in it. Everyone loves to discover, and show off, great inexpensive wines. Even—nay, especially—the pros. So I’m asking local wine experts to weigh in on their budget bottles.

I pick an expert. The expert picks a theme, then offers up a red, white, sparkling, and rose wine in accordance with it. Meantime, you drink well and cheaply. Because let’s face it, it’s always been about you.

The Expert
Jameson Fink, European Wine Buyer and Social Media Director, Esquin Wine Merchants.

The Cred
Who, outside of a Roald Dahl book, gets to be named Jameson Fink? I love that name. Plus I follow him on Twitter and have learned that he knows a lot about wine—including how to have fun with it. And that is perhaps the most important wine-related skill there is.

So what’s this week’s theme, Expert?
“Cheap and cheerful wines under $10.”

Why did you pick that theme?
“These are my daily drinkers. I don’t come home to a bottle of Chateau Fancy Pants as often as you’d think.”

All right, let’s get to the wine.

The Red
2009 La Carraia Sangiovese Umbria ($8.99) “The ultimate pizza and pasta wine. The Wine Advocate calls it ‘full throttle’ and ‘not for the timid’ but I disagree. It’s just an easy drinkin’ red.”

The White
2009 Domaine des Cassagnoles Cotes de Gascogne ($7.99) “Every wine nerd in town is selling or buying this wine. The definition of a porch-pounder, it’s a light and fresh wine to consume liberally. And if you see the words ‘Cassagnoles Gros Manseng’ on a label, buy first, ask questions later.”

The Rose
2010 Miradou Cotes de Provence ($9.99) “Yes it comes in an enticing, hourglass-shaped bottle that should influence your buying decision. (I am not immune.) It’s also a textbook crisp, dry rose. Poach some shrimp, grill some salmon, and slake your thirst with this pale, austere gem.”

The Sparkler
NV Mas Fi Cava ($9.99) “Bubbles forever! Unfortunately there is an ocean of ungodly awful, cheap sparklers that will make you hungover just by looking at them. This Cava from Spain, however, is a little charmer that you can actually enjoy all by itself or with a mixer. Get creative.”

Thanks Jameson. Before you go, give us three reasons why you work in wine.
“The convivial eating and drinking, the cast of characters in this industry, and the fact that the lucrative job market for my MA in History seems to have dried up.”

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