It’s April – the end of the academic school year and the start of spring. Whether you’ve passed, failed or even graduated, there’s no doubt that these past months have been a learning experience. If that’s not a good enough reason to drink, then you’re being way too hard on yourself. Check out these three classy wines for post-exam celebrations.
Hugo Grüner Veltliner ($16.99)
If you’ve heard of Pinot Grigio, then add “Grüner Veltliner” to your vocabulary.
Pinot Grigio wines are as popular as the hashtag YOLO due to their crowd-pleasing, neutral charm. I can’t say the same for YOLO.
Taste-wise, these two grapes don’t fall too far from the vine, but Grüner is the hipster of fresh white wines. Whenever someone brings up Pinot Grigio, bring up the lesser-known Grüner.
Hailing from Austria, Grüner shares the freshness and crispness of Pinot Grigio, but the former is usually a bit showier. Bring the glass to your nose. Is that a flutter of white pepper that you detect? With Grüner, it usually is. Impress your friends and make sure everyone is watching your sommelier performance.
If you’re looking for more unpopular but adventurous grapes for sunny days and empty McDonald’s cups, look out for Torrontes, Gewurztraminer, Albariño, Vermentino and Chenin Blanc.
2011 Punto Final Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99)
If you’re celebrating the end of the school year with a steak dinner, go for a wine that’s full-bodied with earthy aromas of dark fruit. You can’t go wrong with this Cabernet Sauvignon; its distinctive note of green bell pepper is caused by a group of chemical compounds called methoxypyrazines.
To show off your knowledge, take a sip and exclaim, “What’s up with these methoxypryrazines?!” Follow this up with a hearty chortle. If further pressed, respond with, “Ugh, I just can’t even.” Then finish your glass and change the subject.
Villa Conchi Cava Brut Selección ($17.99)
Cava is made from three main grapes: Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo. Recite that piece of information while flicking your hair, beauty ad–style. That should make you look better than everybody else for about 10 minutes. If everyone’s already been drinking, then make that 20 minutes.
The short story is that Cava is the Spanish version of Champagne. The biggest noticeable difference is the price. Why spend four times the amount on Champagne? You have student loans to pay off.
So when you’re ordering at a restaurant or getting help at a wine shop, don’t ask for the generic “Champagne” or “sparkling wine.” Ask for Cava; it’s just obscure enough that it’s impressive to say out loud, and it has a taste that both you and your wallet can celebrate.