Advertisement
spending

Savor the Wines of the World

Uncork one (or a case) of these bargain-priced bottles from other continents, and enjoy it while watching your favorite show on a high-definition, flat-panel TV.

We live in a global economy, and you should rejoice, if you like wine. Despite the sinking dollar, you can still find bargain prices on some great vintages from other continents.

Start with Argentina's Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Mendoza 2004 ($18 a bottle; www.catenawines.com). That's a mouthful, but so is this golden-hued, delicate Chardonnay that drops notes of apricots and tropical fruits. And you won't be picking splinters from your tongue, as with so many over-oaked American Chardonnays. Stephen Tanzer, editor of International Wine Cellar (and this writer's brother), says that the pleasing acidity results from the exceptionally high altitude of Mendoza's vineyards, where the sharp variation between day and night temperatures lets grapes hold more acid.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The grapes that go into Italy's Vietti Barbera D'Alba Tre Vigne 2004 ($22; www.vietti.com) grow on the same hillsides as the Nebbiolo grapes that are used to make super-expensive Barolo wines. This outstanding Barbera has a bouquet of violets and cassis and a pleasing cherry flavor.

If Chile's Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2003 ($20; www.casalapostolle.com) reminds you of a Bordeaux, it's no wonder. Casa Lapostolle was founded by the family behind France's Grand Marnier liqueur, and the Chilean winery employs world-renowned Bordeaux oenologist Michel Rolland as a consultant. This merlot has pleasant spicy and chocolate flavors.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Our last pick, Clos Montirius Vacqueyras 2003 ($22), is a true expression of France's southern Rhone Valley soil. When you uncork the bottle, this 50-50 blend of Syrah and Grenache grapes emits a wild barnyard, tobacco odor. Don't be put off. Decant the wine for at least 45 minutes before drinking, and you'll be rewarded with an opulent, concentrated, spicy wine that improves with each glass.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Getting a case of each (48 bottles total) will run you a little less than $1,000. Head to www.wine-searcher.com for help locating stores near you that sell the wines.

-- Andrew Tanzer

Get the big picture

A high-definition, flat-panel TV for a grand? Yes, if you limit your big-screen experience to 32 inches -- plenty big for a small apartment or bedroom.

Consider the Vizio L32 HDTV ($1,000, pictured above) and the Wal-Mart ilo 32Ó Widescreen LCD HDTV ($897), which are not bare-bones models. Both svelte sets have built-in speakers and an HD tuner for receiving over-the-air high-def channels. Although it's true that you won't need an integrated HD tuner if you plan to use a satellite or cable box, it's nice to have one in case of an emergency, such as when a storm knocks out your pay-TV service.

If you'd prefer an even bigger picture for a true home-theater experience, your patience (and frugality) will soon be rewarded. This holiday season, we'll likely see the price of 42-inch plasma displays fall to $1,000, according to industry analysts.

Advertisement

Most Popular

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020
Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year
tax law

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year

Americans are facing a long list of tax changes for the 2020 tax year...and it's never too early to start thinking about next year's return.
June 22, 2020
Find a Great Place to Retire
happy retirement

Find a Great Place to Retire

Our cities provide plenty of space to spread out without skimping on health care or other amenities.
July 2, 2020

Recommended

Sales Tax Holidays in 2020
state tax

Sales Tax Holidays in 2020

Sixteen states are having sales tax holidays this year. If you plan your shopping around these tax-free periods, you can save big on back-to-school cl…
July 1, 2020
13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco
spending

13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco

You could be missing out on huge savings: Costco sells a limited selection of luxury goods at discounted prices, both in-store and online.
June 27, 2020
COVID-19: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Change Our Spending Habits
spending

COVID-19: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Change Our Spending Habits

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, including how we spend money. Are you spending less right now? Many people are. Here’s how to make th…
June 17, 2020
24 Best Travel Websites to Save You Money
Travel

24 Best Travel Websites to Save You Money

Traveling is fun and you can do it without breaking the bank — you just have to know where to go online first.
June 12, 2020