Wines for Uncertain Times

Wines for Uncertain Times: Sidestep potential tariffs on European offerings with satisfying substitutes
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For wine lovers, these are potentially perilous times, given the trade wars afoot. “With the tariffs targeting France and Spain’s wine markets, those wines will be skyrocketing in price over the next year,” predicts Joshua Purdy, sommelier at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club in Boone. In January, the United States announced a 100 percent tariff on all European wine, but if and when the price penalty would go into effect was uncertain as this issue went to press.

If the costs of your favorite European wines suddenly soar, Purdy suggests trying these American options, which are grown and produced in regions where the soil and climate are akin to that of their European counterparts. 

2017 Poet’s Leap Riesling
Columbia Valley, WA » $20

Crafted by world-renowned German winemaker Armin Diel in Washington’s Columbia Valley, this off-dry white has notes of fresh white peach, ginger, Kaffir lime, stone fruit, and a touch of wet slate.

2016 Moffett Vineyards Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, OR » $35

Elegant but powerful, the layers of ripe red fruits, hints of forest floor and mushroom, and subtle touch of dried Italian herbs make this world-class pinot noir a good bet for lovers of high-end Burgundian wines.

2017 Ceritas “Heintz Vineyard” Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast, CA » $45

This Chardonnay is grown on one of the oldest vineyards in the US. The sandy loam, clay soil, and cool climate of the Sonoma Coast help create a wine similar to those of Chablis or Côte de Beaune in France.

2017 Andrew Murray “Esperance” GSM
Santa Ynez, CA » $25

Aged in new French oak, this rich blend of grenache, syrah, and mourvedre offers hints of black cherry, black raspberry, plum, and dried basil—a proper alternative for Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

2017 Cadence “Coda Red”
Red Mountain, WA » $28

Grown in the loam and gravel soils like those of Bordeaux, this full-bodied blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot has notes of licorice, Thai basil, and dark red fruits.