I know you can feel it deep inside your bones–the shuddering feeling of terror creeping up your neck and taking up your entire calendar in the process.
That terrible little demon that loves to rear its head this time of year which we formally call the tax season is about to be upon us and that gives us a lot to whine about.
Let’s face it, taxes can be a nightmare and, although the occasional bowl of ice cream and rom-com flick can ease the stress to a degree, at the end of the day you may find yourself feeling more like the end of a horror film than a romance movie. So, how, during all of this chaos, can we find serenity? Well, perhaps instead of whining throughout the process, you can choose to be ‘wining’ and enjoying it through each sip of those delightful fermented grapes.
In 1789, Benjamin Franklin had it right when he said, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” but perhaps, with the 21st century well on its way and you right in the center of it, we can choose to be certain of wine consumption likewise. In fact, many studies have proven that red wine can significantly reduce stress and who needs more information than that when hitting the wine aisle at your local Walmart anyway?
However, with so many wines out there and so many taxes that pair well with them, how do we find the wine that fits us best and gives us the most bang for our buck? The best way to determine what wine suits you is to determine your price range, pick your brand, and choose the one that pairs the best with your tax season stress.
Red Wines: Drink Like No one’s Watching
As I said before, many cases have shown that red wine can reduce stress and, during this season, what could really be better than that? On top of this, many red wines, even the cheapest ones, can get you drunker much faster than a white wine and last longer as well. Not to mention the rich, nutty, delightful glory that is red wines in the first place. In all honesty, a glass of red wine and a massage from Ryan Gosling are pretty much all I want in life on a daily basis so having an excuse like tax season is pretty awesome no matter which way you look at it. Still, it can be hard to navigate the hundreds of wines and prices out there effectively but these next few brands may help you get on the right path in no time and maybe even assist you to finish those horrid taxes without a care in the world.
I Fear No Dollar Sign
Sometimes you just need to treat yo’self and buying an expensive red wine can be the perfect way to do this during the tax season. They say democracy is for the rich and, if you’re part of the elite that finds yourself paying less taxes than the average joe, why not take that extra cash and buy a wine that screams class and ‘I may get drunk and sing karaoke all night’ all in one?
- 2007 Gaja Barbaresco ($215)
In Piedmont, Italy, winemaker Anthony Gaja has been creating miraculous wines that never fail to impress. Made with only Nebbiolo grapes ,it is pretty obvious that this wine has the best of the best involved and the scents of licorice, smoky flavor, high acidity, and strong tannins can leave you begging for another glass and forgetting the woes of taxes in no time.
- 2008 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon ($140)
This wine is from the recognizable Napa Valley, California and is a slightly cheaper way to still get your high-class wine on without wincing when you put in your credit card information. Despite it being a more modern approach to the traditional techniques used in the wineries of the region, the rich qualities and nutty flavors can still give you that distinct sense of Napa Valley in no time.
- 2007 Nosotros ($100)
Located in Mendoza Argentina, Susanna Balbo created this glorious wine that truly celebrates the vibrancy of Argentinian culture perfectly. Whist being the cheapest wine on this list, it is still a wonderful and high quality item worth being on your shelf or in your hand as you review your tax forms between the tears. With its rich undertones of black raspberry paired with its high acidity level, it can truly make you feel like you are walking down a street in the center of Argentina despite probably being on your couch re-watching the second season of Breaking Bad to see how Saul does it.
My Wallet Could Use A Break
So maybe the tax season hasn’t been too kind on you and you could use some distance between your bank account and yourself. If this is the case, there are still plenty of wines that can help you break into the red wine world without breaking your budget in the process. After all, with thousands of Americans filing for bankruptcy and desperately trying to eliminate tax debts in the process, being careful about your spending can significantly increase your chance of not being even more miserable next tax season.
- 2013 Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($65)
This wine is basically the poster child of Napa Valley cabernet with aromas of black raspberry, red currant, vanilla bean, and milk chocolate. It is the perfect wine to add to your collection for those particularly stressful days without having to file for chapter 7 in the process.
- 2012 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon ($70)
Cakebread Cabernet is definitely worth the seventy bucks, trust me. With a silver award from the Decanter World Wine Awards and a rich blend of several red wines, it is a seriously delightful wine that truly gets you the most bang for your buck.
- 2014 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape ($75)
Originating from one of the most respected estates in the region, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Is a wine name that is most certainly highly established and awarded for their traditional wine-making strategies. Run by the Perrin family in the early 1900’s, you can tell just by tasting it that its secrets are wide-span and its flavor, as well as its history, rich.
I’m Literally Eating Ramen and Counting Couch Change
So maybe you’re like me and you find yourself eating at your parent’s house more than your own, doing your laundry in a quarter machine, and praying to god the tiny tick on your gas tank can get you to work. If that’s your life, don’t worry, there are still plenty of wines to keep you from spending those last precious bills just to forget your taxes.
- 2009 Lindeman’s Bin 40 Merlot ($8)
Despite being a rather cheap wine overall, this red has very robust tannins that can make it seem as though you are drinking a top quality wine minus the price. After all, with all the fear of going bankrupt in America and the stress of doing your taxes personally, it can often be difficult to put hundreds of dollars into a drink (no matter how good it is), but luckily with the addition of some quality professional tax software and a cheap wine like this, you can kiss that stress goodbye in no time.
- 2009 Esser Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($10)
This Cabernet is a berry-driven wine full of very rich, peppery flavors with a price that truly can’t be beat. Most people find themselves wasting money every day on food, gas, and even water when they could be spending all of that money on this wine and enjoying the indoors a bit more in the process (mostly because you won’t have gas, but whatever). Don’t be like them, buy the wine and enjoy your freedom.
n kiss that stress goodbye in no time.
- 2006 Chivite Gran Feudo Crianza Navarra ($11)
This is often called an ‘accessible blend’ due to its ‘easy-to-love’ flavors and fruity tones. With a dash of tempranillo, you may find yourself captivated by this glorious wine and asking yourself, ‘taxes who?’ before you know it. After all, isn’t that the point?
White Wines: Keep It Classy AND Sassy
White wines are another wonderful alternative to keep in mind this tax season especially if the rich flavors that red wines are known to have are not for you. White wines have been proven to help achieve weight loss, improve vascular performance, and even make you happier overall which is pretty awesome when you’re spending most of your time bored and bitter! Also, the carbon dioxide associated with sparkling white wines and champagnes can actually get you drunker faster due to the increased rate in which the alcohol is absorbed in the blood stream (thank you, science). Not to mention, if you may have taken up smoking again (because literally, why, taxes, WHY???) you may be happy to know that, just like red wines, white wines contain flavonoids which have been proven to assist in the prevention of cancer. So, really, the only thing left is to choose the price range that best suits you, buy the bottle, and get to your salvation amidst the apocalypse immediately.
Trust Me, I Got This
Okay, so maybe right now you’re sitting in your posh home in California drinking a refreshing summer beverage, waiting for your financial manager to come home from a round of golf, and deciding which granite kitchen countertop best fits your luxurious vacation home best that you can get installed with the money you have left over from your taxes. Despite all that, let’s just pretend you’re stressed out over the tax season and need a sophisticated wine to match your sophisticated style (I get that, trust me). The question is which wine suits you and your highly advanced palate? Perhaps one of these three might tickle your fancy and leave you kissing the poolboy in private again, but who’s to say for sure?
- 2008 Didier Dagueneau Silex ($120)
Okay, so many of you probably already know Dagueneau for his incredible past in winemaking in the Loire Valley (you’re a socialite, afterall). His traditional methods and ties to vintage forms of winemaking have created some amazing wines but Silex is certainly one the favorites in the wine world. With its fruity yet rich flavors, there’s really nothing not to love about this wine.
- 1998 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame ($120)
Although this one is more of a champagne, there is much to say about its smooth and silky mouthfeel as well as its unique aromatic aftertaste. This champagne is certainly something worth the talk and guaranteed to make you look like a pro at life (which is probably good during the tax season) any day.
- 2008 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Spätlese Riesling ($115)
Let’s face it, no one can turn down a good riesling and this one in particular happens to be very good. Originating in Germany (duhh), this delicious wine has a history that matches its complexity. The estate in which the winery originated from has been in the same family since the 1700’s and it’s no surprise that this glorious riesling has gotten much acclaim for its flavor and its unique background.
I’m Addicted To The Middle Shelf
So maybe you’re done putting hundreds of your hard-earned bucks into something you can drink in one night and, hey, that’s totally understandable. If you spend more time at Walmart than Sur La Table, then maybe this list is the right one for you and won’t break your heart as it hits your account. After all, who doesn’t like a few extra bills in their wallet whilst still getting hammered?
- 2008 Littorai Thieriot Vineyard Chardonnay ($60)
This enticing chardonnay is best known for its elegant flavor profile and is often referred to as the most desirable wine in the region. If you are a fan of chardonnay, then this is the perfect wine for you ranking in the top 20% for chardonnays nationwide and being a delicious addition to anyone’s cupboard (especially mine–err– I mean yours).
- 2007 Prager Grüner Veltliner Achleiten Stockkultur ($68)
This delicious and rich wine is a wonderful addition to any wino’s list and its complexity coupled with its aromatic excellence is exactly why spending sixty-eight dollars on it really doesn’t seem all that bad. It has a full, light, lemony flavor with just a hint of pepper and arugula (I guess you got your salad in, right?).
- 2013 Hanzell Chardonnay ($70)
Often, this chardonnay is referred to as the golden standard of California chardonnay due to its lively and vibrant nature as well as its distinct hints of apple and citrus. For anyone looking for a wonderfully light and fancy chardonnay whilst wanting to spend less than a hundred dollars, this is the perfect one for you.
The Dollar Store Is My Life Story
In all honesty, it probably is. I spend ninety percent of my day finding ways to incorporate a trip to the dollar store into my life because who doesn’t love useless garbage for cheap? However, perhaps you’re tired of box wines and making up excuses to come over to your friend’s house to raid their wine cabinet and, if so, then maybe these wines can help you get on the path to cheap thrills and the difficulty of a tax season you know you’re the other ninety-nine percent in.
- 2015 Elsa Bianchi Mendoza Torrontés ($9)
In the Subregion of Mendoza, San Rafael, this wine is star. With its delightful orange blossoms and mineral marks, this wine has both class as well as complexity whilst still giving you a clear look into the beauty that is this region overall.
- 2013 Le Jaja de Jau Pays d’Oc Sauvignon Blanc ($9)
With hints of lime and grapefruit that give this wine a tart complexity, it’s no surprise that this beautiful and cheap wine made the list. After all, who doesn’t want to get buzzed off grapefruit for under ten bucks? Not to mention its rich ties in the region and the worldwide love this weird little brand receives.
- 2015 Yalumba Y Series Unwooded South Australia Chardonnay ($10)
This weird wine is a wild yeast-fermented wine that takes a very modern take on the traditional grape usage that is involved with wine. Let’s just say this wine gets the best of both world combining some of the density of a red with the lightness of a good white wine with ease.
I know this season can seem like a nightmare and sometimes finding hope in all this chaos of being an adult can really be difficult, however grabbing a bottle of good wine, sitting down and taking it one step at a time, and learning to let loose despite it all can be a great way to tackle the tax season demon without dying along the way.
This guest post was written by Samantha Donaldson exclusively for Social Vignerons