It's an ongoing dilemma. The best bottles I don't want to drink by myself, much less drink on anything other than a special occasion.. The exotic bottles I want to share with someone that will find pleasure in, say, a sweet syrah or a wine made from the Norton grape. The reasonably good stuff I'll usually want to share with friends. And everything else I want to at least share with Dan.
So... what to drink? It's so late that only one glass will be enough, so it can't be a waste if the bottle goes bad overnight. It'd have to be something purchased only because I was curious if the wine would be any good at all.
So, it's the 2000 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Columbia Valley Syrah. It was cheap - it cost $9 - and it wasn't something that was supposed to be very good. It was merely supposed to satisfy my curiosity about low-end syrah, or, rather, relatively low end syrah [Columbia Crest do an even cheaper one as well]. I picked this up yesterday at the Washington State Liquor Control Board shop near the Redmond public library - I finally broke down and bought it after wondering about it for nearly all of 2003.
And wouldn't you know, it's good. Sure, it's a little light, the oak isn't really there, and there's kind of a strange hole in the middle of it, but it's tasty, recognizably syrah, and good value for money. I'd like it a little bit heavier, sure, but this is nice. More than anything else, I get a distinct taste of something like a decaf mocha - it's a little bit like coffee, but without the bitterness.
Color me impressed!