Confession time: I love a good bottle of wine with a meal. Back when Mrs. GBM & I were dating (long ago), she asked me to go to a wine appreciation course with her. Being a beer guy I thought it pretty silly, but since I was pretty into her, I kept this opinion to myself, wrote my check, and went. The instructor was the wine critic for Atlanta magazine and we ended up having a blast. Drank some good, and occasionally great, wine and learned a lot. Ended up becoming a modest collector and have had a lot of doors opened just for knowing a bit about what is basically fermented grape juice. I still prefer wine to accompany a meal more than anything else, and though my choices have become more frugal over the years (kids will do that), I still enjoy it tremendously. Some of my greatest pleasure comes from finding a really nice wine for less than $20. Hopefully, I’m not the only one on GCMB who enjoys the juice and I hope others will weigh in with nice bottles they have enjoyed. I am no wine snob and always bear in mind some advice I received from one of America’s fore most wine critics, a man named Robert Parker, who I had a chance meeting with: “Trust your own taste; if a bottle tastes good, it is good.” This weekend Mrs GBM and I had 2 nice wines. One reasonable, the other in the $30+ range. Both were very enjoyable (and red). The cheaper wine ($12-15) was an Italian wine: 2016 Fontannafredda Briccotondo Barbera. Personally I love Barberas and they go great w/ everything from steak to pizza (we had it w/ pork chili on pasta). California to my mind has not really cracked the code to growing good Barbera, so you have to buy Italian, but great values exist. The nicer wine was a 2015 Siduri Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir, to my taste anyway, is the greatest red wine grape there is and there is some great stuff coming out of Cali and Oregon. Enjoyed it with NY strips smothered in onions and shrooms w/ roasted new potatoes. It was awesome. Comments as you will, be it mocking or joining in.