Friday, August 12, 2005
"Wine is wonderful stuff," Cleese says by phone from his home near Santa Barbara, Calif. "But so many people are put off by the snobbery of it. You only need a little bit of knowledge to increase your chances hugely of getting a good bottle."
John Cleese's top three wine tips
1. Know what you like and trust your own taste.
"Don't let anyone tell you what you ought to like," Cleese says. "Some wines that some experts think are absolutely exquisite don't appeal to me at all."
2. Learn to describe wines that you like.
"A few words like 'sweet' or 'dry' or 'heavy' or 'light' are easily understood." He considers his favorite New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs "grassy" and "zingy."
3. Find a local wine shop and talk with the experts.
"They will help you identify more wines that you might like, at good values. You don't have to pay much."
In his own cellar
Peachy Canyon Zinfandel, Gainey Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, other Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand, sweet white wines from the Mosel River valley in Germany, and Pinot Noirs from the Paso Robles, Calif., region.
"There's so many good people producing wine now," Cleese says. "It's just amazing. There's so much on the shelves. You don't have to go buy those overpriced wines."