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exploring wine with tim fish

Wine Tips for Braving the Tax Man

How to survive April 15, whether it’s an audit or a refund
Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Apr 3, 2013 11:00am ET

I'm working on my taxes this weekend, so I'm not sure whether I'll be in the mood to celebrate or lash myself for my pitiful fiscal skills. I suspect it will be the lashing, but I'm thinking positive.

Whether you'll be toasting victory or wallowing in defeat over your 2012 tax returns, I suggest that you arm yourself with the appropriate bottle. So it's time for my second annual Surviving Tax Time Wine Tips.

If you owe The Man this year, I feel for you, but I also have a few frugal recommendations. All of them are widely available and should be on shelves near you.

Start with Castello Banfi Cabernet Sauvignon-Sangiovese Toscana Col Di Sasso 2010 (88 points, $9), which is supple and juicy with black cherry and sweet spice flavors, and what a steal. Many value California Merlots are worth avoiding but look for Bogle Merlot California 2010 (88, $10), which is a lively red with zesty cherry flavors.

Best buy wines from Argentina aren't hard to find, and one of the good ones is Bodega Norton Malbec Mendoza Reserva 2010 (90, $18), which is a jammy red with hints of wild berry, smoke and spice. For the white lovers, Souverain Chardonnay North Coast 2010 (87, $14) is appealing for its citrus and creamy green apple flavors.

Those are good wines for the price, but if you're ready to be festive (or just blindly Zen and optimistic), these are a few wines ready for toasting.

Champagne is a must, and if I could uncork anything I wanted, it would be Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne Cave Privée 1989 (95, $295.) I'm a sucker for both Veuve and sparkling rosé, and this wine is aging gracefully.

If you're prepared to really splurge, or just dreamy-eyed like me, it doesn't get much better than Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2009 (98, $1,000.) You also can't go wrong with Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau 2010 (96, $78), one of the most distinctive wines of the Southern Rhône.

If you must have California, and I'm as guilty as anyone on that, I'd stock up on Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010 (92, $72), a vibrant and pure red, or Chalk Hill Chardonnay Chalk Hill 2010 (92, $48), an expansive and rich wine with a long, layered finish.

Those are just a handful of the splurges and values for the finish of the tax season. What did I miss? And by the way … are you celebrating or mourning?

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