By: Aaron Patrick

While studying for the Somm exam, Chai Consulting’s Cellar Manager is often asked what his favorite wine is. His response? That’s like asking a mother with a 100 kids which is her favorite! I mean she has it narrowed down to her top ten on any given day, but she can’t pick her favorite. There are wines/regions I can drink all the time. Overall, when I do drink wine I’m looking for great values.

Champagne is my Achilles heel; I could drink it daily. I believe you can find more value than ever when buying champagne right now. When it comes to Champagne, I don’t discriminate. I will buy wine from négociant producers- who are buying grapes and juice from the over 15,000 grower producers- to some of the same grower producers who used to sell their grapes and now make their own wine.

I also love the crisp, refreshing and sometimes nutty wines of Chablis. Chablis offers amazing value at any level, whether you are buying village level bottlings to Premier or even up to Grand Cru. Two vintages I am enamored with because of their amazing acidity are 2012 and the recent 2014 vintages.

One underrated wine that can be amazing and extremely complex is Chianti! The Sangiovese grape can be undervalued and even passed off as peasant wine, but at it’s peak, and from great producers, it over delivers. I love it’s ability to pair well with food as well!