Essential Bottles

At The Wine Rack

with Christopher Reckord

Thursday, May 31, 2018

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This is the final instalment in a three-part series on what I consider the essential selection of wines you should try in order to build your foundation library of taste. More importantly, trying all the wines in this series will give you a basic understanding of the differences that climate, culture and the winemaker can make. In the wine education industry, it is generally accepted that the only way to truly learn about wine is to taste as many different types and styles of wines from as many regions of the world as possible. Two weeks ago, we suggested six white wines and last week we recommended 12 red wines to try. This week we suggest the final set of wines that you should experience so that you can have a more holistic view or enhanced taste experience of the vast range of wines available here in Jamaica from around the world. Acquiring some of these wines might require some planning and an upward adjustment of your wine-buying budget.


With consumption of sparkling wines on the rise, it is only fitting that anyone on a deliberate journey to learn more about wine do try the king of all sparkling wine: Champagne. Many of the world's most recognised Champagnes are imported in Jamaica these include Mot & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Piper Heidsieck, Laurent Perrier, Mumm, Nicolas Feuillatte, Lanson, Taittinger, Gosset, Drapper, Perrier Jout and Krug. Try a bottle of Mumm; Champagne our own Usain Bolt is its 'chief entertainment officer'.


If possible, you should do a side-by-side tasting of Champagne with the most popular type of sparkling wine: Prosecco. Generally, Prosecco is lower in alcohol, lighter in body and more aromatic than most Champagnes. Look for Mionetto Prosecco.

Aged wine

The vast majority of the wines sold in the retail space are usually consumed within a few hours of purchase and they are not made for long-term aging. It might take a little searching to find a wine in tip-top quality with a vintage between 1990 to 2000. It is truly a treat to taste a wine that rested in ideal conditions and is now in its “best drinking” window. You might not be able to readily find “aged wines, but you would be able to buy age worthy wines and put them down for a few years yourself. Some age-worthy wines in our market include Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Oakville, Penfolds Grange or Concha y Toro “Don Melchor” Cabernet Sauvignon.

One of the World's Greatest Wines

The first time you taste a great wine, you will know it. The complexity, depth and character of such a wine is notable even to the novice palate. Those wines usually come from storied wine regions and are made consistently by exceptionally great producers. They don't always start out expensive, but once they are discovered, the collectors and the market in general drive the prices sky-high. From Burgundy, France, the name Domaine de la Romanee Conti reigns supreme. From Bordeaux, France — Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Petrus are among the greatest. From Italy, Sassicaia is highly acclaimed and available in Jamaica.

If you intend to expand your wine understanding and experience some of the truly great wines in the world, the best and most cost-effective way is to attend one of the major wine events in North America where you can sample almost everything mentioned in this three-part series.

Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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