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Todd Sheppard

Live Oak Bank

Beer Ascending

I’ve just finished pouring the fourth bottle of red wine tonight down one of my kitchen sinks. This is a dreary but increasingly frequent experience.

There is a LOT of crappy red plonk for $10 and under. And those four bottles that weren’t worth the calories are $40+ down the drain.

There used to be a lot of good red wine in that category. A lot of vinted-and-bottled-by brands that I used to rely on have become inconsistent.

My wife and I used to drink the better part of a bottle of wine every night while making dinner, eating dinner and after dinner. But increasingly, beer — especially good craft, artisan brews — are replacing that. They are reliable and even the new ones we try are never bad enough to go down the drain.

Wine has become way too much of a crap shoot and is quickly becoming a special occasion beverage for us — not everyday meal accompaniment of previous decades. And even on special occasions, I have paid $50 or $100 for mediocre wine that had been highly recommended and well-rated by the ├╝ber-palates. Down the drain.

Other than Cameron Hughes and an increasingly small number of marques, the wine is either too expensive to drink everyday, too inconsistent and all-too-often not worth the calories.

If this is a trend, I hope it is a short one.