Scouting: Plonk

 Plonk Wine Club | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Plonk Wine Club | Image: Laura Messersmith

Does this scenario sound familiar? It’s Friday night you’re cooking a great meal to kick off the weekend and some friends are on the way over. You’ve already picked up the ingredients for dinner, but you don’t have any wine in the house. You have two choices – grab something off the grocery store shelf (assuming you live in a state where this is legal) or make a second stop at the wine shop and try to make sense of the labels hoping you’ll pick something that pairs well with your menu. Neither option seems especially appealing, and here in New York carrying one more thing is never something I'm interested in, but that’s what I have to do nine times out of ten.

So, you can imagine how psyched I was when Mike told me he signed us up for Plonk Wine Club. It's similar to other subscription-based businesses: you choose a level, package, and length of commitment. In our case we like both red and white wine, so we’re in the Mixed Wine Club and each month Plonk sends us four bottles selected from wineries around the world.

The term “plonk” (slang for cheap wine) strikes me as ironic given the quality of the wine we've received. So far we’ve tried two bottles from March’s shipment and have been really impressed with founder and resident wine expert Etty Lewensztain’s choices.

Plonk’s specialty is introducing members to wines made from lesser-known grapes and sourced from a variety of regions. Our first shipment had bottles from Sicily (Italy), Regnie (France), Santa Ynez Valley (California), and Macedonia (Greece). I need all the help I can get and since these are all 100% new to me I love that the shipment also includes detailed tasting notes, recipes from Food52, and suggested food parings to help put together successful combinations.

If you’re in the same boat and want to expand your wine knowledge and discover some great new grapes I’d definitely check out Plonk. Our plan is to build up a reserve of bottles that are great quality, but not so expensive that we feel like we have to save them for red letter day (ie. $25 or less). We’d like to keep a few in reserve for those spontaneous Friday night dinners, but at the rate we’re going that may not happen! Could be worse, right? Happy Friday!

 Plonk Wine Club | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Plonk Wine Club | Image: Laura Messersmith