Each year our tasting team sifts through thousands of wines we have reviewed to select the very best for inclusion in our annual Top 100 lists. To avoid comparing $10 wines ideal for daily consumption with $400 collectibles, we separate out Best Buys from Cellar Selections, then create our own list of blue-chip prospects, The Enthusiast 100. Of course, since we also review spirits and beers, we compile lists including the best of those as well. It is a solid starting point for holiday shopping. Cheers! Our 2014 lists are:
This list is not the top 25 beers of all time. Instead, it’s our annual ranking of the best-reviewed selections over the past 12 months. Culled from our monthly Beer Buying Guide, these represent the most exciting beers reviewed this year, sure to please proud beer aficionados and curious cross-drinkers alike. They exhibit extraordinary craftsmanship, innovation and quality at affordable prices.
Out of the hundreds of spirits reviewed for this year’s Spirit Buying Guides, this list represents 50 of the best picks.
It’s a particularly diverse group this year, spanning a number of categories, provenances and flavor profiles. Of course, it’s not comprehensive; only categories reviewed this year are eligible for inclusion, so unflavored vodkas, for example, aren’t strongly represented here, although they had a strong showing in 2013.
This year, Wine Enthusiast’s tasting panel reviewed more than 17,500 wines from around the globe, covering myriad regions, styles and prices. In the last two issues, we celebrated the wines that offer the most bang for your buck (Top 100 Best Buys) as well as the ones that you need to invest in today for enjoyment tomorrow (Top 100 Cellar Selections).
So now, here’s your ultimate shopping list: The Enthusiast 100.
In a culture focused on the here and now, patience is a fleeting virtue. Instant gratification often takes precedence—witness the large amount of the market geared toward wines that are ready-to-drink—and the distant pleasure of cellaring wine proves much too abstract for comfort.
Most people would agree that the wine market is completely saturated. Every wine shop features a barrage of eye-catching labels that draw you in with the promise of delicious juice. While spending a bit more on a bottle might improve your chances of finding a super sipper, it’s much more exciting to throw the dice hoping to find a perfectly priced and equally delicious buy.