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General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: euge on October 22, 2011, 07:55:51 AM

Title: Wine advice
Post by: euge on October 22, 2011, 07:55:51 AM
Once again I'm trying to "educate" myself. Picking reds that are rated 90 and above but less than $13 a bottle. Had some very decent wine. Experienced some bold tobacco, berry and leather combinations from sweet to smooth and dry. California, Chile and Italy.

But I really don't know squat about it (wine) except that in this price range the wine begins to please my palate. Buy under $9 and not so great. So I'm seeking advice on wine. Even considering brewing up a kit from the LHBS.

Particularly, quickly noticing an enhancement in how I taste beer and food after having a couple glasses of red wine. Really wakes up the palate and I'm much more sensitive to flavors and aromas. Ideas? Thoughts?
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: dannyjed on October 22, 2011, 02:49:18 PM
I really like the reds, particulary Pinot Noir, from Williamette Valley in Oregon.  Some of these might be in the $16 range, but well worth it.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: denny on October 22, 2011, 03:59:59 PM
I really like the reds, particulary Pinot Noir, from Williamette Valley in Oregon.  Some of these might be in the $16 range, but well worth it.

Good taste!  Pinots around here are spectacular.  I've got 5-6 wineries within a few miles of me.  One of them made a pinot that was called the world's best by Wine Spectator in about 98.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: euge on October 22, 2011, 05:05:49 PM
Thanks that's a start! http://willamettewines.com/ (http://willamettewines.com/) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willamette_Valley_AVA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willamette_Valley_AVA) Uh. Only 200 wineries? ;D

IIRC Pinot Noir is lighter bodied and fruitier than a Merlot, Zin or Cab. Any recommendations as to specific Willamette winery?
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: denny on October 22, 2011, 06:03:45 PM
Yeah...Broadley. http://www.broadleyvineyards.com/ Their wine is so good that when I drink any other wine I don't really feel like I'm drinking wine.  King Estates is also very good.  http://www.kingestate.com/
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: morticaixavier on October 24, 2011, 03:12:08 PM
oregon pinot is great. also, pinot from the russian river valley in northern california is really amazing. With pinot you are looking for a growing area that is cool during the summer to avoid overly fruity wine.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: kenschramm on October 27, 2011, 12:26:46 AM
Well, if you really want to push your learning quickly, here's what I'd recommend: find a very good wine shop, and spend the ~$20 a bottle it will take to get yourself into some really impressive examples.  Find a shop that has a good selection - ask if they have a decent selection of bottles from Kermit Lynch, Louis Dressner or Terry Theisse - if they don't, they are the equivalent of Bud/Miller/Coors pushers. Might not be easy in South Central Texas, but take a shot.  I think Texas allows direct shipping, and if you want a great shop to get started, go to Chambers St Wines (http://chambersstwines.com/) in NYC. You can make your own choices, but if you call them at 212.227.1434 and ask them to put you a case together, you may get some of the greatest wines available at that price point. My recommendations for styles (and there a few whites in here):

Bordeaux Red or Loire Cab Franc
Burgundy Red and White
Cotes du Rhone or other Southern French
Alsace white
Sauternes or Quarts de Chaume
Italian Bonarda
Loire White
German Riesling
Cru Beaulolais
Grower Champagne

Some bottles may be less and some more, or they may make other recommendations on styles, but trust them - if you order from Chambers St, you may have the best store in the country (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/drink/2011/07/the_greatest_wine_retailer_in_america.html/). That's six reds and six whites, but they'll pick you out winners if you want to lean more toward the reds - just let them know. Maybe you could lose the Champagne and try something else red from California or Italy.  It's a perfect time to ship right now, too.

It's a great journey, and the variety of styles and the depth of the subject is both a challenge and a pure joy. 
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: kenschramm on October 27, 2011, 12:32:25 AM
BTW, these guys are not big on the wine critics and point scales, so don't be shocked if they aren't supportive of the concept of "90 pointers." They know their wine very well, in many cases better than the critics.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: euge on October 27, 2011, 01:32:26 AM
Thanks Ken. That's right there with what I'm getting at.

Tried some Pinot Noir- Fire Steed from Oregon (their Willamette Valley was too expensive), and a Louis Latour. The Fire Steed blew the Latour out of the water, while both being quite good.

Reverted to Zin and Cabs which since they are so pronounced or bold are easy to fall back upon. They've all tasted different while maintaining an uniqueness. The Ravens Wood Vintners Blend (California 08) I'm savoring right now is very nice while reminding me that it is grape-juice after all. ;D

Yes... I ran out of beer. :-\

Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: corkybstewart on October 27, 2011, 02:27:00 AM
For a good reasonably priced Cabernet look at HEB for Los Vascos(very good) and Los Vascos Reserve(excellent).  They're Chilean wines produced by the Rothchild family of France.  You're looking at $13-$17 per bottle.
 My wife is a very picky wine drinker, if it's not from her village the likelihood of her enjoying it is slim and she loves these wines.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: beerocd on October 28, 2011, 02:19:08 AM
(http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQECEqep71Cn9oXuTxR1otDycptAVIk_hiY1UhIiGzsJZcmNh0NZg)

For under $10 - pretty darn good.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: phillamb168 on October 28, 2011, 08:56:08 AM
My go-to for inexpensive when I was living in NYC was K&D on the UWS - http://www.kdwine.com

I've never been to Chambers St so I can't talk about that.

My go-to is, of course, French, because they're cheaper here - orders of magnitude cheaper - and I go by region instead of grape, as seems to be the wont in the US. For some really interesting things, I'd recommend the following, which are my favorites:

Cote-de-Beaune region:
  Aloxe Corton
  Pommard
  Beaune

Cote-de-Nuits region:
  Gevrey-chambertin
  Nuits-saint-georges

Medoc region: Saint-estephe

Rhone Sud region:
  Chateauneuf-du-pape
  Gigondas

Also, don't forget that millesime is important - the year of the harvest. For example, 2005 Bourgogne is one of the best (and most expensive) young French reds you can buy, but you can barely give away 2007.

For something inexpensive but amazing, try to find a Gigondas from 2005 or 2007. The 2007s should be fairly low priced (especially around here - $10 a bottle). For example, E. Guigal Gigondas Red 2007 on K&D's website is listed at $25, but you can probably find it cheaper.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: bluesman on October 28, 2011, 11:06:42 AM
Wine Spectator seems to have some sound advice. I have "Vintage Chart" app from WS on my iphone. It's the year of the wine that seems to make a huge difference in the quality of the wine from region to region. WS magazine is also very informative.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 28, 2011, 08:43:32 PM
The WSJ used to have a wine column, not sure if they still do.  Either way, it had very sound advice and I know the authors wrote some books.  As in brewing, reading about wine should help.

Argentinian and Chilean wines can be some very good values.  You should be able to find cabernet, malbec, merlot and just about any red wine from these regions.

Here in Chicago, I tend to go mostly to the Wine Discount Center which is an awesome place.

One thing to keep in mind is that the same grapes are grown in different regions and countries and can produce very different wines.  From country to country they may also be called something different.  For example, French burgundy is made from pinot noir grapes.  They just call it Burgundy (after the region the grapes are grown) and not pinot noir (after the grapes).  Shiraz and syrah are also the same.

Most wines will also be a blend of grapes.  A good label should tell you what's in it.

I'd say, don't be afraid of trying something you've never heard of, keep in your price range, and go for it.

Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: morticaixavier on October 28, 2011, 10:51:19 PM
The WSJ used to have a wine column, not sure if they still do.  Either way, it had very sound advice and I know the authors wrote some books.  As in brewing, reading about wine should help.

Argentinian and Chilean wines can be some very good values.  You should be able to find cabernet, malbec, merlot and just about any red wine from these regions.

Here in Chicago, I tend to go mostly to the Wine Discount Center which is an awesome place.

One thing to keep in mind is that the same grapes are grown in different regions and countries and can produce very different wines.  From country to country they may also be called something different.  For example, French burgundy is made from pinot noir grapes.  They just call it Burgundy (after the region the grapes are grown) and not pinot noir (after the grapes).  Shiraz and syrah are also the same.

Most wines will also be a blend of grapes.  A good label should tell you what's in it.

I'd say, don't be afraid of trying something you've never heard of, keep in your price range, and go for it.



not to be overly pedantic but french burgundy can be grown from any number of grape varieties. as you say it is really only a regional identifier.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 29, 2011, 12:08:52 AM
not to be overly pedantic but french burgundy can be grown from any number of grape varieties. as you say it is really only a regional identifier.

Perhaps.  But the classic burgundies are pinot.


EDIT: Removed as my original comment was overly broad, argumentative and made while I was full of Italian syrah.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: euge on October 29, 2011, 06:25:01 AM
This is very interesting. Ha- a bunch of beer drinkers that like good food, liquor and wine! And the $120-250 case is tempting. Get one every month or two.

What gets me that there is so many to choose from. Literally hundreds at the store I stop by at after work to pick up last minute groceries and beer. Literally one entire aisle and it isn't the largest I've seen in the same chain of stores across town. Made some shrewd choices and I've enjoyed every single wine so far- though the Louis Latour Pinot Noir wasn't to my liking at first but the next day it had mellowed quite a bit and more to my liking. It was musty and vegetal in a big way upfront and at first I thought the bottle was bad.

How long can an opened bottle sit with a cork before spoiling? I'm assuming that oxidation will takes its toll. And should red wine breath?
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: punatic on October 29, 2011, 06:46:18 AM
not to be overly pedantic but french burgundy can be grown from any number of grape varieties. as you say it is really only a regional identifier.

Perhaps.  But the classic burgundies are pinot.

Chablis is a district region within Burgundy.  They are famous for their chardonay blends there.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 29, 2011, 02:12:00 PM
Correct. Which I overlook as I don't drink whites much...

I suppose I was too general in my original comment.

To me, that's one of the great things about wine. There's always something more to learn, explore and drink.

Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 29, 2011, 02:25:22 PM
How long can an opened bottle sit with a cork before spoiling? I'm assuming that oxidation will takes its toll. And should red wine breath?

Oxidation happens pretty quickly with wine.  You can buy vacuum sealers that work with a pump and will preserve the wine a little longer.  That and keeping it in the fridge over night.  A day or two is probably the max you would want to keep a wine, but as in all things YMMV.  Left open, it won't spoil, per se, but the flavors will degrade.

Not all red wine needs to breath.  Older wines need it more.  As you noted, wine will change as it breathes. Bigger wines (cabernet, heavy reds) tend to change more, as there's more complexity.

As noted above, I can't speak much to white wines...
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: phillamb168 on October 31, 2011, 09:41:33 AM
not to be overly pedantic but french burgundy can be grown from any number of grape varieties. as you say it is really only a regional identifier.

Perhaps.  But the classic burgundies are pinot.

Chablis is a district region within Burgundy.  They are famous for their chardonay blends there.

Wife and I went to Chablis on a road trip after our second wedding, told the shop owner that we were married the day before and he let us sample a 1976 Grand Cru. If you can put 'em down for long enough, Chablis will age reaaaaaaaal nice. This coming from a guy who really doesn't like white wine very much.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: punatic on October 31, 2011, 07:58:01 PM
Some high-end white wines benefit from aging, certainly a Chablis Grand Cru, also some desert wines e.g. Sauternes and late harvest QmP Rieslings.

On the whole most white wines are best when consumed young. 
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: corkybstewart on October 31, 2011, 09:41:47 PM
Some high-end white wines benefit from aging, certainly a Chablis Grand Cru, also some desert wines e.g. Sauternes and late harvest QmP Rieslings.

On the whole most white wines are best when consumed young. 
The oldest wine I've had was a bottle of 1921 white, probably a Loire Valley wine(Montluis or Vouvray) that was found under the collapsed wall of a wine cave in Chinon France.  I don't remember how Pierre knew it was 1921, maybe it was on the cork, but it was excellent.  He also opened bottles from the late 40's, early 60's 1968, 1972 and 1978
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: Slowbrew on October 31, 2011, 09:56:02 PM
How long can an opened bottle sit with a cork before spoiling? I'm assuming that oxidation will takes its toll. And should red wine breath?

Oxidation happens pretty quickly with wine.  You can buy vacuum sealers that work with a pump and will preserve the wine a little longer.  That and keeping it in the fridge over night.  A day or two is probably the max you would want to keep a wine, but as in all things YMMV.  Left open, it won't spoil, per se, but the flavors will degrade.

Not all red wine needs to breath.  Older wines need it more.  As you noted, wine will change as it breathes. Bigger wines (cabernet, heavy reds) tend to change more, as there's more complexity.

As noted above, I can't speak much to white wines...

A past its prime open bottle red works great when cooking red meats and in sauces.  Even if it isn't great ti drink anymore it can still give a lift to a sauce.

Paul
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: morticaixavier on October 31, 2011, 10:36:49 PM
A past its prime open bottle red works great when cooking red meats and in sauces.  Even if it isn't great ti drink anymore it can still give a lift to a sauce.

Paul

+1 when we get a bottle of wine we often only drink half of it before it is past it's prime but I will leave it on the counter or in the fridge and use it in tomatoe sauce or marinades for a couple of weeks after I wouldn't drink it anymore.

I have been told my professionals in the wine industry that, with red wine, if you are going to finish teh bottle in a day or two just put the cork back and leave it on teh counter, if you are not going to drink from it again for a few days put it in the fridge and take it out again a few hours before you intend to finish it.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: jaybeerman on October 31, 2011, 10:57:55 PM
Burgundy Red and White

euge, if you haven't gotten around to it, try to find a good white burgundy.  A bottle (IIRC it had a gargoyle on the label) the wife and I had a while back changed me; it was full, robust and friggin amazing. Otherwise I stick with pinot nior, red burgundy, red zinfandel, malbec, and another s. american wine I can't think of at the moment.  cheers, j  
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: euge on November 01, 2011, 01:49:46 AM
I can get French burgundy. Maybe tonight? Lol Have been enjoying the red wine lately. Maybe too much.  One thing that concerns me about white wine is that usually it is served chilled and I tend to gulp. 

Found a months old open bottle of cheap cabernet in the fridge- one that I've been splashing into my tomato sauce. Mixed it with limeade on the rocks and voila! Sangria! Guess one could always make Sangria with leftover oxidized wine.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: tschmidlin on November 01, 2011, 05:25:17 AM
I make vinegar with leftover red wine.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: euge on November 01, 2011, 05:51:04 AM
I make vinegar with leftover red wine.

+1 Why didn't I think about that. To you marry a bunch of leftover wines until you get enough?
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: tschmidlin on November 01, 2011, 06:04:19 AM
I make vinegar with leftover red wine.

+1 Why didn't I think about that. To you marry a bunch of leftover wines until you get enough?
Yes.  I have a ~2 gallon jug with a spigot on the bottom, I started with a pint of raw vinegar (unpasteurized, "mother" in the bottle) and just started adding wine.  It sits in the closet, now that it is mostly full I will start pulling some out when we need vinegar.  Dilute it 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar to get it to ~4% acidity and call it good.  I'm not canning with it or anything, so the actual acidity doesn't matter, but I figure the wine is typically 12%+ ABV, so it should be 12%+ acidity.
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: euge on November 01, 2011, 06:07:59 AM
That's a great approach. This will certainly become a reality in my household. Does it form a pellicle?
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: tschmidlin on November 01, 2011, 06:53:42 AM
Yes, but it is not especially cohesive, it is more of a layer of small particles at the top.  Nothing that looks like a proper mother, no big gel-like blobs or anything.  It definitely smells like vinegar though :)
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: punatic on November 01, 2011, 07:17:15 AM
I make vinegar with leftover red wine.

+1 Why didn't I think about that. To you marry a bunch of leftover wines until you get enough?

Leftover wine?

What does that mean?
Title: Re: Wine advice
Post by: euge on November 01, 2011, 07:58:09 AM
Yeah that's true puni but I often find three fingers of wine in a bottle from a few days (or longer) before. Goes into the spaghetti sauce. ;D Which reminds me of sangria. Tom I might have to do "malt vinegar". ::)