Author Topic: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!  (Read 118514 times)

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Offline SonicMan46

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WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« on: April 07, 2007, 05:14:18 PM »
In the previous forum, we had two wine threads (white & red) - I'd like to just start a 'new thread' on wine - links to the previous threads are: Red Wine & White Wine.

These previous threads included wine recommendations, book suggestions, travel to wine areas, and many other various comments - so, please contribute -  8) :D


bwv 1080

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2007, 05:38:13 PM »
So what are some good $10 wines?

Montes Malbec and Cabernet is about all I buy these days given that it seems I have to spend three times as much to get something materially better

Offline david johnson

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2007, 02:25:58 AM »
red gives me an immediate allergic headache...white, i don't really like...but i love and can drink rosé/blush w/o problems!

dj

Offline BachQ

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2007, 02:27:24 AM »
Can we discuss brandy and cognac on this thread?

Offline toledobass

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 04:13:06 AM »
Can we discuss brandy and cognac on this thread?

Howdy D minor,

We've usually discussed only wine in the wine thread and all other libations in the 'what are you drinking thread'.  I think that works out pretty well. 

Peace,

Allan

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 04:23:32 AM »
So what are some good $10 wines?

Montes Malbec and Cabernet is about all I buy these days given that it seems I have to spend three times as much to get something materially better

Agree that the reds (and whites are good, too) from South America, i.e. Chile & Argentina can be excellent bargins, and many are in that $10 price range; the reds from Washington State, e.g. Columbia Crest Merlot is a perennial favorite, and Ch. Ste. Michelle lesser priced wines are often great value.  I'm still enamored w/ the Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand; and finally, keep looking for bargins from Australia, esp. the Shiraz bottlings (e.g. Rosemount).

Also, take a look at the wine blogs (easy to find a lot by just 'googling' those terms), but I get USA Today, which has frequent wine recommendations (most at excellent prices) - check out ther blog called Cheers; and please if anyone finds some more good blogs, post them here - I've not done much w/ blogs over the years (subscribe to 3 different wine periodicals which usually keeps me informed although most of the wines recommended NEVER come into my state!  :-\).

Finally, a number of periodicals offer 'bargin' columns in their pages - the Wine Spectator is a good example; although they often review ridiculously expensive wines, there is often the valued options listed (like in the $10-$15 range) - their web site is excellent, but you need to join to get 'full' access, but worth a look.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2007, 04:28:08 AM »
Howdy D minor,

We've usually discussed only wine in the wine thread and all other libations in the 'what are you drinking thread'.  I think that works out pretty well. 


Hello D Minor & Allan - I'd agree w/ the above, i.e. the distilled spirits (including cognac/brandy which of course is still made from wine) would be best in the 'drinking thread' - ports (which are up to 20% alcohol), sherries, and other wines of this sort, I believe use to be posted in the wine threads - sounds fair to me.  Cheers - Dave  :D

Heather Harrison

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2007, 06:48:40 AM »
I have collected wine for years, but I haven't bought very much lately because I managed to get too much in the past and I need to drink it before I actively purchase a lot more.  However, certain types of wine seem to run down quickly and need to be replaced periodically.  Recently, I bought a few bottles to replenish some of these categories.

One type of wine that I have always loved, but which seems to be somewhat neglected these days (although it has its devoted fans) is unfortified dessert wine.  I'm curious to find out if there are others here who love these very sweet wines.

Most of the unfortified dessert wines commonly encountered fall into the late harvest category.  Grapes are left on the vine until they start to shrivel up and the sugars and flavor become concentrated.  Or in some cases, methods are used to assist this process.  Within this broad category of wine, there are two sub-types that I love:  ice wine and botrytized wine.

Ice wine is made from frozen grapes.  In the traditional method (required by law in Canada and Germany) the grapes are left on the vine until well into winter, and they are allowed to partially freeze.  The remaining juice is highly concentrated in sugar and flavor.  The result is a wine that is very sweet, and also incredibly complex and intense.  My favorites are the Canadian and German ice wines, but they generally don't come cheap.  In California, ice wines are made artificially - the grapes are frozen after harvest.  Some of these are available at bargain prices, and many are quite good considering the price.  One very good inexpensive California ice wine, made from the aromatic muscat grape, is Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glaciere.  It is usually about $10 for a half-bottle, and it is consistently good.

(Note that dessert wine is often sold in half-bottles.  Since it is so sweet and concentrated, a little goes a long way.  I usually drink it in small quantities out of miniature wine glasses or champagne flutes.)

Botrytized wine is made from grapes that have begun to rot.  It turns out that a fungus called Botrytis cinerea, if it attacks the right types of grapes under the right conditions, concentrates the juices and creates a very complex flavor.  When this happens, it is called noble rot.  When the conditions are wrong, it just ruins the grapes and is called grey rot.  Dessert wines that result from noble rot are among the best in the world.  At their best, they are very sweet and acidic, and have complex, intense flavors that are hard to describe in words.  Legal requirements vary.  In Europe, it is allowed to happen (or not) naturally, so the wine may vary from vintage to vintage.  In the famous Sauternes region of France, this happens naturally often enough that the region has become famous for it.  One of the most expensive dessert wines in the world, Chateau d'Yquem, comes from this region.  I have tried it once, and in my opinion its reputation is well-deserved.  (And the one I had was a weaker vintage; I can't even begin to imagine how good the strong vintages must be after they have aged for decades.)  I just bought a half-bottle of the 2002 vintage (about $150), so I will have another opportunity to try it after I have let it age for a while.  Most of the European botrytized wines are rather expensive (although the excellent Tokaji wine from Hungary is sometimes less expensive - I have bought good ones for $30/500ml), but there are some from California, Australia, and elsewhere that are significantly less expensive.  The secret to making this wine cheaply with consistent quality is to spray the grapes with spores.  The ones I have tried have not been as good as the best Sauternes, but they are excellent for the price (often around $20/half-bottle) and their quality is more consistent than Sauternes.

So has anyone else discovered these sweet wines?  If so, please post recommendations.

Heather
« Last Edit: April 08, 2007, 06:50:16 AM by Heather Harrison »

Offline BachQ

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2007, 07:02:47 AM »
Hello D Minor & Allan - I'd agree w/ the above, i.e. the distilled spirits (including cognac/brandy which of course is still made from wine) would be best in the 'drinking thread' - ports (which are up to 20% alcohol), sherries, and other wines of this sort, I believe use to be posted in the wine threads - sounds fair to me.  Cheers - Dave  :D

But all of that knowledge about distilled wine is just bottled-up inside me . . . . . . waiting for a release in this thread . . . . . . :D

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2007, 07:14:30 AM »
I have collected wine for years, but I haven't bought very much lately because I managed to get too much in the past and I need to drink it before I actively purchase a lot more.  However, certain types of wine seem to run down quickly and need to be replaced periodically.............

Heather - I believe that we may have exchanged a few posts in the old wine thread(s) - my wine cellar has 'dwindled' in the last 10 yrs or so (use to have over 700 bottles, but now down to about 200+); my wife does not drink wine anymore + the wines I use to like to collect have escalated so much in price (e.g. classified Bordeaux on futures, red/white Burgundies, Barolos & Barbarescos from Italy) that I decided to become a 'value' wine shopper; my main exception is buying Pinot Noir from an Oregon Wine Club that will ship to me.  :)

But, back then, I did have a wonderful collection of Sauternes that I would age for up to 10-12 yrs - usually had 6-8 (both full & halves) different ones - my wife loved these aged dessert wines (and so did her family, so always took a couple of bottles to them on our visits).  I've had virtually all of the other wines you mentioned, but mainly order them w/ dessert in a 'good' restaurant.  In fact, my 'newest' taste experience was on a recent trip to Richmond, VA - we stayed at the wonderful Jefferson Hotel & ate dinner the last night in their restaurant - ordered a dessert Chenin Blanc from the Loire Vly - tasty but not that expensive (my past readings on these wines is that w/ a lot of age they can be 'miracles' of nature!).

I do love the Muscat dessert wines, and the Bonny Doon version is a favorite. But, thanks for the great description of these wines - I'm sure many will be stimulated to give them a try.   :D

Heather Harrison

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2007, 10:51:18 AM »
I certainly have encountered Loire Valley dessert chenin blanc; it is one of the little-known treasures of the wine world.  I have one bottle right now that I plan on aging for a few more years.

Heather

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2007, 03:46:35 PM »
I certainly have encountered Loire Valley dessert chenin blanc; it is one of the little-known treasures of the wine world.  I have one bottle right now that I plan on aging for a few more years.


Heather - would love to taste that wine w/ you after a few more years of aging!  :P ;D

Tonight, had some Hess Chardonnay, Su'Skol Vyd, 2005 - about $15 a bottle - I've gravitated away from California Chardonnay in recent years (why - well, prices have escalated for the wineries that I've bought in the past & the overly processed 'oaked' wines seem to be just unpleasant to me), but this wine is an excellent value - wife made a scallop dish & the combo was just fine!


Heather Harrison

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2007, 04:03:34 PM »
Tonight, had some Hess Chardonnay, Su'Skol Vyd, 2005 - about $15 a bottle - I've gravitated away from California Chardonnay in recent years (why - well, prices have escalated for the wineries that I've bought in the past & the overly processed 'oaked' wines seem to be just unpleasant to me), but this wine is an excellent value - wife made a scallop dish & the combo was just fine!

I have also had problems with California Chardonnay.  Much of it is downright nasty - when I drink it, I think I am drinking a liquefied oak tree, combined with too much acid.  I can't figure out why this stuff is so popular.  Of course, there are notable exceptions.  Wineries in California can make excellent Chardonnay if they want to, but it is usually in the $40 range or higher.  Typically, I won't buy California Chardonnay unless I have had a chance to taste it first.  I have had better luck with Oregon; their style is more like Burgundy, and they don't usually overdo the oak.  Also, I have had good luck with the original white Burgundy, but it isn't cheap.  I especially like the original unoaked Chablis (the real thing from Burgundy - not the nasty jug wine from the U.S.).

Lately, Merlot has become popular and therefore it is getting the Chardonnay treatment in California.  A few years ago, Merlot used to be a reasonably safe bet, but as it has become more popular, the overall level of nastiness has increased, so now I am reluctant to buy California Merlot unless I taste it first or see a good review.  It is a shame that mass-market wineries like to screw up a good thing.

Heather

Offline MishaK

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2007, 05:51:46 PM »
I just had a wonderful glass of Schloss Vollrads 2003 Riesling Spätlese trocken (Rheingau).  :P

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2007, 06:09:10 PM »
I just had a wonderful glass of Schloss Vollrads 2003 Riesling Spätlese trocken (Rheingau).  :P

O Mensch - only one glass?  :'( ;) ;D

Offline MishaK

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2007, 06:29:46 PM »
O Mensch - only one glass?  :'( ;) ;D

In the meantime it's been two.  ;) We had the rest of the bottle yesterday.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2007, 06:09:45 AM »
I have also had problems with California Chardonnay.  Much of it is downright nasty - when I drink it, I think I am drinking a liquefied oak tree, combined with too much acid.  I can't figure out why this stuff is so popular.  Of course, there are notable exceptions.  Wineries in California can make excellent Chardonnay if they want to, but it is usually in the $40 range or higher.  Typically, I won't buy California Chardonnay unless I have had a chance to taste it first.  I have had better luck with Oregon; their style is more like Burgundy, and they don't usually overdo the oak.  Also, I have had good luck with the original white Burgundy, but it isn't cheap.  I especially like the original unoaked Chablis (the real thing from Burgundy - not the nasty jug wine from the U.S.).............................

Heather - believe that we're on the same 'wavelength' - probably a common one!  :)  In whites, I'm enjoying the NZ Saugninon Blancs (and those from California & Washington State), Pinot Gris (Grigio) from CA & Oregon (King Estate has been a perennial favorite), and have been sampling Viogniers (if found) - love Sancerre & Puilly Fume, but the better ones seen just not to come into my area.  Again, Chardonnay consumption way down for the reasons already discussed; also like you, I will virtually never buy any wine w/o good reviews from the periodicals I receivie and/or my own tasting (not saying that I'm a great taster, but the point is if you like it & the price is right, buy some!).

Lately, Merlot has become popular and therefore it is getting the Chardonnay treatment in California.  A few years ago, Merlot used to be a reasonably safe bet, but as it has become more popular, the overall level of nastiness has increased, so now I am reluctant to buy California Merlot unless I taste it first or see a good review.  It is a shame that mass-market wineries like to screw up a good thing.

Can't disagree about the Merlots - do have a small collection, but rarely buy this wine - California just does not do well w/ this grape, esp. in an 'affordable' range; for the USA, I look to Washington State (even the 'cheap' Columbia Crest 'general merlot' often gets a 90 rating in the Wine Spectator); also, I've been sampling more of the reds from Chile & Argentina (Malbecs, Cabs, Merlots, & Carmenere has be a surprise to me!).  I guess for reds, Pinot Noir is still my favorite - the Oregon Pinot Noir Club has been 'my salvation' in North Carolina - order a bunch of wine from them; still picking up some California Pinot Noir (if available at a decent price), and have now been sampling the same grape from New Zealand (see a lot of future quality there).

Well, thanks for posting & keep them comin' - hope others will join in - Dave  :D

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2007, 10:35:13 AM »

One type of wine that I have always loved, but which seems to be somewhat neglected these days (although it has its devoted fans) is unfortified dessert wine.  I'm curious to find out if there are others here who love these very sweet wines.

Most of the unfortified dessert wines commonly encountered fall into the late harvest category.  Grapes are left on the vine until they start to shrivel up and the sugars and flavor become concentrated.

Although my taste in German wine underwent a radical realignment about 17 years ago (I basically lost my sweet tooth) I still love those concentrated, ultra-sweet categories: Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, and Eiswein. I also love the French equivalents, especially those wines from Barsac and Sauternes. I pulled some individual bottles from their cases and racks and had them pose in front of the Bordeaux:



Pride of the pack is probably a rare 1976 Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese from a vintner friend of ours who lives in the next village north of us, and, of course, my Chateau d'Yquem:



I could never afford...or rather, would be unwilling to spend the money for one of the great vintages but the 87 d'Yquem was still mind-bogglingly delicious (we only have one bottle left of the six we purchased in 1993) and, at 250FR a half-bottle, "relatively" cheap.

You're right about the current neglect. In some ways these wines are like classical music: only appreciated by a small minority with specialized taste: even in Germany they're a hard sell. My problem now is I have no one to share them with. Mrs. Rock has completely lost her taste for even moderately sweet wine and we have no friends or relatives who are interested in these great bottles. I'm forced to drink them alone...poor, poor, pitiful me ;D

If you ever get to Germany, Heather, we'll open that last 87.

Sarge
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 10:46:38 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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Offline Brewski

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2007, 10:45:04 AM »
Agree that the reds (and whites are good, too) from South America, i.e. Chile & Argentina can be excellent bargins, and many are in that $10 price range; the reds from Washington State, e.g. Columbia Crest Merlot is a perennial favorite, and Ch. Ste. Michelle lesser priced wines are often great value.  I'm still enamored w/ the Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand; and finally, keep looking for bargins from Australia, esp. the Shiraz bottlings (e.g. Rosemount).

Just seconding these recommendations, especially from Chile and Australia.  One of my favorite inexpensive reds is from Australia: Wyndham Estates Bin 555, a very intense Shiraz that sells here in NYC for around $8 or $9. 

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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2007, 02:34:43 PM »
..............my Chateau d'Yquem:



I could never afford...or rather, would be unwilling to spend the money for one of the great vintages but the 87 d'Yquem was still mind-bogglingly delicious (we only have one bottle left of the six we purchased in 1993) and, at 250FR a half-bottle, "relatively" cheap.

If you ever get to Germany, Heather, we'll open that last 87.


Sarge - Heather & I are 'flying over' immediately!  ;D  Actually, when I WAS collecting Sauternes, I did have the two Chateaux pictured above (can't remember the years), but not the 'd'Yquem' - like I said before, these better Sauternes from the better vintages, aged a decade a more are just delicious!  It is just 'something' that one needs to experience to appreciate the enthusiasm being described - SAD that I'm no longer collecting these dessert wines -  :'(  :)