Author Topic: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!  (Read 135583 times)

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Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #280 on: November 13, 2008, 04:29:46 PM »
Oregon Wine Pioneer Dies!

David Lett (1939-2008)

David Lett was an Oregon wine pioneer who died on October 9, 2008 - he started Eyrie Vineyards in the Willamette Valley back in 1965 (a year before the opening of Robert Modavi's Winery - both historic events); Lett was not the first grower of Pinot Noir in Oregon but he started that state's ascendency to producing some of this best wine in the world made from this varietal - Pinot Gris was also another 'white' varietal that he help to pioneer in Oregon - both of these grapes are favorites of mine, and I continue to receive wines from the Oregon Pinot Noir Club - the Eyrie Pinot Noirs from the late 1970s-early 80s were my introduction to Oregon Pinot Noir - a revelation!  :D

Brünnhilde forever

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #281 on: November 19, 2008, 10:44:32 AM »
Read an informative article about cork, the thing closing bottles of our favourite beverage. Miguel Márquez, a vintner near Valencia, Spain, is talking about the trend to use plastic, screw tops or glass stoppers and he is adamant about such an abuse of the quality of wines. Plastic material is not as dense as cork and will allow oxidation of the wine whereas screw tops are choking the wine causing wine to smell like a combination of garlic and rotten eggs. Natural cork has exactly the proper density to avoid those other problems.

The article goes in detail about the production of natural corks and the danger to Quercus suber the 'cork oak', and the existence of the oak orchards, vital in not only the cork industry but the total environment. In short: Only buy wine with the natural cork crowing the bottle!  0:)

The article does mention a seal of approval of natural cork by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) but does not tell me where I find the seal on the bottle; how can I tell what material is closing the bottle I want to buy.  :-\

Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #282 on: November 19, 2008, 03:43:19 PM »
Hi Lis - thanks for the comments on cork wine enclosures!  :D  Do you have a web link to the article?

The use of non-cork wine enclosures has been a controversial and often a contentious topic of discussion, as you probably already know.  Cork producers, e.g. those on the Iberian peninsula, want the industry to continue - who wants to lose their livelihood!  But cork can be diverted to other uses, such as in building, i.e. cork floors, walls, etc.

But cork is not necessarily the best wine bottle enclosure to use, as many would argue.  If you collect vintage wines or age bottles yourself (e.g. I have Ports from the late 70s & 80s), corks deteriorate and can be a pain to remove, often just falling apart on attempts at their extraction; also, corks that do not hold up over time can turn an expensive bottle of wine into a disaster only useful as vinegar in a salad dressing.

One of the main problems w/ cork is 'tainted wine', i.e. wine contaminated with TCA (checkout the Wiki Article; this is also called a 'corked wine' - although some (esp. those in the cork  business or the 'religious' cork advocates) will state that 'corked bottles' occur in less than 1%, however, I've seen numbers approaching 10% - thus, if you buy a case of expensive wine for say $1000 (not unusual these days for a wine to age!), and 2 bottles are 'tainted', then that is nearly a $200 loss!  Just not acceptable -  :-\

Thus, alternate enclosures have emerged, including screw tops, glass devices, and cork 'substitutes' (which might be cork composites, plastics, etc.) - personally, I have no problem w/ these alternates, particularly for less expensive wines that will be consumed immediately or will be held (or aged) for a few years only.  The 'screw tops' in blind tastings have just not shown a problem over a short time - and I happen to love this enclosure for these wines (New Zealand has pretty much or will switch completely to this option).  OTOH, reservations have been raised for wines that might require some aging, e.g. 5-10 yrs or longer - the plastic enclosures may permit too much air to enter the 'aging' bottle and be detrimental to the wine enclosed; however, a 'screw top' might still be OK?  An important and still 'unknown' consideration in long-term aging of wine is whether the slow entry of air (esp. oxygen) through a cork can impact on the changes that occur in bottle; of course, a 'screw top' will not permit this entry - only time will tell - these wines warranting long-term aging will have to be stored properly in alternate enclosures and then tasted blindly at different periods in their life times - all of this experimentation will take years, if not decades for a resolution as to whether a difference between these enclosures exist or not (OR, if the non-cork options are better!)?.

So, for immediate or 'short term' consumption (say w/i a few years), I have no problem w/ purchasing wines w/ a non-cork enclosure - in fact, I would likely prefer such an enclosure because of the potential problems mentioned above w/ cork.  For wines meant to be aged 5-10 yrs or beyond, the superiority of one enclosure over another has yet to be resolved - my feeling is that a 'screw top' even on a Bordeaux red or a Vintage Port will likely be a better choice, but just an opinion!  Bottom line - if you're buying wines for immediate consumption or just 'short term' storage, don't worry about the type of enclosure (although I'd probably trust the 'screw top' more! -  :D).

Can't comment on the label for a cork in the bottle - a 'screw top' is obvious, but if a bottle has a capsule, then the enclosure could be all cork, cork composite, or a plastic - again, I'd not be that concerned for 'short-term' drinking.  Hope this helps a little - Dave  :)

Brünnhilde forever

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #283 on: November 19, 2008, 05:43:30 PM »
How good is your German, Dave? The article is in the German news magazine Der Spiegel!

Did you know the first person to close a bottle with a piece of natural cork was the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon? As you pointed out in your very much appreciated post, cork is not the 100% save topper. Between 5 and 20% of wines suffer from a deposit of Trichloranisol in the bottle, causing a worldwide loss of 2.5 billion Euros. But the brothers Miravet claim wines to be stored up to 20 years are save with their cork.

Dave, I think it has become more of an environmental issue, loss of the oak forests because the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) states those forests are a jewel of multitude and the backbone of an entire industry. The article does not mention other possible uses for cork, like flooring, as you point out.

Personally: I would welcome the screw top because that I can handle easily, whereas uncorking my Lemberger even with the 'Rabbit' is a chore; arthritic thumbs and bottle openers have a strained relationship!  :'(

Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #284 on: November 19, 2008, 06:12:05 PM »
How good is your German, Dave? The article is in the German news magazine Der Spiegel!...

Lis - LOL  ;D - can't do German @ all! (Latin in High School & Spanish @ the U. of Michigan, undergrad) - and, not fluent in either one in my aging years -  ;) :D

Yep, I underestimated the TCA issue to 10% but estimates have been higher (reason that I chose 2 bottles/case) - cork is going to continue to decline - just cheaper & likely better options; but, I found that removal of some of the other 'cork' substitutes a pain - those replacements, esp. the plastics, are HARD to remove.

The 'screw tops' are just an easier choice for all - simple to operate - not requiring a lot of skill - and replaceable!  If the 'blind tastings' that I mentioned for the wines that might require 'long term' aging prove no difference between corks & 'screw tops' (or if the latter proves superior), then cork will be OUT - I have no problem w/ this paradigm change at all -   :)

Cork is a beautiful product w/ many other uses - the industry will adapt - I'm an amateur woodworker and could easily use cork in my projects, plus the material is very applicable to purchases other than becoming 'corks'!

So, not to worry - don't make you wine decisions based on the enclosures -  ;) ;D   Dave

Offline MishaK

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #285 on: November 20, 2008, 04:01:31 PM »
Speaking of cork... does anyone know a place to recycle cork in the US? I have piles of corks I have collected for that purpose thinking that it would be a waste to just throw away. Where I used to live in Brooklyn, there used to be a restaurant that collected corks and sent them to a recycling place, but I'm now in Chicago and the Brooklyn restaurant has closed down.

Brünnhilde forever

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #286 on: November 20, 2008, 04:51:41 PM »
What on earth did we do before we had google?

That's what I found and I hope it helps you:  :-*

http://corkdork.typepad.com/corkdork/2006/10/wine_cork_recyc.html

Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #287 on: November 20, 2008, 05:29:27 PM »
O Mensch - looks like Lis already found you a 'recycling' place for corks!  ;D

For years, I kept my corks in big bags - being a woodworker, I was planning to try to make some interesting projects from the corks - never happened, just could not put together a project w/ a bunch of used corks - oh well - think that I threw them away!

But, cork is the 'thick' bark of the cork tree - probably could grind it up and use the remains for many purposes - Dave   :)

Brünnhilde forever

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #288 on: November 22, 2008, 11:45:52 AM »
Dave, you have been praising Oregon's wine quite a lot and seduced me into trying it. I am in the process of drinking a 2004 Pinot Gris Firesteed, my very first Pinot Gris and am surprised about how sweet the wine is. I actually checked the bottle again, thinking I had mistakenly opened a Gewürztraminer!

Is this the common character of a Pino Gris, sweetness? Could be my palate has been permanently numbed by the dryness of my beloved Lemberger, and going back to glory days of Lagrein Kretzers in Austria!  ;D

Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #289 on: November 22, 2008, 12:14:33 PM »
Dave, you have been praising Oregon's wine quite a lot and seduced me into trying it. I am in the process of drinking a 2004 Pinot Gris Firesteed, my very first Pinot Gris and am surprised about how sweet the wine is. I actually checked the bottle again, thinking I had mistakenly opened a Gewürztraminer!

Is this the common character of a Pino Gris, sweetness? Could be my palate has been permanently numbed by the dryness of my beloved Lemberger, and going back to glory days of Lagrein Kretzers in Austria!  ;D

Hi Lis - first, glad that you're trying some of those wines that I've been touting from Oregon; some of the Pinot Gris that I've had from Oregon (and also California) has had a touch of 'sweetness' but probably only about 1-2% residual sugar - this has been a minority and I've not had the one you mention above; plus, the year makes the wine a little too aged - I'm currently drinking '06 & '07 white wines.

If available to you, give the King Estate Pinot Gris a try - I've just finished up my '06 bottles, and have added the newly released '07 to my basement cellar; this wine is readily available here in the super markets & on many restaurant wine lists locally; but there are also other Pinot Gris from Oregon that should be on the drier side.  Good luck in your selection(s) and please reply back - can always use more recommendations!  Dave  :D


Brünnhilde forever

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #290 on: November 22, 2008, 06:48:43 PM »
Dave, that's what I get for staying in a groove with my wine consumption! Sticking with reds and didn't even know that whites don't age the same as reds.  :-[

Mama always ordered a few cases every year from her favourite Mosel region vintner; when we moved to the US I couldn't find any of Mama's selection and was completely at sea. Then I discovered a Lemberger and that was a familiar name, stuck with it, with a few courageous sidetrips. Now that I dared to step outside my GMG Opera domain, I am starting all over again and with your help, - and that of the other nice people here!  :-* - I'll be an eager student.  0:)

Heather Harrison

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #291 on: November 22, 2008, 07:30:21 PM »
I discovered Oregon wine many years ago, and I have had a number of good ones over the years.  I have just a few now, so it might be about time to visit the wineries again.

Right now, I am drinking some mead (honey wine) made by Olde Country Winery in Lake Lillian, Minnesota.  Mead has a unique flavor that is difficult to describe.  I have encountered mead in every range of sweetness, from bone dry to very sweet.  This one is sweet but not heavy and it has a floral element to its complex flavor.

Heather

Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #292 on: December 27, 2008, 06:14:26 PM »
Well, over a month since any posts to this thread, so just to bring it back TTT!  ;D

Just a couple of 'new' white wine recommendations that should be pretty available in the USA:

Kim Crawford 2008 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - I've been buying this wine for years now, and the most recent vintage is just excellent; price has gone up (about $17/bottle in my locale now) - for those who have not had NZ SBlancs, these wines are quite tart w/ 'green apple' tastes - personally, I love this flavor; plenty of other options from this Kiwi country, but I must say that this brand has been quite reliable from year to year!

Kenwood 2007 Chardonnay from Sonoma County - just $10/bottle locally - rated */87 in Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, a publication that I've subscribed to for years - just tasted tonight and would give this a B+ rating, esp. for the price/value factor; this obviously is not an heavy oaky chardonnay needing a year or so of bottle aging - but would be a perfect choice for the price to serve at a large party.  I've visited this winery multiple times and have enjoyed their wines over the years, esp. the Sauvignon Blancs and the wines from their Jack London Vyds - this winery continues to offer good values vs. the escalating prices of many CA wines -  :D

 

Bu

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #293 on: December 27, 2008, 11:28:14 PM »
Recently purchased a bottle of St. Francis Merlot, Sonoma County 2005, detailed at their website here:

http://shop.stfranciswinery.com/?ck=PAWYGJXFEU&pk=8DCB1F237A&SectionID=2296&CatalogID=456&section=shop&Details=6356210

Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #294 on: December 28, 2008, 08:15:26 AM »
Recently purchased a bottle of St. Francis Merlot, Sonoma County 2005, detailed at their website here:

St. Francis Winery

Yep, I've made several visits to that winery in the past; in fact, on Highway 12 just north of the town of Sonoma, and near the Kenwood Winery mentioned in my previous post - for those interested in a 'Sonoma' tour; one option is to visit Sonoma (delightful town of historic interest - was the northern most Spanish mission outpost along the CA coast), then head up HW 12 into the 'Valley', some wineries to consider which are close together include the ones already mentioned, plus Arrowwood & Ch. St. Jean; of course, Sonoma County is huge w/ many different wine areas of fame, so would take multiple trips to really cover the entire county -

Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #295 on: January 01, 2009, 05:58:48 PM »
Cocha y Toro - one of the largest Chilean wineries & importer to the USA of a wide variety of wines; a recent discovery:

Casillero del Diablo - 2006 Cabernet/Syrah blend (85/15%, respectively) - picked up this wine from a local grocery store for about $14 - rated 89 in a recent issue of Wine Spectator; at the moment this wine is bold & tannic (14% alcohol!) - love the flavors, and will likely buy some bottles for the cellar - I think a year or two of aging would turn this bottle into a quite pleasant experience.

In recent years, I've been searching for excellent value in my red wine selections - French, Italian, and California choices in my area of the USA are no longer a great choice, so I've been exploring other geographic areas; reds from Chile & Argentina (Mendoza Vly, in particular) have become an important consideration - these wines are made often in 'large' volumes so exportation to other areas of the planet may bring them to your notice - I would suggest giving them a try!  :)


Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #296 on: January 23, 2009, 03:51:34 PM »
Torrontes - a NEW wine grape discovery for me!  :o

Did 'early' voting yesterday - wife & I stopped off @ Harris Teeter in the same shopping center - I picked up a 'mixed' case of wine, and just added a few Argentinian wines, including one that I've never had before, i.e. a white wine from Argentina made from a 'mystery' grape called the Torrontes (probably from Spain - Wiki Article) - the bottle that I bought was inexpensive (about $10) and was absolutely delicious - another 'new' grape for me to explore!  :D

 

Well, back in November, I discovered a 'new grape', i.e. Torrontés from South America (above my previous post w/ a new pic added) - today, I was at Total Wine, and picked up a case and a half (one case of 4 reds, 3 bottles each - 2 of each will go in the basement for some 'short term' aging); and a half case of 'whites' from various countries, including a new nation for me - Uruguay; of course, next to Argentina and known for some good wines - this is from the Pisano Winery, a 2008 (now nearly a year old) labelled Rio de los Pajaros Reserve - just delicious and my second try w/ this grape - will look for more because the price is right!

BTW, the 'reds' that I bought (not in large volumes, but for a little cellar aging) are:

Seghesio Zinfandel (2007) from Sonoma; their 'newest' release - rated 93 in 'Wine Spectator' & */88 in 'Conn. Guide CA Wine' - unfortunately now up to $24/bottle in my area; now have about 4 straight years of this wine in my cellar, but the price is starting to irritate!

Terrazas Malbec (2006) from Argentina (Mendoza Reserve) - rated 89 in 'Wine Spectator' - under $20/bottle - these South American 'reds' from Chile & Argentina are pretty much replacing my California Cabs & Merlots; the value is just excellent!

Martin Ray Pinot Noir (2006) from Santa Barbara, CA - don't have a rating, but a HIGH recommendation from the people at the store and $19, which is good for a Pinot Noir (my favorite red grape!) - will taste soon -  :D

Shingleback Shiraz (2005) from Australia - about $17 - have 3 years in a row sitting in my cellar - did not have a review but this has been a consistently outstanding wine that requires a couple of years of aging!  :)

Bu

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #297 on: January 30, 2009, 12:46:32 AM »
Bought a bottle of Riunite Lambrusco: Emilia.  Ok, maybe not a big money wine (between $10 to $15) but I'd never even heard of a Lambrusco grape before and thought it was worth the cheap gamble!  Before purchasing, decided to read the back of the bottle and found out the said grape goes back to Roman times; with a little more reading online found out that no pure Lambrusco grape exists today.

Anyways, bought a bottle of this, and was overtaken by the gentle sweetiness. From my little reading it seems it is probably a blend of Lambrusco and Ancellota:


After downing the bottle, I felt like I'd just guzzled one too many Coca Colas.   :-\

Online SonicMan46

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #298 on: January 30, 2009, 06:45:05 AM »
Bought a bottle of Riunite Lambrusco: Emilia.  Ok, maybe not a big money wine (between $10 to $15) but I'd never even heard of a Lambrusco grape.........................

After downing the bottle, I felt like I'd just guzzled one too many Coca Colas.   :-\

Hi Bu - yes, good old and plentiful Lambrusco!  Back in the 70s & 80s, this wine was one of the most popular imports into the USA - use to buy some myself (wife kind of liked it) - my main description would be a 'light fizzy red, almost like a sparkling rose wine', but a variety of styles were made.

The grapes indeed go back a ways but likely have changed tremendously and varieties have disappeared - most zones of production are in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy; back in 1996, I was on a medical trip to Bologna but we first spent a few days in Milan - going by train from Milan through this region, I was astounded by the number of vineyards seen, of course probably many devoted to the making of Lambrusco!

Glad to see you on this thread - please come back soon!   ;D

Bu

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Re: WINE - Red, White, or Other - Discussed Here!
« Reply #299 on: January 30, 2009, 02:33:10 PM »
Hi Bu - yes, good old and plentiful Lambrusco!  Back in the 70s & 80s, this wine was one of the most popular imports into the USA - use to buy some myself (wife kind of liked it) - my main description would be a 'light fizzy red, almost like a sparkling rose wine', but a variety of styles were made.

The grapes indeed go back a ways but likely have changed tremendously and varieties have disappeared - most zones of production are in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy; back in 1996, I was on a medical trip to Bologna but we first spent a few days in Milan - going by train from Milan through this region, I was astounded by the number of vineyards seen, of course probably many devoted to the making of Lambrusco!

Glad to see you on this thread - please come back soon!   ;D

Thank you, Sonic, for the welcome and response; there's much to learn about good wine from your posts, and I think tonight I'll try to find a bottle or two of the ones you've recommended here.  Hopefully there should be some good sippin'.   :D