Wine thread

8893

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Do we have a wine thread? Do we need a wine thread?
Here you go. I expect it to be moved to the Food and Travel forum at some point, but I'll call out @storrsroars , @Umami Zen , @nomar , @Drew , @Waquoit , @Deepster , @Duncan Idaho , @UConnfan4ever , @Ewekon , @husky99 , @August_West , @Huskybass , @Peacefrog , @methodology , @dvegas , @Zissou , @NJHusky , @Drumguy , @ColchVEGAS , @Apollo and @tzznandrew as among those who have shown an interest before.

So, I've been getting a lot more into Alsatian whites and Austrian reds lately.

A new one on me was Zweigelt, a dry Austrian red that is relatively inexpensive, low tannins, good fruit and is a very good food wine--especially with barbecue. Definite easy drinker and crowdpleaser. Anyone else had this before? If not, check it out.

As for the Alsatian whites, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blac and Riesling, which, contrary to much public perception, is crisp, dry and minerally (although some of the better ones have an interesting oily finish). Also sneaky good food wines.
 
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Not a huge wine guy, admittedly. But I've always liked South African Pinotage if I'm going to have a red. Don't hear people talk about them too much for whatever reason.
 

ColchVEGAS

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I have not had wine from either of these locations, but will have to try if I come across them. There is so much good wine produced around the world that it is somewhat like a moving target to find good values now. You almost have to look at area that have not mass produced and exported their indigenous varieties, ie Portugal, Albania, Germany to some extent. Once they catch on the market gets saturated and undoubtedly lesser quality makes its way on the shelves and the good ones prices go up drastically.

I picked up wine making during the pandemic. Started first with the the harvest in the fall from Italy and just this past week picked up Chilean grapes and must. I debated between the Chilean Carménère and South African Pinotage but did not know anything about the South African variety so I passed. Maybe next spring I will do a batch of that for kicks.
 

August_West

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Here you go. I expect it to be moved to the Food and Travel forum at some point, but I'll call out @storrsroars , @Umami Zen , @nomar , @Drew , @Waquoit , @Deepster , @Duncan Idaho , @UConnfan4ever , @Ewekon , @husky99 , @August_West , @Huskybass , @Peacefrog , @methodology , @dvegas , @Zissou , @NJHusky , @Drumguy , @ColchVEGAS , @Apollo and @tzznandrew as among those who have shown an interest before.

So, I've been getting a lot more into Alsatian whites and Austrian reds lately.

A new one on me was Zweigelt, a dry Austrian red that is relatively inexpensive, low tannins, good fruit and is a very good food wine--especially with barbecue. Definite easy drinker and crowdpleaser. Anyone else had this before? If not, check it out.

As for the Alsatian whites, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blac and Riesling, which, contrary to much public perception, is crisp, dry and minerally (although some of the better ones have an interesting oily finish). Also sneaky good food wines.


Alsatian Pinot Gris has for decades been my favorite summer wine, slightly chilled. Great food wine. It cuts through rich foods really well. Great refreshing stand alone too.


And no one drinks it.


In that style Im also a big fan of Gewurztraminer's with charcuterie boards. (ends up being our dinner twice a week). GF is a huge european cheese hound, and she never had a gewurtz before we were together, and now Im stopping for it constantly.
 

8893

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Alsatian Pinot Gris has for decades been my favorite summer wine, slightly chilled. Great food wine. It cuts through rich foods really well. Great refreshing stand alone too.


And no one drinks it.


In that style Im also a big fan of Gewurztraminer's with charcuterie boards. (ends up being our dinner twice a week). GF is a huge european cheese hound, and she never had a gewurtz before we were together, and now Im stopping for it constantly.
Yeah Gewurztraminer too. I was too lazy to spell it.

And don't get me started on charcuterie. We've been doing it so much that it outshines the meal and everyone is already stuffed. A few months ago I suggested doing away with dinner entirely and just doing the charcuterie on the nights we have it. Cheese is my Kryptonite. I am powerless to stop myself from gorging on it.
 

August_West

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Yeah Gewurztraminer too. I was too lazy to spell it.

And don't get me started on charcuterie. We've been doing it so much that it outshines the meal and everyone is already stuffed. A few months ago I suggested doing away with dinner entirely and just doing the charcuterie on the nights we have it. Cheese is my Kryptonite. I am powerless to stop myself from gorging on it.

yeah, we learned that didnt need anything after. Saved a lot of trouble (and leftovers).
 
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I enjoy many different grapes/varietals.. Not staying in one lane.. Always looking to get smarter through other people's experience/knowledge.

Will usually go value buys over price tag buys. Old World wines are very interesting to me at the right price points. One red varietal that I enjoy-esp. in the warmer months-Is Tempranillo from Spain/Portugal.. Flexible food-pairing wine.

Think of wine as a food group and matching the right wine with the right food can be magical. Wife and I enjoy wine-pairing and champagne -pairing food evenings (pre-Covid). Slow Food Movement and all that stuff.

Won't get too carried away right now but thanks to @8893 for putting this together. Looking forward to hearing from you and getting educated. Always something new to learn.
 
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Yes to charcuterie. Delicious and fun, especially with wine. Firebox did a great charcuterie plate for a while, cheap too. But man I can't get into Gewurztraminer. Too sweet and something else for me. Never had it with cheese, though. I'm liking red zins these days.
 

ColchVEGAS

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@Umami Zen Spanish wine has over taken the Italian varieties as my favorite as there still some better value buys there.

If you come across Marquês De Borba, a Portuguese red, it is an excellent wine and usually a great value.

Also, if you like Tempranillo the Portuguese call is Aragonez or Tinta Roriz. So if you are purchasing a Portuguese wine and see those names on it you will know it is the variety you like. Most Portuguese wines will be blends but they will typically list the varietal breakdown.
 
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Heading into summer months/warm weather points me to whites/pinks/lighter reds because of the food you tend to eat,etc.

Talking to my favorite bartender (native of Florence,Italy) about my boredom with Pinot Grigios /Chablis/Chardonnay..

So he says. .Have you ever tried a Vermentino wine?--Native to Tuscanny? No.. I hadn't.. It is one of the go-to varietals for Italians/Florence residents.It's a great lighter -bodied white (for summer drinking) but much more interesting than Pinot Grigios and nowhere near as heavy as Chablis/Chardonnay. Check it out sometime if it sounds good.

Another European white that matches well with spicier food/food with heat is a Spanish varietal called Albarino.. Great match
 
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Macedonia: Tikves barovo
Croatia (Istria): Kozlovic malvazija
Slovenia (Goriska Brda): Scurek rebula, Bjana sparkling

For wine travel, Goriska Brda can't be beat. 70 wineries in about 40 square miles, great restaurants, look left for the Adriatic-right for the Alps; Istria is only an hour away and Venice less than two.
 
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I'm a cab guy but can enjoy almost any wine given the right pairing or circumstance. Shafer Hillside Select is my favorite cab. Used to collect with temp controlled storage. Just like someone else said in the Ruth thread, I don't go down that rabbit hole anymore. Was fun while it lasted in my youth, but just too expensive and impractical. Have other responsibilities now etc...Now the most bottles I will have at one time is 10 maybe. Buy to drink now for most part. Splurge for a nice bottle like I used to drink only for a special occasion or holiday. Find good mid tier bargains now and tear through one with my wife during a stressful Husky game. She's a big fan too so lucked out there.
 
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@Umami Zen Spanish wine has over taken the Italian varieties as my favorite as there still some better value buys there.

If you come across Marquês De Borba, a Portuguese red, it is an excellent wine and usually a great value.

Also, if you like Tempranillo the Portuguese call is Aragonez or Tinta Roriz. So if you are purchasing a Portuguese wine and see those names on it you will know it is the variety you like. Most Portuguese wines will be blends but they will typically list the varietal breakdown.
Duoro is currently my favorite region out of Portugal.. More to discover.
 

August_West

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Yes to charcuterie. Delicious and fun, especially with wine. Firebox did a great charcuterie plate for a while, cheap too. But man I can't get into Gewurztraminer. Too sweet and something else for me. Never had it with cheese, though. I'm liking red zins these days.
Cheese is where it shines. I won’t drink it like say a Pinot Gris which I like a lot of ways but gewurtz shines with cheese
 
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Here you go. I expect it to be moved to the Food and Travel forum at some point, but I'll call out @storrsroars , @Umami Zen , @nomar , @Drew , @Waquoit , @Deepster , @Duncan Idaho , @UConnfan4ever , @Ewekon , @husky99 , @August_West , @Huskybass , @Peacefrog , @methodology , @dvegas , @Zissou , @NJHusky , @Drumguy , @ColchVEGAS , @Apollo and @tzznandrew as among those who have shown an interest before.

So, I've been getting a lot more into Alsatian whites and Austrian reds lately.

A new one on me was Zweigelt, a dry Austrian red that is relatively inexpensive, low tannins, good fruit and is a very good food wine--especially with barbecue. Definite easy drinker and crowdpleaser. Anyone else had this before? If not, check it out.

As for the Alsatian whites, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blac and Riesling, which, contrary to much public perception, is crisp, dry and minerally (although some of the better ones have an interesting oily finish). Also sneaky good food wines.
U turned me to lastbottlewines.com...THANKS. .It's gotten me to try wines I would have never picked...almost all are very good...Their prices aren't always as great as they make them appear (some are really good deals)...but quality is great and its a really easy way to try new stuff....and get it delivered to the house.
 
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Another interesting site to buy online is WTSO-Wines Til Sold Out.. Great values on name brands where vineyards have excess inventory that they want to sell.. Will have theme discount days for reds/whites/Burgundy/Bordeaux/etc.
 

Drew

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Start here: 90 Minute Thread: White Wine?

I’ll say my favorite reds are Amerone and Valpolicella Ripasso. That thread above has some really good information on whites- been hooked on Chablis since last summer because of it
 

HuskyHawk

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I was big into wine when I lived in NoCal, took wine class at UC Santa Cruz and went to about 2 tastings a week for 3 years, usually chatting with owner or winemaker. I was tempted to quit the law thing and try to become a winemaker. So much for that.

My Tastes have changed somewhat, except Ridge, which remains my go to (pretty much everything they produce). The price to quality for Napa, Sonoma, Piedmont, top Rhones just isn’t what it was back in the late 90s and 2000s. Burgundy was always pricey but you could get good Bordeaux then without breaking the bank, I still have some 2000 vintage, probably need to open.

I have mostly given up the high priced stuff and seek values. Chile was good for a bit, but got discovered. Portugal is still solid. Spain can be, if you find an importer bringing the little known stuff. Have had very good wines from Moldova and Bulgaria, great QPR. Washington state in some spots makes better Cabs than Napa. Lake County has passed Paso Robles for me for QPR red Bordeaux grape varietals in CA.

Loire valley was a revelation two years ago, and I fell in love with the lush, rich Cab Franc and the flinty, mineral and lime focused Sauvignon Blanc, which can be fantastic even outside Sancerre. I feel those remain really good values compared to the rest of France. Overall, I tend to avoid most of the big name brands from anywhere. I look for small producers. Local shop focuses on that, which helps.
 

8893

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Another interesting site to buy online is WTSO-Wines Til Sold Out.. Great values on name brands where vineyards have excess inventory that they want to sell.. Will have theme discount days for reds/whites/Burgundy/Bordeaux/etc.
I used to use WTSO and Cinderella Wine a lot when they first started. They were the first “flash sale” sites I knew of and they had a lot of great deals (and CW had a great online forum with some very knowledgeable posters). Cinderella totally changed their model and I haven’t bought from them in years; WTSO has been slim pickings for me for quite a while, too.

Last Bottle is pretty much the only on-line wine site I’ve used since and I have been very happy, but I am pretty selective in what I get from them. There are some makers and some wines I look for all the time and buy immediately when they pop up.

By far my most steady and consistent source is Mt. Carmel Wine & Spirits, whose weekly email blast I have recommended here before. Like @HuskyHawk , I also like to pop into good local stores wherever I go to see what distributors in different areas are bringing in. (I also love anything from Ridge, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing).

I also love roses, especially rosatos from Italy. I am always on a mission to find ones I haven’t had before. They might be my favorite food wines because they are so versatile and because we often have a hodgepodge that includes both seafood and meat.

Love almost all the Italian whites, too; I think we talked about Vermentino in that thread that @Drew started that is linked upthread.
 

storrsroars

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Portugal is still solid. Spain can be, if you find an importer bringing the little known stuff. Have had very good wines from Moldova and Bulgaria, great QPR.
When I was working in Sofia, my host took me to a wine bar specializing in small producers. I had some fantastic reds for under $5/glass (everything was dirt cheap there). I bought some bottles for my apartment, but couldn't ship cases back home as the infrastructure didn't exist in 2003 like it did in Australia, where I'd visited in 2002 and shipped back several cases.

I was told by my host that while Bulgaria had the ability to make great wines, the difficulty was QC and mob interference once a winery started to get a reputation for quality. I don't know if that situation still exists today, but back then the Russian/Bulgaria mob was into pretty much everything where they could make a buck.

There are basically no Bulgaria wines available in PA. I could special order, but that adds cost, so the QPR declines considerably.

As I mentioned in the Ruth's thread, I'm planning on opening the last of my big reds next month at a great little BYOB restaurant where wife and I will celebrate 20 years. It's a 94 Montalena cab. Probably past peak and hoping it hasn't completely turned, but we'll see (and I'll have a backup). And that (along with cost) is why collecting is for people who really have the patience and are detailed enough to follow when each bottle is best consumed.

These days I'm more along the lines of Robert Mondavi's quote, "The best wine is the one that's in front of you." I live in the $10-$18 range for whites and $12-$25 for reds. I don't drink much cabernet these days. I find myself open to a lot of other reds from pretty much anywhere that's not California. If I have a need for a "big" red, it's more often a super Tuscan these days, sometimes an old vine Zin or a decent Malbec. uI've also got some everyday bottles from Italy, France, and Spain, as well as pinot from the PNW. For whites to go with fish/seafood, as @8893 and I discussed a while ago, I'm big on albarhino/albarino from Portugal/Spain. For just quaffing, I'm liking dry Reislings a lot, along with some S. African blends, a the occasional white Bordeaux (I ran tastings for a Bordeaux trade group for a little while back in 2012 and got familiar with some nice value bottles).

What stinks about living in PA is that there are no independent wine merchants where you can develop a relationship, which I had when I lived in NY & CT. I'd get a lot of great recommendations at those places. Here in PA, it's basically shop the "Chairman's Selections", which are decently priced overruns of dozens of wines where PA cut a volume deal. There are good finds there, but also plonk.

I also miss traveling as much as I used to. When in Europe or ANZ, I'd drink a lot of wine, take a lot of notes, and try (usually unsuccessfully) to find those bottles in the US. I don't much trust public wine review sites, but I'm also not above having a rating number help make a decision for me.

Anyway, I'm thankful I did spend some time learning a decent amount about grape varieties, soil/terroir, conditioning, etc., but these days I'm not looking to impress anyone with my collection, I just want to enjoy a decent glass, and I'm open to pretty much everything.

Edit: for @8893 and @HuskyHawk, here's one I'd love you guys to try and see what you think. It's different in ways I really enjoyed, but I see it wouldn't be everyone's favorite. But it's one of mine.
 
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HuskyHawk

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When I was working in Sofia, my host took me to a wine bar specializing in small producers. I had some fantastic reds for under $5/glass (everything was dirt cheap there). I bought some bottles for my apartment, but couldn't ship cases back home as the infrastructure didn't exist in 2003 like it did in Australia, where I'd visited in 2002 and shipped back several cases.

I was told by my host that while Bulgaria had the ability to make great wines, the difficulty was QC and mob interference once a winery started to get a reputation for quality. I don't know if that situation still exists today, but back then the Russian/Bulgaria mob was into pretty much everything where they could make a buck.

There are basically no Bulgaria wines available in PA. I could special order, but that adds cost, so the QPR declines considerably.

As I mentioned in the Ruth's thread, I'm planning on opening the last of my big reds next month at a great little BYOB restaurant where wife and I will celebrate 20 years. It's a 94 Montalena cab. Probably past peak and hoping it hasn't completely turned, but we'll see (and I'll have a backup). And that (along with cost) is why collecting is for people who really have the patience and are detailed enough to follow when each bottle is best consumed.

These days I'm more along the lines of Robert Mondavi's quote, "The best wine is the one that's in front of you." I live in the $10-$18 range for whites and $12-$25 for reds. I don't drink much cabernet these days. I find myself open to a lot of other reds from pretty much anywhere that's not California. If I have a need for a "big" red, it's more often a super Tuscan these days, sometimes an old vine Zin or a decent Malbec. uI've also got some everyday bottles from Italy, France, and Spain, as well as pinot from the PNW. For whites to go with fish/seafood, as @8893 and I discussed a while ago, I'm big on albarhino/albarino from Portugal/Spain. For just quaffing, I'm liking dry Reislings a lot, along with some S. African blends, a the occasional white Bordeaux (I ran tastings for a Bordeaux trade group for a little while back in 2012 and got familiar with some nice value bottles).

What stinks about living in PA is that there are no independent wine merchants where you can develop a relationship, which I had when I lived in NY & CT. I'd get a lot of great recommendations at those places. Here in PA, it's basically shop the "Chairman's Selections", which are decently priced overruns of dozens of wines where PA cut a volume deal. There are good finds there, but also plonk.

I also miss traveling as much as I used to. When in Europe or ANZ, I'd drink a lot of wine, take a lot of notes, and try (usually unsuccessfully) to find those bottles in the US. I don't much trust public wine review sites, but I'm also not above having a rating number help make a decision for me.

Anyway, I'm thankful I did spend some time learning a decent amount about grape varieties, soil/terroir, conditioning, etc., but these days I'm not looking to impress anyone with my collection, I just want to enjoy a decent glass, and I'm open to pretty much everything.

My normal price range now is the same as yours, with a few beyond that if I can try them first, or trust them implicitly (Ridge Geyserville). I don’t envy your state run options. MA is one of the better states for importation and distribution and my small, local shop owner, Ann at Pour Richards, has connections. She will request unusual stuff, or have it offered to her to try. Then she hosts tastings constantly, including some stuff every day in the store. Every bottle in the shop has tating notes, but they are her hand written notes. Not James Suckling giving a blah red 89 points. It makes a huge difference.

I hope that 94 Montelena is a gem. I’m done collecting too. Those 2000 Bordeaux are the last of it. A few years ago a friend lost his father in law, who had thousands on bottles in his cellar. Before they sold it at auction he grabbed a case or so and handed out a few, including this one to me. No idea what to do with it really. It has been temp controlled and the fill level is good. Wine is meant to be drunk.

F90CB182-7B06-40B5-90F7-EA7DD0561B13.jpeg
 

8893

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My normal price range now is the same as yours, with a few beyond that if I can try them first, or trust them implicitly (Ridge Geyserville). I don’t envy your state run options. MA is one of the better states for importation and distribution and my small, local shop owner, Ann at Pour Richards, has connections. She will request unusual stuff, or have it offered to her to try. Then she hosts tastings constantly, including some stuff every day in the store. Every bottle in the shop has tating notes, but they are her hand written notes. Not James Suckling giving a blah red 89 points. It makes a huge difference.

I hope that 94 Montelena is a gem. I’m done collecting too. Those 2000 Bordeaux are the last of it. A few years ago a friend lost his father in law, who had thousands on bottles in his cellar. Before they sold it at auction he grabbed a case or so and handed out a few, including this one to me. No idea what to do with it really. It has been temp controlled and the fill level is good. Wine is meant to be drunk.

View attachment 67509
Drink it soon. Decant it and keep trying it over the course of an hour to see how it changes. If you find that it is still drinking well, start drinking it quickly because I have found that wines of that age don't have a long prime drinking window once they hit it.

And have a backup of something else you'll be happy to drink if it's no good.

I don't expect there is a lot of fruit left but it might be nice with a filet (and at least you have the filet...).
 

August_West

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My normal price range now is the same as yours, with a few beyond that if I can try them first, or trust them implicitly (Ridge Geyserville). I don’t envy your state run options. MA is one of the better states for importation and distribution and my small, local shop owner, Ann at Pour Richards, has connections. She will request unusual stuff, or have it offered to her to try. Then she hosts tastings constantly, including some stuff every day in the store. Every bottle in the shop has tating notes, but they are her hand written notes. Not James Suckling giving a blah red 89 points. It makes a huge difference.

I hope that 94 Montelena is a gem. I’m done collecting too. Those 2000 Bordeaux are the last of it. A few years ago a friend lost his father in law, who had thousands on bottles in his cellar. Before they sold it at auction he grabbed a case or so and handed out a few, including this one to me. No idea what to do with it really. It has been temp controlled and the fill level is good. Wine is meant to be drunk.

View attachment 67509
Drink it!

Cheval Blanc is greatness!
 
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