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I’ve been in a Rioja and super Tuscan kick for reds lately.

sancere for whites lately

Vivino is a great app to get an idea of good wines when shopping and you can even take a picture of a restaurant wine menu and it will show you their ratings
 
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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.
Borsea garnacha is one of the best reds for $10 great value
 
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I know you guys will hammer me on this but I'm curious (never tasted) Rose Prosecco.. In the right setting with the right finger food. I think it might work for a preliminary beverage to a more interesting wine.

Will let you know.
 
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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.

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.
Since you mentioned Mondavi.. Won't get into detail about the table in my dining room from repurposed redwood wine vat(150 yrs + old) from To Kalon estate ..

But.. The oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in the US are on what is now known as Mondavi Estates. But Robert M wanted to differentiate his Sauv Blanc brand from others. So his marketing genius created a new varietal (not really) called Fume Blanc..

If you want a round Sauv Blanc ..Not acidic.. Try Mondavi's Fume Blanc--Great value..

Of course the home run is with the Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc.. Frequently a Top 100 Wine Spectator choice.

Fact check-- Anyone who has ever enjoyed a Cali Cab.. Check out HW Crabb.. Who is he? A family member of Umami Zen.. And is why we value our table from To Kalon wood so much.
 
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8893

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I know you guys will hammer me on this but I'm curious (never tasted) Rose Prosecco.. In the right setting with the right finger food. I think it might work for a preliminary beverage to a more interesting wine.

Will let you know.
Big fan. Prosecco is my favorite non-Champagne sparkler and as I noted upthread I also love rosatos. The thing we have noticed though is that the quality of prosecco is much more variable than the quality of rosato, and the same goes even moreso for rose proseccos. Valdobbiadene is a reliable DOCG for prosecco (from Veneto) but you don't see it in the roses because of the added grapes.

Riondo is crap, as are most I've tried that are less than $15. But the $15 to $20 range has some really nice ones. Flor (with a fleur de lis on the label) is my favorite and should be around $15 if you can find it. There is also one in a bottle that looks like it is frosted with sugar that is excellent. I can't remember the name but it should be around $19.

Let me know if you find others that are good.
 

ColchVEGAS

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If you enjoy rosatos look for Frank Cornelissen's Susucaru. It is a field blend rosato from the Mt. Etna region and is very different and good. Unless you do not enjoy natural wines, which can be funky at times and definitely have more variability year to year. The price has been rising on it significantly over the past few years but I used to be able to find that and the Rosso (Nerello Mescalese) for around $20, which is the upper range of what I will typically spend on any wines nowadays.
 
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Big fan. Prosecco is my favorite non-Champagne sparkler and as I noted upthread I also love rosatos. The thing we have noticed though is that the quality of prosecco is much more variable than the quality of rosato, and the same goes even moreso for rose proseccos. Valdobbiadene is a reliable DOCG for prosecco (from Veneto) but you don't see it in the roses because of the added grapes.

Riondo is crap, as are most I've tried that are less than $15. But the $15 to $20 range has some really nice ones. Flor (with a fleur de lis on the label) is my favorite and should be around $15 if you can find it. There is also one in a bottle that looks like it is frosted with sugar that is excellent. I can't remember the name but it should be around $19.

Let me know if you find others that are good.
More of a curiosity thing for me. Like rose with different grape varietals more.. Will check out Rosato a little more seriously.

My motivation is more as a food pair choice with first course/salad/soup than as a stand alone .. Maybe with burrata cheese/tomato salad?. Fruit salad like watermelon or strawberry with spring greens??
 

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More of a curiosity thing for me. Like rose with different grape varietals more.. Will check out Rosato a little more seriously.

My motivation is more as a food pair choice with first course/salad/soup than as a stand alone .. Maybe with burrata cheese/tomato salad?. Fruit salad like watermelon or strawberry with spring greens??
Food pairing is almost always my primary motivation and it pairs very well with most appetizer stuff, as well as with lobster rolls and fried seafood. I like to start with it and I love bringing it to people's houses, even for Christmas holiday parties, because it feels and looks festive and starts everyone off in a good mood. It's an easy bridge to whatever you are drinking or eating next because it doesn't linger on the the tongue; it actually does a nice job of cleansing the palate imo.
 
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Food pairing is almost always my primary motivation and it pairs very well with most appetizer stuff, as well as with lobster rolls and fried seafood. I like to start with it and I love bringing it to people's houses, even for Christmas holiday parties, because it feels and looks festive and starts everyone off in a good mood. It's an easy bridge to whatever you are drinking or eating next because it doesn't linger on the the tongue; it actually does a nice job of cleansing the palate imo.
If you want to have fun with your friends.. Check out a Rose of Cabernet.. Has the Cab color but the Rose lightness and weight. Not a big money maker for the vineyards so sometimes hard to find but keep an eye out for it..

People see the color and say no way this wine is going to have a rose lightness to it re: mouthfeel and texture.. Blows them away.

Current rose favorite is Fleur de Mer.. Provence.. Nice price point and highly rated.
 

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If you want to have fun with your friends.. Check out a Rose of Cabernet.. Has the Cab color but the Rose lightness and weight. Not a big money maker for the vineyards so sometimes hard to find but keep an eye out for it..

People see the color and say no way this wine is going to have a rose lightness to it re: mouthfeel and texture.. Blows them away.

Current rose favorite is Fleur de Mer.. Provence.. Nice price point and highly rated.
Have not had rose of cabernet. Will look for it. Thanks.

Had Fleur de Mer on Saturday night at my cousin's house; it's one of her favorites, too. I liked it and Mrs. 8893 loved it. I like the good ones from Provence and I know they are the classic style, but I rarely buy them because the lower end is uninspiring and the higher end is usually around $5+ bucks more than I like to spend. Mt. Carmel has this nice one from Corsica recently and I picked up a case (which was the last of their stock), so it's my current fave:

2019 Domaine Vetriccie Rose, Corsica

The Vetriccie estate is sustainably farmed in the Corsican town of Aghione on the island of Corsica. The vineyards are perfectly situated between the mountains and the sea. This is a blend of Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, and Grenache. With these native varietals it offers a welcome change from the typical Roses that come from Southern France. In addition to the fruit, with hints of berries and honeydew melon, it has a welcome minerality and energy. It displays perfect balance and a mouthwatering finish. The warmer weather is just around the corner and this is the perfect way to celebrate it.

$11.99 (was $17.99) only bottles remain
 

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Big fan. Prosecco is my favorite non-Champagne sparkler and as I noted upthread I also love rosatos. The thing we have noticed though is that the quality of prosecco is much more variable than the quality of rosato, and the same goes even moreso for rose proseccos. Valdobbiadene is a reliable DOCG for prosecco (from Veneto) but you don't see it in the roses because of the added grapes.

Riondo is crap, as are most I've tried that are less than $15. But the $15 to $20 range has some really nice ones. Flor (with a fleur de lis on the label) is my favorite and should be around $15 if you can find it. There is also one in a bottle that looks like it is frosted with sugar that is excellent. I can't remember the name but it should be around $19.

Let me know if you find others that are good.

@Umami Zen Interesting. I do like US sparkling wine as sort of a mid-grade between most Prosecco and Champagne. Roederer Estate is quite good. Gruet in New Mexico is nice. I miss S. Anderson, which was my favorite by far when I lived out there. Have also had some really good and interesting Crémant. One of my favorite Champagnes at the moment is the only grower-producer in Sillery. The NV Brut is really nice and doesn't break the bank. I prefer it to the more generic (and more expensive NV Brut big house Champagne). Home - (champagnefrancoisseconde.com)

Any fans of Cava? The super cheap ones are awful, but up price a little bit I find some I like more than most Prosecco. They are bottle fermented unlike Prosecco.

But then I rarely drink it with food. So my goals may be different.
 
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Have not had rose of cabernet. Will look for it. Thanks.

Had Fleur de Mer on Saturday night at my cousin's house; it's one of her favorites, too. I liked it and Mrs. 8893 loved it. I like the good ones from Provence and I know they are the classic style, but I rarely buy them because the lower end is uninspiring and the higher end is usually around $5+ bucks more than I like to spend. Mt. Carmel has this nice one from Corsica recently and I picked up a case (which was the last of their stock), so it's my current fave:

2019 Domaine Vetriccie Rose, Corsica

The Vetriccie estate is sustainably farmed in the Corsican town of Aghione on the island of Corsica. The vineyards are perfectly situated between the mountains and the sea. This is a blend of Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, and Grenache. With these native varietals it offers a welcome change from the typical Roses that come from Southern France. In addition to the fruit, with hints of berries and honeydew melon, it has a welcome minerality and energy. It displays perfect balance and a mouthwatering finish. The warmer weather is just around the corner and this is the perfect way to celebrate it.

$11.99 (was $17.99) only bottles remain
Will check out your rose from Corsica.. Have actually been there twice.

I am a primarily a value buyer with all varietals. The popular grapes are overpriced (because of demand) and the low end.
As you stated-Can be uninspiring. However, I tend to follow certain growers as they expand their reach/range.

Pinot Noir is an example of a varietal -that to me- is over-priced. I like the Wagner family (Caymus) and have followed young Joseph's products. Meiomi/Belle Glos.. And his most recent Pinot out of Sonoma-- Boen.. Which in Norweigian means "The Farm"..Nice price point and great taste(mid 20's).. Mostly found in the Big Box stores like Total Wines..
 
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@Umami Zen Interesting. I do like US sparkling wine as sort of a mid-grade between most Prosecco and Champagne. Roederer Estate is quite good. Gruet in New Mexico is nice. I miss S. Anderson, which was my favorite by far when I lived out there. Have also had some really good and interesting Crémant. One of my favorite Champagnes at the moment is the only grower-producer in Sillery. The NV Brut is really nice and doesn't break the bank. I prefer it to the more generic (and more expensive NV Brut big house Champagne). Home - (champagnefrancoisseconde.com)

Any fans of Cava? The super cheap ones are awful, but up price a little bit I find some I like more than most Prosecco. They are bottle fermented unlike Prosecco.

But then I rarely drink it with food. So my goals may be different.
IIRC.. The Brad Pitt project in France which has the rose that's popular(Miraval) is coming out with a Pinot Noir influenced champagne soon. Primarily at the suggestion of his business partner--Vintner Marc Perrin-- who has growing experience in both the Pinot Noir/Burgundy and champagne space.
 
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@Umami Zen Interesting. I do like US sparkling wine as sort of a mid-grade between most Prosecco and Champagne. Roederer Estate is quite good. Gruet in New Mexico is nice. I miss S. Anderson, which was my favorite by far when I lived out there. Have also had some really good and interesting Crémant. One of my favorite Champagnes at the moment is the only grower-producer in Sillery. The NV Brut is really nice and doesn't break the bank. I prefer it to the more generic (and more expensive NV Brut big house Champagne). Home - (champagnefrancoisseconde.com)

Any fans of Cava? The super cheap ones are awful, but up price a little bit I find some I like more than most Prosecco. They are bottle fermented unlike Prosecco.

But then I rarely drink it with food. So my goals may be different.
For some reason the Cava bubbles tend to upset my stomach and I find Prosecco bubbles much more mild.

I use Cremant in my French 75s, which call for Champagne.

As for Champagne, our favorite indulgence is Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose, but it ain't cheap, so only for special occasions (although a client just sent me a magnum of it as a thank you last week so now I am hunting for a really special occasion!).
 

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For some reason the Cava bubbles tend to upset my stomach and I find Prosecco bubbles much more mild.

I use Cremant in my French 75s, which call for Champagne.

As for Champagne, our favorite indulgence is Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose, but it ain't cheap, so only for special occasions (although a client just sent me a magnum of it as a thank you last week so now I am hunting for a really special occasion!).

Billecart Salmon is the one my wine class teacher at UCSC introduced me to. Fantastic stuff. You might like the rose from the place in Sillery as a cheaper option if you find it.
 

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Any fans of Cava? The super cheap ones are awful, but up price a little bit I find some I like more than most Prosecco. They are bottle fermented unlike Prosecco.
I'm not a big consumer of any bubbly at home, although I usually do have a bottle of prosecco around in the summer However, I've found the entire category, at all price levels, tastes better when you're drinking it where it's grown. If a travel partner suggested sharing a bottle of champagne here in US, I'd likely try to persuade them to choose something else, but in Europe or ANZ, I'd have no issue with the local bubbly as I find I enjoy them - probably because they're inexpensive yet quite quaffable.

In general, I find house wines of any style at low and mid-range eateries in Europe are on a completely different level than house wines in mid-range eateries in the US. Might be the setting, might be they actually care about what they serve. I'm not sure.

I have yet to get to Spain (now #1 on bucket list), but people I trust who've been who wouldn't touch a bottle of Freixinet adore the cheap cavas they slammed at tapas bars and restaurants over there.
 
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I'm not a big consumer of any bubbly at home, although I usually do have a bottle of prosecco around in the summer However, I've found the entire category, at all price levels, tastes better when you're drinking it where it's grown. If a travel partner suggested sharing a bottle of champagne here in US, I'd likely try to persuade them to choose something else, but in Europe or ANZ, I'd have no issue with the local bubbly as I find I enjoy them - probably because they're inexpensive yet quite quaffable.

In general, I find house wines of any style at low and mid-range eateries in Europe are on a completely different level than house wines in mid-range eateries in the US. Might be the setting, might be they actually care about what they serve. I'm not sure.

I have yet to get to Spain (now #1 on bucket list), but people I trust who've been who wouldn't touch a bottle of Freixinet adore the cheap cavas they slammed at tapas bars and restaurants over there.
One reason why the same bottle of wine in Europe tastes differently than that bottle of wine in the US is the lack of preservatives needed in the home country vs. the requirement of those preservatives to be in the wine for shipping to the US.
 

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Open the bottle and let it breathe for a good 30 minutes min and you will find the wine will get back to is intended flavor profile. Even better aerate the bottle into a carafe and then let it breathe.
 

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Open the bottle and let it breathe for a good 30 minutes min and you will find the wine will get back to is intended flavor profile. Even better aerate the bottle into a carafe and then let it breathe.
For reds, I'm a big fan of using the Vinturi aerator:

 
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Do you think it makes a difference for whites and pinks? If so, how?
IMO.. Non-scientific.. For Chards (not a huge fan).. It opens them up as it would a red. As a contrarian. .I also believe a younger wine benefits from the aeration process --which most whites and pinks are..

To my taste.. It rounds out the younger wines so that they're more drinkable quicker and more enjoyable. Just me. I think the word I'm looking for it makes them more thirst-quenching than acidic and/or tart.

But food will always dictate my choices for matching as well as your drinking vessel/wine glass shaped to the varietal.

Edit: Next time you're opening up a white or pink.. Do your own taste test with the aerator.. Small glass with.Small glass without..See if it works for you.
 
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storrsroars

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One reason why the same bottle of wine in Europe tastes differently than that bottle of wine in the US is the lack of preservatives needed in the home country vs. the requirement of those preservatives to be in the wine for shipping to the US.
I'm speaking specifically to house wines. The bottles you'd get as a house wine in places I've been overseas are generally not exported to the US. And what's served as house wine at mid-range restaurants in the US is generally only slightly above plonk.

I won't question your knowledge on the subject or your appreciation of wines, but much like the asparagus comment on the Ruth's thread, the above comment on preservatives is fairly condescending to the audience of this thread. Common knowledge, y'know. Just sayin.
 
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I'm speaking specifically to house wines. The bottles you'd get as a house wine in places I've been overseas are generally not exported to the US. And what's served as house wine at mid-range restaurants in the US is generally only slightly above plonk.

I won't question your knowledge on the subject or your appreciation of wines, but much like the asparagus comment on the Ruth's thread, the above comment on preservatives is fairly condescending to the audience of this thread. Common knowledge, y'know. Just sayin.
No condescension meant.. Thought it was a thread about sharing our experiences with wine/food. to the curious. As I am and have already learned quite a bit in the short time of the thread being up.

Asparagus comment was intended to a particular post and perhaps not everyone reading was aware of its matching challenges.

My knowledge is limited and is influenced by my experiences with wine. I prefer to hang out with wine enthusiasts rather than wine snobs. Sharing experiences and knowledge helps everyone enjoy the next glass.
 

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I'm speaking specifically to house wines. The bottles you'd get as a house wine in places I've been overseas are generally not exported to the US. And what's served as house wine at mid-range restaurants in the US is generally only slightly above plonk.

I won't question your knowledge on the subject or your appreciation of wines, but much like the asparagus comment on the Ruth's thread, the above comment on preservatives is fairly condescending to the audience of this thread. Common knowledge, y'know. Just sayin.

I think the reason is direct sourcing. Our whole distribution system is a horrific nightmare, as you know better than most. When I'm drinking a "house wine" in the Loire Valley, I can be fairly sure that they procured it directly from a local vineyard, no distributor, no retailer. In the US the house wine has to be substantially inferior to be sold at the same price point. In Europe this even applies to cider. In Honfleur (highly recommended!!) the local restaurants all had house ciders from local producers in Normandy. They skip the bottling, put it in a cask and sell farm/orchard to restaurant who has it on tap. It was also this way with wine when I was in Portugal. Haven't been to Spain or Italy, but I'd be surprised if the model isn't the same. In contrast, the house wine in the UK or Ireland is pretty much like in the USA. Something that went through the distribution process.
 
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