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Wine fans

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by ken2v, Mar 26, 2014.

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  1. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I know there are lot of people here who like the grape. Care to share what you're drinking or recommend, how you came to it? Are you a degenerate member of a kagillion wine clubs? Are you a drink local-er or more UN in the approach?
     
  2. DeMoN2318

    DeMoN2318 The DERS

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    I am looking to get into wine, so I went to total wine and the person recommend I start with some blended wines first...to "develop my pallet"

    Any thoughts for a starter...never drank wine before ever
     
  3. Persistent Cat

    Persistent Cat Tourist

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    Californian reds are my favourite, followed by Australian. I like some Canadian but I can't find a really strong Canadian red. Probably best though since there's a Canadian-only wine store a block from my place and the closest liquor store requires a car.

    I said it in another thread, I've quit smoking but I could never quit wine.
     
  4. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I started drinking wine because it seemed like a ladylike thing to do. I got hooked on sparkling and I have never developed a palette for reds. I am currently obsessed with Moscatos, Reislings and other German white wines. I tend to just pick up bottles at Trader Joe's that look interesting and under $10.
     
  5. dankyone

    dankyone VIP Whale

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    I drive through the central coast wine country pretty often. One producer I just love is Evans Ranch--the tasting room is in Los Olivos. Their La Marina chardonnay is like a gorgeous white burgundy, and I prefer their syrahs to the better known Andrew Murray next door. They make pinot noir as well. Prices are not cheap but not out of line given the quality.

    Evans Ranch is the boutique label of Gainey. It is very limited production, but if you are part of the club you get a complementary tasting whenever you stop by. Check it out if you are nearby.
     
  6. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I've been tempted by many wine clubs, but we only belong to one. Westport Winery

    We like to taste and buy when we travel around different areas. I usually bring a few bottles home from your neighborhood. Every trip I try to get out to Rancho Sisquoc because I love them, but no club membership for me yet. ;)

    I'm not drinking right now, so Dan's currently in charge of the wine.
     
  7. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Some of the "best" and most expensive wines in the world are blends, so it's not automatically a bad thing.

    Some would say sweet whites would be a good start, but I'm not one, simply because what is more variable between us than tastebuds?

    The best and least expensive way to start, if you live near a decent wine region, is to just start visiting and sampling. Another good option is to hit your local Trader Joe's and just start grabbing bottles. Skip the Two Buck Chuck and look to some of the TJ-branded wines and/or just ask. If you pour out a half dozen 8 dollar bottles it won't hurt. Also check for tasting events at that Total Wine or the local bottle shop, if you have one. Costco also sources some great stuff at great prices.

    I'm going to toss out a few ideas below. You could hate 'em all. You might not. But it's a start. Have fun. Or come on out and visit us. I'm looking out at a couple vineyards and we have a good 20 or so w/i four miles, 50 out about 10 and 300 less than an hour out!!

    Grenache. This is a low-acid, fruit-forward, hard-candy red that often comes as a blend but is also made as a varietal (a wine made with at least 75% and typically far higher percentage of the grape name on the label). It's called Granacha in Spain.

    Pinot Noir. The red wine of Burgundy, France, and a keystone of the three west coast wine states. Some vintners are really pushing the alcohol and body on this noble grape, a trend I don't really like. But it does make for variety! New Zealand is cranking out some awesome Pinot, too.

    Sangiovese. The Italian backbone behind Chianti, and an up and comer varietal in the states. Deep color but it won't coat your tongue or dry you out.

    On the white side, get yourself over to Viognier, the Rhone's answer to Burgundy's Chardonnay and to me an easier wine to make properly (my opinion) and oh so drinkable. I'm also a big fan of Sauvignon Blanc. The white of Bordeaux that is being done well here, in NZ and elsewhere. This will be somewhat minerally/grassy/floral without being sweet. When you are ready for Chardonnay -- have a go now -- you'll find it made in two polar extremes. From France it has far less of the butter and oak thrown at it by so many vintners here (a style that is VERY popular).

    There are a kagillion other options and we all have our faves. Once you find a grape or grapes that work for you, then you can start figuring out which countries/regions/wineries do it best for you.

    Drop a line any time. And I know the good folks here will offer you tons of great advice.
     
  8. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Don't forget Gewurztraminer! I can't say it, but it's my favorite "starter white". Not too sweet, not too dry.
     
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    We were in Los Olivos on Sunday. Actually, we were there last Thursday, as well, having dinner at Ballard Inn. (OK, that's Ballard, but it's all the same. lol) We were at Melville and Alma Rosa on Saturday.

    Some thoughts for my backyard of which I wasn't aware … thank you!
     
  10. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Demon, I see you're a 'Zonan. Get ye down to Sonoita or the Verde River Valley.
     
  11. DeMoN2318

    DeMoN2318 The DERS

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    Thanks for the input Ken! One more week till my "detox" ends then I am gonna start to REALLY explore different grapes!
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    OK, that is right out there by Alma Rosa. Guess we've just never experienced it given the tasting room is in Los Olivos, but we'll definitely stick our noses in next time we are out east.

    Murray makes a good Syrah at a great price but given where Evans Ranch is situated I imagine how it would be very different.

    See, ask questions and learn about your own part of the world!! Thanks again!
     
  13. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    Plan de Dieu (the plain of god).
    Rhone valley - similar blend to chateau neuf du Pape but about a 1/3 the price.

    I'm loving it (as I can't afford a diet of Pape)
     
  14. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Mike, don't know that chateau or its village but agree on the price of CdP. And the Chinese are driving up prices across all Rhone appellations. There still are great blends at good prices available from Vacqueyras and Gigondas.
     
  15. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I know I'm annoying as hell, and a prefectionist of old [sic] but let me just put this out there: palate:peace:

    I've not been drinking very much wine the past year and a half (other than a trip to Paris) because I've been losing weight, and when I open a bottle, I finish it. It's been easier for me to have a beer (my husband is a homebrewer) and stop at 1.

    When I finished grad school and was working my first "real" job and living alone for the first time ever, I used to stop at a fantastic wine store on my way home from work (I walked from the metro to my apartment :peace:) They always had something open for tasting and they really helped me experiment and figure out what I liked - as well as the adjectives to use so that I can describe what I like in other stores:thumbsup:

    I like spicy reds & heavy tannin-y reds, and I like green & mineral-y whites. A couple years ago I started enjoying French roses on a hot afternoon, sitting on the patio. I tend to lean toward Chilean reds, Italian reds & Italian whites, but I will drink anything at least once:nworthy: Malbecs, CdR, syrahs....There is one winery I like in Virginia (Barboursville) but none that I go out of my way to drink from NC. I hate oaky chards, will occasionally serve one aged in stainless, and the manager of my local wine store has convinced me to try some reislings with food - which I like BUT I don't like them when I'm not eating, and since I spend more time drinking without food than while dining....I don't drink much reisling ;-)

    I need to clear the beer cases out of the wine cellar and see where I have holes to restock before summer:drunk:
     
  16. dankyone

    dankyone VIP Whale

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    You will like the wine. It's tough to get out of there without joining the club, but you will get great value out of the tastings if you are local!
     
  17. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    We get a lot of stuff out of that part of the SRH -- actually across the SRH -- so I'm really looking forward to the try. Man, it's hard to get out of most w/o joining. lol I've been put on club-joining probation!
     
  18. FountainFiend

    FountainFiend Low-Roller

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    I've recently (in the last year) got really into sparkling wines. I was always a fan, but not such a rabid degenerate kind of fan like I am now. Last year my wife and I went to Paris (France) for 2 weeks and toured champagne for a few days and spent a night on a winery there. The production process for the small houses is increadible and really quite interesting.

    Either way, now we can't get enough of the stuff. We have a few cases of the real stuff laying out (Champagne), but have a few more cases of prosecco, cava, American stuff (Gruet is increadible for the price, as is Schaffenberger).

    We can easily have a bottle each of sparkles on a random tuesday if the urge hits.

    Mostly we are into the really really dry stuff (no residual sugar, or very low dosage). Sometimes a single glass of demi-sec can be nice with dinner. Champagne with sugar isn't much in vogue right now, but I'd love to try a rose with a high dosage at the end.


    In terms of other wines, I really like what I call 'crusher' wines. A bartender at a wine bar once said he likes to take these wines chill it to about 50 degrees and then 'crush' them in about 30 minutes. Really really light reds...

    Is it summer yet?
     
  19. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    My first wines were homemade by my uncle. I experimented a little, but fairly quickly settled on dry reds. Malbec is my goto right now just because it is incredibly cheap compared to other types and has all of the flavors I really like.


    I rarely get wine when I go out for dinner though. I'm just offended by the markup of it. Wine doesn't allow me to explore all wines. I never have to avoid a beer because it is $40/pint. I do avoid some scotches because they are $100/glass. Wines are extremely common to be $20+/glass. It is just dissapointing that for that same $20, I could have gone to Specs and bought the same bottle.

    I still enjoy wine, I just see more value in other liquors. Wine is the one where I feel I'm limited to 20-25% of the menu at nicer restaurants. I just don't feel any reason to go out and experiment more when I know most of the market isn't for me.
     
  20. NYPoker

    NYPoker Tourist

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    I really enjoy Cupcake wines. They are cheap and really good. I do like to go to Martha Clara Vineyard every now and then since I live on Long Island and it's a 20 minute drive. If I'm not drinking Cupcake or MC I will try any local wine but some vineyards out here are just plain terrible.
     
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