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Old 11-27-2009, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default Testing the world of wine...

I've never drank much wine, or really know much of anything about it. I had a bottle of Sandeman Tawny Port about a year ago, wasn't too bad as I recall. Was watching something on TV tonight, they were talking a bit about wine. So I went to Total Wine, and a guy working there recommended a bottle of Barons de Lafite Rothschild Reserve Speciale Bordeaux. Was only $13, not bad though. Didn't have it with a Cigar or food, just by it's self. Looking forward to trying some more types of wine in the near future.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

If you liked that bordeaux, you may like other blends, such as California meritage. As for other "drinkable" wines - by which I mean one you can enjoy by itself without food if that's what you want - include Argentine malbecs, Spanish tempranillos and Chilean carmeneres, as well as pinot noirs and merlots. You can also find some nice Italian reds, though chiantis can be hit-and-miss, with some smooth and others too bold. I'm presently looking at a bottle of Colosi Nero D'Avola from Sicily, which at $16 is a great choice too. Of course the king of reds is cabernet sauvignon, but these might be too "big" without a steak, or at least a bit of cheese.

As for whites - well, let your wife pick these.
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

Three words: Biondi Santi Sassoaloro
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

Good info guys. What do you mean by "Too big"? Like full flavored or robust?
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

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As for whites - well, let your wife pick these.


In all seriousness, an occasional Viognier is a refreshing change from my usual choice of robust reds.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

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Originally Posted by Namerifrats View Post
I've never drank much wine, or really know much of anything about it. I had a bottle of Sandeman Tawny Port about a year ago, wasn't too bad as I recall. Was watching something on TV tonight, they were talking a bit about wine. So I went to Total Wine, and a guy working there recommended a bottle of Barons de Lafite Rothschild Reserve Speciale Bordeaux. Was only $13, not bad though. Didn't have it with a Cigar or food, just by it's self. Looking forward to trying some more types of wine in the near future.
A 2005 vintage I assume? Buy some and hold it for a while, speculators are saying that the 05 Bordeaux will stack up to the 90 or 94vintages one day, a magnificent feat if it achieves it. For the wife and I, we have a slim Bordeaux collection as we are cabernet drinkers.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

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... Bordeaux collection as we are cabernet drinkers.
Just curious how (and why) you "equate" Cab to Bordeaux?
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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Just curious how (and why) you "equate" Cab to Bordeaux?
LOL... You know he meant Cab Franc, right?
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

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Just curious how (and why) you "equate" Cab to Bordeaux?
I was referring to Cab Sauvignon and was not equating it to Bordeaux. I was explaining to the OP that since the wife and I are CS drinkers, I do not have a collection of bordeaux nor do I drink enough of it to compare things to.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #10
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Good info guys. What do you mean by "Too big"? Like full flavored or robust?
Yes, pretty much. Many reds can be tannic (acrid), which can mellow either with aging or by letting them "breathe" - i.e., opening the bottle an hour or three before you drink. If you pour it into a glass, or decant the wine (pour it from its bottle into a nice crystal decanter), it will breathe quicker because it is more exposed to the air.

As for aging, ten years in your cellar should do it.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

I have been getting more into wine lately as well and www.winelibrarytv.com has been quite informative
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

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I have been getting more into wine lately as well and www.winelibrarytv.com has been quite informative
Gary needs to move a LOT of wine and although he is critical of some wines in his reviews, don't forget the fact that he is running a business to make money, first and foremost. He stayed at my place one time and I still recall him that day checking his sale promotion and exclaiming, "Just moved 183 cases of _______ in 4 hours!" (High end Barolo IIRC, not cheap by any means).

Applies to any retailer, of course, not just Gary.

If you really want to learn more about wine, then you should find a wine tasting group in your area, I am sure you'll learn way more and at a better pace that way.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

The best way to learn about wine is to continually sample. Don't limit yourself. There are good reds and good whites, good dry wines and good off-dry wines. Be willing to try wines from the well-known regions of the world (Bordeaux, Napa, etc.), but also from the less well-known (South Africa, Virginia, etc.). Do not let price dictate which wines you purchase. There are some very good wines priced under $10 and some not so good wines priced well over $25.

The suggestion to find a local wine group is a very good one. In addition to that, take the time to visit wineries when you are out. Find some near home and some on your next trip. Most either provide tastings for free or charge a nominal fee.

Finally, much like this site for cigars, there are plenty of sites with wine information. Read up and then drink up.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

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The best way to learn about wine is to continually sample. Don't limit yourself. There are good reds and good whites, good dry wines and good off-dry wines. Be willing to try wines from the well-known regions of the world (Bordeaux, Napa, etc.), but also from the less well-known (South Africa, Virginia, etc.). Do not let price dictate which wines you purchase. There are some very good wines priced under $10 and some not so good wines priced well over $25.

The suggestion to find a local wine group is a very good one. In addition to that, take the time to visit wineries when you are out. Find some near home and some on your next trip. Most either provide tastings for free or charge a nominal fee.

Finally, much like this site for cigars, there are plenty of sites with wine information. Read up and then drink up.

Great advice As with cigars, you need to try lots of different wines. Too many people say that they are red drinkers, or they are white wine drinkers, or dessert wine drinkers. You cannot limit yourself to one area in wine.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

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Originally Posted by TheRiddick View Post
Gary needs to move a LOT of wine and although he is critical of some wines in his reviews, don't forget the fact that he is running a business to make money, first and foremost. He stayed at my place one time and I still recall him that day checking his sale promotion and exclaiming, "Just moved 183 cases of _______ in 4 hours!" (High end Barolo IIRC, not cheap by any means).

Applies to any retailer, of course, not just Gary.

If you really want to learn more about wine, then you should find a wine tasting group in your area, I am sure you'll learn way more and at a better pace that way.
I do agree that it is a business for him and you must always take anything like that with a grain of salt. I like to use those vids mainly as a way to discover new wines that I might not otherwise try or notice
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

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I do agree that it is a business for him and you must always take anything like that with a grain of salt. I like to use those vids mainly as a way to discover new wines that I might not otherwise try or notice
I like the blind tasting videos. His videos are overall great to watch and very informative.

Gary does know his wine though
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:52 AM   #17
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Default Re: Testing the world of wine...

It's best to join a drinking group or be around people whose palettes you respect.

-Use a flavor wheel.
-Take notes
-read books
-Move towards flavor based descriptions
-Familiarize yourself with tannin, acid, sugar
-Read the review after you write your notes
-Drink lots of Champagne, Port, and Madeira
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