Catness
(Ching Shih)
08/06/04 05:44 PM
Wine is Bottled Poetry

Like Classics, wine is an intimidating subject. Full of pretentions, vast historical tradition, and a muddle of rules that all seem to conspire to confuse. How does one bridge that gap without fear of sounding like a slack-jawed yokel or a sniffy dilletante?

In the grand tradition of chicklit, let's help each other out with wine, just as we do with books. Let's talk about the wines we like and why we like them; make recommendations and educate each other. What rules still apply? What would you drink with that dish? Is it a bad thing to be enamored of a $10 bottle of wine? What do all of those terms mean?

Since we're in the hot days of August, I'll start with light wines. (Besides, I don't want to make this first post an epic.)

Mr Catness is the food and beverage expert in our house. We like wine a lot. Our anniversary wine, Evolution from Oregon's Sokol Blossor Winery, is hard to find here in Seattle, but we love it and order it every year anyway. We put away two bottles of it the night we met. It's a beautiful, light summery white wine.

Wine doesn't have to be expensive to be good. Some of the stankest wines I've ever had have been really snooty expensive bottles that all the oenophiles in the room were experiencing spasms of joy upon the first sip. One of our regular wines is a white Cotes du Rhone. Reds are pretty common, but the white, again, is crisp, full and is great all year round. We use Guigal 2002 Cotes du Rhone Blanc as a daily or table wine. And see the price on that? That's about what we pay at our grocery store.

Getting darker now...

Rose? Until FishDreamer brought over a bottle last month, I would have said "no thanks." Too much of that in the Box o' Wine 80s, right? Well, check this out. Wow! I was sad that it was only one bottle, FishD, sunflow, and I plowed right through it. Mr Catness got one sip. Really, just go get a bottle.

I have found that one of the best ways to get to know wines is to find a nice, homey wine merchant. We have one up the street who has the best description cards I have ever read. We picked up a great, hearty red which was described as a "big bastard of a wine with a plummy finish." That sold me.

So go on, tell us about your wine!

(Many thanks to alizarin for the Robert Louis Stevenson quote. Wine is about the closest I get to poetry on a daily basis.)


alizarin
(Ching Shih)
08/06/04 06:29 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

You're welcome for the quote, Catness , and thank you for starting the topic! I love wine.

My favorite place for good but cheap wine is Best Cellars , they have stores here in Boston and also in New York, Virginia and Texas, I believe. They are such a wonderful store, and a huge part of their selection is under $15 a bottle. The organize their wines by type and have detailed description cards for each. In nearly 2 years of shopping there I have yet to have a wine I didn't like. They always have new inventory as well.

I'm a red girl, myself, about 95% of the time. Favorites (all found at Best Cellars) include Painter Bridge Zinfandel-Shiraz, Muse Shiraz and Castle Rock Pinot Noir.

I like most reds, particularly Merlot and Shiraz, but I know next to nothing about whites, though I know I like Pinot Grigios, and I'm not good at all at pairing wines with food. Perhaps this thread will teach me a thing or two.

And there is absolutely nothing, nothing wrong with being enamoured of a 10 dollar bottle. The aforementioned Zinfandel-Shiraz costs $9.50 and I love it.


cat
(Ching Shih)
08/06/04 07:12 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I am crazy about dry rosés, Catness. I really like French ones in particular--at my former work we recently did a tasting of 29 (!) rosés, most of them from the U.S. (We spread the tasting out over two days--and we spit, lest anyone think we were just getting hammered at work. Well, I spit. I can't speak for all my colleagues.) There were two French ringers in there, and I had no trouble picking them. Not that I'm any kind of expert, by any means! Anyway, I love to get a little pink wine in the summer, and it's very food-friendly with almost anything.

I tend to drink more whites and pinks than reds, and even then I go for lighter reds. Cabernet Sauvignons I find almost painful--I am not a tannin fan. Mr. cat does not like reds; he actually prefers sweeter wines, and I have been converted to the love of Riesling by him. The lightly sweet German ones are lovely, especially with Asian food, and I like them because of the low alcohol percentage. But I also love dry Rieslings--the ones from Alsace are excellent, and Australian Rieslings, especially the very crisp and sometimes citrusy ones from the Clare Valley, are fantastic. Great for summer. I have also recently really liked Gruner Veltliner. All those German and Austrian varietals are getting really trendy right now.

I have a horrible time remembering producers and vintages and such, so a friend recently got me a wine notebook put out by Wine Smarts. I need to get int the habit of using it more often!


Catness
(Ching Shih)
08/06/04 07:39 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I'm a red wine fan, really. Mad about French wines. In our house, French wines are and always will be the gold standard. And like your Mr cat, cat, I don't care for dry wines. I agree with him on the Riesling love. There's a silly little Oregon winery Riesling that we sometimes pick up.

The trendies are moving on from the Merlots and Shirazes/Syrahs, since they've been so over pushed for the last eight years.

Keckler had a really good entry at the Grub Report on matching wines and food, alizarin, I'll see if I can dig it up for you. Or maybe we can lure her in here.

South American and Spanish wines are starting to gather at the margins. Those wine regions haven't been exploited as of yet. We had a good Chilean wine a few months ago that a friend brought over.


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
08/06/04 08:28 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Oooh, cat, I'm looking for a wine notebook for the same reason! I'll look for that.

I am a big fan of reds, and tend not to drink whites at all. That rose I brought over Chez Catness was the first I'd bought, thanks to some reading I'd done and a desperate need for wine in summer. I have a hard time drinking reds when it's warm.

I have spent the last few years exploring Australian Shiraz wines, starting with Windham Estates Bin 555 Shiraz. It varies year to year, but is always drinkable. The price has gone up a bit, but I've generally found the Australian Shiraz to be completely drinkable from $5 (US) and up. Other good ones are Yellow Tail, Stonehaven, Crocodile Rock, and The Little Penguin. Woop Woop and McGuigan are also good, but more expensive (still under $20 though).

Yes, I have samples of all of those in my wine cellar now, along with a more expensive Jacob's Creek reserve that I've found improves after a day of being open.

The whole breathing thing for wine is interesting. Mr D only likes sweet wines (mostly port), so if I open a bottle it's all mine. The taste is generally different the next day, and it's sometimes better. Our wine merchant (yes, we have one) said that wines are sold so much younger now than they used to be (i.e. bottled without as much aging) that letting them air for a while generally helps develop the taste a lot. There's a new little device with a glass tube and something like a pumice stone at the end that you can use to aerate wines which apparently has the same effect. Haven't tried it yet, but I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has.

I also like cabernet sauvignon a lot. I have not done much exploration here because good cabs tend to be a lot more expensive, but I found Babcock's troc last year which is amazing (and about $25 a bottle). If you're interested in trying cabs, the Australian ones are decent and generally cheaper. Washington cabs are also pretty good and can be found for less - I'd have to look them up but generally between $8 and $15 for some of the Washington ones is doable.

And I've been really happy to see more lembergers coming out. I've loved Kiona's lemberger for years, but now Covey Run has one that's really inexpensive. They're a bit more floral and go really well with flavored cheese (like garlic cheddar or welsh harlech).

So of those three reds, shiraz tends to be fruitier, cabernet is drier and somewhat chewy, and lemberger is dry with floral overtones.

I have a friend who used to sell wine and she'd get a case of wines to try. We'd sit down and go through them and take notes, plus eat different things to see how it affected the taste. There was one Chilean red that tasted awful until I took a sip right after biting a radish (spicy food), and then it tasted fabulous. So it really does make a difference.

Test, taste, and don't be afraid. I started drinking wine in 1990 when I waited tables and had to sell it, and all of this extra-long post has come from that beginning.

ETA: I remembered - two Washington cabs I've had that weren't too expensive and are decent were Columbia and Columbia Crest. Covey Run does them too, but I think they cost more.


sunflow
(Ching Shih)
08/06/04 08:43 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
Is it a bad thing to be enamored of a $10 bottle of wine?
You mean, there are other kinds of wine? Huh. You learn something new every day.

Honestly, I am Trader Joe's slave. I can buy cases of wine for between $3 and $10 a bottle, and experiment to see what I like. Of course, I rarely find an exquisite bottle at that price, but it's nearly always drinkable, and some of it is quite good. Of course, the downside of discovering what good wine really tastes like is that the less impressive wines suddenly reveal themselves for fermented grape juice and become much less pleasant.

I love drinking the good stuff, but I also love finding a perfectly servicable bottle of table wine that I can drink without counting my pennies. Wine should be accessible to all. It is a divine pleasure, especially after a long day (says the woman who just uncorked a bottle of $3 Caravaggio on a Friday night).


Catness
(Ching Shih)
08/06/04 09:00 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
Originally posted by FishDreamer:
The whole breathing thing for wine is interesting. Mr D only likes sweet wines (mostly port), so if I open a bottle it's all mine. The taste is generally different the next day, and it's sometimes better. Our wine merchant (yes, we have one) said that wines are sold so much younger now than they used to be (i.e. bottled without as much aging) that letting them air for a while generally helps develop the taste a lot. There's a new little device with a glass tube and something like a pumice stone at the end that you can use to aerate wines which apparently has the same effect. Haven't tried it yet, but I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has.
The wine experts (several sommoliers and stewards, and a couple of vinters if I recall correctly) over at egullet.com have tried several. In a nutshell: why bother? There is little to no discernable difference in taste from using a "aerator" or "opener" rather than just letting the wine breathe. The majority of them concurred that one of the principle joys of drinking wine is savoring it slowly. It takes a long time to become wine, why not take a long time to enjoy it?

Open it, wait five to fifteen minutes, you're good to go. Cork it overnight, and you're still good to go the next day, if not better off.

Lots of the "wine expert" toys are, to me, just that, fancy, spendy little toys. All I need is a decent wine key, a good bottle of Beaujolais Villages, and a glass (any kind), and I'm happy for the night. Hee.


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
08/06/04 09:10 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I agree, Catness. It was more for the typical patron of the store, who is much too impatient to take the time to let that $65 bottle develop on its own and had to try it the minute it was opened.

He brought it up because I mentioned that specific wine (the Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz) and asked him about it. I noticed the same thing with Waterbrook's cabernet. Me, I let it sit for a while and I take note of the ones that taste better next day. But I'm still curious about it.

Oh, and I have recently begun moving from the Australian shiraz over to the French beaujolais villages section for experimenting. It's also wonderfully drinkable and not too expensive. Like cotes du rhone as well, and that white one Catness had was really good.

(Sorry, typo!)


betso26
(Ching Shih)
08/07/04 02:27 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

If you all like French wines, particularly Bauj. Nv., try to find a bottle of Château Saint Martin de la Garrigue Bronzinelle. I think you can get 2001 or 2002's now. It is one of Kermit Lynch's imported gems from the Languedoc area and is not only extremely tasty and drinkable (not all heavy and thick - but still lively and fruity), but also cheap ($15 - $18) and relatively easy to find - I can get it at the local "nice" grocery store in my little one-horse town in Vermont, so it can't be that hard to order... It was rated #29 of the top #100 by Wine Spectator last year and deftly gives the appearance that you know about French wines... even if you don't...

***Editing to add that a great thing to drink in the summer months is NV Zardetto Sparkling Wine, Brut Prosecco - which retails for the low low price of $9. It is like a really laid back sparkling wine - very refreshing and very in vogue right now. It isn't all sour like regular champaigne, and it isn't sweet. Just tasty tasty.


Keckler
(Ching Shih)
08/08/04 05:16 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Mmm, wine!

I don't retain as much wine knowledge as I'd like even though Dr. Mathra and I have tried so many times to keep wine journals.

My in-laws know so damn much about vintages and areas and the like -- they can look at a list on a menu and say, "We can't order that one, 1999 was a really bad year for that area of Italy."

It boggles me.

However, I have my faves. I ADORE Bonny Doon and even won a writing contest with them. They have an excellent tasting room in Santa Cruz, CA. It's totally free, you try about 13 wines and the people there are laid-back, knowledgeable, and so very nice. I don't think I've had a wine of theirs that I didn't like. I particularly love their Pacific Rim Riesling and their "pink wine" -- Vin Gris Cigare. Oooh, I could just go on and on about them -- their Charbono, Il Circo: Uva di Troia, "La Violetta," and Le Cigare Volant.

Moving out to CA has gotten me more into Washington and Oregon wines -- particularly Ponzi Pinot Noir. Back East we were more into French and Italian back East. I love Rose d'Anjous.

I'm also a big fan of certain "jug" wines because you can get really great table stuff for cheap. It's not complicated, it's not described in a line of adjectives. It's nice, it's easy and it's just out comfort wine.

I'm also freelancing as a cheese consultant and my first project with this caterer is designing a wine and cheese pairing for a Baccarat party. Should be interesting.


Mara2
(Ching Shih)
08/08/04 07:52 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

My partner went to a wine-appreciation course thingy a couple of years ago where the instructor said something rather excellent about wine that I always remember when people are wanking on about expensive varieties: "You're the luckiest person in the world if you like the $5 bottle."

In the past few years we've managed, whether by accident or design, to spend a lot of time in Australia's wine regions. Touring Margaret River in Western Australia was amazing - there are some excellent wineries there, particularly some of the smaller family-based ones where you can only buy their stuff at the cellar door. I am an equal opportunity red/white drinker, and love merlot and sauvignon blanc and particularly nice buttery oaked chardonnays. Yum!


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
08/08/04 10:12 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I recently found a book by Jay McInerney (of Bright Lights, Big City fame) and picked it up on a whim. It's a compilation of his wine columns for House & Garden magazine. And yes, it's pretentious and I wish I had his budget, but it's still fairly amusing.

 Quote:
If it's red, French, costs too much, and tastes like the water that's left in the vase after the flowers have died and rotted, it's probably Burgundy.
Edited to add the name of the book in case you're curious: Bacchus & Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar


kathel
(Ching Shih)
08/08/04 10:48 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I sometimes choose white wine (only white, for some reason) based solely on the goofiness of its name. "Boss Cat" Chardonnay and "Cat's Phee on a Gooseberry Bush" Sauvignon Blanc, both out of New Zealand (I think by the same maker) have become staples in my home since they are not only amusingly named but also quite delicious.

Other than that, I buy a lot of $10-$15 magnum size reds. Yellow Tail Shiraz is my favorite, but only because the store downstairs doesn't sell Vendange Zinfandel, which I'll tell you all right now is the best cheap wine evah.


Mara2
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 12:06 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Kathel, I've been known to choose wines purely on the shape of the bottle, so don't be too embarrassed. If I can't find any faves, if it has a funky bottle, a cool name and isn't too pricey, it's coming home with me. It's as good a way to try something new as any, I say!

Keckler
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 12:18 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
"Cat's Phee on a Gooseberry Bush" Sauvignon Blanc, both out of New Zealand (I think by the same maker) have become staples in my home since they are not only amusingly named but also quite delicious.
Oh, my god -- I bought Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush when I lived in England! It was pretty nasty though but since it was back in 1997, maybe it's gotten better. I have to post my story about bringing it to Formal Hall at Cambridge.

One night The Roommate and I were invited by members of the Trinity First & Third to attend a Formal Hall at the college. After asking around, we were alerted to the custom of bringing along wine for the table since our tickets had been paid for by our hosts. Two bottles each seemed to be the agreed upon amount -- a red and a white. Dolled up in our veddy, veddy best, we hiked over to Trinity College after first stopping off at Bottoms Up. I was particular proud of my vintage selections that night as I choose a red I had already had and liked and a white that I knew had to be good because it had such a cute picture of a cat on it. In fact, the name of the wine was "Cat's Paw on a Gooseberry Bush," and there was the cat, sitting in front of a bush. Being a cat lover, I thought it too precious to pass up.

I should have known there was something up when the guys at the College Buttery snickered a bit as they uncorked our bottles -- a service we paid a pound per bottle for as penalty for not buying our wine straight from the Buttery itself -- but I just thought they were being jolly. There were more snickers at the table when we sat with our friends and started our meal, but I still didn't catch on. Finally, in the dim light of Hall, I saw the label clearly for the first time. It didn't say, "Cat's Paw on a Gooseberry Bush," it said "Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush"! And grabbing the bottle from the table and examining it closer still, I saw that it wasn't a cute ickle kitty sitting by a bush. It was a cat spraying the bush with a very evil look on its mean little face! Who in their right mind names a bottle of wine after animal urination on indifferent shrubbery? After I recovered from my embarrassment -- which was lessened when the whole table seemed to think it the most hysterical bottle of wine anyone had brought to Formal Hall -- we discussed that the wine must be a very delicious wine to be able to carry off such a name. It wasn't. Our friend Faisal put it best when he said delicately, "It's a bit rough."

That's me, always the sophisticate.

Of course, now I've learned that "cat's pee" is a common term to describe certain bouquets in white wines.


cat
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 12:21 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Keckler, that wine sounds like a bottled limerick.

Keckler
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 12:25 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

There was once some cat pee on a bush
Which turned all the berries to mush
Some proclaimed it divine
And made a fine wine
Then drank it with a bowl of fatoush


kathel
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 12:46 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
Originally posted by Keckler:
Oh, my god -- I bought Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush when I lived in England! It was pretty nasty though but since it was back in 1997, maybe it's gotten better.
I like it alot but it's entirely plausible that I just have a weird palate; it's absolutely untrained, that's for sure. The wine's now called Cat's "Phee," though, so maybe they give you a better bottle these days. It no longer has a picture on it of a cat urinating -- just a cat sitting down with a very wicked expression on its face.


PrimulaMary
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 01:14 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
Originally posted by kathel:
This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I sometimes choose white wine (only white, for some reason) based solely on the goofiness of its name.
Heh. I picked up a bottle of chardonnary from a local place called The Little Morgue Winery for the exact same reason.

I'm going through an enormous verdelho stage at the moment. We have some great verdelhos from the Hunter Valley and Margaret River regions that are just a joy.


Crescent Moon
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 04:32 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I'm even worse! I like interesting names, cool pictures on the labels and pretty/funky looking bottles. And hope like hell the wine is nice!

betso26
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 08:37 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
Originally posted by Keckler:

However, I have my faves. I ADORE Bonny Doon and even won a writing contest with them. They have an excellent tasting room in Santa Cruz, CA. It's totally free, you try about 13 wines and the people there are laid-back, knowledgeable, and so very nice. I don't think I've had a wine of theirs that I didn't like. I particularly love their Pacific Rim Riesling and their "pink wine" -- Vin Gris Cigare. Oooh, I could just go on and on about them -- their Charbono, Il Circo: Uva di Troia, "La Violetta," and Le Cigare Volant.

MMM!! Cigare Volant was the first wine I tasted that made me think - 'wow! I like wine... A LOT!'
I love Bonny Doon so much too. I also love how they managed to bridge the gap between good wine and cool marketing and graphics. They really have the coolest wine brand around, in my opinion. check out their website if you want . My brother in law went to one of their events (the day of the doon) last year and couldn't stop going on about the juggling, costumes, food, etc.


Keckler
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 09:18 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

betso26, I won a limited edition bottle of Charbono hand-signed by Grahm and a limited edition poster of a Le Cigare Volant poster, also hand-signed.

They're my most prized possessions.


betso26
(Ching Shih)
08/09/04 09:32 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
Originally posted by Keckler:
betso26, I won a limited edition bottle of Charbono hand-signed by Grahm and a limited edition poster of a Le Cigare Volant poster, also hand-signed.

They're my most prized possessions.
ooh ohh... jealous!! \:D


ken_m
(Ching Shih)
08/10/04 09:29 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Ms._m (and all of her friends) like red wine. A lot. Shiraz and Merlot, mostly. Unfortunately, to me, red wine exists on a continuum from "Well, it's sort of tolerable, I guess" at one extreme and "Egad, that's just awful" at the other.

Fortunately, we can agree on whites. Usually the Iniskillin Late Autumn Riesling is the one that comes home from the liquor store. We just recently did a tour of the craft wineries in the Niagara peninsula, though, so we have some special bottles in the "cellar" to work through now. (If you get a chance to try Lailey vineyards, do so.)


Keckler
(Ching Shih)
08/14/04 09:14 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Tomorrow I'm off to Stag's Leap Vineyard in Napa with some friends. Back in the 70s, they had a Cabernet that beat out a French Bordeaux in a French competition and they've been growing strong ever since. I can't wait to sample their wares.

They have a dry rose and a petit Syrah I'm particularly interested in.


Fiordiligi
(Ching Shih)
08/15/04 08:22 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Oooh Keckler that sounds wonderful. Drink some for me please. I visited the Napa Valley and some of the tiny "boutique" vineyards in the late 80's with our foodie friends from Berkeley and have very fond memories.

Today I pcked up a bottle of Julienas to drink chilled. A Beaujolais from one of the villages is perfect for a summer meal accompaniment, I find (or a chilled red Sancerre).


mollymauk
(Ching Shih)
08/15/04 04:55 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I'm exclusively a white wine woman. Friends of mine seem to think this is a little perverse. Red is for late-night, passionate conversations about life, they seem to think, while white is for grandmas. Well that's okay with me; I love grandmas, mine especially. But I also find whites can be subtle and complex, and go with a lot of the food I like (veggies, fish, mild cheeses, and wine/broth based dishes.) But I came to the white side out of necessity; reds hurt my tummy.
 Quote:
Cabernet Sauvignons I find almost painful--I am not a tannin fan.
Oh, the tanins are probaby the cause of my pain. Cabs are the reds I'd often try, but I didn't know other types had less tannins. Any suggestions on safer, milder reds?

I love California wines. I recently discovered this fantastic, very cheap wine at Trader Joe's from a vineyard called Three Willows. They ran out of the chardonnay (I purchased the last three bottles myself,) and the sauvignon blanc has really grown on me. It is strange and musky. I dropped a bottle last night just outside of the house I was bringing it to. The bag broke, and the bottle crashed at my feet. I was so upset that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it that night with the mild curry I had made, that I didn't even notice I was bleeding, a little, until someone offered to get me a band-aid.

My other favorite wine now is this Orvieto that I get from a nearby Italian import shop. It's also very inexpensive, and tastes like almonds.


Perthelia
(Ching Shih)
08/22/04 12:03 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I love reds, but I have the hardest time drinking whites because they are just instant heartburn for me. After two sips it's like drinking acid.

That said, I had a very good glass of white tonight which was quite a bit sweeter than the chards I've tried in the past, though not as sweet as, say, a Riesling. Of course, I've already forgotten the name; I'll have to contact someone about it. And the best wine I EVER had was a white. I think it was Frog's Leap, but I could be wrong. I do know it was well over $100 a bottle and I wasn't paying for it.

I used to be a fan of any cheap cabernet or merlot I could get my hands on, but I've been trying lighter reds more recently. I particularly liked a Pinot Noir from Stag's Leap that I got a few months ago. There's a Beujolais that I can't remember the name of but recognize on sight, and I also enjoy Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot.

I buy (or bought, before I moved) a lot of my wines at Costco. The price differential is significant and I'm more willing to try that $8 bottle knowing it would cost me $16 at the grocery store. I have been far too intimidated to try the actual wine shops or merchants, but I could probably learn a lot if I did.


LaSalleUGirl
(Ching Shih)
08/22/04 07:35 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Perthelia, I have the exact opposite problem. The tannic acid in reds (and in most chardonnays) just shreds my esophagus from the first sip. I can only have pinot grigios and Rieslings. Of course, that doesn't stop me from tasting reds occasionally. I'm still convinced that one of these days I'll find one that doesn't make me immediately ill.

viva
(Ching Shih)
08/22/04 08:13 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I get migraines from the tannins in reds and oaky chardonnays. It's very sad. Weirdly enough, if the reds are made into sangria with enough other liquor like brandy, it doesn't give me a migraine. At least I can still get the occasional red fix through sangria.

Perthelia, maybe the Frog's Leap was a Sauvignon Blanc? It's one of my favorite whites. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, very dry Rieslings are wonderful. Ditto the Alsatians (sp?) and Gruner Veltliner. I'm also, like others in this thread, getting more into Roses, after years of the horrible "White Zin" stigma.


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
08/23/04 03:00 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Has anyone ever tried a vinho verde? I grabbed a bottle on sale this evening because the description sounded so good for a hot summer day, and because it's such a pretty pale green color. I don't normally drink non-reds, but I'm trying to expand my repertoire for summer wines. I just don't want to offer it up to someone only to find out instead of "crisp and refreshing like a fresh green apple" like the wine merchant claimed, it's sour and vinegary.

I also grabbed two bottles of white Cotes du Rhone (thanks to Catness) and three French pink wines, including an intriguing pink Cotes du Rhone. I love the red version, and the white I had chez Catness on Independence Day so I know it's good, and thus I must try the pink.

My objection to white was never about style or status (although if I never have to hear an understimulated Lady Who Lunches order "reisling" again I'll really be happy). I just find white wine goes sour in my stomach and doesn't taste good to me, generally.


Fiordiligi
(Ching Shih)
08/23/04 03:06 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Fishdreamer vinho verde was popular in the UK in the 70s but I don't think you see it around much now. I remember it as pleasant enough but I'm not much of a white wine drinker these days.

If I do have a white, it's a Gewurztraminer from Alsace with Indian food or a Sancerre or Macon blanc. I can't be doing with the chardonnay grape - it gives me a dreadful headache. The sauvignon blanc grape is much better for me.


TraceyB
(Ching Shih)
08/23/04 10:43 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
Has anyone ever tried a vinho verde?
I used to drink vinho verde when I lived in the Azores. It was a nice light wine, very pleasant in the summer. The couple who reviews wines for The Wall Street Journal recommended vinho verdes for summertime a few years ago (back in 99, maybe; I remember the article because it was the only time I'd ever seen an American wine guru mention the stuff).


melsy
(Ching Shih)
08/23/04 02:06 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

This is a great thread. I think I'm going to have to stop by the Liquor Store this evening and pick up a bottle of something....

I tried a lovely Australian red over the weekend and thought I should share: Black Swan Shiraz. I tried the Cabernet as well but it wasn't quite as nice as the Shiraz.

I love red wine. It feels so decadent that it's such a nice way to treat myself. I have noticed though that Merlot gives me headaches for some reason. Has anyone else had that reaction? I've even tried a number of different merlots but it's always the same thing.


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
10/21/04 11:12 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I don't mean to come around and just bump all the alcoholic threads, but I have a question. I just opened a bottle of beaujolais-villages and it appears to have spontaneously gone fizzy. Is this bad? Or is it just that I now have a bottle of random red French champagne?

It's a little fizzy on the tongue, and the contents of the bottle bubbled up in the center when I vacuumed the stopper. It tastes a little more sour than I expected, but not like it's actually bad.

ETA: It stopped being fizzy after a while, and started tasting like crap. I think the fizz was obscuring the flavor. Bleah.


Fiordiligi
(Ching Shih)
10/22/04 07:32 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

FishDreamer I don't mind if you open up all the alcoholic threads! Some young wines are often slightly "prickly" on the tongue (petillant) and can be very pleasant. I wouldn't, however, expect it in a Beaujolais Villages so I think you just got a bad one. What a shame. I'm partial to a nice BV!

listersgirl
(Ching Shih)
10/22/04 12:20 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

So, since this is a book forum, does anyone have a good book they can recommend to get me started? I only really just started drinking wine, and I'd love a little more information on what the different kinds generally taste like, so I can figure out where to start.

At the moment, all I really know is that I generally prefer red, I really don't like Chardonnay, and I had a rosé once that I loved and I wish I'd written down the name. But I'd like to know the difference between Shiraz and Merlot, and Riesling and Pinot Grigio, before I start haunting the liquor store.


GingerCat
(Ching Shih)
10/22/04 12:39 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

listersgirl, I really liked Great Wine Made Simple by Andrea Immer. I thought it had a lot of useful information for a beginner, but without being too overwhelming.

listersgirl
(Ching Shih)
10/28/04 03:16 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Thanks, GingerCat, I'll look out for that one.

polly#2
(Ching Shih)
10/28/04 05:32 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I like Hugh Johnson's writing style. He used to do one big simple book called Wine which was a comprehensive reference, all grape varieties, all round the wine producing world, but which didn't make your head hurt.

At some point after 1981 it split into three big books Wine Encyclopedia, Wine Atlas, Story of Wine plus the Handbook

This may be impractical, but if you came across a second hand earlier version of Wine it would be a good self-teaching manual.

Edited to add I’m enjoying Jancis Robinson’s Wine Tasting Workbook, which involves no work at all, only tasting of wine.

You can follow the book, and plan to taste wines in the order she suggests (she starts with the grapes she considers to be the very most recognizable and works along to more obscure).

Or, you can come home from work, open whatever you were going to open anyway, look at the colour, write it down, sniff deeply, write down the aromas, take a slurp, write that down. And then look up what she says. My goodness, that was supposed to taste like pineapples?


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
11/21/04 02:31 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

This year's beaujolais nouveau is out! I found it in the stores this week, and shared a bottle with friends tonight. It's pretty good. They'd never had it before and were quite pleased, and I enjoyed it. I'm not sure if it's better than last year, but I'll be seeking more. Juicy, fresh, exuberant, and there's a bit more complexity than I was expecting.

The liquor store where I found it only got three cases, which is less than last year. I hope that doesn't mean there's a scarcity.


Sweet Potato
(Ching Shih)
12/01/04 04:49 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I'm hoping maybe some of you wine experts can help me out. I enjoy wine but am pretty much a beginner. I usually stick with Riojas because they generally taste good and are inexpensive.

For Christmas, I want to get my wine-loving aunt a bottle of two of good wine that's hard to come by in the US. I live in Germany so it's relatively easy for me to get my hands on European wines. The problem is, I have no idea what to get. I thought since the Euro is so expensive right now, prices on European wines are probably outrageous at the moment, so this would be a nice gift.

Can anyone suggest a wine they'd be thrilled to get (European, please)?


polly#2
(Ching Shih)
12/02/04 02:33 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Guess what, Sweet Potato.

Here's a quick and arbitrary price comparison - I checked three medium-dear red Bordeauxs (Chateau Talbot 1996, Leoville Barton 1994 and Lynch Bages 1996) in Rob supermarket and Cooremans wine merchants in Brussels against Acker Merrall & Condit in New York. They're either the same price (35-60 euros) or cheaper in New York.

If I were your wine loving aunt in America, I would love a niece to use her euros to buy me European wine already in the stock of a wine merchant in the US and still in its old dollar price.

If you really want the novelty value of something that isn't normally imported into the US, is your aunt experimental enough in her taste to be interested, for example, in Luxembourg white wines? Or local red or white wines from round Trier, since you're in Germany?


Sweet Potato
(Ching Shih)
12/07/04 12:15 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Thanks for the info, polly.
That's a good point about the Euro/Dollar.

I was actually thinking about buying German wines. Unfortunately, although I've lived here for years, I've almost never tried any. I think I will get a wine magazine and see what looks good in there, and just try something out. Unless you have any suggestions...


cat
(Ching Shih)
12/07/04 01:15 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Sweet Potato, German wines are lovely, but they can be a little intimidating because of the unfamiliar labeling system and so on. I love Rieslings--do you know if your aunt likes them? A lot of people are put off by residual sweetness, so if you think your aunt might not like sweeter wines, go for the dry ones, labeled trocken. I can recommend a few reliable makers--for instance, anything made by Ernst Loosen (his wines often say "Dr. Loosen" on the label) is likely to be good. J. J. Prum is a maker I've had good luck with. If you think she'd be willing to experiment with some of the moderately sweet wines (or the lovely, lovely late-harvest ones, though those are more expensive), that opens up a whole different world of spatleses and ausleses and so on and so forth.

I have some notes from various Riesling tastings I could dig up if you like, and also can go into a little more detail about label-decoding. I also really enjoy Alsatian wines, and their Rieslings tend to be drier. And some Austrian wines are extremely trendy right now, like Gruner Veltliner, and can be hard to find over here.


Sweet Potato
(Ching Shih)
12/08/04 05:41 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Thanks Cat!

I've seen the Dr. Loosen ones. Maybe I'll check that out- are Rieslings red wines, or white, or both? I'm not sure if she likes sweet wines. She drinks a lot of Pinot Grigio- is that sweet?

I think I've also seen Gruner Veltiner- I'll have to double check.


cat
(Ching Shih)
12/08/04 11:41 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Riesling is a white grape varietal that can be made in a range of styles, from bone-dry (no residual sugar) to quite sweet. (A lot of German eisweins, which are very syrupy dessert wines, are made from Riesling.) I don't know much about German reds, which are much less common over here.

Pinot Grigio is typically a very dry, crisp, light white. If she likes Pinot Grigio, she might like dry Alsatian Rieslings or German Rieslings made in the "trocken" (dry) style. A lot of Gruner Veltliners are dry, too. Ask the person at the wine store for a dry style.

You might also be able to find a nice Pinot Gris from Alsace. That's the same grapes as Pinot Grigio (just the French name rather than the Italian), made in a different, somewhat richer style from most Pinot Grigio but still dry. There are a lot of good Pinot Blancs from Alsace, too.


LovelyPride
(Ching Shih)
12/08/04 12:57 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I love German white wines like Liebfraumilch or Gerwertztraminer. Cabernet Savignon was my red of choice until I tried Barolo. Absolutely divine! I also love Beaujolais but it's out of reach of my budget so I save it for when I'm feeling extremely decadent!

There's a poem by Charles Baudelaire that I'm sure will touch the hearts of everyone on this thread. Here are the first three stanzas of the English translation by C. F MacIntyre:

The Soul Of Wine

One night the soul of wine sang in his flask:
"I bring you, man, dear disinherited,
From my vermilion wax and prison of glass,
A song all full of light and brotherhood!

I know the flaming hill where painfully
And sweating under the boiling sun you bent
To give me life and grow a soul in me;
I am not ungrateful or malevolent,

For I feel a mighty pleasure when I lave
The gullet of a man worn by his labor,
And his hot body is a cheerful grave
Which I like better than a cold wine-cellar.

-------------

Now there's a poet after my own heart! \:D


CheshireCat
(Ching Shih)
12/08/04 04:28 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I had the most amazing wine at my mother's house on Thanksgiving. She had gotten it on a visit to a little independent vineyard in Clermont, Florida (outside of Orlando) a couple of hours from where she lives. It was called simply "Southern Red," a table wine, and though I always thought I preferred dry red wine, this was the fruitiest and sweetest I've probably ever had (though not heavy like port) and I just LOVED it. Never had anything like it.

Any suggestions for really really fruity reds? It won't be easy to keep making trips to Clermont and I'm almost out of the bottle she gave me.


Mara2
(Ching Shih)
12/08/04 05:09 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

CheshireCat, don't know if it's quite what you're looking for, but I've recently acquired a taste for white shiraz - lighter and fruitier than regular shiraz, as I think they don't leave the skins in for as long as normal, plus it's a really lovely girly pink colour!

It's great in summer - had it a couple of weeks ago when PrimulaMary came to visit, out on our balcony on a hot night with thai beef salad, and it was just about perfect.


klio
(Ching Shih)
12/08/04 11:23 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I've had a few different bottles of white merlot. It's light and fruity, so some wine snobs probably turn up their nose at it, but I like it now and again.

I'm not much for red wines, typically; I like Gewurztraminers and Rieslings mostly. So I was pretty surprised when we went to Messina Hof, a winery here in Texas, and really liked their port. It's not as heavy as the other ports I've had. They did a fabulous tasting, too -- showed us the proper way to taste and actually explained things to us.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with the cases going to the Supreme Court about selling wine to people from other states. One of my favorite places is selling wine now, but they're in Michigan and I'm in Texas and they can't ship it.


PrimulaMary
(Ching Shih)
12/09/04 12:51 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I've definitely developed a real love for white shiraz after that weekend at Mara's -- I've had it several times since and it's a great, light summertime wine. Even my cousin, who doesn't like red wine, is a convert to white shiraz.

Plus, pretty and pink.


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
12/09/04 02:57 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

White shiraz? White? I've never heard of it, but I love the red stuff so I have to give it a try if I can find some.

CheshireCat, I would suggest you try Australian shiraz (red or white), and possibly beaujolais nouveau if you can find some. It only comes out this time of year and it doesn't last, but it's the juiciest wine I've had. I love that stuff.


Sweet Potato
(Ching Shih)
12/10/04 03:20 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Thanks for the tips, cat.

I went into a book store yesterday and read up a little bit on German wines, so I have at least a tiny idea of what I'm talking about when I go into the wine store.

Eiswein sounds interesting- have you ever tried it? I hear it's quite pricey, though.


TraceyB
(Ching Shih)
12/10/04 04:40 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

 Quote:
Eiswein sounds interesting- have you ever tried it? I hear it's quite pricey, though.
I've had it, when I lived in Germany. It's a dessert wine, quite sweet. I found it less cloying than the beerenauslese wines, though. It's very pricy, because it's made from grapes that have gone through a hard frost on the vine.

I adore German wine. I prefer drier wines (trocken or at least halbtrocken), which have the benefit of being cheaper than the sweeter ones. I also tend to prefer wines from the regions around the Mosel to those from around the Rhein, but that's personal preference.

If you like Gewurtztraminers, there are some fine ones made in Alsace.


cat
(Ching Shih)
12/10/04 06:01 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I've had more Canadian ice wines than German eisweins, though I have tried a few of the latter. They are about the sweetest wine there is; the grapes are actually pressed when frozen, so only the pure sugary juice comes out and the frozen crystals of ice water are left behind. In fact, because there's so much sugar it's actually very difficult and slow to ferment. I interviewed a Canadian ice wine maker once and he told me the whole thing was just misery--you have to pick the grapes at the perfect temperature, which doesn't happen every year, and is usually in the middle of the night, so that's miserable cold dark work, and then pressing them is a nightmare, and then the fermentation can get messed up. So many makers can't make one every year.

Real, good ice wines are lovely, though. Like dessert, all on their own. The key is finding one with a nice structure of acidity to balance out all that sugar. Otherwise, they really can be cloying, but the good ones are amazing.

German eisweins are really kind of the gold standard, though Canadian makers are doing a lot of inventive and interesting things. In the Okanagan I had some red ice wines (like an ambrosial version of strawberry pop!). They're also often made from native-hybrid grape varieties, such as Vidal, though I generally prefer ice wines made from vinifera grapes.


eanja
(Ching Shih)
12/11/04 05:28 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I'm coming rather late to this thread, because I think of myself as quite ignorant about wine. I do like German wines- I was stationed in Germany in my army days, and drank rather a lot of it, as it was very affordable pre-importing. I don't remember the precise details, but their labels are standardised, so once you know them, you can tell exactly what you are getting. Trocken meaning dry has already been pointed out. Generally, if it says "auslese" that means it's slightly better, and (I think) usually slightly sweeter than the simplest table wine, and "Auslese mit Praedikat" in the next step up. Germany produces about 90% white wines - I don't know which they export, but at home they drink white wine w/ everything, and have some lovely, full-flavored ones that stand up perfectly well to roasts and things you'd typically think of having red wine with.

Shiraz is the only red wine I've every been able to drink other than in small amounts with a heavy meal, but I'd never realized they made a white variety.

Klio, what is this about not selling wine out of state? Do you mean not letting it be shipped to stores out of state, or not letting it be bought by people travelling? I could see the latter as a taxation issue, perhaps (like they have w/ furniture from North Carolina), but I can't imagine why anyone would want to stop the former.


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
01/29/05 01:14 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

bumping for PageTurner

Mmmm, wine. I'm on antibiotics so can't have any right now, but I still have one bottle of beaujolais nouveau left.


PageTurner
(Ching Shih)
01/30/05 12:40 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Thanks FishDreamer! Sorry to hear about the antibiotics, and I hope you enjoy the beaujolais nouveau.

As I mentioned in the "I Just..." thread, I suddenly need to drink a glass of red wine per day, and have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. It's a bit humbling, to be honest. I've actually now taken notes on what people wrote in this thread, and will start to experiment.

A friend of mine told me today that I should use the term "fruity" rather than sweet. This being the case, I've decided that my favorite fruit drink is hot chocolate. (Sweet tooth? Why, whatever do you mean? Say, are you done with that Toblerone?) I guess I'll look for some sort of dessert wine, as mentioned be someone upthread.

This should be an interesting new experience.

Edited to fix nouveau. Apparently I shouldn't try to drink and spell.


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
01/30/05 02:37 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

You're welcome! Since you say you're a fan of the sweet, I wonder if ruby port would do the trick? Mr D can't stand red wine, but he loves port. If it's got the magic ingredient, you could try that instead. If you do, I recommend Clocktower from Australia which is very tasty and not expensive.

For reds that are more fruity and less tannic, I'd suggest Australian shiraz or a zinfandel (which I'm thinking tends to be a smoother wine). Maybe pinot noir, but I'm not well-versed on those. Beaujolais villages is also more fruity, usually. And if you find some beaujolais nouveau sitting around, make sure it's recent and snap it up. The Georges du Bouef 2004 was particularly good (it's in a purple and gold harlequin label). That is a juicy wine!


GingerCat
(Ching Shih)
02/02/05 10:58 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Chambourcin is a good red wine to try if you're looking for something fruity ("off-dry" also means "sweet," so look for that on labels).

I also love shiraz and zinfandel. Someone just recommended Yellowtail Shiraz to me, and I really liked it. It went down easy. Rosemount also makes a good shiraz, and my all-time favorite wine to date is Ravenswood Zinfandel. Yum.

Others may disagree, but I think if you're just starting to drink red wine you might be better off going for a $10-15 bottle as opposed to one that's $5-10. Nothing against cheaper wines at all, but I do think the more expensive wines have a better, smoother flavor that might be more palatable to a new drinker.


Serendipity
(Ching Shih)
02/04/05 10:57 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Yellowtail Shiraz. $6.99 (at least in my area). and NOT the Reserve one.

The best wine I've had in a long, long while, and mind-blowingly cheap!

So damned good, about every wine store in my neighborhood was sold out of it during the holidays, and even a few weeks after. Upper East Side in NYC, where they can afford just about any wine they want, and everyone's buying Yellowtail!


GingerCat
(Ching Shih)
02/04/05 12:10 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

$6.99, really? I just bought a bottle of the Yellowtail shiraz--on sale--at my local wine store and it was $11.99. It was also just about sold out. I got the last one.

I'm not sure if it's the Reserve or not, though--I'll have to look at the label when I get home. If there's a cheaper one that's that good, I'll definitely have to search for it. I've been wanting to find a cheaper wine because I would like to have a glass every night, but so far I haven't found any I really like. Thanks for the tip!

ETA: My bottle of Yellowtail is the Reserve--I just checked. Hope I can find the cheaper one--the wine & spirits stores around here aren't exactly known for their extensive inventory.[/major understatement]


Mara2
(Ching Shih)
03/11/05 01:35 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I've been doing a wine-appreciation tasting course thing (of course we call it 'drinking class') and one of the really interesting things we've tried recently is a sparkling strawberry wine. Not recommended as a daily drop, but really quite lovely in a pink-lemonade-for-grownups way. I can imagine taking it on a summer picnic, or for Christmas celebrations (of course, Christmas here is in the hottest time of year!).

FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
04/11/05 01:12 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Chiming in a bit late to say, yes, Yellowtail Shiraz is a very good wine for the price. I also like the Penguin one, at about the same price. We went to the fancy grocery store today and the wine merchant recommended Oxford Landing as the latest underpriced, undiscovered value in Australian shiraz.

I also bought a bottle of Chateau Pech Rosie from France. It is apparently a cabandes, whatever that is. It tasted like stale water when I opened it, but after sitting for an hour or so it's a delightful smooth red. Not sure I'll get more, not when I have a half case of Whoop Whoop (Australian shiraz) on the way, but still. Went really well with the bread and cheese I had for dinner.

I love trying a bunch of very different cheeses with a glass of wine and seeing how different the wine tastes after each cheese. I made Mr D taste one of my reds with some Beechers Flagship cheese, and he almost liked the wine that way. That cheese shop is having a tasting and wine pairing class that I'm really tempted to attend. I just need to make sure I have a ride home afterwards!


LaSalleUGirl
(Ching Shih)
01/14/08 05:13 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I just read this very interesting article from the BBC News site. Apparently, somebody did a study about whether a wine's cost influences a person's estimation of its quality. Answer: Yes. They apparently gave people bottles of wine without divulging the cost, and in some variations outright lied about the cost (said the "cheap" bottle was very expensive, and vice versa). Their results suggest that people were swayed by what they believed to be the cost of the wine.

I live in Pennsylvania, which means that all alcohol sales are strictly regulated by the state. Until fairly recently, we couldn't get a decent variety of wines here, and you can't have wine (or other alcohol) shipped here either. (Stupid Pennsylvania... good thing I live right next to Jersey...) The state seems to have caught the oenophile bug, though, because most "Wine and Spirits Shoppes" (yeah, I know -- it's twee to the nth degree) now have a pretty good wine selection, and some select stores have an extensive selection. LaSalleUBoy and I don't have the most refined palates in the world, but we've been experimenting. We had a kick-ass claret earlier this year, and a lovely Spanish rose. Right now, we mostly have Australian shiraz and cabernet sauvignon in the rack. I should go get some more Beaujolais (or maybe snag some from my parents' house -- they have 3 bottles that they are never going to drink...)


crumpet2
(Ching Shih)
01/22/08 04:18 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I am currently drinking an Argentine Malbec called Trivento. It's the first Malbec I'm trying and it may be the last. Malbec is all the rage here in Maritime Canada right now, featured in all the wine shows etc. Blech, is all I can say. It's sour and astringent.

AlchemyGirl
(Ching Shih)
01/26/08 09:25 AM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I've been on a long quest for the Chateau St-Sulpice 2003 Bordeaux. I had it in a restaurant -- it's about $10 a bottle at a wine store, and it's lovely, very smooth and subtle. But apparently no one in New Jersey has it! And, of course, the online wine stores can't ship to New Jersey. I had to go into NYC to find a wine store that carries it.

Amanda the Nasty
(Ching Shih)
01/31/08 06:29 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I have a habit of checking local wines when traveling. I never knew that Colorado and New Mexico had so many wineries!

I love going through Grand Junction and stopping at Grande River Winery. They have a fabulous Cabernet Franc. The way the flavors move around in your mouth is amazing. I've never tasted a wine quite like it.

We picked up a lovely Viognier (which I had tried for the first time on this particular trip) and ice wine at an off-the-beaten-path winery. Unfortunately, I can't recall the name of the place. It was small and the woman who helped us was really nice.

On our way out of Grand Junction, heading west, we stop at the Colorado Wine Room. The owner has started making his own wine and carries wine from several vineyards in that general area of Colorado. I love the Holy Cross Riesling and Colorado Nouveau. They're in beautiful bottles as well.

Last week I visited the St. Clair Winery and Bistro in Albuquerque. They carry several New Mexico wines. I tried the Riesling and it was very good. Along with the exquisite prime rib I tried the Cabernet Franc. It was even better than the Cab-Franc from Colorado. Next trip will have to be via car so I don't have to keep the bottle count down. I ended up bringing only two bottles home, the Cab-Franc, of course, and a Gewurztraminer. The Gewurztraminer was much sweeter than most I've tried, but it had that little bite to it.

I know there are a few wineries in Moab, but I've yet to visit them. Somehow wine from other states is more appealing.

I can't wait to get home and grab a glass of wine!


PitaGirl
(Ching Shih)
04/01/10 12:57 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

I have a challenge for all you wine lovers!

I belong to a dinner club. The way it works is this: members take turns "hosting" a dinner at a particular restaurant. Hosting entails purchasing wine and sending your selections to the restaurant, where the chef then creates a comparable menu. It's great fun!

The wine budget is $300. There are no rules about what you buy, but generally people bring:
1 bottle to start (e.g. sparkling)
2 whites to go with the appetizer
2 reds to go with the main
something to finish (e.g. port, ice wine, sauterne)

I'm hosting for the first time at the end of May. We've had all kinds of themes...my favourite so far being "think pink". All the wines were rose and we finished with a Belgian cherry beer. <YUM!>

I want to do "what's in a name" and pick wines for the first 6 letters of my name - which is Barbara. So the starter wine would be the B, the whites would be the A & R, etc. I don't care if it's the name of the wine or the grape, I'd just like it to be consistent.

So who's feeling creative? Even if you just want to recommend one fabulous wine that lines up with one of the letters, I'd love to hear about it.


CaitlinM2
()
04/01/10 03:05 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

It might be beyond your budget (and I don't know about availability and pricing in Ontario), but Billecart Salmon Brut Rose NV is a wonderful sparkler with which to start your meal.

PitaGirl
(Ching Shih)
04/06/10 03:17 PM
Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry

Thanks for the suggestion CaitlinM2. I went to the liquour store to see if they have the Billecart, but sadly no...and I mean no for all the Ontario stores. Apparently it only comes in once a year and is usually snapped up quickly.

I'm going to Buffalo this weekend, so I will look there. Otherwise, I'll just have to keep an eye out. It certainly sounds like something worth trying!