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#62083 - 11/21/04 02:31 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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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.

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#62084 - 12/01/04 04:49 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Sweet Potato
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 117
Loc: Germany

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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)?

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#62085 - 12/02/04 02:33 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
polly#2
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 135
Loc: Ireland

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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?

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#62086 - 12/07/04 12:15 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Sweet Potato
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 117
Loc: Germany

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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...

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#62087 - 12/07/04 01:15 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
cat
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 1754
Loc: Northern California

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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.

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#62088 - 12/08/04 05:41 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Sweet Potato
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 117
Loc: Germany

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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.

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#62089 - 12/08/04 11:41 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
cat
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 1754
Loc: Northern California

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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.

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#62090 - 12/08/04 12:57 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
LovelyPride
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 448
Loc: Alberta, Canada

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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

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#62091 - 12/08/04 04:28 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
CheshireCat
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/17/02
Posts: 158
Loc: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL USA

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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.

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#62092 - 12/08/04 05:09 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Mara2
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 383
Loc: Canberra Australia

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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.

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