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Author Topic: Wine Thread  (Read 380 times)

Fluffy Blue Monster

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Wine Thread
« on: September 30, 2020, 12:45:26 PM »
OK we have a topic for beer and bourbon.  I thought I would start one for wine.

I have been spending the summer doing what I can do to support the local microbrews.  And while they will always have a place in my heart, I think I am going to take a beer break for awhile. 

I have decided to spend the fall and winter "expanding my horizons" on the wine front.  Really, all I know is that I prefer dry reds like a Cabernet or a Pinot, rather than anything sweet.  But I really haven't done more than going to the local grocery store, picking out something I haven't tried, and seeing if I like it.

Thoughts or recommendations?
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Galway Eagle

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2020, 01:13:24 PM »
I use Vivino for my wine info. It's been pretty trustworthy. There's a huge difference between 3.6 and lower rated wines and 3.7 and higher.

This has been a trusty chart for me with Italy.

https://media.winefolly.com/Italian-Red-Wines1.png

Last, I know it's been disproved over and over but I swear that US wine gives me worse hangovers

LloydsLegs

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 01:22:52 PM »
I'll report back after a Zoom wine tasting of "natural wines" on Friday.  Conference that was supposed to be in Alaska was moved to virtual (of course), and they are trying to do some social events via Zoom.  Received 3 bottles yesterday; thankfully, none of them are from Alaska wineries.  So, hopefully they will be decent and I will learn a little about natural wines (what little I know is that there are lots of definitions- sort of like "all natural" or organic foods) and they. 


Uncle Rico

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 01:55:05 PM »
OK we have a topic for beer and bourbon.  I thought I would start one for wine.

I have been spending the summer doing what I can do to support the local microbrews.  And while they will always have a place in my heart, I think I am going to take a beer break for awhile. 

I have decided to spend the fall and winter "expanding my horizons" on the wine front.  Really, all I know is that I prefer dry reds like a Cabernet or a Pinot, rather than anything sweet.  But I really haven't done more than going to the local grocery store, picking out something I haven't tried, and seeing if I like it.

Thoughts or recommendations?

Utilize Wine Spectator vintage charts.  That’s a good starting point.  They break it down by regions. 

California for Cabs, specifically from Napa and Knight’s Valley.  Pinot Noir from Oregon for domestic purposes.  Oregon Pinot has been outstanding the last few years.  If you like cab, Bordeaux is worth exploring but you’ll pay for it.  Italy had great vintages for 2015 and 2016, specifically Tuscany. 

South American reds are a pretty good value but some can be fruit bombs, so it’s worth researching before purchasing. 

Ray’s in Tosa has great variety but are pretty expensive across the board unless you get on their email list.  Discount Liquor in Milwaukee has a phenomenal Italian and French section but help there can be spotty.  You can find some bargains at Woodman’s.  If you’re in lake country, specifically Delafield, stop at the Sentry out there.  Her selection is top notch and the pricing is good
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Uncle Rico

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2020, 01:57:28 PM »
I use Vivino for my wine info. It's been pretty trustworthy. There's a huge difference between 3.6 and lower rated wines and 3.7 and higher.

This has been a trusty chart for me with Italy.

https://media.winefolly.com/Italian-Red-Wines1.png

Last, I know it's been disproved over and over but I swear that US wine gives me worse hangovers

I get the popping histamine rashes when I drink some domestic wines and never from drinking imports.  Doesn’t stop me from drinking domestic reds but the first glass can be an adventure in how red I turn
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Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2020, 04:19:43 PM »
Thanks for this info everyone.  Just want to venture into this without overwhelming myself!
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brewcity77

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2020, 05:00:57 PM »
We really enjoyed doing some winery tours in Door County. Was a good way to try different wines and get a sense for what we like, then being able to take a bunch home with us. I like the sweeter reds or red blends. Harbor Ridge has a number that I like (Knockin' Heads Red, Call Me a Cab, Carmen's Last Dance). My wife likes them less sweet, but we have found a few that are a good balance for both of us.

Find a good local liquor store. Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, Total Wine, or Timer's in Racine all have excellent selections if you're in the Milwaukee area.
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Billy Hoyle

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2020, 05:10:10 PM »
I use Vivino for my wine info. It's been pretty trustworthy. There's a huge difference between 3.6 and lower rated wines and 3.7 and higher.

This has been a trusty chart for me with Italy.

https://media.winefolly.com/Italian-Red-Wines1.png

Last, I know it's been disproved over and over but I swear that US wine gives me worse hangovers

Vivino is awesome, especially for pricing in a place like Trader Joes or (if you have them) Grocery Outlet where legit wines are discounted. One I bought for $8.99 averaged $35 on Vivino, but one listed at $6.99 averaged $5.99 so that was a no go.

My friend who is a wine blogger sticks swears that the difference in quality is largest between the $10 and $20 price point. Unless you have an incredibly refined palate he suggests not going over $20 unless it's a very special occasion. I've had $150 wine that didn't impress me and $40 that blew me away. The best I've had was Yao Ming 2015 Cab. He has a winery in Napa.  $95 and worth every penny (that my buddy spent... ;D).

Don't sleep on Kirkland wines, a Somm friend did a review for his blog on them:  https://www.seattletimes.com/life/food-drink/we-reviewed-a-dozen-of-costcos-private-label-wines-here-are-the-best-budget-bottles-you-should-stock-up-on/

Utilize Wine Spectator vintage charts.  That’s a good starting point.  They break it down by regions. 

California for Cabs, specifically from Napa and Knight’s Valley.  Pinot Noir from Oregon for domestic purposes. Oregon Pinot has been outstanding the last few years. 
South American reds are a pretty good value but some can be fruit bombs, so it’s worth researching before purchasing. 


You are dead right on California Cabs. Washington Cab too. I've moved beyond Oregon Pinots, they're too light on the palate. I recently got back into California Syrah's too. When in doubt, always go with a nice red blend.

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Galway Eagle

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2020, 05:42:25 PM »
Vivino is awesome, especially for pricing in a place like Trader Joes or (if you have them) Grocery Outlet where legit wines are discounted. One I bought for $8.99 averaged $35 on Vivino, but one listed at $6.99 averaged $5.99 so that was a no go.

My friend who is a wine blogger sticks swears that the difference in quality is largest between the $10 and $20 price point. Unless you have an incredibly refined palate he suggests not going over $20 unless it's a very special occasion. I've had $150 wine that didn't impress me and $40 that blew me away. The best I've had was Yao Ming 2015 Cab. He has a winery in Napa.  $95 and worth every penny (that my buddy spent... ;D).

Don't sleep on Kirkland wines, a Somm friend did a review for his blog on them:  https://www.seattletimes.com/life/food-drink/we-reviewed-a-dozen-of-costcos-private-label-wines-here-are-the-best-budget-bottles-you-should-stock-up-on/

You are dead right on California Cabs. Washington Cab too. I've moved beyond Oregon Pinots, they're too light on the palate. I recently got back into California Syrah's too. When in doubt, always go with a nice red blend.

Agree about price my godfather is a distributor and gives me a $70-$150 bottle every year. I've never enjoyed it and it doesn't even sit in my wine fridge. Meanwhile I have had $25-$35 bottles that are out of this world. Definitely some good wines less than $20 but that's more of a "I just made a fancy meal" wine than a dinner party wine in my opinion

rocky_warrior

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2020, 06:02:15 PM »
Agree about price my godfather is a distributor and gives me a $70-$150 bottle every year. I've never enjoyed it and it doesn't even sit in my wine fridge.

This is not *necessarily* the case, but a lot of more expensive wines should probably sit around in your basement for 5-10 years before you open them.  Often times they are sold WAY before they are ready to drink.  My best example of this, during the great recession I bought one case of supposedly really good cab for <$20/bottle.  The pro reviews were 93-94 points - but also said it needed more time to open up.  This was a 2007 vintage sold in 2009.  I opened a bottle every year to see how it was doing.  The first year, I though I made a horrible "investment".  Yuck.  A little better every year.  Around 2013-2015  timeframe I drank all the rest because it was so good.  It probably could have kept sitting in the bottle for another decade, but I didn't have the patience :)

So, my suggestion, if you open a supposedly "good" bottle of wine and it doesn't taste good to you.  Put a topper on and let it sit for a day or two  and then taste it again.  Opening it will speed the oxidation - my general rule is once you open it, each day is like a year of "storage". 

Oh, and at least for "good" reds, please don't store them in the fridge (especially after opening).  Anything between 50-75 should do, as long as the area doesn't go through rapid temperature changes. 

Alternatively, you can decant, double decant, aerate, or all 3 if you need to try to get a "good" wine to "open up" more quickly (for a nice dinner...) . 

Now, all that said, if it's a cheap bottle and it tastes bad, you probably out of luck.  No amount of aging can make bad wine taste good.

So - to the original topic, my homework assignment would be to go buy a $15-20 recent vintage cabernet, drink one glass each night, noting how it changes each day.  It's a good way to see how a singular wine can change as it ages.  Eventually it will get past it's "prime", but usually has interest, and even develops good flavors for the first few days.

Macallan 18

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2020, 07:36:06 PM »
Ray’s in Tosa has great variety but are pretty expensive across the board unless you get on their email list.  Discount Liquor in Milwaukee has a phenomenal Italian and French section but help there can be spotty.  You can find some bargains at Woodman’s.  If you’re in lake country, specifically Delafield, stop at the Sentry out there.  Her selection is top notch and the pricing is good

Total Wine & More just opened a store at Bayshore Mall in Glendale, WI. Have heard it has a huge selection of wines, beers and liquors similar to the large selection you can find at Woodman's. Not sure how the prices compare to the places you mentioned, but worth a stop if you are in the area. 

Uncle Rico

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2020, 07:15:45 AM »
Vivino is awesome, especially for pricing in a place like Trader Joes or (if you have them) Grocery Outlet where legit wines are discounted. One I bought for $8.99 averaged $35 on Vivino, but one listed at $6.99 averaged $5.99 so that was a no go.

My friend who is a wine blogger sticks swears that the difference in quality is largest between the $10 and $20 price point. Unless you have an incredibly refined palate he suggests not going over $20 unless it's a very special occasion. I've had $150 wine that didn't impress me and $40 that blew me away. The best I've had was Yao Ming 2015 Cab. He has a winery in Napa.  $95 and worth every penny (that my buddy spent... ;D).

Don't sleep on Kirkland wines, a Somm friend did a review for his blog on them:  https://www.seattletimes.com/life/food-drink/we-reviewed-a-dozen-of-costcos-private-label-wines-here-are-the-best-budget-bottles-you-should-stock-up-on/

You are dead right on California Cabs. Washington Cab too. I've moved beyond Oregon Pinots, they're too light on the palate. I recently got back into California Syrah's too. When in doubt, always go with a nice red blend.

I’ve tried getting into Rhône-style wines out of California and just haven’t found any that wow me but that’s the beauty of wine, choices abound for all.  Washington makes a lot of top notch Syrah.  Charles Smith produces some incredible ones.

For Oregon Pinot, I’ve found the Yamhill-Carlton a go to choice but some Oregon can be light.  For California pinots, I think you have to shop specific AVA’s versus broad designated wine like Santa Lucia Highlands or Sta. Rita hills
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reinko

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2020, 09:32:45 AM »
Thanks for this info everyone.  Just want to venture into this without overwhelming myself!

You should venture into Chianti if you like dry reds...Ruffino Tan label for around $20 is my favorite, their Aziano is quite good too for around $12.

Billy Hoyle

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2020, 03:39:24 PM »
Total Wine & More just opened a store at Bayshore Mall in Glendale, WI. Have heard it has a huge selection of wines, beers and liquors similar to the large selection you can find at Woodman's. Not sure how the prices compare to the places you mentioned, but worth a stop if you are in the area.

I can't speak for yours but at the Total Wine I go to the wine guys are very knowledgable. My wine blogger friend would go there and talk to the at length and came away very impressed. Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations.

By the way, if you see A to Z wines, Gregg Popovich is one of the partners.
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Uncle Rico

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2020, 03:51:36 PM »
I can't speak for yours but at the Total Wine I go to the wine guys are very knowledgable. My wine blogger friend would go there and talk to the at length and came away very impressed. Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations.

By the way, if you see A to Z wines, Gregg Popovich is one of the partners.

They’re trained to sell you their private label wines that are marked up 35-40%. They get paid partly on commission
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The Lens

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Re: Wine Thread
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2020, 04:07:57 PM »
I'd second the recommendation for the Vivino App and shopping in the near $20 range.  The app is great because your local grocer might advertise that something is $9 off and you can fact check that right away.  My wife has fallen in love with Champ de Reves Pinot Noir.  Sendik's has been displaying it at $23 off and marked down to $16.99. (They also gave some story about it being sold out soon, that was March, it's still there).  It's possible that it once was marketed as a $39 bottle but Vivino confirms that most places are selling it as $16.99.  Having the app probably prevented us from buying 3 cases, thinking we found a great deal. 

I don't buy a wine now without looking at it because you also realize each store has their special lines where they get good deals.  I now buy certain wines in certain places.

It's also very helpful in restaurants where wine can be 2-3x retail.  If you dig through a little you can find some great deals at your favorite dinner spot.
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