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Link Posted: 7/17/2013 3:54:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By UBB:

Originally Posted By eracer:
I've been enjoying some Peruvian and Argentinian Malbecs lately. Full flavor, very fruity without being sweet, and good ones can be found for $20 a bottle.

I loves me some good Malbec but IMO it's not a good 'begginer' red. Merlot is the most 'neutral' of the well known reds. Rutherford Hill makes an excellent Merlot.

You make a good point.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 4:04:24 AM EDT
I enjoy Santa Ema's merlot a lot.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 4:33:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jdubya87:
Token pic. There have been some in botd.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm15/jdubya87/dd1d3553.jpg

Is it normal for us to drink two bottles a nite?

I can drink a bottle by myself, no problem.

If I had a hot GF like yours who liked wine, two bottles a night between us would also be 'No Problema!'
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 4:40:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By UBB:

Originally Posted By eracer:
I've been enjoying some Peruvian and Argentinian Malbecs lately. Full flavor, very fruity without being sweet, and good ones can be found for $20 a bottle.

I loves me some good Malbec but IMO it's not a good 'begginer' red. Merlot is the most 'neutral' of the well known reds. Rutherford Hill makes an excellent Merlot.


I've tried some Argentine Malbec and it was too dry for my taste. So it may be a good choice for the OP.

Cotes du Rhone is my favorite wine, for reference.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 4:52:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By supplex:

I'd like to set the record straight on one glaring issue in the responses. It has to do with how one variety vs another is more dry or not.

Winemakers tweak their blends to suit their clientele. Take Turning leaf Cabernet, I would bet it is 1-2% residual sugar...now a Duckhorn Cab from Napa would probably be completely dry. Regional consistency is also fleeting.

My educated opinion is that 75-85% of wines on the grocery store or average liquor store shelf are owned by 4, maybe 5 wine conglomerates. Also, a vast majority have some level of residual sugar.

It is also my experience that high priced wines/cult wines are hardly ever up to their namesake. In fact, most are quite bad.

Now some of you hardcore wine sobs will disagree, but let me explain.

Background: I am a classically trained and educated winemaker. I have a degree in it, have sat on peer reviewed committees, taught classes, and have made more wine than most winemakers will in their career. I am also dogmatically pragmatic. The smoke and mirrors of our industry and the elitism drives me bananas. There is just way to much BS. Sure, some of it is rooted in fact, some not.

During my time in California, we would conduct blind, anonymous competitive tastings on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. Every time, we would throw in a "ringer" (ie something with an esteemed name/region). this bottle would be typically in the 35-65$ price range. Very rarely was the ringer the best wine, most times, it was the worst. Oxidized, microbial faults, etc. Piss poor winemaking. Again, this was blind, and there was 4-5 of us at each tasting, mostly in agreement. We even did ringer tastings, where every wine was top shelf. Those actually sucked the worse, wines were so bad, I would never bottle them. Sure, sometimes a ringer lived up to its name and it was fantastic.

I find that the 10-20$ pricepoint to be the most consistent. Especially coming from wineries of commercial size, they have the market presence and technology to make sure they produce a consistent, high quality product.

As far as general recommendations:

Merlot: I prefer east side of Washington.
Pinot Noir: Willamette Valley of Oregon (more rhubarb, cherry) or Edna valley/Central Coast (more tannic)
Syrah: West side of Paso Robles (think ripe exocarp of a plum mixed with blackberries)
Petite Sirah: West northern side Lodi
Zinfandel: Lodi of course or east side of Paso
Cabernet: hard to beat Napa, but east PAso does a great job, though it has more of a chalky tannin structure
Sangiovese and Iberian varieties: Sierra Foothils...BE WARNED these are hugely tannic


If you have a specific variety, I can be more specific on producer.



It amazes me as well, just how mediocre some of the high-priced, so-called 'blockbuster' wines are. If we criticize, we're told that our palates aren't refined enough, or, we've been ruined by the 'drink it now' wines that pollute the shelves of the local wine stores.

It is indeed all BS. Much like critics who tell us that we don't appreciate Jackson Pollock because we fail to understand the nuances of paint randomly splattered on a canvas.

That said, I have tasted some amazing wines that commanded a premium, and have never had an amazing wine that cost $20. Good ones, yes. But never amazing.

The challenge, of course, is to keep from going broke wading through mediocre $100 bottles to find the killers, the ones that make you wish you had a case of.

Link Posted: 7/17/2013 4:55:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eracer:

Originally Posted By jdubya87:
Token pic. There have been some in botd.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm15/jdubya87/dd1d3553.jpg

Is it normal for us to drink two bottles a nite?

I can drink a bottle by myself, no problem.

If I had a hot GF like yours who liked wine, two bottles a night between us would also be 'No Problema!'


Sheesh, I'd put on 10 pounds a month drinking that much wine.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 4:56:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jdubya87:
Token pic. There have been some in botd.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm15/jdubya87/dd1d3553.jpg

Is it normal for us to drink two bottles a nite?

Yup

One of the reasons we tend towards the drinkable "cheap" bottles.

That being said..Trade Joe's has some very drinkable 3 buck chuck for just sitting around BSing and having a drink.

I said I like Pinots...and will happily pay for a 30-50 bottle on occasion b/c well, I really can tell a difference in some of those, and Oregon Pinots can differ from different parts of the valley. But I've also found some $20 and below ones that would rival those expensive bottles all day long.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 4:58:01 AM EDT
GO WITH CABS AND YELLOW TAIL SHIRAZ NO MERLOT

the shiraz chill it in thee fridge pull it out 20-30 min prior to drinking and open allow to breath and warm it picks up a wonderful candy like finish.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 4:58:39 AM EDT
Duplin Carolina Burgandy
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 5:00:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By usp4u:
Duplin Carolina Burgandy

Does Duplin make anything that's not super sweet? Only tried a few of their offerings...
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 5:02:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By robplumm:

Originally Posted By usp4u:
Duplin Carolina Burgandy

Does Duplin make anything that's not super sweet? Only tried a few of their offerings...


Going from memory the one I mentioned is is quite dry and not sweet.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 5:12:33 AM EDT
Speaking from the experience of someone who works for such a company that produces these products...

http://www.bumwine.com

...but I work in the IT department, so I'm no expert.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 5:22:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2013 5:23:22 AM EDT by beernut]
Cabernet or Merlot

there are plenty of very good ones for $15 - $20

go to a store that specializes in wines (like Total Wine) & they will give you pretty good advice
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 5:31:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eracer:

Originally Posted By supplex:

I'd like to set the record straight on one glaring issue in the responses. It has to do with how one variety vs another is more dry or not.

Winemakers tweak their blends to suit their clientele. Take Turning leaf Cabernet, I would bet it is 1-2% residual sugar...now a Duckhorn Cab from Napa would probably be completely dry. Regional consistency is also fleeting.

My educated opinion is that 75-85% of wines on the grocery store or average liquor store shelf are owned by 4, maybe 5 wine conglomerates. Also, a vast majority have some level of residual sugar.

It is also my experience that high priced wines/cult wines are hardly ever up to their namesake. In fact, most are quite bad.

Now some of you hardcore wine sobs will disagree, but let me explain.

Background: I am a classically trained and educated winemaker. I have a degree in it, have sat on peer reviewed committees, taught classes, and have made more wine than most winemakers will in their career. I am also dogmatically pragmatic. The smoke and mirrors of our industry and the elitism drives me bananas. There is just way to much BS. Sure, some of it is rooted in fact, some not.

During my time in California, we would conduct blind, anonymous competitive tastings on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. Every time, we would throw in a "ringer" (ie something with an esteemed name/region). this bottle would be typically in the 35-65$ price range. Very rarely was the ringer the best wine, most times, it was the worst. Oxidized, microbial faults, etc. Piss poor winemaking. Again, this was blind, and there was 4-5 of us at each tasting, mostly in agreement. We even did ringer tastings, where every wine was top shelf. Those actually sucked the worse, wines were so bad, I would never bottle them. Sure, sometimes a ringer lived up to its name and it was fantastic.

I find that the 10-20$ pricepoint to be the most consistent. Especially coming from wineries of commercial size, they have the market presence and technology to make sure they produce a consistent, high quality product.

As far as general recommendations:

Merlot: I prefer east side of Washington.
Pinot Noir: Willamette Valley of Oregon (more rhubarb, cherry) or Edna valley/Central Coast (more tannic)
Syrah: West side of Paso Robles (think ripe exocarp of a plum mixed with blackberries)
Petite Sirah: West northern side Lodi
Zinfandel: Lodi of course or east side of Paso
Cabernet: hard to beat Napa, but east PAso does a great job, though it has more of a chalky tannin structure
Sangiovese and Iberian varieties: Sierra Foothils...BE WARNED these are hugely tannic


If you have a specific variety, I can be more specific on producer.



It amazes me as well, just how mediocre some of the high-priced, so-called 'blockbuster' wines are. If we criticize, we're told that our palates aren't refined enough, or, we've been ruined by the 'drink it now' wines that pollute the shelves of the local wine stores.

It is indeed all BS. Much like critics who tell us that we don't appreciate Jackson Pollock because we fail to understand the nuances of paint randomly splattered on a canvas.

That said, I have tasted some amazing wines that commanded a premium, and have never had an amazing wine that cost $20. Good ones, yes. But never amazing.

The challenge, of course, is to keep from going broke wading through mediocre $100 bottles to find the killers, the ones that make you wish you had a case of.



Thats why I just went back to stuff like menage a trois. I got sick of playing $$30+ dollar wine roulette. I don't claim to have a fancy pallate anyway so for me having the consistency year to year in a very reasonable price works.

that being said I have a really good local craft beer/wine shop right up the road from my house and the owner is very knowledgeable. Anytime I want something special for a meal or a gift I can tell him my requirements and he always hooks me up with a fantastic bottle most of the time they're reasonably priced too.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 5:31:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:
Malbec is the hot market segment right now. Lots of good stuff coming up from Argentina that's inexpensive.


My current favorite varietal. For maybe the past 3 years.
The last year I've seen a lot more options and even some domestics come on the market.
The Argentinian wines are still a bit better than the domestics.
Very reasonable too.
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