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Sampiro 02-08-2005 10:05 PM

Recommend a good "starter" wine
 
My doctor (who is European, which may have something to do with her oenophilia) has asked me repeatedly to take up drinking red (or even white) wine for its health benefits. (I have very high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease.) I rarely drink anythink alcoholic and all and when I was a much heavier drinker I preferred liquor (particularly whiskey and rum), so I've never developed a palate for wine of any kind (though I do know that I don't like Merlot- too dry).

Could you please recommend a wine (red or white, but she says red is much better healthwise) that-

1- is inexpensive
2- will last for a few days in the fridge or tightly sealed on a counter
3- doesn't taste like liquid sawdust (in fact, the closer it is to tasting like Welch's Grape Juice, the better)

Either specific brand name or just type of wine is fine.


Thanks.

J

Jervoise 02-08-2005 10:24 PM

A few easy-to-drink varieties: semillion sauvignon blanc (white), riesling (white) and cabernet merlot (red). There's also pinot noir (red), which is a red wine nearly suited to a white wine drinker's palate (but I personally detest pinot). Unwooded chardonnay is also commonly favoured by people just starting to appreciate wine.

It may be better to avoid wooded/oaked chardonnay and shiraz (or syrrah or hermitage, whatever it's called where you live) until your palate develops.

Another thought--considering you drank spirits--is to try dessert wines (which tend to be very sweet) or port (fortified red wine).

CC 02-08-2005 10:29 PM

shop by price
 
Because liking or disliking a wine is a totally personal issue, I'd recommend going to a wine store and asking for a good red or white wine for the amount you want to spend. They'll give you one (maybe one they have a lot of) and you'll take it home and try it. If you like it, BINGO. If not, try another. No one's recommendations will make much sense to you given your situation. You're not trying to please anyone but yourself, so widely enjoyed wines mean nothing. That is, trying to find a "popular" wine is not particularly useful. Just because 1000 people like the wine doesn't mean that you will. I say, take $11 to the store and see what you can do, and try to get change. (now watch the oenophiles weigh in!) xo C.

longhair75 02-08-2005 11:01 PM

friend sampiro
Quote:

1- is inexpensive
2- will last for a few days in the fridge or tightly sealed on a counter
3- doesn't taste like liquid sawdust (in fact, the closer it is to tasting like Welch's Grape Juice, the better)

Either specific brand name or just type of wine is fine.
try cline vinyard's red truck. it does have kind of a grape juice taste. it is available in the wine department of our local grocery store for about nine or ten bucks a bottle, and will last a few days at room temperature. i don't know what it would taste like if refrigerated.

lh

Ass For A Hat 02-08-2005 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sampiro
Could you please recommend a wine (red or white, but she says red is much better healthwise) that-

1- is inexpensive
2- will last for a few days in the fridge or tightly sealed on a counter
3- doesn't taste like liquid sawdust (in fact, the closer it is to tasting like Welch's Grape Juice, the better)

IIRC, it's the big red wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, etc) that tend to have the most health benefits. Those will tend to keep a little better once opened too. Sounds like those aren't the ones you like though. I'll weigh in with a couple reds that may meet at least some of your criteria. Someone else can jump in with the whites. I rarely go near 'em.

Try some Beaujolais. It's among the fruitiest, lightest bodied of the reds, and you can most likely find some good ones in your price range.

If that doesn't float your boat, maybe try some Chianti. It's fairly light bodied and you can slug some down with most any food and it won't get in the way.

longhair75 02-08-2005 11:10 PM

also, friend cc has a great point: it is all about enjoying the wine you drink. i have talked to more than a few people who seem to enjoy criticsizing wine more than drinking it. i guess i may not know what i am talking about according to the oenophiles, but i really enjoy a glass or two of red wine in the evening. i have tried a couple dozen different wines in the last few months. some i liked and bought more of, some i didn't like.

my current favoriye: francis coppola's diamond series black label claret available at your local wine store for about fifteen dollars a bottle (i scored a case of it at ten a bottle on sale though )

Shagnasty 02-08-2005 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ass For A Hat
Try some Beaujolais. It's among the fruitiest, lightest bodied of the reds, and you can most likely find some good ones in your price range.

I was going to suggest Beaujolais when I first read the OP but I got sidetracked. It is real red wine and it is not a dessert wine but it is very fruity, light, and tasty so it may be a good place to start.

Scarface Z 02-08-2005 11:14 PM

Welch's Grape juice

same benifits, can be watered, and doesn't taste like sawdust, and it's cheap!

sidenote: doesn't have to be welchs, that's just the one that came to mind, 100% juice is the key.

However, if you want a good excuse to drink and think all red wine tastes like sawdust (a surprisingly common complaint), try a rose (pronounced rosay I don't know how to do the accent mark) or blush.
I have friends who drink Beringer white zinfindel or white merlot as an alternative to reds, I can't remember if it's cheap though, and my gut says it isn't.

Scarface Z 02-08-2005 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scarface Z
Welch's Grape juice

same benifits, can be watered


that would be "water down" :smack:

longhair75 02-08-2005 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ass For A Hat
Someone else can jump in with the whites. I rarely go near 'em.


i agree. never been much of a fan of white wines.

lh

Alvis 02-08-2005 11:19 PM

I've taken to liking some of the higher-end (not Franzia, at least) boxed wines. They come in a variety of reds and whites (I'm partial to cabernet sauvignon, and am not a big wine drinker, though that may be too tart for your tastes). The airtight bag the wine is stored in keeps it lasting longer than bottled wines, which you should find useful. The Black Box Wines brand I'm drinking is $17 for three liters, much cheaper than bottles.

Stan Doubt 02-08-2005 11:23 PM

I would suggest some Australian Shiraz.

The better ones are very dense and full bodied, full of antioxidants, with lots of ripe fruit flavor. They may not taste like Welch's grape juice, perhaps a bit more complex, but I think you will find them to your liking. Get something in a recent vintage with more residual sugar. Cost is very reasonable, many brands to choose from for <$10/bottle. I recommend Yellowtail or Wyndham Estates. Now that I think of it, you can get a 3l box from the larger suppliers that will not take up much room in your fridge <shudder>. If you go that Route, I recommend Hardy's.

If you find wine is really not to your taste, you could try adding some sweetened spirit, such as triple sec or flavored brandy, to sweeten it up, or failing that, fruit juice or soda water.

Cheers to your health!

Nunavut Boy 02-08-2005 11:29 PM

My favorite wine at the moment is also an Australian shiraz. Wolfblass Yellow Label. Good stuff!

Starving Artist 02-09-2005 12:27 AM

I would suggest Beaujolais or Pinot Noir for a mild red wine. I would also highly recommend Port if you're only going to drink a glass or two a day. Port is a fortified wine made by stopping the fermentation with brandy. The result is a heavy sweet wine, most often red, that is dense, rich and high in alcohol. I will usually go for a bottle of Sandeman Founder's Reserve Porto (but not Ruby or Tawny, which are both fine but not quite as good in my opinion). It will likely run you around $16 to $22 dollars a bottle.

I would also recommend the light champagne-like dessert wines such as Moscato d'Asti. Very sweet and delicious. (I read in an interview with Quincy Jones that finishing a romantic evening with Moscato d'Asti and shortbread cookies is one of his favorite things to do.)

LifeOnWry 02-09-2005 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sampiro
1- is inexpensive
2- will last for a few days in the fridge or tightly sealed on a counter
3- doesn't taste like liquid sawdust (in fact, the closer it is to tasting like Welch's Grape Juice, the better)

If you're after a grape-juicy flavor, I recommend Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot. This is not the kind of wine you want to order to impress someone, because it's about half a step up from Boone's Farm Apple Wine in quality. I am not a wine drinker, but I've tasted this and my first thought was "Hmmm. Very Kool-Aidish. I might actually be able to down a whole glass." It goes well with cookies.

Real wine drinkers I know recommend Yellowtail Shiraz, for reds.

AskNott 02-09-2005 01:04 AM

The overall trend is that folks here in the US like wine, and everything else, a little sweeter than the rest of the world does. The folks at Gallo and Inglenook cater to that preference. If you want to go sweeter than that, try Oliver Soft Red. If you want to go way sweeter than that, there's always Manischevitz ;j (I have surely spelled that wrong.)

DrLoveGun 02-09-2005 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sampiro
My doctor (who is European, which may have something to do with her oenophilia) has asked me repeatedly to take up drinking red (or even white) wine for its health benefits. (I have very high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease.) I rarely drink anythink alcoholic and all and when I was a much heavier drinker I preferred liquor (particularly whiskey and rum), so I've never developed a palate for wine of any kind (though I do know that I don't like Merlot- too dry).

Could you please recommend a wine (red or white, but she says red is much better healthwise) that-

1- is inexpensive
2- will last for a few days in the fridge or tightly sealed on a counter
3- doesn't taste like liquid sawdust (in fact, the closer it is to tasting like Welch's Grape Juice, the better)

Either specific brand name or just type of wine is fine.


Thanks.

J

I love anything by Handley Cellars, but they are a small vineyard. Hope you can find it.

Hunter Hawk 02-09-2005 01:28 AM

If there's a Trader Joe's in your area, you might want to give Two-Buck Chuck a try. It's cheap as hell (guess where the name comes from?), comes in several varieties, and...well...isn't completely undrinkable. :)

Freejooky 02-09-2005 02:33 AM

Definitely get down to your closest Trader Joe's and pick up one of each variety of Charles Shaw (or "Three Buck Chuck"). It's $3 a bottle, yet tastes wonderful and has a great rep. Get a Shiraz, a Merlot, a Pinot Noir, even a Beaujolais, and figure out which you like. I'm guessing the Shiraz.

peak_oil 02-09-2005 02:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sampiro
My doctor (who is European, which may have something to do with her oenophilia) has asked me repeatedly to take up drinking red (or even white) wine for its health benefits. (I have very high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease.) I rarely drink anythink alcoholic and all and when I was a much heavier drinker I preferred liquor (particularly whiskey and rum), so I've never developed a palate for wine of any kind (though I do know that I don't like Merlot- too dry).

Could you please recommend a wine (red or white, but she says red is much better healthwise) that-

1- is inexpensive
2- will last for a few days in the fridge or tightly sealed on a counter
3- doesn't taste like liquid sawdust (in fact, the closer it is to tasting like Welch's Grape Juice, the better)

Either specific brand name or just type of wine is fine.


Thanks.

J

Two buck chuck at Trader Joe's. Merlot and Shiraz are a couple of big sellers, and they've won a number of awards for this and that. If you like one, stick with it. $2 instead of $11 or $25 or whatever.

don't ask 02-09-2005 02:59 AM

In terms of keeping opened bottles of wine refrigeration makes little difference. It is the exposure to the air that that causes the wine to deteriorate. In Australia it is easy to buy perfectly respectable wines in casks. The collapsible bladder that contains the wine overcomes this problem. If you are drinking bottled wines and hope to keep them for a few days the best method is to decant the undrunk portion into a clean bottle and seal. If you are worried about appearances buy some half-bottles of wine and keep them and the corks. Wash both and use them for your stored leftovers.

I keep a few different sized screwtop bottles ranging from 200 to 600ml for this kind of thing. The trick is to fill the bottle as much as possible before sealing thus my preference for screwtops. My feeling is that eliminating the air in the bottle makes a huge difference in how well it keeps so usually if I know I won't finish a wine I make up the "leftover" bottle first and fill it to the brim. I will even add a splash of water to eliminate a small amount of air in the bottle.

Hunter Hawk 02-09-2005 03:14 AM

You can also get cans of nitrogen in wine shops and some grocery stores--squirt some into the bottle to drive out the oxygen, then recork. No rebottling required.

choie 02-09-2005 03:19 AM

Interesting! What is it in wine that is good for reducing cholesterol? I always thought it was the alcohol in wine that aided relaxation and thus was good for the heart. Does it have antioxidants too?

Is grape juice really a good alternative, as mentioned by Scarface Z? For someone who's not a big fan of alcohol or wine in particular, the grape juice option would be nice to confirm.

don't ask 02-09-2005 03:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hunter Hawk
You can also get cans of nitrogen in wine shops and some grocery stores--squirt some into the bottle to drive out the oxygen, then recork. No rebottling required.

From personal experience I don't think those systems really work and they cost money. I know that other people swear by them but I think free rebottling is better.

Hunter Hawk 02-09-2005 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by don't ask
From personal experience I don't think those systems really work and they cost money. I know that other people swear by them but I think free rebottling is better.

Personally, I just finish the damn bottle of wine :)

don't ask 02-09-2005 03:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by choie
Is grape juice really a good alternative, as mentioned by Scarface Z? For someone who's not a big fan of alcohol or wine in particular, the grape juice option would be nice to confirm.

According to this site it's the grapes and any grape product doing the good.

even sven 02-09-2005 05:06 AM

I've always heard that it was simply the alcohol that had health benefits. Maybe the situation calls for a shot of vodka followed by some Welches.

I second going for the two-buck-chuck (in fact, I may just go open a bottle myself). The have a gamay beaujolais out that tastes like watered down kool aid, which might not be a bad idea for you.

If you don't have a Trader Joe's around, I suggest finding a pinot noir that you like. They can be very fruity and highly drinkable.

anson2995 02-09-2005 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by don't ask
According to this site it's the grapes and any grape product doing the good.

The USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center reported in November 2004 that its the alcohol itself that provides the health benefit. According to the Tufts University Health & Nutrition newslwtter: "One thing is clear, however: A drink is a drink is a drink. It used to be that the only beverage mentioned in a discussion of the health benefits of alcohol was red wine. Now, scientists refer to all alcoholic beverages because the cardiovascular benefit appears to come from the ethanol found in alcohol, which has a positive effect on the lining of blood vessels. This is a different focus from the earlier spotlight on antioxidants found in red wine, which some believe have cholesterol-lowering properties. Recently, researchers at the University of Western Ontario found that one beer had the same antioxidant benefits as a glass of red wine. "

It ain't the grapes.

bump 02-09-2005 11:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sampiro

1- is inexpensive
2- will last for a few days in the fridge or tightly sealed on a counter
3- doesn't taste like liquid sawdust (in fact, the closer it is to tasting like Welch's Grape Juice, the better)

Either specific brand name or just type of wine is fine.

Thanks.

J


Hell... I'd skip the straight wine idea and buy myself one of those boxes of red wine, and mix myself up some sangria or something like that.

That way, you'd get the wine, but it'd be diluted with fruit juice, sprite, etc... and be more of something you'd like.

Just do a google search on "sangria recipe", and you'll find thousands of recipes.

kayT 02-09-2005 12:42 PM

I've tried lots of ways to reseal wine bottles and the best I've found involves a vacuum pump and a rubber cork with a two-way valve. Put the cork in the bottle and use the vacuum pump (manual) to pump out all the air. You know you're done when the cork won't come out. This works really well and I paid about $6 for the pump and four rubber corks. You can often find this device at Trader Joe's. I agree about 2 buck chuck, too...and almost every other wine is cheaper at TJs. Lots of specials too, that let you try out some other wines for cheap. If you don't live near one, then MOVE!!!

longhair75 02-09-2005 06:01 PM

friend lifeonwry wrote
Quote:

This is not the kind of wine you want to order to impress someone, because it's about half a step up from Boone's Farm Apple Wine in quality.
back when it was first avaiable here, boone's farm apple was sold cold at the liquor store for about 69 cents a bottle. i remember many friday nights we would start a monumental drunken weekendby stopping by the liquor store and saying: "give us all the cold boone's farm ya got!"

there is no hangover in the world quite as miserable as one from mass quanities of cheap wine....

thanks for the reminder.
it was fun

lh

Cervaise 02-09-2005 06:42 PM

Rather than recommending a specific type of wine, I'm going to suggest you look around for a wine shop or two and find out their tasting schedule. Most good wine shops have a night each week or each month where you can pay three or five bucks and sample half a dozen featured wines. Sometimes it'll be a theme night, like ports or Italian reds; sometimes it'll just be whatever they've got a lot of.

It's quick and affordable way to breeze through a lot of styles and figure out what you really like.

HeyHomie 02-10-2005 09:18 AM

Even though this isn't my thread, I want to thank everyone for the interesting replies.

I've been wanting to get into wine for the longest time, since it's so popular and since enjoying new wines sounds like a fun thing to get into. Trouble is, I have zero tolerance for any alcohol drink that isn't sweet (which means I love cheap malt beverages like Mike's Hard Lemonade and shun beer and hard liquor).

Another problem I have with wine is my palate. You could pour me a glass of Uncle Earl's Kansas City Rotgut and a glass of Chateau LaFleur 1789 Estate Vintage and to me they're both going to taste like rotting grape juice.

I'm going to try a bottle of Manischewitz and see if that tickles my fancy.

pulykamell 02-10-2005 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by peak_oil
Two buck chuck at Trader Joe's. Merlot and Shiraz are a couple of big sellers, and they've won a number of awards for this and that. If you like one, stick with it. $2 instead of $11 or $25 or whatever.

I second this. Two Buck (or Three Buck around here) Chuck is the best price-for-quality value out there. It's the only drinkable sub-$5 table wine I know of. (Pity– there really should be more. In Europe you can find many drinkable wines in the under $7 price range.) I'm guessing a Shiraz would be more up your alley, but none of the Charles Shaw wines are particularly sweet.

American Pinot Noirs are quite yummy, too, and a decent value because they're not quite as popular as Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Zinfandels, and Shirazes (Syrahs). Unfortunately, my knowledge of American vintages isn't terribly good, but a random stab at a $10-$15 Pinot Noir should do you well.

DeVena 02-10-2005 01:00 PM

Please don't throw things at me. But there is one type that bears mentioning.

Lambrusco

Cheap, red Italian wine that's not too dry for beginners. Even Riunite couldn't mess this one up.

Quartz 02-10-2005 01:54 PM

For a decent red wine, try a Claret or a Burgundy; for a white, try Pouilly Fumé or Sancerre. Don't go and spoil your palate on drek. It's better to drink wine with food than on an empty stomach, and a recorked bottle will handily last to the next day. The day after, you add the remainder to the cooking! Red wine helps make a wonderful gravy or stew and you can poach fish in white wine.

Kaitlin 02-10-2005 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by longhair75
my current favoriye: francis coppola's diamond series black label claret available at your local wine store for about fifteen dollars a bottle (i scored a case of it at ten a bottle on sale though )

This is the wine that made me realize I could enjoy (and now prefer) red wine, so I can second the recommendation. My rich roommate sorta sneered at it without trying it. Good--I didn't want to share anyway.

bibliophage 02-10-2005 06:10 PM

Since you're looking for advice more than straight facts, I'll move this thread to the IMHO forum.

I tried to move this once before, but my connection is iffy today, so anything could happen.

bibliophage
moderator GQ

bibliophage 02-10-2005 06:30 PM

Since you like Welch's grape juice, you might like wines made from grapes of the species Vitis labrusca as opposed to the usual Vitis vinifera. Labrusca grapes like Niagara, Delawre, and Concord are commonly made into juice. In New York and other eastern states they are used for wine because vinifera grapes are hard to grow there. Not all wines made in the eastern U.S. are made from labrusca grapes, but most of those that are widely distributed are, like those from Taylor. Chances are that if you live in an eastern state, there will be a winery near you that uses labrusca grapes.

The Asbestos Mango 02-10-2005 07:21 PM

Well, there's always Mogen David (remember the old '70's commercial? "It's not the wine you're supposed to like, it's the wine you really like!) I went through a phase when I was drinking a lot of it. Very sweet, rather potent.

Aside from that, I can't really think of anything that hasn't been mentioned already. I am rather fond of Soliel red, which is fairly inexpensive, and there is s screw-top flavored variety if you like sweet wine. I've find some nice pinot noirs that were also inexpensive. Burgundy is a good "beginner's" wine as well. Right now I'm getting ready to crack open a bottle of Yellowtail cabernet sauvignon.

A word of warning, though, pinot noirs and cabernet sauvignons tend to be a bit dry, so if you like a sweet wine, you might want to look elsewhere. Of course, if you like eating chocolate with your wine, a dry wine is very nice, as it complements the sweetness of the chocolate in a weird way that I can't quite describe.

Also, I've never met a bottle of Three Buck Chuck I didn't like, so you might just want to hie yourself to Trader Joes and pick up a few different reds to try.

psycat90 02-10-2005 07:21 PM

I'll strongly second Alvis' suggestion of boxed wines. If it's inexpensive with shelf life and good taste you're looking for, you'll find it in a bag in a box. There are some great ones out there now.

Black Box has a Cab Sauv from Paso Robles and Merlot from Sonoma.

Delicato has a Shiraz (90 points from Wine Enthusiast and my personal favorite boxed right now of the ones I've tried so far) and a Merlot.

Tindindi is an Australian winery with a Cab Sauv.

X Box has a tasty California Cab Sauv.

There are several others, and more to come. There are whites as well, but if it's health benefits you're looking for, stick to red. Have a glass or two, and leave it on the counter to be enjoyed at your leisure, no worries about sealing it and drinking it within a few days. No oxidation, no chance of cork taint, good quality wine at a fraction of the cost.

Scarlett67 02-10-2005 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeVena
Please don't throw things at me. But there is one type that bears mentioning.

Lambrusco

Cheap, red Italian wine that's not too dry for beginners. Even Riunite couldn't mess this one up.

DeVena, are you me? Because I came into this thread with that very thought. Even to the point of begging people not to throw things.

Yes, we are trashy enough to ALWAYS have a big bottle of Riunite Lambrusco on the counter. Goes with our trashy quick pasta dinners, and it's nice when you want a little taste of vino without committing to a whole bottle. Just screw the cap back on! :D

(Can I redeem myself by saying that we also have a decent corkscrew and also keep a few fancy-schmancy corked selections on hand?)

Stranger On A Train 02-10-2005 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeVena
Please don't throw things at me. But there is one type that bears mentioning.

Lambrusco

Cheap, red Italian wine that's not too dry for beginners. Even Riunite couldn't mess this one up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kaitlin
Quote:

Originally Posted by longhair75
my current favoriye: francis coppola's diamond series black label claret available at your local wine store for about fifteen dollars a bottle (i scored a case of it at ten a bottle on sale though )

This is the wine that made me realize I could enjoy (and now prefer) red wine, so I can second the recommendation. My rich roommate sorta sneered at it without trying it. Good--I didn't want to share anyway.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scarlett67
(Can I redeem myself by saying that we also have a decent corkscrew and also keep a few fancy-schmancy corked selections on hand?)

Pardon me, but...

Whatinaheck is going on in this country when people feel they have to apologize for drinking a particular brand of wine???

I mean, this stuff isn't Nighttrain, and hell, even if it is but it goes well with your Fillet Mignon, whose farking business is it to make you feel bad about drinking it? Is this some kind of extension of the '80s Cola Wars?

You try wine. You like wine. You drink what you like. Maybe it's Gallo--it ain't for me, but it's affordable and if it goes well on your palette, more power to you. Three Buck Chuck--well, it tastes a little like lighter fluid to me, but then I don't like caviar, or pate, or brie, either, so who am I to judge what tastes good to the next fellow.

I mean, oenophilia is all well and good, but this pretentious jack-ass wine snobbery needs to be put paid. How many people have tried European wines? Most of them, especially wines imported into this country, are subpar compared to a lot of California, or even Chilean, wines.

Don't apologize for drinking wine you like! Just don't do it. It just spurs the bastards on.

And Kaitlin, as for your "rich" roommate, apparently he doesn't realize that among people who are knowledgable about wines, the Coppola brands are actually pretty highly regarded. It ain't Francis Ford out there in the backyard squeezing a few half-ripe Concord grapes into ferminted juice; it's a reputable vineyard that employees well known horticuluralists and vinters to produce an excellent product. It ain't Turning Leaf. (Hell, it's a better product than the last, say, dozen films Coppola has turned out.)

Okay, I'll shut up now. But I've been tempted for a while to start a pit thread on w[h]ine connoisseurs farking it up for people who just like to drink the stuff, and this just whets my appetite for it.

Don't apologize for your wine. Make them apologize for their bad manners.

Stranger

longhair75 02-10-2005 08:07 PM

friend stranger,
Quote:

Don't apologize for your wine. Make them apologize for their bad manners.
i absolutely agree. find a wine that you like and drink it. tell the critics to mtofb

amarinth 02-10-2005 09:43 PM

Ice wines. Especially white ice wines. They're sweet (too sweet for a lot of people....)
After those, sweet reislings and gerwurztraminers.

I like sweet white wines. So must other people, because they keep making them.

Scarlett67 02-10-2005 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
Don't apologize for your wine.

Oh. I guess it's OK, then that we'll often choose a wine based on the amusement value of the name and/or label? Two of my favorite keepsake bottle right now (both gifts) are Le Faux Frog (a merlot, IIRC, from a frog-loving friend) and WOOP WOOP (a tasty Shiraz).

Ass For A Hat 02-10-2005 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
How many people have tried European wines? Most of them, especially wines imported into this country, are subpar compared to a lot of California, or even Chilean, wines.

You can bash wine snobbery as much as you want, but this statement is just not true and gives your diatribe a whiff of anti-intellectualism that strikes me to be just as crass as the wine snobbery you decry.

First of all, European wines are just different that American wines. Burgundy is different from Oregon Pinot Noir. Even a California Meritage doesn't quite taste the same a Bordeaux. And personally, I haven't found anything made from Syrah that tastes quite like a good Cote Rotie (not that I can afford especially good Cote Rotie).

All this isn't to say that French wines are better than American wines. It's just that they're different. I think it's a fair generalization to say that American wines tend to be somewhat fruitier than their European counterparts. As you can tell, my tastes run towards French wine. Quite a bit of my cellar is California Cabernet and Zinfandel though. Italian wine just doesn't do it for me. I run really hot and cold on Spanish wine, and never bothered to learn anything about German wine.

And to answer your question about how many people have tried European wines...lots. Costco is one of the largest buyers of French wine. It's not just the snobs that like it.

Only Mostly Dead 02-11-2005 12:50 AM

scarlett's already mentioned Wop-Woop Shiraz which is good stuff for damned cheap, if maybe a touch overrated. Tonight I drained a bottle of Lindemann's Cabernet, very mild red wine, and another Aussie maker. The bottle cost me $12.

If you want the benefits of red in a very easy to drink wine, I'd recommend cabernet sauvignon. Shiraz is a little harsher (but delicious once you acquire the taste), and I personally can't drink Merlot except with a meal.

rackensack 02-11-2005 01:13 AM

It's really hard to guess what someone's going to like in wines when they haven't had a lot of exposure to different wines, so I'm going to forego mind-reading and just offer up my favorite modestly priced wine recommendation: any of the Ca'del Solo "Big House" series from Bonny Doon Vineyards. I first got hooked on their "Big House Red" at a party, and it's become the wine I buy regularly and keep a few bottles of around the house. The White and Pink are also quite drinkable and interesting. I tend to like really big Rhone wines and Italian wines, and Bonny Doon's wines really seem like they were almost expressly designed for my tastes. They're also really affordable (typically around $10/bottle, with occasional specials and sales bringing them down as cheap as $7). And in a special little lagniappe of unpretentiousness and practicality, they all come in the StelvinTM screw-top closure.

I'm also fond of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, which is almost always a bargain -- the cheapest ones go for $6 - $10, with the high-end at around $30.

Stranger On A Train 02-11-2005 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rackensack
I first got hooked on their "Big House Red" at a party, and it's become the wine I buy regularly and keep a few bottles of around the house. <...>. And in a special little lagniappe of unpretentiousness and practicality, they all come in the StelvinTM screw-top closure.

I really like this wine, too (it's an excellent blend) but I hate, hate, hate that they went to the screw-top. It's not that there's any thing really wrong with a screw-on cap, but it takes away the whole ceremony of drawing the cork, which is one of the things I just irrationally like about wine. Ugh.

But some people like 'em--to each his own. At any rate, it's a nice, enjoyable table wine.

One of my recent favorites is the Saintsburg Garnet Pinot Noir. It's been a little off in the last vintage, but for several years it has been a perennial favorite, and at $15/bottle (I can find it for $12 on sale) I think it's a fantastic bargin.

Stranger


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