Discussion in 'The Pub' started by CoryB, May 22, 2019.
The ancient Romans drank tons of wine, always mixed with water.
Oregon Pinot Noir
I have been to France a few times. Spent several days tasting in Burgundy and Champagne, but most of the time in Paris.
While you may have had a "blush" wine made from Pinot Noir grapes, most wines made from Pinot Noir are not.
Drink grape juice, same benefits.
I pour at tastings often and attend many...I tell everyone that I know just enough to be "dangerous." Seek out local tastings and try the wines they are pouring. The tastings are usually free and they give you a great chance to try a lot of different wines without spending $$ to buy a bottle you discover you don't like at all.
Just taste the wine...if it tastes good then it's good wine...that's all ya really need to know...the rest is conversation. Everyone's pallet is different and everyone has their own "taste sense" memory that wine will invoke. I'm pretty lucky as I get a chance to taste a lot of great wines...both young and old...with friends. We get together every Friday, "brown bag" our wines and try to figure out what the wine is....we guestimate old or new world, country of origin, location, grapes and finally the vintage. Sometimes we're right on...others not even close...but we always have fun !!!
I never drink... wine.
Wine lists tend to vary wildly from restaurant to restaurant so i'd agree with the asking for a recommendation within a price point from the waiter/sommelier. I started drinking wine about 13 years ago & often run into labels I've never heard of, there's just so many wines. That video I posted on the first page basically recommends finding words that describe the wines you like then learning what those characteristics have in common be it the region, brand, grape varietal, barrels, ect. This is very helpful when looking for more wines with the same characteristics.
Kendall Jackson wines are very popular, inexpensive and usually a safe bet. One of my favorites is a red blend called Bogle Phantom. It's under $20 & can be found in lots of wine shops.
Sounds like you ARE trying to impress your table mates?!? If you dont like bad wine, dont bother wasting money on 'good' wine. Just order water and dont be a poser.
Menage au Trois
Romans invented wine... for orgies
Nope. My table mates are generally my wife, and sometimes my son and his family. I'm not terribly social. Every one of them already knows I'm not the least bit impressive.
And yes, I always order water. I'm just trying to expand my knowledge.
I only like red wine, and only the stuff that goes down easy. I stick to merlots or cabernets.
Can't go wrong with Lancer's Rose.
I went through a few. I like Behringer Main & Vine. That has become my goto.
I also will get Mondavi is I can find Behringer. My third choice is Turning Leaf.
This worked GREAT for me!! Not just with wine, but with Scotch / Whiskey too.
I was lucky enough to travel to the South of France and Scotland. While there I pleaded complete ignorance and dead palate and asked for help.
Like the OP I never really liked wine. Turns out I like desert wines. Well, I started my journey there anyway and now can easily find whites / Rose' that I really enjoy. Red is still a bust mostly.
While in Scotland I did the same, much to my embarrassment as my roots go back there. They were pretty blunt in telling me that "Peaty and smokey" being held in the highest regard is not really a Scottish thing.
Those flavors came from places that were forced to use fire for drying. Many inland varieties used natural air drying and thus have no smokey flavor. It changed my life!!!! Now I REALLY enjoy Scotch, as long as it's not heavily smoked. Thanks Glengoyne!
Judging by your lack of enthusiasm for beer, it may just be that alcohol's not for you.
+1 on merlot. Apparently there's some throwaway disrespectful comment in the 'Sideways' movie that depressed its sales for a time but, if you're out and about it will be the most reliable red wine. Malbec is apparently the same grape.
+1 on what the guy above said about exploring the vineyards of Virginia. Wineries are best visited around harvest-time, 'cos then you get to see tractors with carts full of grapes and people chucking chemicals over the grapes with gay abandon, and you'll get to interact with people who actually make the stuff. Because the singer also worked for a UK/Spanish food business, we part-subsidized a tour of Spain with some industry schmoozing and partly as a consequence now I try to buy wine from towns/regions I've actually been to, it makes shopping decision-making much simpler.
Is there an Aldi supermarket near you? The European ones have very good wines at excellent prices. Not knowing how US tax system compares but in the UK the rule of thumb is that £5 is the point at which you stop paying more in tax than on the wine in itself, and double that for restaurant mark-up.
Stephen Potter, an Oxford Don wrote a book back in the 1950's about 'Lifemanship'... or how to get social credit without much work or skill or talent. Maybe some of the attitude he expresses in this bit about wine will help folks when it comes time to order or serve wine in a social situation:
A schoolboy definition of Winesmanship is ‘How to talk about wine without knowing a Hock from a Horses Neck’. But in fact Winesmanship is itself a philosophy if not an ethic, and can be used in Young Manship, in Jobmanship, even in wooing.
A few phrases and a ploy or two, to get our bearings. Consider the simplest first. If you are taking a girl, or even a former headmaster, out to lunch at a restaurant, it is WRONG to do what everybody else does – namely, to hold the wine list just out of sight, look for the second cheapest claret on the list, and say, ‘Number 22, please.’ Never say the number, anyhow, because it suggests that you are unable to pronounce the name of the wine you are ordering. Nominate the wine in English French, and make at the same time some comment which shows at least that you have heard of it before. Say, for instance:
‘They vary, of course, but you seldom get a complete dud.’
A useful thing is to look at the wine list before the waiter comes and say, ‘Amazing. Nothing here you can be sure of. Yet the food is quite good. But I’ve got an idea.’
Then, when the waiter comes, say to him, ‘Look. You’ve got a Château Neon ’45 somewhere secreted about the place, I know. Can you let us have a bottle?’
(You know he’s got it because you have in fact read it off the wine list, cheapest but one.)
When the waiter leaves, you can say, ‘They keep a small cache for favoured customers.’
With a little trouble a really impressive effect, suitable for average city-man guest, can be made by arriving fifteen minutes early, choosing some cheap ordinaire, and getting waiter to warm and decant it. When guest comes, say, ‘I know you’ll like this. Should be all right. I got them to get it going at nine o’clock this morning. Not expensive but a perfectly honest wine – and a good wine if it’s allowed to breathe for three or four hours.’
For Home Winesmanship, remember that your mainstay is hypnotic suggestion. Suggest that some rubbishy sherry, nine bob, is your special pride, and has a tremendously individual taste. Insist on getting it yourself ‘from the cellar’. Take about four minutes uncorking it. Say, ‘I think decanting destroys it,’ if you have forgotten, or are too bored, to decant it. Keep staring at the bottle before you pour it. When you have drawn the cork, look particularly hard at the cork, and, of course, smell it.
Don’t say too much about the wine being ‘sound’ or ‘pleasant’: people will think you have simply been mugging up a wine-merchant’s catalogue. It is a little better to talk in broken sentences and say ‘It has... don’t you think?’ Or, ‘It’s a little bit cornery,’ or something equally random like ‘Too many tramlines’. I use this last phrase because it passes the test of the boldly meaningless.
An essential point to remember is that everybody is supposed to take it for granted that every wine has its optimum year up to which it progresses, and beyond which it falls about all over the place. E.g. you can give interest to your bottle of four-and-sixpenny British Russet by telling your guest that you ‘wish he had been able to drink it with you when it was at the top of its form in forty-nine’.
Alternatively you can say, ‘I’m beginning to like this. I believe it’s just on the brink.’ Or I rather like saying, ‘I drink this now for sentimental reasons only... just a pleasant residue, an essence of sugar and water – but still with a hint of former glories. Keep it in your mouth for a minute or two... see what I mean?’ Under this treatment, the definitive flavour of carbolic which has been surprising your guest will seem to him to acquire an interest if not a grace.
Alternatively you may admit, frankly, that your four-and-sixpenny is a failure. ‘They were right,’ you say. ‘The twenty-fours should have been wonderful. Perfect grapes, perfect weather, and the vestre – the Dordogne wind. But for some reason or other they mostly sulked. Taste it and tell me what you think. You may like it.’
Or if your four-and-sixpenny is only two years old and unbearably acid, you can say, ‘Let it rest in your mouth. Now swallow. There, Do you get it? That "squeeze of the lemon", as it’s called...’
Then, if there is no hope of persuading Guest that what he is drinking has any merit whatever, you can talk of your bottle as an Academic Interest treat.
‘Superb wine, but it has its periods of recession. Like a foot which goes to sleep, has pins and needles, and then recovers. I think that was André’s explanation. At the moment it’s BANG in the middle of one of its WORST OFF-COLOUR PERIODS.’
Watch your friend drink this wine, and if he shudders after it, and makes what we winesmen call ‘the medicine face’, you can say... ‘Yes! You’ve got it? Let it linger a moment.’
‘Why?’ says Guest.
‘Do you notice the after-sharpness, the point of asperity in the farewell, the hint of malevolence, even, in the au revoir?’ If he says, ‘Yes’, as he will, look pleased.
Our waiter explained it to me, but maybe we simply had a language barrier...or he didn't like an American tourist on honeymoon with a beautiful wife...so he fed me some misinformation.
It sounds like it was a rose made from pinot noir grapes - those are pretty common out here in Oregon as well. Same grape, different preparation. I used to have a lot of reservations about drinking pink wine, but a good rose on a warm sunny day is nearly impossible to beat.
I'm likely very biased given that I live an hour from some fantastic pinot wineries, but I will certainly agree with this. Of the stuff that I've seen get shipped cross-country (or at least to MN), Erath and Argyle might be the two I'd suggest. I haven't had a good bottle of A to Z, so can't suggest theirs.