Unfortified Wines - Your Assistance Please

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Campfired, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Campfired

    Campfired Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,680
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Nutmeg State
    Am curious to know about the school of thought regards unfortified wines.

    What comprises an unfortified wine? What type or blend of wine typifies this? Are there comparatively inexpensive wines on the market that have a 'Wine Spectator' high points review?

    My thanks in advance.
     
  2. andrekp

    andrekp Member

    Messages:
    4,845
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Location:
    Deep in a Cobalt mine, far from rescue.
    Maybe I'm not getting something, or maybe this is some new buzzword for something, or maybe it's a subtle troll, but:

    Wine is generally unfortified. Fortified means they put extra alcohol in it for some reason. Any wine not given extra alcohol is unfortified.

    So...?
     
  3. bayAreaDude

    bayAreaDude Member

    Messages:
    3,227
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Location:
    NorCal
    You mean normal wine, 99.9% of what's out there. Sure, tons of cheap options with high reviews.
     
  4. PW214

    PW214 Member

    Messages:
    1,551
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago....
    Fortified wine is when they add distilled spirits like brandy.

    Sherry, Madeira and Port are the most common fortified wines.

    Almost all other (Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir etc....normal wines you see) is unfortified.

    And no, it has nothing to do with price. You can get a $10 Port that is fortified or a $100 Port. A $10 Cabernet or a $300 Cabernet.
     
  5. PW214

    PW214 Member

    Messages:
    1,551
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago....
    oh and regarding your question re: inexpensive wines with high point reviews...

    I'm a wine reviewer in my spare time and I can tell you that even if the wine writer likes and scores highly a wine, it is from their point of view. Their personal taste. I've hated a "98" point Port because I hate sweet wine. I've loved an 89 point Pinot Noir because it fell into my personal taste preferences.

    If you are just starting out, I'd recommend doing a little reading on the various types (Wine Folly Website is a good start) and seeing which ones fall into the tastes you like. Then purchase from there. Costco often offers very good wine at much lower prices. Trader Joes is another place where you can sometimes find a decent wine for a bargain. Online, K&L website or Cameron Hughes...both highly recommended.
     
  6. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,256
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    This cannot be a serious post.
     
  7. AZChilicat

    AZChilicat Member

    Messages:
    30,807
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Location:
    The Land of Sweet, Sweet Likes
    I would take the exact opposite approach. Forget reading and go taste. A noob has no idea what it is he likes, what various common descriptors mean (I just cannot see a noob reading, "Notes of barnyard" and thinking they want to taste that), and reading is way less useful in general than tasting. Go taste. Taste a lot and then taste some more.

    Also expect what you like in a wine to change over time.
     
  8. Probos

    Probos Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,183
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    Fortified wine means any wine, of more than sixteen permit (16%) and no more than twenty-four percent (24%) alcohol by volume, made by fermentation from grapes, fruits, berries, rice, or honey; or by the addition of pure cane, beet, or dextrose sugar; or by the addition of pure brandy from the same type of grape, fruit, berry, rice, or honey that is contained in the base wine and produced in accordance with the regulations of the United States. Unfortified wine means any wine of sixteen percent (16%) or less alcohol by volume, made by fermentation from grapes, fruits, berries, rice, or honey; or by the addition of pure cane, beet, or dextrose sugar; or by the addition of pure brandy from the same type of grape, fruit, berry, rice, or honey that is contained in the base wine and produced in accordance with the regulations of the United States.

    http://boards.abc.nc.gov/faq/question.aspx?faq=49
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  9. PW214

    PW214 Member

    Messages:
    1,551
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago....
    The site that I directed him to (Wine Folly) breaks it down very simply...like in charts (so if you like sweet or fruit or savory etc)...it it just makes it easy for someone starting out.

    I agree that your tastes will change as you learn to perceive flavors but someone like me could go out blindly and pick up a Gewürztraminer and (because it's so sweet) think "gads, I must hate white wine". When I don't. I just dislike sweet wine.

    I've had so many people come to me and say "I hate wine." And when I find out what it is that makes them hate wine, we look at options that don't have those things...and usually a year or so later, I'll hear back that they, after all, do love wine.

    And I have no affiliation with the people at WineFolly. I just find them to be a useful direction for beginners:
    Beginner's Guide
    Sweetness Chart
    Food and Wine pairing
     
  10. AZChilicat

    AZChilicat Member

    Messages:
    30,807
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Location:
    The Land of Sweet, Sweet Likes
    Hate to point this out but Gewürztraminer can be trocken or halb-trocken and in fact most Alsatian versions are.
     
  11. PW214

    PW214 Member

    Messages:
    1,551
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago....
    LOL!! That's funny, I honestly haven't tried an Alsatian Gewruz. Most of the ones I see during my wine tasting events are quite sweet. Nearly cloyingly so. So that's promising to know that there are other options out there. I'm mostly a Spanish & Portuguese reds person (oh or a nice Tuscan) with dry Italian PG as my "go to" white.
     
  12. AZChilicat

    AZChilicat Member

    Messages:
    30,807
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Location:
    The Land of Sweet, Sweet Likes
    It is general wisdom that the best examples of Gewürztraminer come from Alsace.

    Where do you publish your wine reviews as I would be interested in reading some. I am just trying to figure wine out and could use guidance.
     
  13. PW214

    PW214 Member

    Messages:
    1,551
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago....
    I write for two sites. One is a discount Grocery Outlet site (just the wines available at their stores...we cover 3 or 4 states)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  14. AZChilicat

    AZChilicat Member

    Messages:
    30,807
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Location:
    The Land of Sweet, Sweet Likes
  15. aynirar27

    aynirar27 All You Need Is Rock and Roll Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    28,645
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    excellent advice ^^^
     
  16. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

    Messages:
    48,207
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Location:
    Under the Big Sky
    I fortify my own wine.
     
  17. AZChilicat

    AZChilicat Member

    Messages:
    30,807
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Location:
    The Land of Sweet, Sweet Likes
    I don't always drink wine, but when I do, I fortify my own wine.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Campfired

    Campfired Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,680
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Nutmeg State
    Jerrod,

    Actually, I was serious. For some reason, my understanding of the term "fortified" meant any wine that had added sweetener to the wine.

    The above responses have clarified that.

    Some red wines are fortified as are white wines.

    My tastes are inclined towards slightly sweeter reds with little or no tannin after taste. My preference might be inclined to a Sangiovese, or Ruffino. I've tried something called Sangiovese 'De Majo Norante', and enjoyed that.

    My current favorite is something called Zestos Garnacha, a mildly complex red of the merlot family, that has blackberry and plum notes, with just a hint of oak. About the same price as the Sangiovese, about $9 per 750 ml bottle.

    Goes nicely with red meats, cheddar, crackers, dips, and is acceptable as a sipping wine. Only downside is that it leaves your lips feeling a bit dry after a glass or two.

    And that is the problem. Drinking wine dries me out from the inside, and too much causes sneezing and a runny nose.

    There are very few wines that don't have this effect, and white wines are more likely to cause an adverse reaction with me than not.

    It is somewhat weird, but it may be the same reason why drinking fortified red or white wines and darker spirits causes me to feel sleepier than drinking beer or white spirits. I understand that simple light beers are lower in alcohol content, but how does one explain the dark and white spirits?

    Perhaps the added sugar has something to do with it?
     
  19. Campfired

    Campfired Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,680
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Nutmeg State
    Oh, where are my manners? Thanks to the previous responses for their information. Much appreciated.
     
  20. AZChilicat

    AZChilicat Member

    Messages:
    30,807
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Location:
    The Land of Sweet, Sweet Likes
    Adding sugar is referred to as "chapitalization."


    I'm starting to lean towards subtle troll too. Sangiovese is a grape, Ruffino is a producer.


    Um, no. Garnacha is Garnacha. Subtle troll indeed.
     

Share This Page