View Full Version : Wine reviews
I found this great place to get reviews on wine. http://corkd.com/
Corkd has wine reviews by average joe and joettes. I find them a little more accurate than the big wine snobs who review wine. Mostly because I can't afford most of the wine reviewed by the big reviewers. Check it out and let me know what you think.
You know, I almost never check out wine reviews. Years back I did but really never used them to any extent. Although I may have avoided some wines based on what I read.
I have a great system for wine purchases. I buy two bottles of something different every week. I got half a dozen different Italian red wines over the holidays. Each of them was different and I had not tried them before. Some were good and some I really enjoyed. All ranging in price from about 10 bucks to 18 or so. Nothing real fancy. The bottles that I really like I mark down and when they are on sale I will buy a couple more for later on.
I've only had one bottle of wine that I really did not enjoy. A Yellow Tail chardonnay. Quite awful, but one of the best selling wines in the whole state of New Hampshire. Go figure.
Other than the one bad bottle it's been a great experience trying different wines from all over the world. Of course I'll probably never spend $100 on a bottle so maybe I'm missing out on something, but on the other hand I can try 8 or 10 different versions for that money.
I would also recommend buying a copy of The Wine Bible written by Karen MacNeil. It costs $19.99 and I've referred back to it more times than I could count. I would recommend it to anyone looking to really enjoy wine and experience different varieties without breaking the bank.
I have come to understand and except that my pallete is inferior, my ability to taste is weak. Thus, I tend to prefer simple wines, wines that express two or three notes clearly but tastefully. I get a kick out of the reviewers who find half a cabinet of spices and a variety of root and earthtones as well as several different classes of fruit appear in basically every bottle over $12. At the same time, the Mogen David's of the wine world are too simple for my taste. I find most of the bottles I drink are $7-9. Right now I'm drinking the 2002 Columbia-Crest Two Vines Semillon Chardonnay (60/40), which cost me $6.99.
I buy the Columbia Crest two vines quite often also. Pretty decent for the money. I'd also recommend trying some of the wines put out by Santa Rita. They are the biggest producer out of Chile. They have been on sale for the last month for between $4.99 and $8.99 depending on the particular bottle.
The Yellow Tail has, as they say in wine terms, a lot of residual sugar. I suspect that's why it's so popular. I've read interviews with some midwestern vintners who say they'd like to make drier wines but the sweet ones are what the tourists take home by the case.
I like the reviews in Wine Spectator. Sure, a lot of them are for very expensive wines, but they review a lot of wines in my target range (reds with decent body around $15-$30 a bottle).
I don't drink whites, but I will use decent under $10 reds and whites for cooking. Rare is the red under $10 that I enjoy drinking. They taste OK but are too thin and young.
I had always heard that if you don't want to drink it, then don't cook with it. Although I don't think it's quite fair to say that anything under 10 bucks is too thin or young. A couple years back there was plenty of better quality wines from Australia under that price point. Some of the Penfolds and Rosemount can still be had for about 8 bucks on sale. Although the glut seems to be over so prices are suer to rise little by little.
Now, there seems to be an overstock of South American wines, specifically the wines from Chile. Usually they run about 10 dollars or so but lately they've been running on special for half of that. Try them out, you may find something you really like and you can stock up. I bought 3 cases of cabernet and merlot last month.
Maybe some will find it not to their liking but I can almost guarantee that the people who drink wine the most often, probably drink the ones in this price range and this taste profile. Growing up with my grandparents who came here from Italy in the late 40's, there was always a bottle of wine on the table with every meal. They both passed years ago and I sure as hell don't remember what particular brands they drank, but I feel pretty confident that it was just inexpensive table wine like they were used to from the old country.
I think the "if you wouldn't drink it don't cook with it" rule of thumb is a bit simplistic. The wines I cook with taste fine; they just aren't what I choose to drink.
Likewise I don't cook with the beers I prefer to drink. I like heavily hopped beers, which don't do well when cooking. I buy lighter, smoother, less expensive stuff to cook with.
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