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T47
01-30-2008, 20:52
It must have happened at about the same time that I realized my taste for Whiskey suddenly developed, I enjoy Red Wine.
Trying to get some kind of "taste history" going, I have limited myself for the time being to WA wines. I have had Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec (actually this one was NZ). I have enjoyed all the bottles I have tried, and they have all been lower end bottles (less than $12) for the most part.
It has become pretty apparent to me that like Bourbon, I am going to have to open bottles side by side, or find some tasting spots, because my memory is so poor. I wish they would last longer once open...
I have been searching for a WA Pinot noir, there are a few but they have been elusive.
I think the Cabernet Sauvignon has been my favorite. The bottles I have had have seemed more complex.
I have had many of the Columbia Crest bottles and just like the varieties I am going to have to try their Two Vines, Grand Estates and Reserve bottles side by side to pick up the differences.
My wife's cousin's husband works for Long Shadows Winery in Walla Walla and I got three very nice bottles for Christmas, but I am waiting to open them when I have someone to share them with.
It's a nice change once in a while, and does go so well with dinner.
Just never seems to end...what a slippery slope I'm on...

ILLfarmboy
01-30-2008, 21:22
It must have happened at about the same time that I realized my taste for Whiskey suddenly developed, I enjoy Red Wine.

I have long suspected my love for bourbon and the fact I like red wine are related. The tannins perhaps.

spun_cookie
01-30-2008, 21:31
For me, it was the bold reds from France, Italy and CA that drove me to the bourbons.

I have always been a CA wine hor, but as my taste matured, my interest in whiskey grew.... I finally matured into Bourbon and I have been in bliss since.

The price of a great bottle of bourbon is a fraction of that for wine.... and you get far more from it...

Don't get me wrong, I love my wine, but my daily is bourbon!:bowdown:

Vange
01-31-2008, 11:47
I LOVE RED WINE! To start listing what I have and have tried is too long. My only issue is that there are SO many types of wines out there and so many brands of each type! I'd love to try it all, maybe in a 2nd life. Nothing goes better to me with dinner than red wine, no matter what my fare.

Gillman
01-31-2008, 12:22
I like red wine too - good red wine. I would say 9 out of 10 reds I drink I don't like, regardless of price.

I am convinced a lot of European reds go half-sour in the bottle before we get them.

I'm not a big fan of 13.5% ABV and over reds full of extract, I find them undrinkable for most purposes.

I like a fresh-tasting, round, dry red wine that isn't half-sour, tannic, too alcoholic, too jammy or too sulphured.

What should I buy?

Gary

melting
01-31-2008, 14:00
I'm not sure what you should be buying. But I did read in the Wall Street Journal that the 2004 Chiante's are quite good all around. I've had a half dozen and found them quite enjoyable. I was brought up on red wine with dinner just about every night and I'm quite sure that it was inexpensive table wine and I probably wouldn't want to have it any other way.

Even something simple and cheap such as Big House Red or Love my Goat is fine to go with some pasta or roast pork.

Chris

ratcheer
01-31-2008, 14:45
I am also a lover of red wine. I would like to point out that the Bordeaux's that are now in the stores, 2005 vintage, are generally excellent and generally inexpensive. Yum!

Tim

Jono
01-31-2008, 15:49
I am also a lover of red wine. I would like to point out that the Bordeaux's that are now in the stores, 2005 vintage, are generally excellent and generally inexpensive. Yum!

Tim

It helps that the French are back in favor!

Vange
02-01-2008, 07:04
Following up on Tims comment about Bordeaux 2005. This 2005 vintage got rated the highest in 20 years by many critics especially Robert Parker. Overall quality of this vintage is fantastic. Of the few I have had thus far that are on shelves they have been really good.

craigthom
02-01-2008, 13:10
But usually when they rate a Bordeaux vintage they are talking about those bottles that cost hundreds of dollars and shouldn't be opened for decades. Does that also hold true for those under $20 bottles? Those are the bordeaux wines I actually buy, maybe not the Mouton Cadet, but the next step up.

ratcheer
02-01-2008, 15:10
But usually when they rate a Bordeaux vintage they are talking about those bottles that cost hundreds of dollars and shouldn't be opened for decades. Does that also hold true for those under $20 bottles? Those are the bordeaux wines I actually buy, maybe not the Mouton Cadet, but the next step up.

Not this time. The Wall Street Journal dis a comparo article a couple of weeks ago and the 2005's across the board were said to be quite good.

I bought two bottles at Costco, one was $9 and the other was $15. My wife and I drank the $9 one and we both enjoyed it, a lot. I am looking forward to the $15 one.

Since Bordeaux ages well, this appears to be a great time to buy a bunch for future use.

Tim

Barrel_Proof
02-01-2008, 17:58
I like red wine too - good red wine. I would say 9 out of 10 reds I drink I don't like, regardless of price.

I am convinced a lot of European reds go half-sour in the bottle before we get them.

I'm not a big fan of 13.5% ABV and over reds full of extract, I find them undrinkable for most purposes.

I like a fresh-tasting, round, dry red wine that isn't half-sour, tannic, too alcoholic, too jammy or too sulphured.

What should I buy?

Gary

I'll second and third those here who have already recommended the 2005 Bordeaux that are now hitting the shelves. These early arriving petit bordeaux are of remarkable quality for the price. As many insiders have said, one had to work hard NOT to make good wine from the 2005 bordeaux harvest. The gems of the vintage will require a decade or more in the bottle to settle down and open up, but many, many lesser cru can be enjoyed right now, especially the Right Bank St. Emilions with a high percentage of Merlot in the blend.

I brought one of the very first 2005s to land to last year's Sampler dinner at the Gen. Nelson -- the Mathilde (second wine from Ch. La Fleur Morange) -- and though a bit tight, it was a very enjoyable pour that offered a taste of what is to come from this great vintage.

Gillman
02-01-2008, 18:22
Thanks and I'll check into these at LCBO.

Gary

mythrenegade
02-01-2008, 20:57
I don't believe you will find a good Washington Pinot, I don't think the climate is right. Pinot is a very difficult grape to do right. There are only a few regions in CA that do it well, and unfortunately they have been pulling up other grapes to plant Pinot in those areas since it's so profitable right now...

I buy only California wines, primarily because I live here. I figure if I live in one of the best wine regions in the world, why should I pay to have wine shipped from somewhere else? I also like supporting the state economy in this manner.

If you have it available to you, Trader Joe's sells a brand called "Black Mountain" that is, in CA, $5 per bottle. It is a steal at that price. Sure, it's not a Quintessa or Stag's Leap, but it's very drinkable and cheap. Unlike two buck chuck, it's actually worth buying.

If you are looking for a high end red, "Lot 1" is an amazing, amazing wine.

Joel

T47
02-01-2008, 21:42
I don't believe you will find a good Washington Pinot, I don't think the climate is right. Pinot is a very difficult grape to do right. There are only a few regions in CA that do it well, and unfortunately they have been pulling up other grapes to plant Pinot in those areas since it's so profitable right now...
I buy only California wines, primarily because I live here. I figure if I live in one of the best wine regions in the world, why should I pay to have wine shipped from somewhere else? I also like supporting the state economy in this manner.
If you have it available to you, Trader Joe's sells a brand called "Black Mountain" that is, in CA, $5 per bottle. It is a steal at that price. Sure, it's not a Quintessa or Stag's Leap, but it's very drinkable and cheap. Unlike two buck chuck, it's actually worth buying.
If you are looking for a high end red, "Lot 1" is an amazing, amazing wine.
Joel

Thanks for the info. I had been trying to find a Pinot Noir from a winery in WA called White Heron Cellars...but it must be a small release and I have had no luck with my limited search...
I will just have to cave and stretch my limits to buy some non-WA bottles. Really my only reason is that I live in WA...and from my limited reading the wines produced here have a fine reputation as well.

Am I correct that Bordeaux is just a region like Walla Walla? And that the wines will vary considerably between the wineries? Just a quick check I see they have both Reds and Whites and they all seem to be blends...so there are no Bordeaux wines that are just Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon?
One of the favorite wines I have tasted was a Long Shadows bottle called Chester Kidder (2002) it is a blend of Syrah and Cabernet and was wonderfully flavorful. I can't say much more than I really enjoyed the flavor...because my memory is pretty much like a sieve...

I have just discovered that there is a small wine bar nearby in a new shopping area. I think this will be the best chance for me to try some of these wines side by side.

I don't know if there is anything more than a psychological reason, but as I have posted before, prior to around June of 2005 I was pretty much just a beer drinker. Then out of the blue I discover that I enjoy Bourbon. Now it seems that most dark spirit's (Some Scotches-not those peat monsters, Dark Rum, Aged Tequila, Irish Whiskey, Canadian Whiskey) and Red Wine agree are things I enjoy as well. I still don't seem to enjoy Vodka or Gin or the Light Rums I have tasted?

I don't plan to or have the room to store much if any wines...but as Vange posted...it sure does go well with dinner. Just completes the meal so well for me.

You are all a wealth of information that boggles my mind...

:toast:

texascarl
02-01-2008, 22:48
I'm going to tout that unheard of thing...a couple of red box wines that taste good. Tastes good to me, at least, YMMV. The first is from the S.W. corner of France, made with a typical 'Rhone blend' of grapes (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan) and it's a very tasty - if fairly simple- quaff. I always enjoy this with dinner, it's not what I think of as 'cocktail'. The box will last for a month or two (they've recently improved the 'tap' and 4 months are not unheard of), local cost is about $20 for a 3 liter container. That would equal $5 bottles @ 750. BTW, it IS available in the bottle ($9 MSRP) if you'd like to sample it first.

http://www.winemerchant.net/pages/top40d.php?rank=03

If you like Cotes du Rhone...you'll like this. I have a glass-a-day with dinner, open a bottle of something different now and then. I don't get bored with this because I have another box of Vin de Pays (French) Pinot Noir from Toad Hollow.

http://www.toadhollow.com/pdf/bag_in_box.pdf

It's good with food and a better 'cocktail' glass of wine than the grenache blend above, but the grenache really goes well with anything that includes garlic. If you're afraid your friends will sneer at you for having boxed wine...get new friends. Seriously, they're missing out.

texascarl
02-01-2008, 23:02
If you want NW Pinot - look at Oregon now, rather than WA. Oregon has a great climate for Pinot, and during good years they turn out some great wine. Adelsheim is a personal fave, Domain Droughin if you're wanting to pay up a bit. WA excels at Syrah, Cab, Merlot...in fact, one of my favorite 'daily' WA reds is Hedges CSM red made from that exact blend. It reminds me of bordeaux wines, so try it if you get a chance. They're a VERY good winery, from Red Mountain (out near Prosser/Walla Walla). This is their least expensive wine, should go $10 or so in your area...recommended.
Yes, Bordeaux is a region, like Walla Walla. It is also 'shorthand' for the normal blend of wines they make there. Usually blends of cabernet Sav. with merlot, sometimes malbec, sometimes cab franc...sometimes just one of the above. Wonderful wine, tho' I spend MY money on Rhones. Everybody gets to choose their poison. The Rhone wines include many smaller 'regions' but if you say 'Rhone' you'll usually get a glass of Syrah and/or grenache (with carignan and mourvedre throw in for flavor). Try a cotes du rhone to see if you like the general flavour - try it with some grilled meat or some pasta with garlic in it. If you LIKE it, then move on to the spendier Rhone wines...Australia has been making some great wines for quite a while now, and many of the blends they make of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre rival the French originals. California has their own bunch of 'Rhone Rangers' who work with the grapes of S. France/Rhone to do their mojo. My personal fave is Bonny Doon...run by an amusing man named Randall Graham. He also makes some fine, inexpensive WA white wines, mainly rieslings, chenin blanc and gewurtz...but that's for another day.

T47
02-02-2008, 07:55
Carl,
Thanks for the information, I will keep my eye out for your suggestions.

mythrenegade
02-02-2008, 09:23
Thanks for the info. I had been trying to find a Pinot Noir from a winery in WA called White Heron Cellars...but it must be a small release and I have had no luck with my limited search...
I will just have to cave and stretch my limits to buy some non-WA bottles. Really my only reason is that I live in WA...and from my limited reading the wines produced here have a fine reputation as well.

Washington is an "up and coming" wine region. I personally have not ever had a good washington wine, but I don't for a second believe they are all like the ones I've had... Like you, I buy where I live and so I don't seek out the best that Washington has to offer. The ones I've had have always been poured for me and were inexpensive and not very good.


Am I correct that Bordeaux is just a region like Walla Walla? And that the wines will vary considerably between the wineries? Just a quick check I see they have both Reds and Whites and they all seem to be blends...so there are no Bordeaux wines that are just Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon?

Bordeaux is a region that blends specific grapes. Rhone is a region that blends a different group of grapes. France refuses to allow the wineries to disclose the grapes that are in the bottle, you are just supposed to know what is in the bottle somehow. This hurts them greatly when people go to the store looking for a very nice Cabernet Sauvignon and they don't even consider the french wine because it doesn't say cab on it.


One of the favorite wines I have tasted was a Long Shadows bottle called Chester Kidder (2002) it is a blend of Syrah and Cabernet and was wonderfully flavorful. I can't say much more than I really enjoyed the flavor...because my memory is pretty much like a sieve...

I have just discovered that there is a small wine bar nearby in a new shopping area. I think this will be the best chance for me to try some of these wines side by side.

I haven't had good luck with wine bars. They are expensive, and you get what they have, and who knows how long it's been open etc. Take a trip and go to the wineries and go wine tasting. It's easy, and generally a lot cheaper. In some parts of california it's free, other parts they charge a small fee, usually between $5 and $10. You will be able to taste a lot of varietals side by side, and you can decide if you like them or not. This is my favorite way to buy wine.


I don't know if there is anything more than a psychological reason, but as I have posted before, prior to around June of 2005 I was pretty much just a beer drinker. Then out of the blue I discover that I enjoy Bourbon. Now it seems that most dark spirit's (Some Scotches-not those peat monsters, Dark Rum, Aged Tequila, Irish Whiskey, Canadian Whiskey) and Red Wine agree are things I enjoy as well. I still don't seem to enjoy Vodka or Gin or the Light Rums I have tasted?

I don't plan to or have the room to store much if any wines...but as Vange posted...it sure does go well with dinner. Just completes the meal so well for me.

You are all a wealth of information that boggles my mind...

:toast:

Happy to help! Vodka, Gin and light rums are "summer drinks" to me, which is probably where you drink beer. I have noticed that as I have gotten into red wine, that my tastes shifted from things like Sam Adams to much more powerful beers like Stone Double Bastard and I went from drinking things like Margaritas to drinking Bourbon straight. You aren't alone!

Joel

ratcheer
02-03-2008, 13:11
Since Bordeaux ages well, this appears to be a great time to buy a bunch for future use.


I am trying to take my own advice and bought two more 2005 Bordeaux's, today at Costco. I think I will do this every time I go there until they are gone.

Tim

spun_cookie
02-03-2008, 19:57
Gent's there are some very good WA wines. You just need to look around. I had to go there for a trip and hip the South East wine region and found some good ports, a couple decent reds and a wonderful late harvest that was about 31% residual sugar...

There are good wines from just about every state if you hit the wineries...

Vange
02-03-2008, 20:05
Bordeaux typically will state the % of the 5 grapes allowable on the back label.
Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc, Petite Verdot, and Malbec. Most are cab sauv or merlot heavy with the rest rounded it out. Excellent wine though!

Cornman
02-06-2008, 21:18
I don't have specific recommendations, but I'd suggest you cast a wide net. I really like a lot of 'old vine zinfandels' from California and lesser nebbiolos from Italy for instance - quite a few available for under $15 and very different from the usual domestic cabernets. OK, so I also love domestic cabernets. It's just that it is a big world out there. i read somewhere that there were about 6000 different recent vintage wines available for sale in the US at any given time, and that was about 10 years ago.

Asking here is a good way to get suggestions, I see. But you might also try finding a good retailer, even if you buy most of your bottles at Cosco. I've had some good luck with McCarthy and Schiering. A little highfalutin but they have a nice newletter, weekend tastings (which I never have time to go to) and a carefully selected range of less well known wines of good value. (They also have a bunch way, way out of my price range, $30, $60, $90 +++). Having someone preselect who's taste you know is very helpful as there is a great deal of mediocre wine out there.

You might also get a book like Hugh Johnson's World Atlas of Wine. It is a nice 'coffee table' book, but actually packed with information, but not too academic. Nice to browse through the appropriate section over a novel glass wine.

And finally, if you have family connections to Long Shadows, you are really off to a good start!

mier
02-07-2008, 01:56
A reason that you get halfsour wines can be that the demand of certain wines is so huge,the French state " allows" the farmer to use more grapes of his and other estates what makes the wine of a lesser quality.If the bottles are filled by a bottler instead of the chateau you also have a chance they have messed with it.It sounds suspicious,i know but recently they`ve arrested managers of a a French and a Belgian fillingcompany for doing so.They used a lesser quality wine and blended it with a aoc Bordeaux wine.It is all a matter of good trust and quality but some people go for the cash destroing a good name,pity but it happens.Gary i think you should try wines from Burgundy made of the pinot noir grapes if you want to avoid tannins the younger versions or look on the other side of the border and try a Spatburgunder from Rheinhessen Germany,same variety but rounder and less tannins.Also red wines from Austria or the Elzas/Alsace i think you would appreciate for that reason.If you like to discover other winecountries look at www.dewijnhoek.nl (http://www.dewijnhoek.nl) i found a goal to fill up my summervacation staying in my own country:cool: .
For me the zinfandelvariety is an overrated grape i`ve tried lots of CA zinfandels and also the wines made from it in the country of origin and all of them have something in the taste i don`t appriciate,unfortunately drinking Californian zinfandels is the big hype here,giving the other varieties no chance,but it will pass making way for better wines in the future.
Eric.

melting
02-07-2008, 12:34
Why's the little purple grape bowing down the the Netherlands?

Chris

Sijan
02-07-2008, 12:37
I'm a big fan of wine as well - red, white, sparkling, dessert, you name it.

Something I would strongly recommend for those first getting into wine is to check out Oldman's Guide to Outsmarting Wine (http://www.amazon.com/Oldmans-Guide-Outsmarting-Wine-Confidence/dp/0142004928). It is a great resource when you are learning about the different types of wine, etc. It gives you the essential info you need about each type of wine, but doesn't get bogged down in too many details. Has lots of purchasing tips, drinking tips, food pairing tips, and other good advice. 108 very short chapters, each usually just a few pages long - very easy to pick it up, read about one particular wine, and set it back down.

I have picked up a copy of this book for several friends as they've started to get interested in wine and they have universally found it to be very helpful.

If you're looking for more in-depth coverage of wine, I would recommend Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible (http://www.amazon.com/Wine-Bible-Karen-MacNeil/dp/1563054345/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b). It is also easy to read, but is more detailed and comprehensive. Too much info for a beginner, probably, but useful if you want to find out more about a particular region.

Sijan
02-07-2008, 12:46
Washington's Columbia Crest and Chateau Ste. Michelle (they are owned by the same company) make a lot of good - often very good - wines, and extremely good prices.

The 2005 Bordeauxs appear to be good across all price ranges. I've had some pretty impressive 2005s in the $10-20 range. Actually, 2005 was very good for Burgundy and the Rhone as well.

A good Cotes du Rhone value you can find at Costco is the E. Guigal

T47
02-07-2008, 18:54
Thanks for the book recommendations, I will keep my eye out for those.
Like I said earlier, I am kind of sticking to WA wines for the time being just to try and get some kind of tasting memory down. My wife does not drink much besides sweet cocktails, so I find myself limited on what I am willing to open.
I have had many of the Columbia Crest bottles except for their Horse Heaven Hills line...I need to look for some of those to try.
I know I am lucky with my Long Shadows connection, it allows me to have access to some bottles I probably would not want to spend the money on otherwise.
I get most of my wine at our local QFC, which seems to have a very nice selection for about the same price as Costco (on what I have been buying anyway). I have been meaning to stop into Esquin Wine Merchants in Seattle. It is close to where I work, and from there web site, they seem to have a nice selection...and tastings! I will have to find a time I am not working to go in for a little hands on education.
My booze money is a little limited...the recent Vintage 17 and WTAS purchase has put a crimp in my funds! I have a b-day coming up and have a bottle of rum (Zaya 12) on my list. I have wanted a bottle of Guatemalan rum for some time now (for sentimental reasons) so it looks like that's my next bottle.
It's nice that I enjoy the $10 bottles of red wine enough...I can slip them in the grocery cart almost unnoticed!
As always your all a wealth of information, thanks.

:toast:

mier
02-08-2008, 03:34
[quote=melting;110865]Why's the little purple grape bowing down the the Netherlands?

Cos they have good wines!!!:lol:
Eric.

Vange
02-08-2008, 06:48
I must agree that Washington does make some great wines. I have been REALLY enjoying the wines from Owen Roe recently. The Yakima Red is a excellent wine. Smells of a fireplace and some cedar and drinks like silk with some fruit.

Joeluka
02-08-2008, 08:05
I must agree that Washington does make some great wines. I have been REALLY enjoying the wines from Owen Roe recently. The Yakima Red is a excellent wine. Smells of a fireplace and some cedar and drinks like silk with some fruit.


Doesn't the Yakima red go for $55-$70 a bottle?? IMHO For that price there a hundreds of bottles of wine that should knock your socks off.

Vange
02-08-2008, 08:18
I get it $38-$42. I do agree at $50-$75 there are others to buy as well.
Stag's Leap Fay Estate being one of them!

jbaker
02-08-2008, 08:50
My love and interest in wine has brought me to better appreciate both beers and liquors of all sorts. You all have posted a great many awesome suggestions for the beginner! Hugh Johnson's & Jancis Robinson's "World Atlas of Wine" is a great resource. You may also check out "Sotheby's Encyclopedia of Wine" by Tom Stevenson. It's a little more succinct, but it's also more thorough in covering almost every wine region in each country commercially producing wine. (Make sure to buy the most recent edition, otherwise you might be getting outdated info.) For a really great beginners book, and I mean beginner, try Joanna Simon's "Wine: An Introduction." It's got great photos, it's very simple and easy to understand when you're just getting started. Plus it describes how to taste wine to get the most out of it, how wine is made and it gives an index of wine grape (varietals) synonyms (many grapes go by lots of different names, and this often can make you think that you're drinking a different wine when really it's just the same old thing).

Another suggestion is that lots of local wine retail shops will offer Intro to Wine classes for reasonable prices. Ask around or search the internet. Public tastings are also a good way to get exposed to lots of wine (sometimes for free). The hardest part is remembering it all! I would recommend, like most wine professionals, that you start a simple tasting journal and make a few brief notes every time that you try a wine. Make sure to date the entries so if you get to try the same wine again, you can see if it's changed at all.

The other thing that you all nailed is the 2005 Bordeaux thing! Spot on! I've had some awesome 05's from Fronsac (a sub-region on the "Right Bank" that is mostly Merlot) for $15!! It was called "Ch. Tour Saint-Bernard" and if you can find it, snatch it up! The $15 range is where you can start really finding the "good stuff." (Don't get me wrong, $55 will be great, but the deals for $15 are usually better than the deals for $8.) The only thing to keep in mind is that inexpensive wines, no matter how good they are, aren't really meant to improve in the bottle. They're meant to be drank within, I'd say, about 3-4 years. Cheap stuff (read "Yellow Tail) is meant to be consumed within 1-2 years. Just don't want you wasting your money by trying to improve something that won't ever get better.

More power to the wine drinkers! In vino veritas!

ILLfarmboy
02-08-2008, 17:54
Janean and I will be going to a chocolate festival tomorrow and some time during the day we plan on going to a wine shop that lets you taste some of their wines before buying. We hope to find a few reds that we both like.

My biggest problem with wine is its variability. I sometimes have a hard time finding the exact same thing again. Or I forget the name and vintage by the time I get around to shopping for a few more bottles. Or sometimes bottles of the same thing seem to taste different. Last summer I found an inexpensive Australian Shiraz from (I think) Reynolds Vineyard. We both liked it and it was cheap. I went back to the store a couple weeks later and bought three more bottles. One tasted off, and neither one of us thought the remaining two tasted quite the same as the first one we had. I suppose the off bottle could have muddied our taste memory and caused us not to like the last two as much as the first.

jbaker
02-08-2008, 18:20
One tasted off, and neither one of us thought the remaining two tasted quite the same as the first one we had. I suppose the off bottle could have muddied our taste memory and caused us not to like the last two as much as the first.

You might have been the victim of a faulty wine. If it tasted significantly different than the other two bottles, I would say return it to the store (if you didn't already pour it out). If it tasted really musty, it was probably "corked," which is a bacterial problem from the way they process the corks. If it tasted like all the fruit expression was gone, and it was brownish in the glass, it may have oxidized (corks sometimes let air in). 12.5% of all wine is estimated to be lost due to cork failure, so it's inevitible that you'll get back bottles from time to time. But there are other issues that can even affect wines in screwcaps, so it could be any number of problems! Most stores are good about taking back bad bottles (if they're mostly full) because they can get credit from their distributors, who in turn can get credit from their suppliers, ad infinitum.

As far as variation, each vintage of the same wine will taste a little different, especially on wines that are under $30 or so. Unlike whiskey, wine is so linked to the particular year's weather.

Oh well, such is the way of wine. Have fun at the chocolate fest! If you're going to pair wine with chocolate the thing to keep in mind is to match the sweetness of the chocolate with the sweetness of the wine. Dry red wine and milk chocolate are not buddies.

mythrenegade
02-10-2008, 13:31
I get it $38-$42. I do agree at $50-$75 there are others to buy as well.
Stag's Leap Fay Estate being one of them!

Mmmmmm. Fay. Good stuff. As is SLV.

One of my favorite bottles of wine ever was a 1990 or so that was a blend of both SLV and Fay. For some reason that year they were better together than alone.

Joel

bigtoys
02-12-2008, 21:21
Another vote for Oregon Pinot Noir. I like the Willamette Valley region. Argyle comes to mind.

A good Napa Pinot is Etude from Carneros.

A Napa Bordeaux style we like is Cain Five, around $110, but we think it's worth it.

We went to Napa & Sonoma last summer and went back in October for one of the winery's harvest parties. I'd go again; I love a day of tasting.

T47
02-15-2008, 20:11
And just when I thought I would not get to try a WA Pinot Noir, for a late B-day gift some fiends dropped off a bottle from Lake Chelan Winery (http://www.lakechelanwinery.com/index.php?page_id=1) it's their 2005 Estate Pinot Noir.
I look forward to giving this one a try. It seems my shelf just keeps shrinking.

:toast:

Vange
02-21-2008, 12:09
Mmmmmm. Fay. Good stuff. As is SLV.

One of my favorite bottles of wine ever was a 1990 or so that was a blend of both SLV and Fay. For some reason that year they were better together than alone.

Joel

My prize in my wine collection is a Stags Leap Cask 23. Waiting for special occasion and to let it mature.

felthove
02-21-2008, 15:22
Todd -- as a California native who grew up in Napa I started out with wine, myself. Pretty much drank CA wine exclusively until I moved to WA. After my arrival I did like you and drank WA wines exclusively for a few years just to establish some familiarity with certain producers, regions, and styles.

The one trend I see happening in the wine press is a bit of a backlash against the big, extracted, jammy, high alcohol wines that CA made so popular (since many of these scored well and thus were snatched up by many consumers creating a following for those types of wines). In particular, such wines don't tend to be as food friendly as less ripe, more acidic wines that work well to clear the palate during a meal. This is where WA wines really stand out.

Cooler nights allow for a greater retention of acidity in grapes througout the growing process and the weather in Eastern washington sports very warm days but long, cool nights. This environment allows good winemakers to coax out very balanced wines that on their own may not be as big as the CA wines but make for a more pleasant dining experience (at a lower price, I might add). The lack of rain (and presence of irrigation), even ripening, and cool nights allows WA grapes to get some of the ripeness and flavor of CA fruit but retain some of the "old world" European acidity. I believe Eastern WA has the same latitude as Bordeax but is warmer and irrigated.

In the end, I'd continue to seek out WA wines due to their balance and value and when you're looking for a big blockbuster go to CA or one of the really tannic and age-worthy bordeauxs. This is not to say there aren't some powerful and amazing WA wines -- there are -- but I hope that in the end WA keeps its niche where its at and doesn't try to emulate CA wines. Unfortunately, I see it happening already at some wineries. At a tasting last weekend at Chateau Ste. Michelle the guy pouring for me was telling me that the wines they did in the 70's and 80's were really ageworthy but stuff from the 90's and later is fruit dominated and released for earlier consumption -- due to a change in their business model.

I've rattled on for long enough...

T47
02-21-2008, 17:53
In the end, I'd continue to seek out WA wines due to their balance and value and when you're looking for a big blockbuster go to CA or one of the really tannic and age-worthy bordeauxs. This is not to say there aren't some powerful and amazing WA wines -- there are -- but I hope that in the end WA keeps its niche where its at and doesn't try to emulate CA wines. Unfortunately, I see it happening already at some wineries. At a tasting last weekend at Chateau Ste. Michelle the guy pouring for me was telling me that the wines they did in the 70's and 80's were really ageworthy but stuff from the 90's and later is fruit dominated and released for earlier consumption -- due to a change in their business model. I've rattled on for long enough...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You have a more developed background and its good information. I will have to go to Ste. Michelle sometime, its so darn close. I did the Dinner Train there years ago, but didn't really appreciate it...now its too late for that!

birdman1099
02-23-2008, 15:39
For me, it was the bold reds from France, Italy and CA that drove me to the bourbons.

I have always been a CA wine hor, but as my taste matured, my interest in whiskey grew.... I finally matured into Bourbon and I have been in bliss since.

The price of a great bottle of bourbon is a fraction of that for wine.... and you get far more from it...

Don't get me wrong, I love my wine, but my daily is bourbon!:bowdown:

I can't believe I missed this thread.

These are my sentiments exactly. I was/am big into California Reds (specifically the 2002 Stags Leap Estate Cab) now, My cabinet is overrun with Bourbon !!!

TNbourbon
02-23-2008, 16:29
I don't have specific recommendations, but I'd suggest you cast a wide net...

Indeed, the truth of the matter is that so much good wine is produced these days, that bad wine just doesn't survive in the marketplace. Unless you happen to have the extremely bad fortune of coming upon some retailer's first run of a 'bad' wine, it's just a matter of finding what YOU like.


It must have happened at about the same time that I realized my taste for Whiskey suddenly developed, I enjoy Red Wine....

Todd, they are not mutually exclusive. I believe the use of oak in each case is a commonality that helps explain and hone tasting techniques and terminology. When the French Oak-barrel-aged BT experimental came out, I remember thinking, "Smells like wine!" Lesson learned about where specific aromas come from. The education continues...