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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.

    If you visit Wilson Creek Winery, please take note of a gazebo on the west side of the building. For a couple of years it was the site of a community band festival where yours truly played his dreaded euphonium.

    If you see either of the two Labs that served as greeters and doorstops back then, stop and give him a pet.

    Now I'm getting nostalgic for the area I still think of as home. Sniff . . .

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Back when I was married, my wife preferred sweet wines, whereas I tend toward dry, full-bodied reds. One compromise we found helpful was German wines. Though not dry nor red, they have enough quality and variety for me to enjoy exploring, while she liked their sweetness, and you can enjoy them with food if you are broad-minded. After all, plenty of people drink sweet soft drinks with food, why not sweet wine?

    If you want to try some red table wines you both can enjoy, merlots are a good place to start. If she finds a merlot too tart, there's no point even trying most other reds.

    If she likes Asti she probably would like Lambrusco. These slightly fizzy, sweet, red wines were very popular about 20 years ago, then were killed off by wine coolers, which themselves then died out. However, I think there might still be some Lambruscos available. They aren't fine wine, but might be something you both can drink and enjoy.

    As for the comment about refrigeration, I don't know of any wines that need to be refrigerated for any reason. The only reason they are refrigerated is so they can be consumed cold. Also, very few wines sold today need or will even benefit from additional age. The vast majority of wines are sold ready to drink.

    I find the wines of Australia, Chile and South Africa to be very good values.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    As for the comment about refrigeration, I don't know of any wines that need to be refrigerated for any reason. The only reason they are refrigerated is so they can be consumed cold. Also, very few wines sold today need or will even benefit from additional age. The vast majority of wines are sold ready to drink.

    I find the wines of Australia, Chile and South Africa to be very good values.
    If you lived in southern california I'd have you over to try some of the 1999 Fenestra Cab that wasn't in the heat vs. the 1999 Fenestra Cab that was, and you would understand the value of keeping wine cool. Anyone can tell the difference between them.

    Australia, Chile and South Africa are all emerging markets, and tend to produce wines that are ready to drink off the shelf because of their price point. There are a LOT of wines that should be cellared before they are drunk, but they generally aren't sold in grocery stores. That's not a knock on buying wine at the grocery store, just a comment on their market. They sell wine to people who want to take it home and drink it. Thus, they do not sell wines that need to be aged properly.

    I have bottles in my cellar that, ideally, should be drunk in about ten years. I have others that I age only a few years. I purchased bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon for my kids that they will open on their 21st birthday and they will be 21 year old wines at that time. They will be divine bottles of wine when that day comes.

    My aunt & uncle have a wine cellar with over 1000 bottles of wine in it. We have done vertical tastings (open four or five bottles at the same time, all from different years) of the same wine, and I can tell you that age most certainly does have an impact on quality red wine. Age is not the only thing; however, as vintage also plays a part. We most recently did a vertical of Silver Oak Napa Valley. I ranked them as follows: 1993, 1996, 1997, 1995, 1994. As you can see three younger wines were better than the 1994, but the oldest of the group had the best combination of age and vintage. Obviously they were all fantastic wines, but when you taste them side by side the differences really stand out.

    White wine is entirely different. Most white wines are actually damaged by aging beyond a few years, they do not improve.

    It is also important to realize that every wine has a peak age. With a "grocery store" red wine, it will be better in a year than it is today, but at some point it will reach it's peak and then begin to decline. When that happens it eventually turns to vinegar. I have aged wines past their prime, and it's _very_ disappointing. How to know? Better wines will tell you on their label how long they expect the wines to age and when they will be at their best. If you have a relationship with the winery or are in a wine club, they will tell you. When the winemaker says "drink it now" it's time to start drinking it, because it isn't going to get better any longer.

    We actually purchased a few bottles of "two buck chuck" on a whim and aged it. It was 2001 vintage cabernet, and in 2004 or so it was simply amazing for what it was (no amount of age was ever going to turn it into a stag's leap or a silver oak, but it was a lot better than it was in 2001). Six months later I opened the last bottle and it was utter swill.

    "Oh Bother!" said Pooh as he slapped another magazine in his AK-47...


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Northwest Indiana

    Smile What a wonderful Sunday

    Well, finally got up to Temecula today, just got back actually. What a fantastic time. I haven't that nice of a time in a while. I will go ahead and list the stops.

    1. Miramonte - Got there at 10:01, they were closed.

    2. Stuart Cellars - What a great place. We showed up just as they were opening (approximately 2 minutes after Miramonte), and were greeted by Marshall, the owner. Just an overall friendly place, and a real treat. I WILL be visiting here again. Great. Picked up two bottle of Callista, their house blend, at $7 a bottle. I couldn't pass the deal.

    3. Longshadow Ranch - Nice place, not as upscale as SC, but very friendly. As it turns out, Claus, the host, spent several years in my small hometown in Indiana. Picked up a bottle of White Feather Chardonnay here, something about it really stuck on my palate.

    4. Wilson Creek - Wow. Beautiful place, but too busy for my likings. The wines were good, but the Champagne was better. We left with a bottle of the Almond Champagne, and I really look forward to popping that open.

    Dave - I looked for your Dogs, couldn't find them. I only saw one Golden Retriever, and he had no interest in me. Sorry.

    5. Temecula Hills - Long drive, but I rather enjoyed it. Very quaint facility, but SO peaceful. Had a late lunch under the gazebo here after tasting. Great view, and the Thompson grapes overhead were delicious. I liked the fat little dogs. The wines were good, and I just could not leave without a bottle of Port. Scrumptious.

    6. Miramonte - Just stopped in real quick, as they were now opened. Didn't taste the wines, but enjoyed looking around a bit. I was startled by the bear skin rug, oh, wait, that was the dog. My girlfriend was convinced that Mira was a bear, I think she still is. Beautiful place, expensive, but beautiful.

    Overall I had a great time, and I find that I am actually attracted more to the white wines than the reds, same with the girlfriend. I cannot express how great of a time this was. Can't wait to go back.

    Last edited by FlashPuppy; 09-17-2006 at 17:34.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey Jeremy,

    Since you live in San Diego there's probably a BevMo near you. They usually have a great selection of wines (both white and red) with many low price specials that are generally quite good. I've learned a lot by just buying some of the wines on sale and comparing them. In particular you might want to look for wines from Chile and Mendoza, Argentina, which are generally inexpensive (at least at BevMo) and quite delicious.



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