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Thread: PE wine dork thread

  1. #1

    PE wine dork thread

    Any other fans of the noble grape here? Im interested in hearing about favorite styles, grapes, locales, defining experiences.

    As for me, Im a fan of bold reds. Malbec from the Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, is my benchmark. Id even take one over a Chataeuneuf-Du-Pape, or a meaty Cote Rotie. Absurdly good value. California Zinfandels are up there too (do not even mention white Zinfandel. I will have to ask you to leave the room).

    With whites, Im a fan of Alsace Rieslings and Gerwutztraminer, as well as Loire Chenin Blanc. High acid Mosel Rieslings are almost sexually tingling.

    The best thing Ive ever drunk on the face of Gods green earth was a smidgen of Chateau dYquem 2001 at a tiny back road wine bar in Kobe. Indescribably life-affirming.

    And you?

  2. #2
    Member adap2it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    Any other fans of the noble grape here? I’m interested in hearing about favorite styles, grapes, locales, defining experiences.

    As for me, I’m a fan of bold reds. Malbec from the Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, is my benchmark. I’d even take one over a Chataeuneuf-Du-Pape, or a meaty Cote Rotie. Absurdly good value. California Zinfandels are up there too (do not even mention white Zinfandel. I will have to ask you to leave the room).

    With whites, I’m a fan of Alsace Rieslings and Gerwutztraminer, as well as Loire Chenin Blanc. High acid Mosel Rieslings are almost sexually tingling.

    The best thing I’ve ever drunk on the face of God’s green earth was a smidgen of Chateau d’Yquem 2001 at a tiny back road wine bar in Kobe. Indescribably life-affirming.

    And you?
    I believe there is a wine snob thread on PE, However, I share many of your likes...
    Dave Sr.

    I prefer Nature to Human Nature

  3. #3
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Hell yes! My wife and I are both major cork dorks. She takes it to another level, though, with her courses and eventual goal of becoming a sommelier. We have a whole shelf of wine books and she even does her own tastings here at home, and makes notes in her wine journal which she shares with her other cork dork friends. She loves white as much as red, but I am a red-only kind of guy. Favourites off the top of my head:

    Nebbiolo, Barolo, Amarone, Ripasso, Zinfandel, Carmenere, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc

    I tend to really like Bordeaux blends as well, which I am always eager to try. We recently had an exquisite bottle of Quintessa 2006.

    Lately I've also been enjoying Pinot Noir more than I used to. I've never disliked it, but always found it too mild for my tastes... but perhaps they are becoming more refined as I get older. And Chilean Syrahs have been huge in our house for a while now. I agree about California Zinfandels. They tend to be too bold and jammy for my wife, but I just love them.

    For Christmas last year, I bought my wife several different Zalto glasses (which I get to use too ) and although I once scoffed at the idea that the glass itself could improve the experience - I was dead wrong.
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    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    For Christmas last year, I bought my wife several different Zalto glasses (which I get to use too ) and although I once scoffed at the idea that the glass itself could improve the experience - I was dead wrong.
    My wife and I belong to a wine tasting group (Taster's Guild of Central Maryland) and one of our tastings involved tasting the same wine in glass vs crystal (I think they were Riedel) -- BIG differennce. Been using crystal ever since.

    About 20 years ago, we "inherited" the dregs of a wine cellar (about 100 bottles), after all the best stuff was turned over to auction. We did, however, get a single bottle of Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape, Blanc, 1978. My word... I can't think of a wine I've had since then that was as good. Alas, most of the rest has turned to vinegar, but we keep some of the bottles in our cellar just because it looks cool!

  5. #5
    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
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    If prog genres were wine...

    Canterbury = Barbaresco (the lighter version of Barolo, see Jazz Rock/Fusion)
    Crossover = barley wine (not quite wine, not quite beer)
    Eclectic = Chateauneuf Du Pape (a blend of up to 18 varieties)
    Experimental = Gik (blue wine)
    Heavy = Petit Syrah (big, bold)
    Jazz Rock/Fusion = Barolo (deep, complex, powerful)
    Krautrock = Gewurztraminer (unquestionably German)
    Neo-Prog = Table wine (fruity, but not particularly forward)
    Post/Math Rock = Pet-Nat (fizzy wine for techno-hipsters)
    Prog Folk = Pinot Grigio (mild and unassertive)
    Electronic (Berlin school) = Zinfandel (jammy, peppery, racy, with a long finish)
    Metal = Port (fortified to kick your butt)
    Proto-Prog = Mead (early version of wine)
    Psychedelic/Space = Absinthe (unapologetically trippy)
    RIO/Avant = Beaujolais Nouveau (more about the movement than the wine)
    RPI = Chianti (unquestionably Italian)
    Symphonic = Champagne (bright, sparkling, bubbly)
    Tech/Extreme = Jalapeno Wine (fiery hot)
    Zeuhl = Retsina (fermented with tree sap, an acquired taste)

    All these associations are highly subjective, so your tastes and perceptions may vary. I'd be interested to hear other interpretations...

  6. #6
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Piemonte wines (Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera), Amarone, Ripasso, Primitivo, Carmenere, Syrah, Grenache
    Priorat (spain), some Rioja Reserva wines made 'the old fashion style'
    I have come across Swiss redwine from Valais Dle de Salquenen that I liked a lot.

    Generally not Malbec, it has a sweet aftertaste I dont like.
    Southafrican and Australian wines are generally not my favorites either.

  7. #7
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    ^^^ Can't believe I forgot to mention Primitivo, which I get on a fairly regular basis.

    I learned from fellow PE member Sputnik to look for Spanish and Portuguese wines, as they both offer tremendous value - and he was right. I've consistently been amazed at the quality of some of those wines for incredibly low price tags. A nice Spanish Grenache is always welcome.
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  8. #8
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    What do you all think of this?

    https://www.realclearscience.com/blo...e_tasting.html

    The experts couldnt even tell a red from a white apparently.
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

  9. #9
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    What do you all think of this?

    https://www.realclearscience.com/blo...e_tasting.html

    The experts couldn’t even tell a red from a white apparently.
    I can't speak for those people, but I really dislike white wine, and absolutely love red wine. If you put red food colouring in a glass of white wine and gave it to me, I'd practically spit it out on the first sip.
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  10. #10
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    ^^^ Can't believe I forgot to mention Primitivo, which I get on a fairly regular basis.
    Primitivo and Zinfandel is the same grape. Primitivo in Italy, Zinfandel in California, Crljenak Kaštelanski in Kroatia.

  11. #11
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Primitivo and Zinfandel is the same grape. Primitivo in Italy, Zinfandel in California, Crljenak Kaštelanski in Kroatia.
    Oh, I know about the different variations. My first taste of that was the judgmental treatment I received upon coming home with Zin and Primitivo for the same evening.

    I often opt for a Ripasso when I don't want to shell out for an Amarone.
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  12. #12
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Oh, I know about the different variations. My first taste of that was the judgmental treatment I received upon coming home with Zin and Primitivo for the same evening.

    I often opt for a Ripasso when I don't want to shell out for an Amarone.
    Zin, Primi - the terroir must mean something. But you can get good/expensive wines both from Calif & Sicily.

    The problem with Brunello, Amarone, Barolo etc. is that the cheaper ones we usually can afford, rarely are worth the money (well, you get a scent of the caracteristic taste), meaning you can get better wines for that money in less estimated regions. Same or even worse with French wines - but of course you can have luck.
    That's the fun of the hunt.

    If you dont know the 'district' Priorat in Spain, try. They are not cheap, but good value for the money.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    What do you all think of this?

    https://www.realclearscience.com/blo...e_tasting.html

    The experts couldn’t even tell a red from a white apparently.
    In one sense, it is understandable - appearance does effect our other senses. We are likely to describe a woman dressed up for clubbing as a bubbly party girl even before we discover anything about her inner qualities. Likewise, one un-made up and dressed plain will likely cause us to determine that she's the shy, retiring type. Keep in mind also that the 'experts' were oenology students, studying the science of wine, not sommeliers or tasting experts. At competitions true experts can identify a single vintage from a single vineyard or the percentages of a complex blend with incredible accuracy, so it's not just a matter of chance/prejudice.

    I was blind challenged by friends once - a Barolo, Tempranillo, Malbec, MSG Rhone, and a Zinfandel. Hit 100% (receives applause).

  14. #14
    @Progatron,

    I too am not a fan of Chardonnay (save for a rare Chablis) nor Cabernet Sauvignon, and certainly not Pinot Grigio. So, when it comes to whites, why not go for the opposite extremes from the bold, full-bodied reds? I love the piercing tinge of Riesling, the tingle of Chenin Blanc (the only decent grape from S. Africa), and Sauternes are absolutely luscious.

    Interesting story about Crljenak Kaštelanski (Primitivo/Zinfandel). When they were checking the mysterious lineage of the Zin, the found that it remained only in a few scraggly vines in Croatia in an old woman's unkempt front lawn vineyard. Honestly, something like only 2 or 3 original vines of the ancestor of Zin remained.

    @Zeuhlmate
    Any Spanish-speaking country's wine is great value. I've never tried a Priorat (Carignan base, I believe) but will be in Barcelona in the summer and will definitely try it out. I cannot manage Barolo (Nebbiolo) though. Those tannins are just too phat for me - I need a little more finesse.

  15. #15
    New latitude wines are becoming interesting. China has some up and coming reds from the Ningbo region. My fav Japanese was a Yama Sauvignon red (Pinot Noirish) from Yamagata. But my biggest surprise was a Thai Chenin Blanc from PB Valley, near Khao Yai. These guys nailed the style and, upon visiting, you could sense that it was perfect setting for Chenin, both meso-climate and soil.

    By the way, does anyone here 'get' S. African Pinotage? I don't know if that stuff is an avant wine, an acquired taste, or a pile of immature, undeveloped crap.

  16. #16
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    @Progatron,

    I too am not a fan of Chardonnay (save for a rare Chablis) nor Cabernet Sauvignon, and certainly not Pinot Grigio. So, when it comes to whites, why not go for the opposite extremes from the bold, full-bodied reds? I love the piercing tinge of Riesling, the tingle of Chenin Blanc (the only decent grape from S. Africa), and Sauternes are absolutely luscious.
    I'm almost seeing double right now, so I'll just respond to this quote (I'm on the Tom Gore Cab Sauv we opened when the rest of the wine was gone - and it's actually really nice) - my wife's favourite white is Reisling - especially a proper German Reisling. In fact, she recently won a social media Reisling contest where the prize was a $100 gift card to the LCBO (Ontario's booze store) which we used immediately. So I'm more than familiar with it. I've tried it, I've wanted to like the pear and green apple and peach and what have you flavours... but it's just not for me. I practically breathe red wine, but I cannot tolerate white. This proves fortunate for my wife, because her bottles of white are always safe in the fridge - I'll never touch them. This is also my main proof that I am not an alcoholic.
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  17. #17
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    I thought this said wine CORK thread!

  18. #18
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Do any of you save your corks? What is the inspiration?

  19. #19
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean
    Do any of you save your corks? What is the inspiration?
    I have a few corks. My inspiration for saving them was seeing bulletin board made of wine corks. I thought, "I can do that."

    Haven't, yet.
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  20. #20
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    We had a couple of glass jars we filled with corks, but eventually got rid of them when they started to just look junky.
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  21. #21
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Wine scares me. I never know what to get, and regardless of price I'm usually disappointed. I do like it with Italian cuisine though. I just bought montepeloso a quo 2015 recommended by my local shop...haven't opened it yet. My wife loves red wine and gets crazy after 3 glasses.

  22. #22
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    If you dont know what to do with the corks






  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    I learned from fellow PE member Sputnik to look for Spanish and Portuguese wines, as they both offer tremendous value - and he was right. I've consistently been amazed at the quality of some of those wines for incredibly low price tags. A nice Spanish Grenache is always welcome.


    Nice to hear! I stand by that recommendation, and still practice what I preach... though I'm a bit short on Portuguese wines at the moment. Just haven't been down to Fall River, MA of late where the shops have the best selections at the best prices because of the large Portuguese community.

    I pretty much love all wines in the right context. My wife and I pair wines with food, so we have a variety of heartier and lighter reds and whites that go with various meals. I don't really like spending a lot of money on bottles unless I really know what I'm getting. Most of our drinkers are int he $10 - $15 range, but as mentioned above you can get some Portuguese wines for less than that which to me drink like $20+ bottles. Tons of good Spanish stuff too, Grenache (or Garnacha) in particular. That is one of our favorite grapes, and we follow it from coastal Spain into the Roussillon region of France (try Chapoutier's Bila-Haut for a beautiful and reasonably priced example).

    They're selling a Spanish Monastrell called Tarima pretty widely. That is priced at about $10 and has been a staple for us for over a year.

    Anyway, I'm in and will look at what folks are getting and enjoying.

    Bill

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Wine scares me. I never know what to get, and regardless of price I'm usually disappointed. I do like it with Italian cuisine though. I just bought montepeloso a quo 2015 recommended by my local shop...haven't opened it yet.
    Nice. That is from the Tuscan coast, in a particularly hot region and is 70% Sangiovese, 20% Montepulciano, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. I'd definitely recommend drinking this with hearty and somewhat oilier food (pizza or lasagna would be a good bet, or lamb if you want meat), and open it about an hour before drinking - decant if possible.

    If you like this, then now you know you like a heartier red and can look for the Sangiovese grape, or Tuscan wines like Chianti which is largely Sangiovese. None of these will taste exactly the same. Each region, and even each town within a wine producing region like Tuscany, will have their own expression of a grape (or grape combinations). But you will at least have a general sense, and it gives you a launching point for exploration. Wine shouldn't be scary, but I can understand why it might be. Try to identify what you like in a wine you like, and what you don't in those you don't, and if you can express that to someone knowledgeable then you can get some recommendations.

    Hope the Montepeloso is good!

    Bill

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    By the way, does anyone here 'get' S. African Pinotage? I don't know if that stuff is an avant wine, an acquired taste, or a pile of immature, undeveloped crap.
    Pinotage is a bit of an acquired taste. When they first hit the scene, their "smokiness" was almost intolerable. I think they finally figured that out, and over the years it has become milder. Under the right circumstances, it can be wonderful. I have several bottles of the Chamonix Greywacke Pinotage which we get a lot of mileage from with seasoned steak tips, marinated tri-tip steak with a tangy sauce, or BBQ. This is without question the mildest Pinotage I've had in terms of "smokiness," and as such has been my favorite. Much more balanced.

    So if you can find a good one and find a good food context for it, I give it thumbs up. But there is some crap Pinotage out there, and even the best stuff can be overpowering if you don't pair it carefully.

    Bill

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