E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Wine for all you Dummies (LOTS of info)
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:27 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by JJR4884 View Post
lol wow.... impressive
thanks, comes in handy and the wine.tv is saved in my favorites...watch it every now and then

read both of your PMs

personally i would say start with red, however its more risky since they are a lot different than white wines and definitely more difficult to get used to. red wine i would definitely say is an acquired taste...

but, starting with red is the way to go. like a guitar.. the electric is easier to play (white) but the acoustic (red) is where its at

anyways, i'm not sure of the wines in your area so I can't give an exact name to look for, but there are some types of wine that are great to keep an eye on.

for white wines, try to stay away from california... a lot of them (especially chardonnays) tend to be over oaked, over acidic, over sweet, and so forth. great example of that is kendall jackson... one of the more popular chardonnays in the country, however absolutely horrible in my opinion. as a new wine drinker, you want something that is easy drinking..... so, i'm not going to start you off with anything too deep

here are a few names you might recognize

Robert Mondavi.... his Pinot Noir is surprisingly good. Shouldn't cost more than $9 a bottle, light-med bodied, low acidity, and pretty well balanced. Pinor Noir grapes do not have a very thick skin, therefor wines from a Pinot Noir will not be as heavy/dry/musky as say a Petit Verdot or a Petit Syrah.... So look for a Pinot Noir.... don't look for a French one, it is very hard to find a good quality French wine.... If you want a great French red wine, expect to pay $100 or more (generally speaking, there are still good $20 bottles but lets stick to the basics right now)

Pinot Noir, California.... can't go wrong with it. Something light like that could go with a lighter red meat like Filet, however Merlot might be a little better fit for Filet. Better would be with a nice grilled pizza, but a lighter flavored pizza... bruschetta like.... fresh tomatoes, bright flavors (basil).... also, pinot also goes great with dark meat of turkey/chicken, game, pork, and AWESOME with veal..... i would also suggest it with any salad that has fruit in it, cranberries, pears, etc also you'd be surprised, pinot noir will go with fishes such as swordfish, tuna, salmon, and so forth (not shellfish however)

so we move on........ Merlot....... little bit heavier, and dryer than pinot noir.... this is a wine that goes great with a zesty marinara sauce, a heavier pizza, red meat, dry cheeses, and so forth.... Sterling (california) makes a GREAT merlot, and can be had for about $23ish dollars.... however, if you can keep an eye out, look for an italian wine called "Nero D'Avola" It is a red wine similar to "Merlot" but is just innnnnnncredible. Nero D'Avola's are usually between $15-$20 a bottle and I have yet to have one that I didn't like..... Another "Merlot-like" to look for is spanish. I'm not too familiar with the companies, but if you spend $15 on a Rioja or Ribero del Duero, you won't be disappointed. Keep in mind this is the region that the wine is from, so its similar to a Merlot, but it is the region of the wine
Ribero del Duero = one of my favorite regions ever, never disappointed with the wines from there I wish i had more about Merlot, however i am very partial to cabs

And we move on to my favorite... Cabernet Sauvignon.... now your playing with the big boys haha... j/k
Definitely drier, heavier in the mouth, almost bitter compared to the pinot noir (but that is why this is an acquired taste....) California has great cabs for cheap too.... Just to name a few (ranging between $11 and $18)
337, Rodney Strong, J Lohr (meh, not great anymore but still good,) St Francis, Aquinas, Louis Martini, Chateau St. Michelle (this is from washington, not as good as a few years ago, but still worth the $16)

If your pocket allows, don't pass up on Simi, Franciscan, and Markham.... Simi and Franciscan are $24ish... Markham is closer to $30, all Cabernets worth every penny

So, Cali cabs are out of the way... lets talk about some others that you can't pass up. Chile and Argentina. Their cabernets are INCREDIBLE.... Chilean cabs are to die for, and for the price, most of them are better and less $$$ than comparable Cali cabs. This whole wine this is a marketing game.... the price of wine doubles in this country strictly becuase it is from "Napa Valley" Fortunately for us, when California wines are the God of wines in this country, other wines from around the world (better wines) need to make their bottle look more appealing to the American eye....so, lower price is the best way to do that. So when I tell you that I can find a $7 Chilean cabernet that is better than a $22 cabernet from "Napa Valley" i'm not kidding

Cabs are the heaviest of reds, so they go great with heavier steaks (porterhouse, sirloin, ribeyes, and i guess you could say filet, however some cabs can overpower the more delicate flavor of filet) Venison and Bison are also great meats that go with cabernet.... heavier pasta dishes, starchy dishes, etc etc etc.... however it shouldn't be a science (yet) if you enjoy the wine, drink it with something somewhat appropriate.... don't worry about making the perfect match every time. i drink cabernet with salmon..... technically i should be drinking pinot noir or even merlot, however i drink it because i prefer it.....

haha, i have to send you 2 pms because this one is too large, so i am copy/pasting the rest of this one in the next one LOL
...continued lol

so white wines, although i don't drink many, i do have a few to keep an eye out for.

first off, if you like shellfish, find a white wine from new zealand or south africa. the new zealand wine will most likely be a sauvignon blanc... if you see a couple, ask for some help from the liquor store you go to. there should always be someone there to help with wine choices. sauv blancs from new zealand are INCREDIBLE and cheap, however some of them are a little too sweet for my liking. sauv blancs are lighter, fruitier, and more crisp than a chardonnay.... this is the wine i would serve with very light/sweet cheeses, oysters and clams, shellfish (esp lobster) white fish, and shrimp. there area few wines i have had from south africa as well, one that i will never forget is Spier Discover Steen........ very light, crisp, and citrus-y... one or my fav whites and haha, its on the 2 for $16 rack LOLLERS

on to a more heavy wine.... its called "Suove" it is an italian white wine that is a little heavier from Verona (i believe.... somewhere around northern italy) I enjoy heavier white wines, however most of the chardonnay's (besides Chalk Hill, $60) from California are way too overpriced for the value, and they are way too buttery and oaky.

French whites are good... Sancerre is a french chardonnay and i gotta say, for the $15-$20 range that they start from.... definitely worth paying a little more rather than a $15 Kendall Jackson from Cali, seriously I used to like that chardonnay until i explored more whites, now i hate it lol. Another one is Vouvray.. it is made from a "Chenin Blanc" grape, so if you see that around, pick it up. It is a sweeter wine, but tastes good and is a great beginner wine since its easy on the pallet. The Sancerre and Suove would go great with white meat of course... but heavier dishes... Chicken Francais (or Piccata) for example... Fettucini Alfredo, Salmon, and either dessert cheeses or softer/sweeter cheeses (so, not parmigiano lol)

As for the Vouvray, OMG it goes perfect with port wine cheese, if you have the chance to try the two out together

and that is pretty much it bud, hope that is enough to get you started.... listen to this rule tho, and i will explain........ when you drink a red wine, if it is left out at room temp..... put it in the fridge for 20 minutes before you open it........ for a white wine, take it out of the fridge for 20 minutes before opening

reason being?

70 degrees is too warm for any red wine... when the temperature of the red wine goes up, the notes and taste of the actual alcohol increase a lot.... so a red wine served too warm will smell like rubbing alcohol, and taste very hot in your mouth. chilling it for a good 20 minutes should bring it down to 57-60 degrees.... which is a save temp for any red wine.
here is a test, get two bottles, chill one for a little bit, and leave the other one........ smell both, taste both, and tell me if you can notice how important the temp of the wine is

for the white wine........... staying at 37 degrees in the fridge is too cold.... when a wine is too cold, it will completely cover the flavor and the smell of the wine... so leaving it out for 20 minutes or so will let it warm up.... 45-48 degrees is a decent temp for white wines. You will get more bouquet out of the wine and will be able to pick up on the notes of the wine a lot easier.......... however if it gets too warm, you'll smell that alcohol-ness to it like the red... (white wine at 60 degrees will smell like vodka lol)

so, thats about it
lemme know what else you need bud

two things i would do

get a wine journal, write down what you taste, what you smell, etc
try to think of fruits such as blackberries, strawberries, cherries, apples, pear, etc etc etc
think of other scents such as oak, spices, natural smells like wood, rocks, soil, mushroom/fungus, mold, etc etc

write it down....... smell the wine fast, then smell it slow.... you will pick up different notes and you will eventually get the hang of it

second... drink two wines at the same time, that way you can smell one, then smell the other. taste one, then taste the other. get a feel for one, see how heavy/light it is, then do the other.

"You are free to make choices. You are not free to escape the consequences."
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