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Old 05-03-2017, 09:51 PM   #61
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Why was Sonoma so much better?
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:57 PM   #62
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Why was Sonoma so much better?
has more of a "small town" feel in my opinion. Lots of options within walking distance of their main square. Just felt a little less commercialized i guess.

if i did the trip over, i probably would have done extra time in sonoma and less in napa. we did a segway tour in sonoma that was just really fun.

idk your budget or income, but i cant stress enough how bland Cole's Chophouse was. Service was good, it was clean inside...but the food was just bland. Bounty Hunter on the other hand would be a place I visit every time i'm in Napa.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:51 AM   #63
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Let's Talk Visiting Napa Valley

Not a big wine fan either...until I had one of these at a steakhouse and then I was like what the fvck is happening in my mouth. Tried it again just buying it on my own from the liquor store and having it on its own (maybe with pizza or something, can't remember) and it was nasty lol so not sure what happened at that steakhouse; could never replicate.

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Old 05-04-2017, 09:22 AM   #64
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has more of a "small town" feel in my opinion. Lots of options within walking distance of their main square. Just felt a little less commercialized i guess.

if i did the trip over, i probably would have done extra time in sonoma and less in napa. we did a segway tour in sonoma that was just really fun.

idk your budget or income, but i cant stress enough how bland Cole's Chophouse was. Service was good, it was clean inside...but the food was just bland. Bounty Hunter on the other hand would be a place I visit every time i'm in Napa.
Thanks dude. I think we'll do Napa just to say we did it. Next time will do Sonoma instead to check out the rest of it.

budget =/= income but we'll probably pass on that chophouse given your review. Neither of us are up for spending $400 on a dinner not because we can't but because we don't want to. Will definitely add Bounty Hunter to the list though.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:44 AM   #65
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Bring some wine gone and age it, my father in law has a wine cellar and we had a bottle a couple weeks ago he picked up out there years ago, pretty sure it was a 2012 Ravenwood Merlot, was really good after aging especislly for a $7 bottle of wine.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:12 AM   #66
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A client gave me a bottle of scarecrow (he saw my facebook pic of drinking Opus One with a straw out of the bottle) so I drank it over a casual dinner with the family, only to realize later that it was a $700 bottle. I have friends that are into the niche high end cabs like screaming eagle, and rare crap like that, I guess I never bothered checking how serious of a bottle that was. It was extremely tasty though.
I haven't tried scarecrow yet... little too rich for my blood. As far a Screaming Eagle, that is why I suggested Abreu in a previous post. David Abreu did a ton of the work for Screaming Eagle. I haven't had it, but I can say his $300 bottle of Madrona Ranch is right up there with Grange/Scarecrow/Screaming Eagle/Paul Hobbs Kalon to Beckstoffer

Insanely complex wines. Tough pill to swallow but if you are a wine person you can appreciate how crazy these wines change through the finish.

The 2006 Madrona Ranch had this immediate menthol/pine like front end that immediately changed to your typical dark berry/heavy tannin body with a very light chocolate/tobacco/black licorice finish towards the end. The finish lasted legit a full a minute. When you inhaled you could feel that menthol/herbaceous taste evaporating off your palate like the feeling you get after mouthwash, obviously in a good way. It didn't taste like toothpaste

I never had a red wine that had a leafy green taste to it before. It was mind boggling how many stages of flavors/bouquet this wine had.

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I totally get this and that was my plan. However, I do want to visit at least one high end place just to see what the hype is all about.
Just a few suggestions

Plumpjack
Paul Hobbs (Hyde Park or Beckstoffer to Kalon)
Abreu
Silver Oak (personal favorite so i have to list it)
Diamond Creek
Joseph Phelps

(FYI these are all wines that range from $75ish and up)

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Not a big wine fan either...until I had one of these at a steakhouse and then I was like what the fvck is happening in my mouth. Tried it again just buying it on my own from the liquor store and having it on its own (maybe with pizza or something, can't remember) and it was nasty lol so not sure what happened at that steakhouse; could never replicate.

I would never suggest an Amarone to anyone that isn't a wine person or hasn't had one in the past. Masi makes a great cheaper alternative, Campofiorin. If you see it, give it a try, its $20 and its delicious.

Amarone wines have a VERY distinct flavor. Super herby, musky, heavy, lots of dirt/wood overtones, black licorice, and tobacco. They are not fruit forward and they are not palate friendly, and they are not as versatile as your full bodied california cabs, malbecs, or french bordeaux.

Also, this is a classic example that "red wine and steak" isn't exactly the best approach to take (assuming you did in fact have steak at a steakhouse.)

Amarone would be more suitable for (red wine) braised beef dishes, but even more so, game meat. Robust and rustic style dishes that have wild boar, bison, oxtail, beef cheek, strong cheeses, venison, and elk.

Don't give up on red wine just yet my friend
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:12 AM   #67
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:22 AM   #68
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Bring some wine gone and age it, my father in law has a wine cellar and we had a bottle a couple weeks ago he picked up out there years ago, pretty sure it was a 2012 Ravenwood Merlot, was really good after aging especislly for a $7 bottle of wine.
Most wines will age ok for a couple years but it isn't going to make a $7 bottle of wine taste like a $50 bottle just because you waited a couple years. Not trying to criticize your post but just want to add some value to it.

The most important things that happens to wine happen before they hit the bottle, so waiting x amount of years isn't going to yield a super high return in quality. What it will do is cause the wine to be more sensitive to oxidation the older it gets, so when you open the wine and it is exposed to air (either in a decanter or in the glass) the tannin breakdown easier and can help deliver a smoother finish to the wine. The quality of the wine itself (depending on the year as well) will determine how long the wine will be good in the bottle. A beaujolais nouveau for example is meant to be opened up when new. Unless you get into higher end wines, there really isn't a "you should wait 5 years to drink this" disclaimer.

Once the wine is in the bottle, here is what is important.
- Stored temperature is important, but not as important as constant temperature. I'd rather have a wine stored at 72 degress constant for 3 years rather than a wine stored at 55-60 up and down for 3 years. This is what can ruin a wine if it isn't stored properly.

- Decanting any bottle helps smooth out the finish of the wine. For new wines (anything 5 years or younger) can be decanted for up to a couple hours. With super old wines, sometimes you can only decant for up to 30 min before the wine starts to turn.

- Temp of the wine when serving. There are specific temperatures for most wine types. Generally speaking, 58-62 degrees is a good time for most red wines. No red wine tastes good at "room temp" aka 72 degrees.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:49 AM   #69
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Plumpjack is fantastic wine. Silver oak is very nice as well.


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Old 05-04-2017, 11:58 AM   #70
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Most wines will age ok for a couple years but it isn't going to make a $7 bottle of wine taste like a $50 bottle just because you waited a couple years. Not trying to criticize your post but just want to add some value to it.

The most important things that happens to wine happen before they hit the bottle, so waiting x amount of years isn't going to yield a super high return in quality. What it will do is cause the wine to be more sensitive to oxidation the older it gets, so when you open the wine and it is exposed to air (either in a decanter or in the glass) the tannin breakdown easier and can help deliver a smoother finish to the wine. The quality of the wine itself (depending on the year as well) will determine how long the wine will be good in the bottle. A beaujolais nouveau for example is meant to be opened up when new. Unless you get into higher end wines, there really isn't a "you should wait 5 years to drink this" disclaimer.

Once the wine is in the bottle, here is what is important.
- Stored temperature is important, but not as important as constant temperature. I'd rather have a wine stored at 72 degress constant for 3 years rather than a wine stored at 55-60 up and down for 3 years. This is what can ruin a wine if it isn't stored properly.

- Decanting any bottle helps smooth out the finish of the wine. For new wines (anything 5 years or younger) can be decanted for up to a couple hours. With super old wines, sometimes you can only decant for up to 30 min before the wine starts to turn.

- Temp of the wine when serving. There are specific temperatures for most wine types. Generally speaking, 58-62 degrees is a good time for most red wines. No red wine tastes good at "room temp" aka 72 degrees.
I'm no expert, that's my father in laws job, but it was surprisingly good and he was also shocked how much better it was compared to when he had first got the case.

I am not saying aging any wine will make it "good" or "better" but if you pick up a case of inexpensive wine and have the proper place to store it, why not experiment, especially if you are new to wines. I would rather take my chances messing around with a $7-10 bottle to see what happens than a $50-100 bottle.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:10 PM   #71
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I'm no expert, that's my father in laws job, but it was surprisingly good and he was also shocked how much better it was compared to when he had first got the case.

I am not saying aging any wine will make it "good" or "better" but if you pick up a case of inexpensive wine and have the proper place to store it, why not experiment, especially if you are new to wines. I would rather take my chances messing around with a $7-10 bottle to see what happens than a $50-100 bottle.
Wines certainly do mellow out when aged. I definitely wasn't saying that your scenario was BS, but there are a lot of variables that do come into play when wines are bottle aged.

I think i'm going to crack a bottle open tonight...
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:20 PM   #72
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Wines certainly do mellow out when aged. I definitely wasn't saying that your scenario was BS, but there are a lot of variables that do come into play when wines are bottle aged.

I think i'm going to crack a bottle open tonight...
I do know that much, but thats about it, he also had some wine that he had bought at the same time simply because of the name (Born wine, its his last name) aged the same amount and it was complete crap, he said it sucked when he opened it new and sucked now, but it was worth seeing what would happen.

I need to get out to Napa/Sonoma, its on our list, my brother in law lives in the area, doing the Mediterranean this year, then we will either do Scotland for scotch or California for wine.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:00 PM   #73
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napa is only about 45 mins from sonoma. really easy to alter your trip.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:00 PM   #74
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Sam, just rent a convertible mustang and let er rip!!


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Old 05-04-2017, 01:04 PM   #75
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I would never suggest an Amarone to anyone that isn't a wine person or hasn't had one in the past. Masi makes a great cheaper alternative, Campofiorin. If you see it, give it a try, its $20 and its delicious.

Amarone wines have a VERY distinct flavor. Super herby, musky, heavy, lots of dirt/wood overtones, black licorice, and tobacco. They are not fruit forward and they are not palate friendly, and they are not as versatile as your full bodied california cabs, malbecs, or french bordeaux.

Also, this is a classic example that "red wine and steak" isn't exactly the best approach to take (assuming you did in fact have steak at a steakhouse.)

Amarone would be more suitable for (red wine) braised beef dishes, but even more so, game meat. Robust and rustic style dishes that have wild boar, bison, oxtail, beef cheek, strong cheeses, venison, and elk.

Don't give up on red wine just yet my friend
damn, son, you know your way around wines! now that I recollect, it might have been lamb I had the first time I enjoyed Amarone. But I will take your suggestion and try out the Campofiorin. Any recommended dishes to eat with it that will really match well with the flavor? Of course, differently prepared and marinated steaks all taste differently, so if you can recommend a specific restaurant/dish, e.g., porterhouse for two at Ruth's Chris...
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:10 PM   #76
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Sam, just rent a convertible mustang and let er rip!!


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If it's just the two of us then we'll do this. Might have another couple joining and if that's the case, we'll need a bigger ride.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:12 PM   #77
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If it's just the two of us then we'll do this. Might have another couple joining and if that's the case, we'll need a bigger ride.


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Old 05-04-2017, 01:48 PM   #78
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damn, son, you know your way around wines! now that I recollect, it might have been lamb I had the first time I enjoyed Amarone. But I will take your suggestion and try out the Campofiorin. Any recommended dishes to eat with it that will really match well with the flavor? Of course, differently prepared and marinated steaks all taste differently, so if you can recommend a specific restaurant/dish, e.g., porterhouse for two at Ruth's Chris...
Funny thing is, good italian reds in my eyes are great for good italian dishes.

The Campofiorin is slightly different than your typical Italian wines as it is a "Ripasso." You' might come across this term on Italian wines from time to time, especially if the wine is a Valpolicella. Ripasso means that they also ferment the wine in amarone skins, even though there were no amarone grapes used in the wine itself. It adds a real nice depth/body to the wine without making it very expensive. Any wines that I see are ripassos are typically very good for the money, and are like baby amarones without that hugh big body pungency that you would usually get.

Rustic tomato based or braised meat based pasta dishes go great with the Masi Campofiorin, but it is versatile so you could even enjoy it with a really nice classic grilled pizza. Spice is nice with this wine. I've had a bottle of this countless amount of times with a Pizza Diabolo (essentially a margherita with spicy soppressatta) and the pairing was delicious.

Any risotto dish that with mushrooms/wild boar/lamb/short ribs would also be great even though the risotto itself typically dictates a lighter (or even white) wine.

Steaks are a bit different because you have different cuts, richness, fat content, preparation, etc.

Filet has a delicate flavor and a lot less fat than a strip steak or ribeye, so my wine choice would be different depending on the cut and preparation.

Here are some considerations for stead dishes

Filet - Reserve Tempranillo/Crianza, Cotes du Rhone, Pinot Noir (this would be tough, the Pinot Noir has to be the right one)

NY Strip - Most medium to full body reds are good. Merlot, Nero d'Avola, a heavier Tempranillo (look up Bai Gorri its amazing,) Californian Cabernets, and red blends that are majority cabernet sauvignon

Ribeye - Heavy cabernet, bordeaux, petit syrah, dense Australian Syrah (Penfold's makes some really nice ones depending on what BIN you get,) Nebbiolo, and Cabernet Franc.


Out of all these, your most popular choices (and easiest) would be the spanish tempranillo, pinot noir, merlot or cabernet.

If you are getting a steak at Ruth's Chris, keep in mind they finish their steaks with butter and they are wet aged as opposed to dry, so the steaks are saltier and a bit less "delicate" in a way. this should be taken into consideration when pairing wine. I would never get a Pinot Noir with their filet. A medium body cabernet would be just fine to pair up with the flavor of the filet.

Dry aged steaks tend to have an almost nutty flavor to them because of what happens during the dry aged process. The flavor is intense, but if I had to describe it, its a smoother taste than a Ruth's Chris steaks so certain wines can in fact overpower certain steaks.

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Old 05-04-2017, 01:51 PM   #79
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damn, son, you know your way around wines! now that I recollect, it might have been lamb I had the first time I enjoyed Amarone. But I will take your suggestion and try out the Campofiorin. Any recommended dishes to eat with it that will really match well with the flavor? Of course, differently prepared and marinated steaks all taste differently, so if you can recommend a specific restaurant/dish, e.g., porterhouse for two at Ruth's Chris...
You are from Brooklyn? Let me know what area you would go to a steak house, if its NYC i can suggest a good steak and a wine to pair it up
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:59 PM   #80
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Let's Talk Visiting Napa Valley

I live in Long Island City (Queens) and work in midtown. I've yet to try Peter Luger in Brooklyn but don't really have a preferred steakhouse in NYC (open to all opinions--might need to start a thread on that if it doesn't exist already).

Edit: just read your steak flavor breakdown. Dude you should be in the restaurant industry. Awesome advice, thank you. I will definitely start opting for more wines using your guidance.
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