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QotD: Wine

Question: What is your favorite kind of wine? Not a brand, but a kind, and hopefully a bit more specific than "red" or "white"?

My Answer: I'm asking the question because I'm looking for some suggestions. If I knew already, I'd be a wine snob and keep the secret to myself! 😀

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

19 Responses to "QotD: Wine"

  1. Ravenswood Shiraz (2002), Penfolds CabSav (2001), Castillo de Mollina (2003 & 2002)

  2. I'll take a good Shiraz any day of the week. Prior to the release of "Sideways", I would have gone with Pinot Noir, but no longer.

  3. For a few years, I mostly stuck with Merlot because of its darker, richer taste. However, in the last years I've taken quite a liking to Shiraz because it retains somewhat of Merlot's strength, but adds a slightly sweet flavor to the wine. For everyday drinking, I drink Yellow Tail's Shiraz, but when the moment calls for something more special, I choose a Merlot from Niebaum-Coppola. However, I do enjoy some of the wines I've tried from vinyards I've visited in Virginia.

  4. I like Yellow Tail's Shiraz too. I had a good pineapple/lemon grass hinted German white wine a few weeks ago, but I can't remember the name.

  5. Dr. Frank's Reisling Reserve

    almost Any Hermitage

  6. I like a good Pinot Gridio. I'm also a fan of Cabernet and Merlot.

  7. I would've suggested the Ravenswood Shiraz as well but I was thinking of a bottle of 1998 -- if you can find one anywhere. 🙂

    For what matters, I also find any Australian Shiraz' very tasty.

  8. Wine is a very subjective ... uh ... subject. 🙂

    But seriously, what's "good" varies from individual to indivdual. It's also, I've found, a function of how much experience a person has had with wine. For example, many people who don't drink much wine often don't care for Cabernets, which tend to be "drier", that is more tannic. Cabs are generally more full-bodied, bolder and richer in flavor. Having said that, a bad experience with a Cabernet can also be the result of not getting a good quality wine. And it gets even more complicated than that because the quality of a wine changes over time, not to mention year to year (even from the same winery).

    This is such a huge subject.

    I said above that Cabs tend to be more tannic. This is usually true, and especially true of a younger Cab. However, as the wine ages, the tannins dissipate (or rather, become less pronounced) and the wine becomes less tannic and tastes better (to most people). So, what often happens is that a person will buy a relatively young Cabernet, drink it, and not like it because the wine has not yet mellowed enough. Said person will then decide they don't like Cabs. When, in fact, they just didn't drink it at the right time. In general, Cabs take the longest to reach their peak. And yes, they can become too old as well, at which point they generally taste kind of flat. The amount of time any particular wine needs to age to be at its most drinkable varies from varietal (the grape) to varietal, and even from vintage (the year) to vintage for the same wine.

    You also have to consider the food you'll be having with the wine. You don't want the wine to overpower the food and vice-versa. The old "white with fish", "red with meat" is not what I'm talking about here. I rarely drink white wines, but I eat lots of fish and almost always enjoy the (red) wine I'm drinking with the fish I'm eating. It's all about balance.

    Almost all good quality wines are actually blends of different varietals. The winemaker, in an attempt to maintain some level of consistency in the quality of a particular wine from year to year, will decide on different percentages of various varietals. So, for example, a Cabernet Savignon might actually be 80% Cabernet Savignon, 12% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. And those percentages and varietals will often change from year to year depending on the quality of the harvest, which depends on the weather conditions that year, the age of the vines, etc.

    Where does that leave Erik? It's really a never-ending learning process. Which is what makes it so damn fun!

    My one piece of advice would be to do some experimentation (fun!). Always drink the wine with some kind of food (wine and cheese party!) because wine always tastes better with food. Find a few that you like. And, when going to a restaurant, find out if they allow you to bring your own wine (ask them what their corkage fee is), and bring your own bottle if you can. Restaurants usually double or triple the cost of a bottle of wine. So even if the corkage fee is relatively high (say $20), you'll save money if you bring your own bottle, and you know you'll like it as well.

    Oh, and don't be afraid to start your own little wine collection. A decent bottle of (red) wine will generally last 2-3 years, even in not-ideal storage conditions.


  9. If you're out with the boys, nothing beats a bottle or two of Mad Dog 20/20 (the blue one) to supplement the bar drinks and save yourself some money tying one on.

    Or if you're trying to impress the ladies, a nice bottle of vintage Boone's Strawberry wine served with that TV dinner is just the ticket.

  10. The best wine is free wine!

  11. See if there's a local vineyard, and go to a tasting. If the vineyard isn't aiming at Platinum card snobs, it can be great fun; they'll have lots of types to try and they can help with explaining flavors and whatnot. There's some really nice vineyards here in Northern VA - Farfelu and Unicorn are my favorites.

  12. I live for Merlot! 🙂

  13. I usually stick to the right bank [of the Dordogne, then Gironde rivers] for red wine: Pomerol, Saint-Emilion [usually a mixture of Merlot (80%) and Cabernet-Franc (20%)]. Very partial to Graves white wine too, and some Médoc reds -- that's the left bank... 🙂

    I have discovered some years ago a beautiful if almost unknown wine, Domaine de Toujun; it's made of an old regional cépage, Ugniblanc, from the Gers region, 200 miles south of Bordeaux, where Armagnac is still distilled. Very fruity, dry wine.

    Of course, I suppose they are a little harder to find where you live 🙂

  14. I have always enjoyed Port myself. A Tawny port if I want a sweeter drink. Another good choice for an after dinner drink is a Madeira. Very sweet, and tasty. Has an interesting back story as well. It used to be used a cheap liqueur by the british army. However, one time when it was shipped to India, the division it was intended for was wiped out before it arrived. By the time it got back to Madeira, and the keg was tapped it had aged sufficiently to be come a sweet wine.

    I also liked good apple cider. The alcoholic variety. However, the best ones are from Quebec, nothing else I have tried comes close yet.

  15. A good Alsatian Guwerztraminer, though sweet and often flowery, is sublime.

  16. I personally like reislings, it's silghtly sweet and not very dry.

    I also saw someone mention Yellowtail, I like everything I've tried made by them. Try them all, it own't break the bank.

  17. 1999 Fess Parker Syrah...magnificent, esp. with wild game...and yes, there is some amusement in that.

    But I gave a bottle to a friend, and he took a sip at his grandmothers, and proceeded to give her some other cheap shit all night because "this was too good to share...not even with my grandmother"


  18. For reds I almost always prefer a Pinot Noir or a good Beaujoulais.

    For whites (which I don't usually prefer) I like Pinot Grigios, Rieslings, and Gerwerztraminers. If you like the Riesling/Gerwerztraminer sweetness a Moscato will usually please you.

    In my area there is a winery called Wollersheim that makes some excellent Pinot Noirs, a Pinot blend they call Domaine du Sac that is great, and a sweet white they call "Prairie Fume" that liquor stores can't keep on the shelves because it makes women drop their panties faster than a toilet.

  19. My faves:

    Fetzer Zinfandel-Shiraz (great mix!) - California

    Penfolds Shiraz-Cabernet - Australia

    Rosemount Estate Cabernet/Merlot - Australia

    Wyndham Estate Shiraz Bin 555 2002 (Favorite Shiraz) - Australia

    Fleu du Cap Merlot - South Africa

    Favorite port would be Burmester tawny (10 years)