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#95707 - 01/26/07 05:57 PM Re: wine thread (port tasting) ***** [Re: michael_d]
AdamP88 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 08/12/03
Posts: 639
Loc: Omaha, NE
Last night I decided to do a little red shopping at BevMo. Came home with these:

Hess (Napa Valley) '04 Artezin - I actually tasted this at the winery and had bought a bottle, but I never got to enjoy it (it went to my parents for Xmas). Opened it last night and really like it. Great body and nicely balanced throughout (definitely not a one-note zin). A nice deal at $18, too.

Roth (Alexander Valley) '03 Cabernet Sauvignon - bought it purely based off the glowing recommendation the little Bevmo info card had. I believe they called it the perfect representation of what an Alexander Valley cab should be. $40, so I have fairly high expectations for this one.

Laetitia (Arroyo Grande Valley) '05 Pinot Noir - Another one I bought purely off the info card recommendation. Pinot is probably the red I'm least familiar with, but I'm slowly getting to know it. Another good deal (well, hopefully) at $18.

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#95708 - 01/26/07 06:55 PM Re: wine thread (port tasting) [Re: AdamP88]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
I've had the Hess. Good bottle.

One thing I figured I'd throw out there to anyone reading this thread and running out and buying a bottle based on a recommendation someone posts.

This is primarily concentrated to Cabs, but all reds benefit from it as well. Let that sucker breath!

I used to laugh at folks that would tell me to do this, but have become a believer. I use my decanter for every bottle of red I open anymore. I bought this silly thing a few years ago for straining 'the good bottles' that get sediment after a decade or so, but it works amazingly well for rapid breathing (I'm impatient as hell). It works so well that I have two of them now. I pull a bottle out of the cooler, dump it into the decanter and let it sit for about twenty minute (swirling it every now and then). When friends come over for a wine swilling night, both decanters have wine in them.

So anyway, don't give up on a bottle unless you let it breath for a while. If you still don't like it, move on. No sense blowing money on something nasty to you twice. But definately give it time to breath. Some bottles go from down right horible to pretty darn good with a little air.
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#95709 - 01/26/07 07:00 PM Re: wine thread (port tasting) [Re: michael_d]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17783
Loc: NoVA
My cousin (a conneswer...) has also described using decanters for us. He actually asked for a decanter at a restaurant when we ordered a red wine. Seemed to work pretty well!
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#95710 - 01/26/07 07:55 PM Re: wine thread (port tasting) [Re: michael_d]
AdamP88 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 08/12/03
Posts: 639
Loc: Omaha, NE
Good advice. I don't have a decanter, but I'll usually pour myself a small glass after opening and then leave the bottle open to breathe. If I know I'm having wine with dinner, I'll open the bottle before I start preparing the food. It definitely makes a good difference in taste.

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#95711 - 01/26/07 08:27 PM Re: wine thread [Re: HomeDad]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
Quote:

The Cab blind tasting went great



I love the blind tastings almost as much as i love blind testing [audio].

Had to get that in there.
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#95712 - 01/26/07 08:30 PM Re: wine thread (port tasting) [Re: HomeDad]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
Quote:

I've never been to a port tasting, sounds like it will be fun. I really enjoy port, we have several bottles of true port and some late Harvest Zins that many of the wineries out here refer to as port, but I'm sorely lacking in knowledge as to what makes a port great.



I've never been to a formal wine tasting either. We attend the annual International Wine Festival here in town and have done so for five years running now, but that doesn't count.

As for what makes a port great, we are hoping to look into that more tomorrow. I think i know what i like in a port, so far i prefer tawnies over rubies, the caramel, nutty and toasted flavours with some sweet, quick heat compared to the ruby flavours of more berry.
I'm just hoping they really open up something truly interesting.
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#95713 - 01/26/07 08:45 PM Re: wine thread (port tasting) [Re: michael_d]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
Quote:

Let that sucker breath! I used to laugh at folks that would tell me to do this, but have become a believer.



Actually mdrew, you will be glad to know that science supports this concept, although to what extent the flavour changes is a bit hard to test since technically both bottles of wine for testing would have to be open to the air before tasting. Granted the time difference in allowing oxygen (the real factor in air/breathing) to affect the wine would still be longer vs. shorter.

In any event, oxygen and wine, and the hundreds if not thousands of chemical compounds that make up the liquid (phenols, glycosides, numerous esters and ketones, many acids such as malic and lactic, flavenoids, acetyls, etc. etc.) interact immediately and constantly. However the rates of those reactions will vary and although some are relatively quick, most are not. I've heard about the various suggestions for times to aerate a red wine and it goes from anywhere between 20 minutes to several hours. Sometimes an excess of sulfide gas is retained in the small air pocket in the bottle and often this is another reason for allowing a wine to breath, to allow the rather unpleasant sulfides to dissipate. Keep in mind that even white wines may exhibit changes when exposed to oxygen after opening but given their more simple structure (MANY less pigmented tannins) the oxygenation process may not have as profound an effect.

The simple point is that there is no doubt, oxygen is a major player in the formation of wine components and aerating a wine will begin a change in its character. Also note that the longer one leaves a bottle open, on a counter say, the more the alcohol evaporates over time. Acidity levels can vary but i personally have found that some wines that were harsh in alcohol presence the night before are much softer on the nose the next day.

If anyone is really getting into the wine thing, i highly recommend this tome called The Oxford Companion to Wine. It is essentially an encyclopedia of wine terms but it is extremely informative and bloddy heavy.
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#95714 - 01/27/07 11:46 AM Re: wine thread (port tasting) [Re: chesseroo]
HomeDad Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 3301
Loc: Central,California
Here is another good link to learn about wines Wine Spectator
You can click on the pdf links and print the guide, pretty handy if you throw a tasting at home.
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A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

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#95715 - 01/27/07 03:09 PM Re: wine thread (port tasting) [Re: HomeDad]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
There is some great information to be found in the Wine Spectator, however i find many articles to be rather snooty snobby, very aristocratic.
There was an article on wine cellars a few issues ago and they basically stated that good, standard cellars could cost between 50k and 100k from the vendors they polled. That's just ridiculous. Our 713 bottle climate controlled cellar was 6k.

Another article discussed the latest movement in wine auctions which are occurring more often at restaurants than in rental halls with uncomfortable steel chairs. The author described many buyers as serious collectors that call in orders and have representatives provide a physical presence while other 'newer' and more novice collectors show up in person hoping that some of the good wines will fall through the cracks and get nabbed by them, what the author referred to as "bottom fishers". The arrogance displayed in the writing is aggravating.

I have yet to see the Wine Spectator review a single Canadian wine that was not an ice wine. They often tout 600+ reviews this issue, but not one Canadian brand?
So much for objective perspective.

/end rant
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#95716 - 01/27/07 04:33 PM Re: wine thread (port tasting) [Re: chesseroo]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
Port tasting countdown 2 hours.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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