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Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 08:16 AM   #1
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Do You Love Wine?

Well, another answer to "What do you do all day?" might be: wine. I like vino, but this guy is driven.

He's a wine collector par excellance. He's got 65,000 bottles of the stuff, and it's not my less than ten bucks a bottle choice either.

Quote: A cellar that size is no simple room. Mr. Smith’s is actually seven cellars built over 25 years or so and joined together, each more elaborate than the last. What began in 1978 as a small, claustrophobic root cellar has evolved into rooms with double-height ceilings and columns, filled with Asian art accumulated during his business travels. To fulfill the kid-in-a-candy store fantasy, Mr. Smith added to his domain a full kitchen and bath, and a comfortable dining room with a sound system, all enclosed in smoky glass to protect his guests from the 53-degree chill of the cellar.

“If I’ve had a crummy week, I just come down here for a few hours and talk to my bottles,” Mr. Smith said, giving voice to the desires of frustrated wine lovers everywhere. “Linda said, ‘That’s all right, as long as they don’t start talking back to you.’ ” Unquote

If you go to the link, you can see a slide show of the cellar. If wine really does extend your life, this guy's discovered the fountain of youth.



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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 08:20 AM   #2
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Colleague moved across country to work here. His extensive collection of wine could not be moved commercially, or it was prohibitive to do so.

He saved a few favorite crates and put the rest up for auction with a NYC wine auction house. I saw him a few weeks after the auction, asked him how it went, and he pointed to the new BMW Z3 behind him. I guess it went OK.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 08:48 AM   #3
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Been getting into scotch lately, myself.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 09:21 AM   #4
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

I love wine but my LBYM nature caused me to pause and take stock. We were averaging about 5 bottles a week and the average price was rising to about $12-$15. I considered that at $15/btl we would be spending around $4,000/yr on wine alone. So recently I have been trying some budget bottles. The big Yellowtail jugs from Costco are pretty good and a good price and there are a lot of budget bottles at Trader Joe's. I haven't yet settled on "great" budget deals that I will buy in bulk for everyday wines. If any wine lovers have suggestions I would like to hear them. In particular I would like a good:

Cabernet or Cabernet/Merlot/Franc oe whatever mix;
Good Chianti or Tuscan of some sort;
Chardonnay;
Sauvignon Blanc.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 11:28 AM   #5
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

I wonder what he's going to do if the house collapses in on the cellar due to all the undermining.

Perhaps we can use the resulting technologies to boost the canadian tar sands oil extraction process...
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 12:19 PM   #6
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

To: Donheff: my favorite wine from Trader Joe's is the Black Mountain Vineyard 'Fat Cat' Cabernet Sauvignon--runs $5.99 in my area. My tastes in wine are weird, but you might give it a try. I think with all in-expensive wines, the trick is to let them breathe-breathe-breathe. Uncork them and let them sit for 2-3 hours before drinking. I'm too lazy to decant, but my daughter says that pouring into another wide-mouth container and letting the wine sit open to the air works wonders. I've noticed after I've finished a whole bottle, the last of it tastes a whole lot better than the first of it, but the answer to that could be a whole different post of it's own.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

I love red wine. But I never own more than 12 bottles at a time.

Our standout favorite is McManis Vineyards. Their Cabernet Savignon is heavenly and only $11 a bottle as are most of their varietals. The Petite Syrah - also very nice - is a whopping $12. http://www.mcmanisfamilyvineyards.com/

Whole Foods Market carries this wine.

We usually drink only 1 bottle a week. We're both lightweights when it comes to alcohol consumption, so a bottle of wine will last 4 days.

Audrey
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 12:47 PM   #8
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

“If I’ve had a crummy week, I just come down here for a few hours and talk to my bottles,” Mr. Smith said.

See, even someone like that can have a crummy week.

Well, I'll put him on my short list of heros.

He's only a couple of hours drive from me. I wonder if......nah, never mind.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 01:02 PM   #9
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpp
Been getting into scotch lately, myself.
How is the wine selection in Japan? Are the lower end (I won't say inexpensive since you are in Japan afterall!!) California or Australian, etc. wines available?
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 04:46 PM   #10
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
How is the wine selection in Japan? Are the lower end (I won't say inexpensive since you are in Japan afterall!!) California or Australian, etc. wines available?
A few cheap (below $10-$20) wines from various places are available, sure: Australia, California, Chile, France, even Japan. Come November just about everybody, including convenience stores, carries Beaujolais Nouveau. Beyond that, though, there is not a huge selection available. (It may be different in Tokyo).

For would-be connoisseurs, you can spend the rest of your life trying out different sakes and shochus. The whisky selection is excellent (and surprisingly cheap!), too. Beer is pretty expensive for some reason -- quirk of the tax laws.

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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 02-14-2007, 07:53 PM   #11
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

I have maybe 100 bottles or so on hand... nothing like Mr. Smith in Connecticut. Storage is not my strong suit

Mostly wines in the $10 to $30 range. I have been able to hang on to a '78 Jordan Cabernet, an '80 Beaucastel Chateauneff-du-Pape and a '75 Cavallotto Barolo Riserva. Unfortunately over the years I haven't moved and stored wines very well so they probably aren't drinkable

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I haven't yet settled on "great" budget deals that I will buy in bulk for everyday wines. If any wine lovers have suggestions I would like to hear them. In particular I would like a good:

Cabernet or Cabernet/Merlot/Franc oe whatever mix;
Good Chianti or Tuscan of some sort;
Chardonnay;
Sauvignon Blanc.
A few I've had good luck with: Chateau Souverain Cabernet (Sonoma), Monsanto Chianti Classico, Selvapiana Chianti Rufina (not to be confused with Ruffino Chianti, although the Ruffino Riserva Ducal is good but expensive), Selby Merlot (California), Chalone Chardonnay, Foley Chardonnay (Santa Barbara), Mason Sauvignon Blanc (Napa), Voss Sauvignon Blanc (Napa), Martinelli Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma I think), Morgan Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey).

Salud!

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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-04-2007, 07:21 PM   #12
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

California Dreamer PMd me with a very good recommendation. He works at J. Lohr Winery and thus did not feel that he should tout his product on the forum - but he mentioned a couple to me off line. This evening I had company for dinner and popped open a 2005 J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay and their 2004 Seven Oaks Cabernet. I got them for $9.97 and $11.47, respectively, at a local discount wine megastore (your price may vary). Everyone agreed that these are very good wines. I would normally expect to pay a lot more for the quality. These will be on my new "high end" list for company

On the cheaper still end, the wine guy at the store turned me on to a 2005 Chateau De Nages Reserve White Rhone for $7.99 (7.50 on sale). Another great value.



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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-04-2007, 07:25 PM   #13
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Yellowtail Merlot is our favourite followed by their Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-04-2007, 07:53 PM   #14
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
Yellowtail Merlot is our favourite followed by their Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties.
Ditto! - Best 'value' wine I've found in a few years.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-05-2007, 05:12 AM   #15
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Trader Joes, has some better wines than their 2 or 3 buck chuck, at 4 dollars a bottle or get this 5!!

Terra austrailius at 4.99 is really that good, all varieties.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-05-2007, 08:29 PM   #16
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Any recommendations on any of the cheap box wines brands?
Thanks..
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-05-2007, 09:49 PM   #17
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

A bit more than box wine, but Bogle (no relation as far as I know) vineyards has some excellent reds at reasonable prices ($10+) and should be available widely. R.H. Phillips has some very drinkable wines for under $10, but I don't know if they are easy to find outside Northern CA.

In addition to making some very high end wines, Copollo has a reasonably priced Merlot and a basic red that are very good daily drinkers. (He also has a beautiful vineyard full of some fascinating movie memorabilia if you happen to be in the Napa valley)

There are also a lot of really excellent Malbecs coming in from Argentina now, with some very good ones for under $15.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-06-2007, 12:58 AM   #18
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

I rather like Conch y Toro from Chile's Frontera merlot-cab blend. I don't get tired of it.
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-06-2007, 09:56 AM   #19
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

I have a wine question. Decent to really good wine is very appealing, such that it is hard for me to enjoy beef anymore without it. Yet medicos tell us that a man should only drink max of 2 glasses a day. By 2 glasses they aparently mean 8 ounces. This is not much wine! And it leaves no room left over for a brandy or a party drink in the evening.

I almost wish it were a habit I hadn't begun.

Are you content with a small glass or 2, once daily? Or do you ignore the guidlines?

Damn hard to enjoy a little buzz on 2 lasses of wine.

Ha
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Re: Do You Love Wine?
Old 03-06-2007, 10:02 AM   #20
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Re: Do You Love Wine?

Black box makes a decent boxed wine. So does Hardy's.

The franzia "vintner select" series are quite good for cooking and at $1.25 a "bottle" is tough to beat.

I seem to have figured out a code as to which box wines will be decent or better, and which are pedestrian:

There seem to be two types of 'spigots' in use on these. One is black and you open and close it by turning a little screwcap counterclockwise to open and clockwise to close. This is generally on wines that are cheaper and not as good. There is another one with a red button that you push to open the spout and release to close. Box wines using the button always seem to be decent.

I'm guessing the push button unit costs a little extra, so the el cheapo wineries dont use them.
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