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Why Wine?
Old 01-12-2015, 07:42 AM   #1
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Why Wine?

The restaurant thread contained many mentions of wine. The prices of wine that were quoted were beyond comprehension. Totally stunned by the responses from LBYM folks and the acceptance of the prices for special events etc.

Living in a cave, DW and I don't understand the fascination with fine wines. Am a bit embarrassed to admit amazement. So first... a history of wine drinking here in that other universe. Age 15... dandelion wine from a greenhouse owner for $.50 for a mason jarful. Age 18 to 20... Green Front (Maine State Liquor Store) w/borrowed license... $1.50 bottle of Chianti. Pre retirement years, whatever came in large bottles (Carlo Rossi) at home, and when we went out...
once in a while, whatever the house wine was.

Now... Winking Owl, or Oak Leaf... anything under $3. Not sure if my kids go for this, but they never complain when we have family meals. Bottles are getting classier now... no more screw off caps... real, plastic corks.

Was in our HyVee Supermarket the other day (similar to Whole Foods) and into the huge liquor section. So many wines..(lots of beers too)... I asked the manager "How many different..." The answer... 500 different beers, and 3500+ wines... not how many bottles... that many different... and, even more during the holidays.

Back to the Why. From what I hear others say, a $16 bottle of wine is okay. Not too much, Not too cheap. That's four 6 oz. glasses. Too expensive for this puppy.

I guess "taste", is a matter of "taste". For us, maybe a loss of "taste" has saved us a few bucks over the years. Never got used to sniffing, swirling, and sipping. Drinking wine is almost an afterthought... more appreciated for the warm cozy feeling it brings on.

I know I'm missing something great, as almost everyone seems to appreciate fine wines... Not knowing the difference must be a matter of genetics or some kind of sensory damage.

So, for you... "Why Wine?"

BTW... may I recommend Winking Owl Shiraz?
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:51 AM   #2
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Lots of great wine available for under $20, so we rarely go above that price. We don't order bottles of wine in restaurantsas we can't drink more than a glass each, and the wine is always marked up 2x or more.

We've bought a couple of bottles at $50, at the winery after tasting something amazing. But that's as much as we've ever spent on a bottle.

Why wine? Just amazing stuff to drink (red), and goes so beautifully with food.

A glass of wine is 4 to 5 oz, by the way.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:56 AM   #3
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A glass of wine is 4 to 5 oz, by the way.
Right... I come here to learn.
Comes from living in a cave.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:11 AM   #4
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I tend to buy NY produced wine to support the industry where I live. Most of these wineries are single owner operations and produce very good wine. Most keep the retail price down for the average consumer. WIN WIN.

I also buy boxed wine. I keep it in my frig for longer shelf life, as opposed to the head room issue if I don't finish the bottle. My favorite is sangria. I will add fruit sometimes, but mostly drink it over a little ice.

I do have several bottles on hand, stored on their side in a cool dark cabinet. Most of these were gifts or obtained on my annual winery tour trip.

Some numbers...
The New York grape, grape juice and wine industry generates more than $4.8 billion in economic benefits annually for New York State. 1,631 family vineyards... 353 wineries... 175,000,000 bottles of wine... $408 million in state and local taxes.
Source : http://www.nywine.com/Resources/36bb...872d268fa7.pdf


It's all good.

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Old 01-12-2015, 08:13 AM   #5
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The wines we drink are typically $18-$45 each. I prefer red wine, usually a Pinot Noir and my DW prefers Chardonnay, a white wine. We took a couple of wine tasting classes a few years ago and tried a variety of wines, and learned there is quite a difference in taste when you choose the proper wine glass. It's something about how the wine flows onto your tongue and hits the taste buds. We're not experts, but were amazed how different the same wine tastes depending on the glass we used. So we purchased a few sets of glasses for our favorite types of wine and have enjoyed drinking wine much more than we used to. We have found that bottles costing over $45-50 are rarely better than the $18-$45 range we typically buy, and some less expensive wines aren't bad either.


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Old 01-12-2015, 08:14 AM   #6
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So, for you... "Why Wine?"
OP: live a little - have you priced high end craft beer lately?
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:15 AM   #7
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We like to drink wine but do not need it to be expensive. A local wine store gives you a coupon for $15% off 100 purchased. So we always buy just over $100. Our goal is to average $12 a bottle. We always get a few that are in the $8-10 range so it allows us a few in the $18-$20 range. We always like to include some brands we never heard or tried before.

Of course we have hit a few duds but also found some really nice inexpensive wines.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:40 AM   #8
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Here in Texas wine is significantly cheaper in the store (Specs) than in a restaurant. The grocery stores are getting to be much more competitive with Specs which really has a big impact on the Houston wine market. You have to see their downtown store to believe it.

When I was first out of college, I did a taste test with a number of bottles of wine ranging from arount $1 to $20. In 1975, $20 was seriously up there. They were all Cabernet Sav. to keep it easy. That was my favorite back then. I decided that after about $5 I couldn't taste the difference. That would translate into about a $15 wine today.

I have a hard time choking down the markups in restaurants for wine. I'll see $10 wines at Specs that are listed at $50 or more. The restaurants apparently have no shame.

My wife likes Chardonnay. I've tried taste tests with her over the years. I can't see much difference at all and DW has "likes" that do not correlate with price well. She is well satisfied with a $6 to $10 bottle.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:41 AM   #9
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OP: live a little - have you priced high end craft beer lately?
1+

I prefer my wines to be < $15 a bottle, difficult to appreciate something more expensive, although on occasion a more expensive bottle might catch the attention of DW or myself.

Craft brews are really on fire now; personally know a few small winery operators, one of which has made the business decision to add his label to an outsourced craft brew to get a share of that revenue stream. With 12 packs of regional microbrews selling at roughly the same price of 24 packs of the traditional macrobrews, and it not being at all difficult to find single bottles of specialty craft beers priced in the same range it has elevated beer aficionado closer to the level of wine aficionado in terms of potential spending ability.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:41 AM   #10
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IMHO a glass of good wine greatly enhances a meal. Good wine does not have to be expensive. My definition of a good wine is one that I enjoy. I am fortunate to live in a wine region

BC‚€™s Okanagan Valley Wine Region ‚€“ WineBC.com

which means that within driving distance I have access to a panoply of choice. I find that the best wines are to be discovered at the wineries; they are often small lots, the product of experiments, which will never make it to store shelves. Joining a wine club at a favourite local winery also gets you discounts. In the Okanagan, many wineries have restaurants and some have art galleries or B&Bs, so wine touring with friends can be a fun outing. With a designated driver, everyone else can taste freely and bring home a case of their favourites.

Dash man is correct about the importance of the right glasses. I've attended some introductory wine tasting seminars and learnt that the ability to distinguish subtle tastes is partly genetic. I don't have the gene, so "sommelier" is not a realistic post-ER avocation.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
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So, for you... "Why Wine?"
Why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
A glass of wine is 4 to 5 oz, by the way.
Pfffftttt...

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Old 01-12-2015, 09:26 AM   #12
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Why wine? Just because. I keep the purchase price around $15 a bottle. I try to support the local wineries when I make a road trip. I have a few bottles on hand from Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. My purchases (about a case) get used over a year for personal consumption and gifts. I don't get into the whole "wine snob" thing of swirling, sniffing, etc. Really!!!? Just pour it and drink it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:49 AM   #13
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The restaurant thread contained many mentions of wine. The prices of wine that were quoted were beyond comprehension. Totally stunned by the responses from LBYM folks and the acceptance of the prices for special events etc.
Some people like to treat themselves with a good wine once in a while, others may choose to own homes in two states, IL & FL for example.

Does either degrade one's LBYM cred?
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:55 AM   #14
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Never much cared for wine until we were stationed in Germany. German wine is sweet. For us a good Spštlese or Auslese is perfect. Based on that, cheap boxed wine i.e Franzia Crisp White is our table wine, it compares to German Cabinet, and a $15 bottle of Auslese for special occasions.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:55 AM   #15
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I shop for wine using the following criteria:

- wine spectator ( or some other rating) score of 90 or higher
- price less than $10.

I've found some really tasty wines at costco with that criteria.
When I find one I like - I go back and buy some more bottles for the "stash" (a box in my coat closet).

I'm not a brand or price snob... I just know what I like. I like cabs, pinots, some chards, some zins (or primitivo if it's Italian). I'm not a fan of either shiraz or malbec - haven't figured out why.

I also like some of the "blends"... I've had some really nice "red table wine" blends.

I tend not to order in restaurants. We'll have a glass of wine before we go, or when we return. Water goes with every meal.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:59 AM   #16
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Some people like to treat themselves with a good wine once in a while, others may choose to own homes in two states, IL & FL for example.

Does either degrade one's LBYM cred?
My lies are catching up with me... Didn't go back to FL this past year, and looks like we'll sell or give it away after this year. Yeah... things change as we age.
Energy levels down, and one of the worst things... those parties and the 2 keggers: 7Pm to 1AM in the early years, now, in my dotage, one beer or a 1 1/2oz martini and it's off to dreamland.
(sigh)

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Old 01-12-2015, 10:07 AM   #17
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... those parties and the 2 keggers: 7Pm to 1AM in the early years, now, in my dotage, one beer or a 1 1/2oz martini and it's off to dreamland.
Another example of how spending declines in the later retirement years.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:09 AM   #18
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I could ramble for days on end about this subject.


Wine is a personal pleasure and in that sense meets, exceeds, and fails to meet the expectations of the drinker. Why do some folks like Bud L*ght, and others a craft beer? Starbucks or Instant?


I am far from the wine snob; that is someone who looks down on someone because they "don't get it" however, one must understand the miracle of wine.


99% of wine is created from raindrops that fall on the ground in whatever locale the vineyard is located; and is sucked up into the vines roots that flows around in the vine and possibly gets to the fruit. There, dependent on sun, rain, climate zone, birds, temperature, yeast, vine productivity, ripeness, yeast, time, method of storage/aging, time of storage/aging and a few other issues, it produces a beverage that can be enjoyed, shared, despised, treasured and misunderstood.


Just like coffee, it is all over the place in taste, cost, expectations and preference.


I make over 20 varieties, whites and reds, use grapes and juice from all over the world and stay under the 200 gallon limit. I also brew my own beer. I love to cook, grill, cure hams, bacon and sausage for myself and family.


I do not have a "Problem", other than my DW and I love to eat and enjoy food. Thanks to an active lifestyle neither of us is overweight.


Food compliments wine, wine compliments food. Taste is greatly affected by your sense of smell, hence the swirling, sniffing etc. I could pour you three glasses from the same bottle and you would get three different experiences.


A great website to learn about wine is winefolly.com, and I highly recommend it to those who want to expand their wine horizons.


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Old 01-12-2015, 10:11 AM   #19
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Some people like to treat themselves with a good wine once in a while, others may choose to own homes in two states, IL & FL for example.

Does either degrade one's LBYM cred?
Can't degrade one's LYBM cred if you can afford it. It might degrade one's extreme frugality cred - but I'm not trying to win that competition.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:20 AM   #20
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First of all, like coffee and beer, wine is an acquired taste. It sounds like you are drinking wine like it is the the liquid that washes down your food. Are there any foods that you are particular about with regard to taste? Is there the perfect steak? Are there some cuts of meat or preparation that you prefer? It's the same way with wine. If you find some wines you like, learn a little bit about them, slow down and taste the differences then you will understand a little more what the fuss is about.

When I first came to California I knew that wine was sort of a big deal here. I signed up for some wine tasting classes to learn more about CA and European wines. Some of the classes were wine and food pairings and that is where I started to understand how great wines can really be. I live close to the CA wine country (Napa & Sonoma) and over the years I've tasted some pretty great beverages. I was willing to pay a bit more because I was buying wines that I tasted and liked. There wasn't any risk. One of the turn-offs to buying wine is paying a lot of money and not knowing what you are getting. When you buy a soft drink or beer you know exactly what you are getting for your money.

Since I ER'd I decided that the first thing I could cut back on was wine purchases. I quit my wine club and now I keep my wine purchases in the $12-20 range (on average). Generally speaking, more expensive wines (i.e say >$25) are going to be pretty good tasting wines. The best deal I have around here are the 2-for-1 sales at Beverages & More stores. I can buy a couple of $30 wines and be pretty sure I'm going to like and appreciate them. I've also developed a taste for Spanish wines that can run a little cheaper than their CA or European equivalents. I go to a store called the Spanish Table that specializes in products from Spain. The wine salesman has been helpful in choosing wines. When I find something I particularly like I take a picture of the label with my iPhone and then show it to him next time I return to let him know what I like.
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