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Old 10-30-2013, 02:46 PM   #41
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Sometimes the wine tastes better when it is consumed in good company, too!
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #42
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It appears that few people read the linked article in the OP's post.
How completely without precedent! I certainly don't care whether you read articles that I post. I rather enjoy discussions completely tangent to the original idea.

Ha
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:03 PM   #43
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Sometimes the wine tastes better when it is consumed in good company, too!
Pretty much always!

I don't care for white wine, so I'll leave judging Chardonnay to others. Especially don't like Oak Leaf oaky chardonnay...

Don't like champagne much either, but bought a bottle of Dom Perignon '92 for NYE 1999-2000 ( partied like it's 1999). Must say it was by far the best I've ever had, though a bottle purchased a few years later tasted like Korbel...
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:15 PM   #44
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How completely without precedent! I certainly don't care whether you read articles that I post. I rather enjoy discussions completely tangent to the original idea.

Ha
I have enjoyed the bantering here too. Look at the readership of this thread. It's one of the "lively discussions" that are not under threat of Porky's appearance. But you'll never know when a poster gets offended...

But about people not reading the linked article, though you do not mind, it's the engineer in me who could not help saying "but excuse me..."

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Don't like champagne much either, but bought a bottle of Dom Perignon '92 for NYE 1999-2000 ( partied like it's 1999). Must say it was by far the best I've ever had, though a bottle purchased a few years later tasted like Korbel...
Had a bottle of Dom Perignon. Did not remember the year. Did not find it really special, but then a peasant would need several tasting sessions to train his palate. His wallet overruled that possibility, of course.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:23 PM   #45
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Sometimes the wine tastes better when it is consumed in good company, too!
We once hosted a dinner for two more couples, which lasted from 6 till near midnight. We emptied 6 (or was it 7) bottles of wine, and 1-1/2 bottles of Cognac. My wife did not drink, so that was for 5 people.

Same as the other couples, I do not remember what wine we drank, but when I talked about that dinner, my guests still remembered it. When we can get together again, I promise them an encore.

PS. I forget about the wines, but remember the two main courses I made: Cajun (blackened) mahi mahi, and cioppino.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:28 PM   #46
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We once hosted a dinner for two more couples, which lasted from 6 till near midnight. We emptied 6 (or was it 7) bottles of wine, and 1-1/2 bottles of Cognac. My wife did not drink, so that was for 5 people.

Same as the other couples, I do not remember what wine we drank, but when I talked about that dinner, my guests still remembered it. When we can get together again, I promise them an encore.

PS. I forget about the wines, but remember the two main courses I made: Cajun (blackened) mahi mahi, and cioppino.
Wow.....after that drunken evening, I hope that DW drove the guests home, or that they stayed overnight!
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:40 PM   #47
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This was up in my high-country home.

One couple's home was the next home down the hill, and I still wondered if they did not stumble, fall, and hurt themselves in the dark. The other couple had to drive 1/2 mile home on a dirt back road, and they assured me that they were up to it.

I was happy that I could just stumble into bed.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:06 PM   #48
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This post is meant for all you wine experts out there. I am certainly not an expert but I have in my possession, one of the most expensive bottles of wine that I ever heard of. I think I might have posted this before but can't remember. Couple years ago I was at an estate sale and saw this bottle of wine that had the most interesting label. Bought it just for the hell of it and did a little research. The description on the label is as follows:

Sauternes-Appellation Controlee
Chateau d' Yquem
Lur Saluces
1953
mis en bouteille au chateau

Bordeaux White Wine
Product of France
Imported by
Browne Vintners Co., Inc
New York NY

Another label on the bottle reads:
Specially Selected and Shipped by
BARTON & GUESTIER
Bordeaux

Researching this on line I find that a bottle of this can go for as much as $3500. I'm certainly not going to open it as it makes for a great conversation piece. Who knows what it might taste like. It's just pretty and very unique.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:24 PM   #49
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Had a bottle of Dom Perignon. Did not remember the year. Did not find it really special, but then a peasant would need several tasting sessions to train his palate. His wallet overruled that possibility, of course.
A past girlfriend who spent money like it was going out of style (one of hte two major deal breakers that ended things for me) traveled a lot for work, and had an obsession w/ buying at the Duty Free shop at the airports.

For our 1 month dating anniversary, she picked up an 'anniversary kit' of Dom Perignon (it came with 2 glasses....for the paltry sum of $550). We opened it up, and I was underwhelmed by it for my first (and likely last) experience with Dom. And here James Bond made it look so good when he casually ordered it all the time in the movies!

Of course, I have a pleasantly strong sweet tooth, and prefer things on the sweet to semi-sweet side, which is why it was probably like putting pearls with swine...but beverage preferences is entirely just like food preference. You like what you like and there's no "right" or "wrong". It makes no more sense to force a ghost chili pepper down your throat than it does a super buttery, super oaky chardonnay if you can't stand either of them - regardless of whether it's $2/bottle or $20/oz.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:16 PM   #50
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I am intrigued. What were the symptoms of the wine allergy? Is there any chance it might have been a chemical reaction to sulfites?
The symptom is that if you drink too much of it, you have a headache the next morning.

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Old 10-30-2013, 10:33 PM   #51
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Maybe you could help, or another poster - but years ago, I recall being served a Zinfandel that was described as 'spicy', and I thought that description fit, and I loved that wine (of course I do not recall the label).

-ERD50
I tend to think of red Zins as peppery, but spicy works too. For a good $8 Zin try Gnarly Head. I'm on my second case of the 2011. My go to Zin is 7 Deadly Zins which retails for $15 but can be found on sale for a few bucks less. 2009 was very tasty, but they seem to do a good job of producing consistently good wine from year to year. Moving up one more notch to $20 the Jack London Zin is worth a taste. And our final stop on the Zin parade would be any of several Zins from Ridge that will set you back about $30 a bottle. Honestly, at wine tastings, I usually come back to the 7 Deadlys and think, "yep, this works for me."

Good wine story. My best friend turned 50 a few years back and we went out for dinner in Chicago with his siser, her husband, and another couple. His sister had arranged to bring 2 bottles of wine to the restaurant and pay the corking fee. First up was a bottle of Dom to get the party started. It was the first time I had tasted Dom and I liked it. However, the Dom turned out to be cheap compared to the bottle of 1959 Margaux Margaux that she obtained as a gift from a friend for her brother's birthday. We knew it was special but it wasn't until later, when we were able to look it up, that we learned that we had shared a $1,500 bottle of wine! It was a good party.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:17 PM   #52
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There is just so much more variety and complexity in beer as opposed to wine.

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I do not drink everyday, but I give equal opportunity to all alcoholic beverages, and have to disagree with you although I am not an expert in anything.
Preferences aside, I have to say that objectively, beer is a more varied and complex beverage than wine, and that was the point being made. For example, if you had experienced wine drinkers compile a list of 50 reasonably priced, quality wines (not super high end prices) that they felt were very good wines, how much variety would you have? They would likely all be grape wines, a range of reds/whites, some variation in tannin levels and body, some mild oakiness in some, some more fruity than others. Beyond that all fairly subtle differences.

Ask some beer drinkers to compile a list of 50 reasonably priced, quality beers that they felt were very good , and instead of just one base, you'd have a base of barley, wheat, oats, likely rye and maybe some others. Like red/white wines, roasted grains add a range of color, but also a pronounced roastiness and/or smokiness, if that is desired. Dozens and dozens of different levels of roast are available to brewers. Hops are a whole 'nother dimension - some added just enough to offset the residual sweetness in beer (from unfermented, complex sugars), others increased to be noticeably bitter, and hops can be added throughout the brewing process to add flavor and aroma to varying degrees. There are dozens and dozens of hop varieties, and it doesn't take too much experience to be able to identify some of them in a brew. And there would likely be some fruit beers in that list (Kriek/Cherry is a popular one, peach, grape, apricot and so many others are used also, even pumpkin and yams) .

Alcohol content would likely range from the low 3% range for 'session beers' (English Mild) to wine strength levels (Barley-Wines and Wheat-Wines). And I rarely hear a wine affectionado talk much about the yeast, but in beer, the yeast strain can be very evident, providing the characteristics one expects in a 'clean' American APA, the 'rounder' flavors in an English Ale, and the distinct flavors in some Belgian beers (typically fermented quite warm to accentuate some flavors/aromas the yeast bring out, like clove and even banana). And chocolate and/or coffee can be found in beers, and it can go very well.

BTW, I'm not saying any of this to be argumentative (it's tough to know how something comes across), I'm just trying to explain the view point of the brewer I referenced. Maybe it's a little like comparing an artist who works in pen and ink, to one who paints in oil. Both can be very high quality and enjoyed, but I think one would find more variety and complexity (considering that color adds another 'dimension') among oil paintings?


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It appears that few people read the linked article in the OP's post. ...
I skimmed it - does that count?

But there is another effect that might be popular among the LBYM crowd here - and that is finding high quality at a bargain price. I'm thrilled to find a high quality beverage at a low price. Craft beers aren't exactly cheap, around $10~$12 a 6-pack. As I mentioned, Costco had cases of Pauliner O-Fest, at about $6/sixer. I know Pauliner is considered an excellent O-Fest, but I was really struck at just how great it was, and a fellow home-brewer agreed. I gotta get another case before it's gone. I've found some bargains and values among some of those Trader Joe's house-branded beers - their Winter Lager (I think that's what they called it) is actually a pretty good (not great) dopple-bock, at a very reasonable price. I'd expect to pay double to get something marginally better, probably 3x to start hitting the really good stuff.

But since I'm less confident in my ability to judge wine quality, I would not doubt that price would influence me.


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Sometimes the wine tastes better when it is consumed in good company, too!
True for just about everyone, except George Thorogood!



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I drink alone, yeah
With nobody else
I drink alone, yeah
With nobody else
You know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself

....

The other day I got invited to a party
But I stayed home instead
Just me and my pal Johnny Walker
And his brothers Black and Red
And we drank alone, yeah
With nobody else
Yeah, you know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:29 PM   #53
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I tend to think of red Zins as peppery, but spicy works too. For a good $8 Zin try Gnarly Head. I'm on my second case of the 2011. My go to Zin is 7 Deadly Zins which retails for $15 but can be found on sale for a few bucks less. 2009 was very tasty, but they seem to do a good job of producing consistently good wine from year to year. Moving up one more notch to $20 the Jack London Zin is worth a taste. And our final stop on the Zin parade would be any of several Zins from Ridge that will set you back about $30 a bottle. Honestly, at wine tastings, I usually come back to the 7 Deadlys and think, "yep, this works for me." ...
Thanks to all that made suggestions. I know I've had the Gnarly Head, 90% sure I've had 7 deadly zins. They are a fuller flavored Zin to my taste, but just not like what I recall drinking years ago (I'd question my palette and my memory, but I know others who feel the same).

I might try some of the more $ labels. I don't drink it often enough that I can't splurge a bit on a few bottles. I'm worth it!

I must add to your story that I did receive a fancy looking bottle of champagne years ago, and it was awesome. It has really spoiled me, wonderful round yeast character that I've never had in the price range I normally buy. I looked it up and it was ~ $100/bottle - far from what you mentioned, but about the same multiple from what I normally buy. Since then, I've picked up their $30-$40 bottles from the same estate, closer, but not the same.

-ERD50
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:18 AM   #54
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Preferences aside, I have to say that objectively, beer is a more varied and complex beverage than wine, and that was the point being made...

BTW, I'm not saying any of this to be argumentative (it's tough to know how something comes across)...
Absolutely not! You wrote from the viewpoint of someone who is a lot more knowledgeable than myself about beer, and likely also wine. Hence, I am taking this all in. Reading your description of the process of beer making, it is clear to me that a brewer has a lot more latitude, and also more knobs to tweak than a vintner does.

The beer brewer has a lot more ingredients in his repertoire. The combinations and variations as you described are nearly infinite. The vintner only has his grapes, yet the wine comes out tasting all different from vineyard to vineyard, and to the vintner's chagrin, from year to year.

A brewer's craft is somewhat like that of a chef. Any chef or homecook can buy similar ingredients, but how he puts the ingredients together in certain proportions, the degrees of doneness, and the cooking technique make the final dish different than the next guy's. And there's always that secret sauce.

Meanwhile, the vintner is at the mercy of the weather despite his terroir, hence he has good and bad years. There's a lot more chance involved. A bottle of wine of a good year can command an outrageous price. We do not see that with a bottle of beer, because the brewing process is controlled and repeatable.

An expensive vintage bottle of wine of a 3-digit price, let alone a 4-digit price, would be wasted on my palate. Heck, I have enough trouble justifying 2-digit bottles. However, seeing that people are willing to pay that much, I have to assume that these wines are really great for people who can appreciate them. And this is reinforced by my own experience with spirits.

Some people do not enjoy strong spirits. Most women don't. And even some men call my beloved drinks "gasoline" or "turpentine". That does not offend me anymore. But I have drunk enough to know what I like between two bottles of the same price range. And generally, a bottle in the higher price range does taste better, though one gets diminishing returns like anything else.

Thinking about this a bit more, I came up with a theory why I have a more aware taste regarding spirits, while I tend to be of a more casual attitude regarding beers and wines. I always drink spirits by themselves, and in a contemplative mood. The sipping drinks have the full attention of my taste and smell senses. With beers and wines, they are usually consumed during a meal. They complement the food, but that means they also have to compete with food for my attention. And usually with me, food wins!

I think I may need to be more attentive when I drink wine or beer to better appreciate them. But then, given my forgetfulness and my tendency to fall into the same old ruts, it is not likely I will become a wine or beer connaisseur. When I host, my guests and family are also more interested in the food than in the drinks. I guess we are all rubes.

PS. Regarding that bottle of Chardonnay that I liked, when I rediscovered it at Walmart, I did not buy it because now that I know where to find it I can buy it anytime, and I remembered that I still had quite a few bottles of white. At my rate of drinking perhaps 30 bottles of red for 1 white, it is going to take a long time to drink up my existing white bottles, and they may be going bad already. But I definitely will try this bottle again, and to see if I am now prejudiced, and not finding it as good as I did the 1st time.

PPS. I would not have the patience to be a vintner. I thought about brewing for a few minutes, and decided against that too. I like cooking the best, because of the instant gratification and that minor corrections can be made up to the last minute.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:26 AM   #55
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Sometimes the wine tastes better when it is consumed in good company, too!
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True for just about everyone, except George Thorogood!

I first learned of Thorogood from a post by HFWR. I like some of his music, but he has some problems.
Every morning just before breakfast
I don't want no coffee or tea
Just me and good buddy Weiser
That's all I ever need
...
The other night I laid sleeping
And I woke from a terrible dream
So I caught up my pal Jack Daniel's
And his partner Jimmy Beam
And we drank alone, yeah
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:35 AM   #56
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The symptom is that if you drink too much of it, you have a headache the next morning.

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Old 10-31-2013, 11:50 AM   #57
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I think some people who have uncomfortable symptoms after drinking a modest amount of wine could be helped with good hydration.

I've had some neck aches and very minor headache feelings occasionally after drinking a glass of wine or even just one beer. These often happen in the winter months. The problem goes away entirely when I drink *a lot* of water throughout the day. For me a lot of water means maybe 7 or 8 glasses a day, particularly a glass in the afternoon. I also do a fair amount of running and gardening so this probably contributes to the problem. I'm less apt to drink water in colder weather and thus the symptoms seem to come back more often at that time of year.

Just a thought for a few winos here.
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:21 PM   #58
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Maybe you could help, or another poster - but years ago, I recall being served a Zinfandel that was described as 'spicy', and I thought that description fit, and I loved that wine (of course I do not recall the label).

Lately, I don't seem to find Zins that I would call 'spicy' - -at least not to that level. A friend of mine claims they have mostly been 'dumbed down', and you have to pay some big bucks and ask around to find a truly spicy Zin.

Any truth to that? I suppose I should ask when I'm at a good wine store, I always forget.

-ERD50
I, too, enjoy Zins that are on the peppery side, and the best place I've found for them is the Dry Creek Valley area of Sonoma. Friends and I are members of two wine clubs up there, at Seghesio (my favorite) and Mauritson wineries. They both produce several Zins with peppery notes.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:19 PM   #59
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.... Reading your description of the process of beer making, it is clear to me that a brewer has a lot more latitude, and also more knobs to tweak than a vintner does.

The beer brewer has a lot more ingredients in his repertoire. The combinations and variations as you described are nearly infinite. The vintner only has his grapes, yet the wine comes out tasting all different from vineyard to vineyard, and to the vintner's chagrin, from year to year.

A brewer's craft is somewhat like that of a chef. Any chef or homecook can buy similar ingredients, but how he puts the ingredients together in certain proportions, the degrees of doneness, and the cooking technique make the final dish different than the next guy's. And there's always that secret sauce.

Meanwhile, the vintner is at the mercy of the weather despite his terroir, hence he has good and bad years. There's a lot more chance involved. A bottle of wine of a good year can command an outrageous price. We do not see that with a bottle of beer, because the brewing process is controlled and repeatable. ...
I'm glad you took that in the spirit (no pun intended) it was given. you highlight an interesting point - the vintner is at the mercy of the grapes/weather. A good vintner will make the most of what they have, but there are limits.


Brewing really is closer to cooking, as you say. A little more of this or less of that doesn't ruin the brew, it just makes it lean this way or that (within reason), but there are certain levels that balance in a great beer. The barley or hop crop may be better some years, but that doesn't seem to be an over-riding factor in quality (price and availability though). Now some brewers will keep some beers that age well, and compare several years in one sitting. But I think that has more to do with the brewer's variations from year to year. Usually intentional, but in the case of wild fermentation, and/or aged/blended beers, it is what it is - there is a fair amount of chance in those brews.

The lack of instant gratification in brewing is an issue for me. I'd love to do tons of experiments, real controlled, side-by-side variations, all carefully logged and scientific - but having to wait 4 weeks or more for results just kills my motivation. I just dry hopped (adding hops after fermentation is mostly complete) a beer I brewed last week. I'l bottle it in another week or two, then give it a few weeks to carbonate/condition. And the last time I brewed a similar one, it really was much better after a month or two. The sample today tasted very good, so I know nothing went horribly wrong, but I won't know if it pleases me until it is bottled, carbonated and conditioned. Waiting is torture!

-ERD50
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:33 PM   #60
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I'm glad you took that in the spirit (no pun intended) it was given.
I am not one who gets easily offended by someone who disagrees with me, not on something personal and trivial like what he likes to drink or eat. How can one go through life with that belligerence?

Heck, I have been doing my best to not get upset with someone who disagrees with me on politics. I would not see some of my relatives face-to-face otherwise.
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