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Old 03-17-2004, 01:23 PM   #1
 
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-17-2004, 02:22 PM   #2
 
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Yep, the Yellowtail merlot is might tasty. We had a bottle last night. For another good-drinking bargain red, if you're in California, you might try SeaRidge. It's Von's/Safeway's answer to Trader Joe's Two-Buck Chuck, but much better. You can often find it for $2.99 to $3.50. They a merlot, zin, cab and pinot, all pumped right from Bronco's tank trucks, I'm sure, but they drink just fine.
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-17-2004, 04:12 PM   #3
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Yellowtail... First time I tried it I thought it was a headache in a bottle. But I may have misplaced my blame for the next bottle was fine and then got better and better. My family says I'm the "cut king" because I cut or dilute most beverages.

I like Berringer Cab but the 1.75L is 19 bucks....So cut 50/50 with Stone Cellers cab at half the price and you 've an affordable okey dokey blend.

PS Those pesky cork chunks can be easily filtered out with used dryer sheets!


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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-17-2004, 07:46 PM   #4
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

What's wrong with Two-Buck Chuck? Well, it's not great wine, but it is cheap.

And I love the Yellowtail wine.
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-18-2004, 08:17 AM   #5
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Can't wait to try two buck chuck. Problem is that I'm not fully retired yet. Still need those Martha Stewart type business expenses.


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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-18-2004, 10:06 AM   #6
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Read this bearing in mind that I've spent a fair bit of time in Napa Valley over the last 10 years, and that pre-ER my usual bottles of red were in the $25-40 range with an occasional $80-100+ bottle thrown in.

I tried the 2-buck chuck last year. Its not bad but thats an open statement since the wholesale stock changes from lot to lot periodically. The merlot was fine enough for a nothing-fancy glass of red and certainly good to cook with. I dont subscribe to the theory of using the "same wine to cook as you're drinking" or spending much on cooking wine. The heat so drastically changes the wine that its flavors will bear no resemblance to the original after. If doubtful, pour a glass of wine in a pan, heat it until it barely simmers, remove from heat, cool, and taste it alongside its original. Several of the "big name" chefs have broken ranks with the old french tradition and admitted that spending more than a buck a bottle on cooking wine is a waste.

Anyhow, back to the original scheduled program. The merlot is a little dry, has some complexity to it, its quite comparable to a typical four bucks on sale red. The cabernet I didnt like as much, it was a little too fruity. We didnt like either of the whites although my girlfriend liked a bottle of the sauvignon blanc so we bought a case and the case was composed of something different than that separate bottle, which goes back to these wholesale barrel stocks changing from day to day and week to week.

Having delved into inexpensive wines and not seeing my palate expire with prejudice, I investigated a little further. Our premium market here in Northern Cal, Raleys/Bel Air fronted their own 2 buck chuck offering called CA Arbor. It appeared to have more stability from one batch to the next. At $2 a bottle all three reds and both whites were as good as any $5 on sale bottle I'd tried.

Reading that "boxed" wine outside the US is far more popular than bottled wine, primarily because of the high shelf stability, freshness factor of tapping from an airtight plastic sleeve, and the convenience factor of using a tap for a week or two rather than fiddling with corks. Several "premium" box wines...although their makers are trying to change the name to "cask wines"

I tried several offerings from Hardy's in Australia and Black Box in California. These 3 liter (4 bottle equiv) sell for $16 to $25, or $4-5 per "bottle". I found these wines to be competitive with any $12-20 bottle I've tasted. No kidding. Last glass out tasted as good as the first two weeks later.

Looking "downstream", I tried Corbett Canyons Merlot in the 3 liter box for $8. Pretty good actually, in the range of $8-10 bottles of merlot. I havent tried any of their others, but I probably will. I tried Franzias "Vintner Select" reds and whites ($7 five liters). Better than 2 buck chuck or CA Arbor but not by a lot. The non-vintner select Franzias ($5 five liters) tasted like cheap jug wine but were fine for sangria or cooking purposes. Almaden wasnt as good as 2 buck chuck and even more variable.

Socially, even the Hardy's and Black box wines carry the "trailer park wine" stigma. At thanksgiving we had three other couples over and I served the Black Box wines. But I "poured" in the kitchen and served in the living room. One of the couples and the new boyfriend of a gal we know are all self professed wine connoisseurs. They loved them and asked what they were. Their admiration dropped to the ground when I confessed that they were from a premium "cask". There was some good natured ribbing about "gee, first you move out of your big house and now wine out of a box...when are you buying into the trailer park?". Interesting social experiment.

I've more or less settled on the Corbett Canyon as a 'standard', and now that the warm weather is around I'm going to try some of their whites.

We also had a blind champagne tasting party a little over a year ago. We universally decided that Dom Perignon sucked, and our two favorites were Piper Heidsieck ($28 locally), and Piper Sonoma ($11) even though they were the second and fourth cheapest in our 8 bottle tasting. We've settled on the Piper Sonoma as a 'standard' rather than our old Moet.
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-18-2004, 11:00 AM   #7
 
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

TH,

I also have had the Hardy's in the Box and admit that it quite drinkable.

BTW - I much prefer the Yellowtail Reds over the Corbett Canyon. Have you tried the Yellowtail?
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-18-2004, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Not sure I've ever seen it, but I'll keep an eye out.

The supermarket I usually frequent (non-union, cash only, lots of food stamps in play, but excellent produce and a surprisingly great selection of higher quality products...all for about 40% less than the major markets) tends to carry a limited selection of wines, a lot of jugs and boxes, not much for variety or diversity...but I'll see if its around and give it a whirl.

By the way, I like the Corbett Canyon in the box better than the bottle. Isnt THAT perverse? Its either different stock, or the packaging is keeping the wine in better "shape" than a bottle and cork.

Funny, but I was sort of starting to miss my old expensive wines, like the BV Library Selection Special Reserves that you can only get at the winery. When my folks moved out here I took them tasting up in Napa. They had a hoot actually seeing the places where the wine they had been drinking for years came from. Took them into BV's library tasting room and just walked away unimpressed. Either the quality of high end wines has diminished, my recollection of them is greater than they are, or low end wines have really closed the gap.

I still havent found a cheap, delish pinot noir though...thats my favorite. CA arbor had one, but it wasnt very good and it was hard to find. Most of the $5-7 pinots are iffy to me and the high end box...err...cask... people dont seem too interested in dipping into that grape.

One of my favorites...a nice grilled planked slab of local salmon glazed with ginger, green onions, brown sugar and tamari and a big glass of pinot noir. Crap, now I have to go to the store and get a plank and a piece of salmon for dinner...I can taste it already!
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-18-2004, 12:58 PM   #9
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

I figured as much. I've noticed that a lot of the farmy areas around the area have started growing grapes along with grazing the cows and growing tomatoes. Used to drive along I-5 from Sacramento towards LA and all you'd see is cows and 'maters. Now there are rows and rows of grape vine staked up. Hence I suspect the propaganda that the surplus wine glut is soon to be over. Perhaps the surplus from former suppliers but there appears to be a lot more players.
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-25-2004, 01:55 PM   #10
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!


To be serious, if you are looking for a great red, there is a very nice winery North of Santa Rosa called Parducci.

They make a Petite Sirah that is wonderful. And about $7 a bottle. We bought a Case, something I'd have never dreamed of doing before. I would put it against any wine in Napa Sonoma area, and I've tried a lot of 'em. It's available at Grocery Store Chains in CA, can't speak for much else.

I mean really good, melts in your mouth, no regrets, no worries, just plain tasty good wine. No Compromise.
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-25-2004, 02:49 PM   #11
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Seven dollars?!? My god man, I hope that bottle of wine comes with a free oil change or some other quality service for that staggering price

Well I tried the corbett canyon white wine in the box. Nowhere near as good as the merlot. The Franzia vintner select chardonnay, 5 liters for $6.50 this week is as good for a lot less $$, and as good as any $5 a bottle bargain chard.

I've looked in two stores for the yellowtail. Only place I can find it is at the local sushi bar
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-25-2004, 03:38 PM   #12
 
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Just back from "Wally World" with a total of 5.50
liters of Chard. and Paisano red, total cost (pretax)
$11.94. True, this is jug wine but I've had the
pricey stuff and frankly there is not that much difference
(to justify the higher price). I think Yellowtail is outstanding
wine, at least all of the varieties I have sampled.

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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-25-2004, 05:05 PM   #13
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Ah hah...Sams Club sells the Yellowtail Shiraz. $8 for a 1.5l bottle. I'll check it out later on. If my next post this evening is unintelligible, I liked it. I fully realize the extent to which I just left myself open with regards to the intelligibility of my posts.
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-25-2004, 05:33 PM   #14
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

TH,

With a glass of wine in one hand and holding a
cat on your lap with the other how are you
going to manage typing a post? I think that as
long as you can still spell unintelligible you will
be OK. Maybe a little wine would free your
inhibitions and let you really open up to us.

Cheers,

Charlie (aka Chuck-Lyn)
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-25-2004, 06:13 PM   #15
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Eh, the cats only want to sit on me in the morning when the dogs are still in bed asleep.

And I think someone is having fun at my expense :P
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-25-2004, 06:56 PM   #16
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Quote:
TH,

With a glass of wine in one hand and holding a
cat on your lap with the other how are you
going to manage typing a post? *I think that as
long as you can still spell unintelligible you will
be OK. *Maybe a little wine would free your
inhibitions and let you really open up to us.

. . .
Yes, I've noticed that TH seems inhibited. . . NOT
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-25-2004, 07:15 PM   #17
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

I deeply and sincerely apologize for my inhibited, introverted and generally shy demeanor. I am a delicate flower.

:P :P :P :P :P :P
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-26-2004, 05:38 AM   #18
 
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

And now for your reading enjoyment I will cleverly combine the wine topic with an ER story.

Back in the 70s I worked for a company in Detroit.
The president was being "retired" a bit early and I
was lobbying for his job. He finally agreed to go as
long as the company paid his salary until he could draw
full SS benefits. However, he wanted a guarantee
the company wouldn't fold and thus default on the
debt. I solved that by personally guaranteeing his salary, such was my confidence level back then.
So, what does this have to do with wine? The
deposed bought 100 acres north of Detroit and started
a vineyard from scratch, a lifelong dream as it turned
out. He owned it for about 15 years and as far as I could tell never made a dime, although some of his wines were quite good. He's dead now, but
he did what he wanted to do and that's the important
thing.

John Galt
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-26-2004, 09:40 AM   #19
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Quote:
Just back from "Wally World" with a total of 5.50
liters of Chard. and Paisano red
Uh oh...I remember those jug "paisano" wines. My old girlfriend and I got a jug of that and the sangria before a party once. The next morning with fat heads we altered the label of what remained as "Jug O' Death". For the next few weeks it became a rite of passage for new people to drink from the Jug O' Death. The new people didnt come back.

Reminds me of the Dave Barry column where he advises keeping an open box of baking soda in the fridge such that if a visitor shows up, you can offer them some cold smelly baking soda, which will usually cause them to leave.

P.S. the yellowtail was fairly good. As of late last night and still this morning, the spelling of 'intelligible' is still within my grasp.
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!
Old 03-27-2004, 04:30 PM   #20
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Re: Red Wine Drinkers - Save Money!!!

Quote:
Seven dollars?!? My god man, I hope that bottle of wine comes with a free oil change or some other quality service for that staggering price
Quality sevice included, but of course. It's not just about the destination, it's the trip getting there, and let's not forget the quality of the following day.
8)
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