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Old 01-07-2014, 12:06 PM   #41
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Does Trader Joe's charge more for shipping in some states?

In Minnesota it's Three Buck Chuck - we usually buy the Pinot Grigio by the case - can't beat the price and we think it's pretty decent. Guess maybe we are in the non-discriminating group.
The price has gone up. It is no longer $1.99 in our local TJ's (in CA). I think It is now $2.49. It was also 2.49 in Lake Oswego, OR, last October. They may well charge more to ship further.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:14 PM   #42
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oh it has a buttery taste

well if that's good I got something in the fridge we could add. haha

I think they make up the words...I also think the news makes up headlines as to why the markets are up or down
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:16 PM   #43
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We are avid wine taster folk...I have to admit it. Almost exclusively red wines in WA state. While I do think wine reviews are a tad unreliable...and sometimes silly....we do definitely find differences in wine taste & the pleasure of the smell and finish as well.

That being said, we have sent back wine in nice restaurants if it was not nearly as good as we expected (for the price)...and we have spent as much as $200 in a restaurant, to $120 from a store on a single bottle of wine. I do find a difference in the taste on the nicer reds -- but we also love some $12-$14 reds as well that are a great value & when you take them out for your friends, they think you've spent a bundle.

Tastes seem to change over time as well...but the pleasure is in the journey & social aspect. We stay in B&Bs with friends & get to chat with the winery owner/staff & that is a joy in & of itself. We have done these trips for over 10 years to the WA wine country & over time we have gravitated to spending more time in Walla Walla then in Yakima area, even though the prices are lower in Yakima. Go figure.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:52 PM   #44
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In part, a very reasonable concern. My friends have sometimes had a good laugh at my expense when I hear the server recite their so-called beer list at a restaurant and then decide on a glass of water.
A very valid concern. I don't go so far as water (insert WC Fields quote of your choosing), but I have been known to order a glass of bourbon after hearing the beer list. After BJCP training you are definitely sensitized to off flavors.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:40 PM   #45
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I can't identify all the nuances in wine flavor and bouquet that professional reviewers seem to be able to pick out. But as I've drunk more wine over the years I tend to have stronger preferences for certain wines and types of wine and can pick out characteristics that I like or don't like about them even if I often have trouble putting them into words.

I've also noticed that the wines I've come to enjoy most generally receive high ratings from many wine reviewers. On the flip side, a high rating certainly doesn't guarantee that I'll like the wine, although it seems to increase the chances.

I do think that some are much more skilled at picking out flavors and smells than others and at describing them, but I also agree that there's a lot of B.S. involved in those descriptions and ratings as well. What's most important to me is whether I enjoy drinking the particular wine or not.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:44 PM   #46
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oh it has a buttery taste

well if that's good I got something in the fridge we could add. haha

I think they make up the words...I also think the news makes up headlines as to why the markets are up or down
While I'll agree that some of the language and descriptors go pretty far down a loony path, 'buttery' is absolutely valid.


One of the byproducts of fermentation is a chemical compound called 'diacetyl'. If you look on a bag of micro-wave popcorn, you'll see it listed. It tastes like butter, no question about it.

Yeast produce it, and then will break it back down in the later stages of fermentation. Different yeast strains will leave different amounts behind, and conditions during fermentation will affect the levels as well. A 'diacetyl rest' is fairly common in home-brewing, it just means elevating the temperature a bit towards the end of fermentation to get the yeast active and give them time to break it down. It is generally considered a defect in beer, but can be part of the style in low levels in some beers.

A Chardonnay described as buttery was probably deliberately fermented to leave some of that flavor there.

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Old 01-07-2014, 01:44 PM   #47
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We have done these trips for over 10 years to the WA wine country & over time we have gravitated to spending more time in Walla Walla then in Yakima area, even though the prices are lower in Yakima. Go figure.
We also very much enjoy Washington wine country and Washington wines. It helps that we live nearby. Walla Walla has also become our favorite tasting location over the years partly due to the quality of the wines but also due to the ambiance of the area.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:46 PM   #48
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What's most important to me is whether I enjoy drinking the particular wine or not.
Ding ding ding! [/CFB]
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:54 PM   #49
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My wife and I must have evolved into more of a wine snob than average Joe. With blind tasting, we can generally pick out Pinots, Zins, Cabs, etc.. Impossible ones are the mixed ones (50% Cab/30% Zin/20% XYZ). But at the end, it comes down to how it tastes to us. Currently, we are enjoying Pillar Box wine from Costco over more expensive ones from equally snobby winery.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:59 PM   #50
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My wife and I must have evolved into more of a wine snob than average Joe. With blind tasting, we can generally pick out Pinots, Zins, Cabs, etc.. Impossible ones are the mixed ones (50% Cab/30% Zin/20% XYZ). But at the end, it comes down to how it tastes to us. Currently, we are enjoying Pillar Box wine from Costco over more expensive ones from equally snobby winery.

Thankfully my wife doesn't seem to notice the difference. It makes for a cheap date!
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:04 PM   #51
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Thankfully my wife doesn't seem to notice the difference. It makes for a cheap date!
You lucky, you. My wife shops without looking at price tag and she will always end up picking the most expensive item. She says it is class (but why she ended up with me is a mystery, or mistake). Just last week, we both had a winery gift certificates for $50 each. I picked 5 wines worth $10s each. She picks 2 wines worth $30 each. Back to blind testing ....
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:09 PM   #52
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You lucky, you. My wife shops without looking at price tag and she will always end up picking the most expensive item. She says it is class (but why she ended up with me is a mystery, or mistake). Just last week, we both had a winery gift certificates for $50 each. I picked 5 wines worth $10s each. She picks 2 wines worth $30 each. Back to blind testing ....
If she got two $30 bottles with one $50 gift card I'd say she did pretty well.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:18 PM   #53
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Tastes seem to change over time as well...but the pleasure is in the journey & social aspect. We stay in B&Bs with friends & get to chat with the winery owner/staff & that is a joy in & of itself. We have done these trips for over 10 years to the WA wine country & over time we have gravitated to spending more time in Walla Walla then in Yakima area, even though the prices are lower in Yakima. Go figure.
Yeah - Walla Walla wineries can get a bit pricey! We like Dunham Cellars and Zerba Cellars (which is just across the OR state line from Walla Walla). Among the more expensive wineries we have visited. We did visit the L'Ecole 41 tasting room, some lovely wines but $$$$.

We do most of our shopping in the Prosser area.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:13 PM   #54
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IF you like wine to begin with, what do you think?

Wine tasting is bullshit. Here's why.



I'd like to believe there are just some people born with a far more acute sense of taste than the rest of us (hopefully all good sommeliers and chefs) and it's not something most of us can develop no matter how hard we try. Unfortunately (fortunately?) we don't have acute taste sense though we enjoy reasonably priced wines.

I think you can learn to identify flavors with some practice. In this instance more practice is likely to be fun so going at it in an organised fashion might get a good result.

I live in a wine growing area and almost every week get together with the same group of folks for a casual meal. A few years ago we started doing a blind tasting before dinner using whatever bottles were brought to share. We set up a simple procedure and printed out a stack of rating cards. After the tasting (and over dinner) we compare our various findings. We've gotten more accurate over time and the results are often interesting and sometimes hilarious. Here's the doofus rating system we use (warts and all):
Attached Files
File Type: pdf tasting notes.pdf (24.6 KB, 15 views)
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:38 PM   #55
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Your doofus system makes sense to me. Much more than most of this (sorry, I don't think most people can begin to "sense" all this):

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Old 01-07-2014, 03:42 PM   #56
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A supertaster is a person who experiences the sense of taste with far greater intensity than average. Some 35% of women and 15% of men are supertasters. Supertasters are more likely to be of Asian, African, and South American descent. The cause of this heightened response is unknown, although it is thought to be related to the presence of the TAS2R38 gene, the ability to taste PROP and PTC, and at least in part, due to an increased number of fungiform papillae
Sadly (I think?), DW & I are not a supertasters...
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:58 PM   #57
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in a blind tasting, people could not even distinguish whites from reds
I have a friend who is a sake distributor, so I have been able to taste some incredibly expensive examples. Really good sake is an amazing beverage, but one of those situations where you get what you pay for. The average sake at the average Japanese restaurant is barely drinkable at best, and then they have the gall to serve it warm! Good sake is always served at cool temperatures.

Anyway, my friend told me that when sake judges evaluate samples, they are served in black cups in a dimly lit room. That completely eliminates any bias related to the color of the beverage, which can be substantial.

On a related note, I once knew a bartender who had a little trick he liked to pull. Whenever he heard a customer comment that she (it was almost always a woman) didn't like dark beers, he would get her to try a flight of beer samples while blindfolded. About three times out of four, her favorite out of the group would be a stout. When the blindfold came off, the reaction was priceless!
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:24 PM   #58
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I have a friend who is a sake distributor, so I have been able to taste some incredibly expensive examples. Really good sake is an amazing beverage, but one of those situations where you get what you pay for. The average sake at the average Japanese restaurant is barely drinkable at best, and then they have the gall to serve it warm! Good sake is always served at cool temperatures.
You can apply this entire thread to sake tasting. I love warm cheap sake but have tasted very good $$$$ ones that blew my socks off.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:08 PM   #59
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Watch the movie Somm Documentry on Netflix. You will understand that some people have amazing abilities of taste and recall...just like many many people on this site have incredible knowledge on investment and savings
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:01 PM   #60
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You can apply this entire thread to sake tasting. I love warm cheap sake but have tasted very good $$$$ ones that blew my socks off.
Yeah I got turned on to the pricey stuff on accident. A nice sushi place in London screwed up our reservation. Out came the good stuff. I couldn't believe how much better it was than the usual stuff I have had. Hmm then again maybe free booze just tastes better.
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