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Putting together my bar...(long)

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by drizzt3117, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. jekv12

    jekv12 Senior member

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    I agree with Chris on the Middleton, it is a very good whisky. With that and a top shelf Bourbon, you'll be expanding beyond Scotch for the higher end and could surprise some of your guests.

    Nice collection of vintage Champagne.

    For the wines, well, I have to ask - what are you using them for? Drinking, right, but with food or just to sip? Light appetizers or more substantial food? I assume if this is for a bar you might be looking for wines that can stand by themselves. And of course early consumption or do you want to age a bit, as you have your Champagne? "Stocking a bar" can easily morph into "building a cellar...".

    Some of my favorites:
    Chardonnay: sorry, I am not a fan of most CA chardonnays. Too oaky, and while the tropical fruit you typically get from them isn't horrible, it isn't to my liking. From France for relatively easy sipping, a Macon Village or St. Veran would work, Chablis for a drier, flintier style (I really enjoy wines from Michele Barat, had a '95 the other day that was incredible). If you want some additional complexity, look for old vines - "ville vigne" on the label. From here you can go into other white Burgundies, but this can get crazy and expensive. OK, for CA chardonnay I will occasionally have some from Carneros or Russian River, like Acacia, or maybe a Calera (central coast?) which tends to be more Burgundian in style.

    Zins: I like a lot of Amador county Zins, especially Karly's Warrior Fires or Sadie Upton. Their everyday Zin, whose name I forget but it might just say Karly Amador on the label is a good value. Story's wines are good too; again, they make from several vineyards so it might be good to determine what style you want. I bought some futures from them - Picnic Hill - and it is quite a bit lighter than I recall it being from the barrel sample. (OK, it might have something to do with it being maybe 20th wine I tasted that afternoon)...the only Amador Zin I didn't like is from Montevina. Paso Robles is another good area for Zin producers. Frankly you can't go wrong with choosing an "R" for Zins: Ridge, Ravenswood (especially Dickerson, though Old Hill and Beloni are also very good) and Rosenblum. A word of caution on Rosenblum: they make wines from many, many, individual vineyards...the owners of those vineyards are typically so small they don't make their own wine. My current favorites there are Hendry and Allegria. For fun, you could put in a few Primitivo from Italy's Puglia region; Primitivo has been proven to be genetically identical to Zin. I haven't found a Primitivo yet that I like more than any of the Zins I mentioned, but YMMV.

    So this post ends on less than a page, I'll write about Merlot and Pinot separately. But two other thoughts:

    -not sure how close you are to Santa Ana. The Wine Club has one of its three locations there; you might want to look at their catalog/website or visit. Knowledgeable people, great prices, and if you go, you can taste about 30-40 wines on the honor system (assuming it's like their store in San Jose and San Francisco).

    -re: current vs older vintages...consider looking at wine auctions, say, via Christies. Often the non-trophy wines are overlooked, and you can get some good values on properly stored, ready to drink wines.
     
  2. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I am really close to Santa Ana, it's just the next city over, I will have to check it out...
     
  3. jekv12

    jekv12 Senior member

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    Apologies, didn't include this link to The Wine Club in yesterday's lengthy post.
     
  4. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior member

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    drizzt, I think you should host the first annual "Style Forum" get together at your house once you get your bar stocked. [​IMG]
     
  5. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    I agree, sounds like it will be a better bar than the Buddah Bar
     
  6. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    That's not a bad idea once I get cracking on this thing, I need to actually put in the physical bar yet though [​IMG] (altyhough I have much of the liquor)
     
  7. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters Senior member

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    I think from all the great selections you've been given you will have all the freinds you haven't seen in years on your door step when the word spreads. What I think is missing from the lineup is some good cosmic potions such as Grappa, Aguadente, Lemoncello(kept in the freezer),Green Chartrusse. Be careful with these, they tend to creep up on you. [​IMG]
     
  8. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters Senior member

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    Also meant to mention Hendricks Gin w/ a slice of cucumber over ice. Yum.
     
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I have some Amaro also, and will be getting some other interesting wines.

    No sake suggestions?
     
  10. craig

    craig Active Member

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  11. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    I find it a bit unlikely that someone will request sake at your personal bar. Probably better to have more wine variety or throw in a few wildcards for the previous categories. But that's just my opinion.
     
  12. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    Well, I do have quite a few Japanese friends, so it's very possible that sake will be served at some point in time. I'm not limiting my choices at all by adding any particular sort of drink, I have enough room for many more bottles of wine/liquor than I have.
     
  13. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Then by all means stocky the sake.
     
  14. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    Sake is either served warm or chilled, depending on the season and taste. I recall that somebody once told me that those are different varieties of sake but perhaps that's just b-s. If you are the type to loose sleep over your bar, you should look into that.

    B
     
  15. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Sake is almost always served cold, in my experience. Very rarely do I see anyone ordering or drinking warm sake. It is a wonderful drink, I would recommend it to anyone. I have some really good-tasting sake at home I will post the brand name later when I get the chance (was a gift from my sister on her trip to Japan).

    Drizzt, get lots of Schweppes Tonic Water, because G&T is the best drink ever, and a good tonic water makes a huge difference (much moreso than the gin). Schweppes is the ONLY tonic water I'll take now after having had it several times. Only mix it with the plain Tanqueray, as Sapphire and Tan Ten are too expensive to use for a G&T (save them for Martinis).

    This is a long post so I cant see the first one, but did you have Maker's Mark on there? I think it's always nice to have a good blended whiskey. JW Black (although already discussed in other threads) is also a great blend.
     
  16. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I have alot of blends, including Blue Label, Black Label, Gold Label, etc... but will probably stock a Makers as well, and a Knob Creek.

    I have Vermouth, tonic, etc... as well as many different gins so I'm covered there.

    I'm mostly working on the wine part of this right now.
     
  17. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    Try these then:

    Dom. RomanÃ[​IMG]e Conti 1997
    Petrus Pomerol 1998
    Château Le Pin Pomerol 1999
    Château Latour Pauillac 1990
    Château Valandraud Saint-Emilion 1995
    Château La Mondotte Saint-Emilion 1996
    Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1986
    Château Haut Brion Pessac-LÃ[​IMG]ognan 1982
    Château Margaux 1995
    Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 1996

    A csae of each of these sgould cover you for a good while.
     
  18. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    It may not be a bad idea to buy a bunch of cases, I think I am going to be going with a bunch of Australian stuff though, I don't want to sink a huge chunk of money into wine right now... I may try to stock up on a few lesser Australian reds that I like, and some American stuff, I have a few cases of Cakebread reds, and I may try to get a few of the Bin 128 and 389 from 2002.
     
  19. jekv12

    jekv12 Senior member

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    Sorry for the long delay, I believe I was going to chime in on Pinot Noir and Merlot, per your original request. I agree with Chris's first two choices [​IMG] I like California Pinots from Sonoma/Russian River and Carneros, including those from Schug, Acacia, Rochioli. If you're feeling flush, Williams Seylem is good (note these all make several bottlings, so you might need to experiment). Hartford Estates has a very burgundian approach: some small production wines from small vineyards, as well as "regional" Pinot. Further down the coast, Estancia Pinnacles is a good value, and I've always liked Calera. Oregon has some outstanding producers in the Williamette Valley...Ken Wright is very good. Merlot - haven't experimented much with California Merlot in quite a while; I recall Souverain being good and a good value. You can also look to Long Island - wineries on the North Fork are doing a decent job with Merlot now. Bedell is well known but there are others. Members in Manhattan - you can try out NY state wines at Vintage New York - there's one in Soho at Broome and Wooster (or Greene). Bordeaux from Pomerol and St. Emilion generally have a higher proportion of Merlot in them than do other Bordeaux. For all wine types I've tried, Echelon has been a very good value. Of course wine pricing is all over the map. Not sure if you want to keep the well/top shelf notion going for wines, but you could look at the average cost per serving for the spirits and base some of your wine choices accordingly.
     
  20. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    If you would like to try an enchanting flavorful wine, try getting a few bottles from Château Élan, this is a French based wine made in the mountains in North Georgia using transplanted grape vines, and I must say, not that I am an expert, but a great taste for a refreshing inexpensive bottle of wine.
     

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