The Official Wine Thread

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by audiophilia, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    That looks incredible.
     
  2. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I don't deny the sometimes-usefulness of wine nomenclature; I am just opposed its fetishization and elaboration to the point of absurdity. I agree that the more esoteric and deliberately repugnant labels are often wielded like status symbols of superior discernment ("What, you can't smell the cat piss and wilted rhododendron? How odd."). This exists in France as well as in the US

    I agree up to a point. Frankly, descriptors in magazines often don't help me much. Tobacco, mulch, currant - whatever. This isn't to say I haven't had a wine and thought "damn nice vanilla on that", but I see wine as a point in time thing and I don't like to characterize the time and effort put into a wine as "tar and fruit - 90 points". I think it should go beyond mere descriptors and assess based on things like balance, structure, viscosity, etc as this tends to be a much more accurate and enduring description. And despite the (understood) hesitation against Gary V, I think he has made great strides to get people to think of wine in this manner. However, some people are perfectly happy with the "is it good or not", and this is totally fine.


    I find these sorts of details largely superfluous. To know what wine's second fermentation is called or which Bordeaux were classed in 1855 is simply not very interesting except to a hobbyist.
    There is a fine line between those who enjoy wine because it's wine, and those who enjoy taking a more academic approach to the subject. I think many on here are in the latter crowd and I certainly am. Still, I find that this thread caters to all and I hope you post about the next bottle you open.
     
  3. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    ^ This is what the Court teaches.

    Sight:

    Brightness (with scale), clarity, intensity, colour, rim variation, viscosity.

    Nose:

    Start with tart fruits, move to citrus and tropical. Then flowers (white, red or dark, name them if you can), spice (baking or savory? which ones?), minerality, earthiness, etc.
     
  4. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    I agree up to a point. Frankly, descriptors in magazines often don't help me much. Tobacco, mulch, currant - whatever. This isn't to say I haven't had a wine and thought "damn nice vanilla on that", but I see wine as a point in time thing and I don't like to characterize the time and effort put into a wine as "tar and fruit - 90 points". I think it should go beyond mere descriptors and assess based on things like balance, structure, viscosity, etc as this tends to be a much more accurate and enduring description. And despite the (understood) hesitation against Gary V, I think he has made great strides to get people to think of wine in this manner. However, some people are perfectly happy with the "is it good or not", and this is totally fine.



    There is a fine line between those who enjoy wine because it's wine, and those who enjoy taking a more academic approach to the subject. I think many on here are in the latter crowd and I certainly am. Still, I find that this thread caters to all and I hope you post about the next bottle you open.

    Well, the funniest thing to me is when somebody starts going on about four, five, six or more distinct aromas he can pick up in a wine. I think there was some study done that determined that the best tasters really could pick up one to two, plus balance, but you get guys like Gary V. and assorted bloggers and other all stars listing an entire potpourri. I think it's pretty hysterical. Myself, I definitely am more interested in balance and overall enjoyment than in analyzing the various compounds in a wine's aroma, but whatever floats your boat, even if that which floats is impossible.
     
  5. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I think there are times and reasons to analyze a wine as thoroughly as you can, but that most of the time, it's just about enjoying the wine and gathering in those traits and qualities you enjoy in a wine.
     
  6. holymadness

    holymadness Senior member

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    That looks incredible.
    It's the salon of independent winegrowers. Imagine an expo hall about the size of a football field containing around 1000 stands, each of which is run by a vintner who's presenting between 5 and 20 different bottles. Entry is 6 €, you are given a glass and go wild (all samples are free, of course). Unless you want to end up in a heap in the corner, you spit after tasting, but it's the best way I know of to buy wine. Because you purchase directly from the producer, prices are lower than in the boutiques and you can often negotiate an additional discount on cases. For those who are really into wine, the vendors are more than willing to shoot the breeze about their mÃ[​IMG]tier. I find they generally love talking about their product, like proud parents.
    Well, the funniest thing to me is when somebody starts going on about four, five, six or more distinct aromas he can pick up in a wine. I think there was some study done that determined that the best tasters really could pick up one to two, plus balance, but you get guys like Gary V. and assorted bloggers and other all stars listing an entire potpourri. I think it's pretty hysterical. Myself, I definitely am more interested in balance and overall enjoyment than in analyzing the various compounds in a wine's aroma, but whatever floats your boat, even if that which floats is impossible.
    Do you have any more info about this? I love those studies that show professional critics rating the same wine differently according to the bottle it's poured from, or that they can't even distinguish between red and white in a blind test.
     
  7. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I've recently gone into the world of blind tasting. The master somms all said it's basically about getting to know certain traits and characteristics. One also said, and I quote, "Don't go for the weird shit." She said that at a tasting there is always the person that brings a bottle of a very esoteric varietal, from a single producer with no distribution, that has a special production method, and gets all giddy when a taster can't make heads or tails of it.

    I will say, when I had to do my tasting, I quite easily discerned it was a recent vintage Left Coast Cab. Yes, it was a soft ball, but it was putting the method into use that was cool. However, this does indicate that even a rookie, when given a prime example of a certain type of wine, can make a fairly good guess (and let's face it, that's what it is) about the wine.
     
  8. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    Do you have any more info about this? I love those studies that show professional critics rating the same wine differently according to the bottle it's poured from, or that they can't even distinguish between red and white in a blind test.
    Thank God that could never happen to audio reviewers [​IMG] iPod through Wilson Grand Slams ...ahem... [​IMG]
     
  9. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Thank God that could never happen to audio reviewers [​IMG]


    iPod through Wilson Grand Slams ...ahem...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mark from Plano

    Mark from Plano Lifestyle change - no homo

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    I find that I'm just not smart enough to connect the dots on wine flavors and aromas. I'll drink a wine and detect a very distinct aroma/flavor, but for the life of me I can't place what it reminds me of.

    I do think that the descriptors can be useful if you have enough background in wine to know what your preferences are.

    The problem for me comes in the fact that there are 100x more wines out there than I will ever try in my lifetime. How do I choose which ones to try and which ones to bypass? I don't know any methods beyond (a) blind luck/trial and error, and (b) seeking out opinions of people who have tried the wines (retailers, bloggers, writers, friends, etc.) and whose opinions you trust. Is there another method I'm missing?

    I always look at the 'expert' opinions as just another tool in the toolbelt for the wine consumer. It's not the be-all, end-all; but I don't think it's completely useless either.
     
  11. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Mark,

    You hit on an interesting topic. I think it's about finding a retailer, critic, or even friend, that either has a palate liking similar to yours or basically knows your likes/dislikes and can help match you up.
     
  12. holymadness

    holymadness Senior member

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    I find that I'm just not smart enough to connect the dots on wine flavors and aromas. I'll drink a wine and detect a very distinct aroma/flavor, but for the life of me I can't place what it reminds me of. I do think that the descriptors can be useful if you have enough background in wine to know what your preferences are. The problem for me comes in the fact that there are 100x more wines out there than I will ever try in my lifetime. How do I choose which ones to try and which ones to bypass? I don't know any methods beyond (a) blind luck/trial and error, and (b) seeking out opinions of people who have tried the wines (retailers, bloggers, writers, friends, etc.) and whose opinions you trust. Is there another method I'm missing? I always look at the 'expert' opinions as just another tool in the toolbelt for the wine consumer. It's not the be-all, end-all; but I don't think it's completely useless either.
    As with cigars, I find the only way to go about it is to taste. The experts and I agree on what's bad, but never on what's good. Don't you have wine tastings where you are? Or wine bars that allow you to sample before buying? I enjoy going to a little store here called Wine by One. Basically, all the wines for sale are available to be tasted. You buy a certain amount of credit (measured in cL, or fl. oz. for our American friends) and then you wander around with your glass and taste whichever quantity you like of any bottle you choose. There are iPads all over the place so you can read the professional critiques if that's your thing, and there is a caviste who can accompany you as well. [​IMG]
     
  13. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    [​IMG]
    yes, and the three famous reviewers couldn't tell. [​IMG] Infamous story from CES a few years ago.
     
  14. PandArts

    PandArts Senior member

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    The wine store I worked at here had two of those Enomatics...they're awesome! I still go in every so often on Half Price Tuesdays!!!
     
  15. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    I'm always confused by (and admire) those who can tell the layers and layers. For my newb palate, I can tell things like spice, barnyard, leather, tobacco, dark fruits, light fruits, vanilla, toast, oak, etc. But Twizzlers, band aid, toffee apple, candies of many different stripes, et al, forget it. Maybe one day.

    That said, like Matt, I much prefer enjoying a balanced wine. I always feel robbed when I get an oak monster, a fruit bomb, or worse when they overcook the alcohol. Balance is everything in wine, IMO.
     

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