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Wine not?


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#1 John Dudek

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 1629 PM

I really enjoy a good glass of wine sometimes, while occasionally, I am known to enjoy many glasses sometimes. The problem is, how to find drinkable wine that won't break the family budget. My tastes range from chianti, to merlot, to cabernet sauvignon, to chardonay to sauvignon blanc. Once a week, I usually buy a 5 litre box wine from Franzia or Almaden and let it go at that. It isn't always the greatest wine, but it isn't battery acid either. Franzia box wines are great because they oftentimes use imported wine from Argentina, Australia or Chile to blend together with what they have on hand. Their chianti is tasty and their merlot isn't half bad either. The other day, I bought a 3 litre box of Argentinian cabernet sauvignon from the Falling Star winery that was absolutely out of this world and only cost 13 bucks. That was some damned tasty vino and I'll be buying more of the same as soon as I get paid next. For those of you in my situation, what do you do?
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#2 BP

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 1803 PM

The $20 and under (really $15 and under) wine market is simply incredible right now. So many vintners are making wine scientifically, in such controlled and consistently reproduced environments, that it is rare anymore that you find a true dog under those levels. $12 and under (and execrable "two-buck chucks") are still a crapshoot, but even at the $10 level there's simply a TON of good drinkable stuff nowadays.

Several options:
- Play the exchange rates. Find the countries with beaten down currencies and buy up (could be Spanish, Argentinean, etc.- it changes). That's a few bucks off right there.
- Work through a specific grape. Start with one you like, and sample, and then you can use as a baseline to buy others like it.
- Work through regions. Argentinian Malbecs, Spanish Riojas, Chilean Cabernets, Italian Barberas, and French Cotes du Rhone (Rhone) and Cotes de Beaunes (Burgundy) offer great wine values (compared to better known Bordeaux and other high profile varietals or labels) and fit your palate.

There's no need to regularly inflict box wine on yourself (although they are getting better).
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#3 bojan

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 1838 PM

In Europe (saw them available in Germany) if you can get Macedonian wines, do so.
Great, way, way better quality then their price range would suggest (were ~8-10 euro in Germany).

My favourite

Edited by bojan, 05 May 2011 - 1847 PM.

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#4 Typhoid Maxx

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 1848 PM

In Europe (saw them available in Germany) if you can get Macedonian wines, do so.
Great, way, way better quality then their price range would suggest (were ~8-10 euro in Germany).


T'ga za jug? ;)

My utterly insane uber-nationalist uncle - Russians, Poles & Ukranians are descended from Serbs, who came from another planet, and Serbia ruled the entire world, only the CIA/Jewish conspiracy has rewritten history - works a wine import business from Serbia to the UK. Tvrdos is top class, plus some other good sips, but I'll back up Bojan on the Macedonian wines. Goot goot, uber stuff.
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#5 John Dudek

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 2144 PM

A pal of mine who's originally from Argentina told me the wines produced there are of excellent quality and dirt cheap. Apparently, in Argentina, wine is the drink of the common working man, moreso than beer and the prices reflect this. That's probably a good thing because of the massive amounts of beef they eat per capita.
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#6 Simon Tan

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 0145 AM

Depends on what you like. I find a lot of American domestic red to be over priced and over produced, i.e. they are busy trying to make their wines something they are not. Much too much parkerization, not enough celebration of terroir.

Good, affordable wine is what I look for. Any idiot can buy good, expensive wine.

I like my grenache and the Cotes de Castillion and other smaller and more obscure southern appellations work good for me. Old World is excellent value if you don't do Bordeaux and Burgundy.

I have also had some excellent value Cotes du Rhones and Gigondas recently. Like $20 for 91 points.

Recently, I have been very enthusiastic about Champers, which is unfortunately never really affordably priced.

Simon

Edited by Simon Tan, 06 May 2011 - 0146 AM.

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#7 Typhoid Maxx

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 0155 AM

Champagne? Lucky here in the UK, Lanson Black Label is the best none vintage champagne I've tried, and its dirt cheap. I actually prefer the taste to Crystal, but then I'm weird and appreciate a slightly dry, slightly bitter taste...
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#8 m1a1mg

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1216 PM

My wife is on a Malbec kick right now. There are many very good, inexpensive versions.
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#9 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1254 PM

The absolute best tip for anyone, as someone who used to be a wine buyer for top class restaurants and hotels, is decant, decant, decant.

You can take a cheap arse bottle of Chateau de Plonk and even without a proper decanter, just pour from one glass to another about three times and the difference is absolutely massive.

Try it for yourself right now (of course only works with reds)

Edited by Luke Y, 06 May 2011 - 1256 PM.

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#10 John Dudek

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1319 PM

The absolute best tip for anyone, as someone who used to be a wine buyer for top class restaurants and hotels, is decant, decant, decant.

You can take a cheap arse bottle of Chateau de Plonk and even without a proper decanter, just pour from one glass to another about three times and the difference is absolutely massive.

Try it for yourself right now (of course only works with reds)


Thanks Luke Y! I will try decanting the wine next time. Several years back, during one of those anti-French sentiment time periods here in the states, our local store started carrying a French Bordeaux wine that was advertised and touted as "France's best selling Bordeaux". It had an obscenely low price, something like three bucks for a 750ml bottle. I asked the store manager about this and he said that due to so much anti French sentiment here in the US, he had cases of the stuff sitting in their warehouse and he had trouble giving it away. Still not convinced, I bought a single bottle and returned home. 15 minutes and a half glass of Bordeaux wine later, I was back in the store, filling a wheeled market cart full of this ambroisia. Sadly, I have not been that lucky since.
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#11 nitflegal

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1329 PM

Yeah, the market now is great for even the 10-12 per bottle range. Two of our friends run the specialty wine store in Worcester and the stuff they've been coming up with is amazing. My wife and I generally finish the day with one glass once the kids are in bed and the sheer vareity that we've gotten for around $12-15 a bottle is impressive. Mind you, I've spent similar amounts at the mega-wine/beer/alcohol/lottery tickets/overpriced snack stores and gotten sugar water or vinegar, so it helps to have people who know what they're doing pick the stock.

Matt
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#12 John Dudek

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1352 PM

The absolute best tip for anyone, as someone who used to be a wine buyer for top class restaurants and hotels, is decant, decant, decant.

You can take a cheap arse bottle of Chateau de Plonk and even without a proper decanter, just pour from one glass to another about three times and the difference is absolutely massive.

Try it for yourself right now (of course only works with reds)


Luke Y. I almost forgot to ask. Do you add the ice cubes before or after you decant the wine?. :lol:
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#13 m1a1mg

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1422 PM

SO, now that all the winos are here, I need to ask: How do you store the remainder of a bottle you don't finish?
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#14 BP

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1435 PM

SO, now that all the winos are here, I need to ask: How do you store the remainder of a bottle you don't finish?


Cork or stopper, kill it in a day or two, no more than three or so. C'mon, it's only 4-5 glasses!

All the great tools out there to preserve wine (high end stoppers, air pumps, neutral gases, etc.) are basically gimmicks. Wine starts seriously degrading the minute it's opened, sparkling wines even more so.
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#15 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1512 PM

SO, now that all the winos are here, I need to ask: How do you store the remainder of a bottle you don't finish?


Don't finish the bottle? Sorry, I'm not following? Can you explain a little clearer? :huh:

:lol:

Luke Y. I almost forgot to ask. Do you add the ice cubes before or after you decant the wine?. :lol:


Hey bruddah, here us territry mob ay we be fully dedly ay drink straight from the box of lady-boat! Ice for balanda c*nt eh bruss!
Posted Image

^_^
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#16 BP

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1622 PM

Don't finish the bottle? Sorry, I'm not following? Can you explain a little clearer? :huh:

:lol:



Hey bruddah, here us territry mob ay we be fully dedly ay drink straight from the box of lady-boat! Ice for balanda c*nt eh bruss!
Posted Image

^_^


A "Moselle". In a box. Named Coolabah.

Son, that's as wrong as two boys fucking.
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#17 Doug Kibbey

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1636 PM

The other day, I bought a 3 litre box of Argentinian cabernet sauvignon from the Falling Star winery that was absolutely out of this world and only cost 13 bucks. That was some damned tasty vino and I'll be buying more of the same as soon as I get paid next. For those of you in my situation, what do you do?


You chose well, Argentinian wines are wildly under-rated. I recommend a Malbec in the future...Trivento is pretty affordable, but $13 will only buy you a bottle of the reserve. Some others are more like $10. Argentina was late to the export game, so don't command the prices of Chilean wines (many of which are way over-priced...mainly due to an early and effective marketing effort).
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#18 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1654 PM

A "Moselle". In a box. Named Coolabah.

Son, that's as wrong as two boys fucking.


If you knew the true depth of the joke you'd think it funnier than a retard eating devil wings... ;)
I couldn't find a picture of Boorunga Ridge aka "Yellow Box" so the "Lady Boat" had to suffice for Goon-Bag antics.

What can I say, you can take the boy out of The Territory but you can't take The Territory out of the boy... ^_^
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#19 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1700 PM

You chose well, Argentinian wines are wildly under-rated. I recommend a Malbec in the future...


Can't speak for the US, but Malbec's and Argentinean reds in general were all the rage in the mid 2000's, they really came to prominence when the Archie's economy went down the crapper in 2000/2001 and they, especially the cream of the crop, were dirt cheap and by 2005 every wannabe-connoisseur throbber was prattling on about them, certainly in British and Australian VinTard circles.

Good drop still, but kind of like using a Mac, it is the other users that cause the embarrassment rather than the product itself per se... :blush:
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#20 Simon Tan

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 1956 PM

Wine starts improving the moment it is opened. At some point it stops improving and starts to degrade, make sure you finish drinking before that occurs but not too quickly. My rule of thumb is that a bottle shared between 2 will give you time to taste the evolution.
If you don't finish, just stop it and chuck it in the coolest part of the fridge.
I am notorious fro wine infanticide as I have very little patience. Decanting is OK with other stuff but anything Grenache driven should not be decanted.
If you like a very fruit driven wine, the 09 Cotes du Rhone work gud. Extremely fresh and lively. Not your tabac and garrique.

Simon
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