Red wine question - Page 2
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The point is, there are plenty of very drinkable inexpensive wines out there. Just because a wine is inexpensive doesn't automatically make it TBC. Not every wine has to be a culinary experience, just like every meal doesn't need to be.
I'm saying the ones I have had that were really cheap are often terrible, and in several instances I poured the bottle out, or just used it for a marinade. If you go into the $7-15 range your a lot more likely to get something good or at the very least drinkable.
One cheap wine I had that was very good, was a Cuban white wine, I got it free (in Canada) but it probably costs less than $0.50 per bottle there. It was just labeled white wine, so I'm sure it was a mix but the predominant grape was Sav Blanc.
I don't drink much and when I do pop a cork I do want it to be an enjoyable experience. I have opened my share of wines in the $30-40+ price range that were disappointing so it's not just about the label or the price point but rather the quality of what's in the bottle.
I don't think any one here is using TBC as a generic descriptive for cheap wine. We are talking about the Charles Shaw wines sold at TJ's for $2.
As far as temperature goes, personally I like reds served in the high 50's range and whites in the low 50 range
I probably should have went to the service entrance. My pallet would have been a lot more welcome there.
Of course I'm just joking. Now I better watch for my own twypos! :lol:
Greece makes a dessert wine which I really enjoy as well, it is not too expensive and tastes great.
My sister taught me a few things from there....
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.
All this talk about two buck chuck has me laughing. We, in this country, are such snobs. I have a friend who grew up in France and his story used to be that his parents used to buy wine from a guy who drove in with a water tanker truck (a small one) and would distribute wine that way. All the families brought their own liter bottles and just had them filled up, costing the equivalent of a few bucks. The average Frenchman doesn't drink AOC wines, he drinks what we would call table wine. If he is drinking a few glasses a day he can't afford to be spending the equivalent of $15-20 a bottle. We are so label coincse that we turn our noses up at any inexpensive wine without ever giving it a try.
Having grown up in France, I can confirm. As a kid we'd take big gallon plastic jars, drive to the cooperative and have them fill it up with their wine. Then go home and bottle it ourselves. It wasn't the best wine in the world, but it was good.
As for two buck chuck, a big reason for the small price is that the wine is very inconsistent. Most winemakers spend a lot of time making sure that every single bottle they produce tastes the same as the last one and the next one. You're paying for that. Not with Charles Shaw (two buck chuck). So on some days you can get a really good one, and other days you'll get a not-so-good one.
To get started with pretty good red wine in California, I would try Castoro or Boggle. Both in the $10/bottle range. Try merlot, cabernet, or even Petite Syrah. Or better yet, try them all, see which one you prefer.
Cab sauv and shiraz/syrah are great wines, two of my favorites, but starting with them can be rough. The tannins and pepper can be pretty overkill for a lot of new wine drinkers. Eerily enough, I've found those without a taste for wine (many around here) tend to do better with the lower quality red blends that qualify as boozy grape juice. For pure varietals, try sangria or maybe a lighter pinot noir. Merlot is fairly easy going most of the time, though a little heavier.
Ok like most everyone else said it is all about your taste. What I love is different from what my boyfriend loves. However what I did was just went and took what I know I like out of a white and found it in a red. Also it depends on what you are eating with it or just drinking it by itself:) RH Phillips has a really nice Cab that is called Night Harvest...Super good and I can find it at my Grocery store for 5 bucks! You can buy it from the winery for about 15 with shipping i think...Go figure... Another great one is called Paso Creek also a cab really good and priced around 15..My best advice go wine tasting! That way you can learn what you like and what you don't. My favorite area is Paso Robles. However California has great places all over this state to go wine tasting. Personally I hated Merlot's when I first started in with Reds and loved Cabs.. I now like Zin's and Merlots however our taste buds may be different. If you get the chance to got to Paso hit up Eberle they have a great selection of wines and they are so good not to mention their staff is wonderful!
Can't make it to someplace for tasting.. have a wine tasting party with your friends. Ask them to bring a snack and a favorite bottle of wine. Wine lovers will always share what their favorites are:) Enjoy the exploration...I was a white fan only when I first started drinking wine...Now I loooovvveee reds:)
Jmama, my fiance and I picked up a bottle of that wine you were mentioning because of your recommendation here. For the price, it's a great find; perfect for greasier BBQ. It opens quite pleasantly; I'd say acidic plumb perhaps? Either way it cuts through fat, and while it's not overly complex you don't feel cheated. The weakness that I think dropped the price out is when it opens up; the acidity and tannins fade a little, the plumb comes out, and then it quite suddenly falls to flab. Still, definitely on my summer table wine list.
I've drunk a lot of red wine, mostly cabernets, sometimes blends especially from Australia (I know a guy there who really REALLY is into red wine).
But the most important thing I've learned over the years is no matter what you think you like, it rarely is gonna be the same the next time around.
One of the things most often overlooked is the shipping of the wine. A great wine from Napa Valley, can turn into crap by the time it reaches Minnesota, if it isn't handled right.
I've drunk some Beringer Reserve at $120 a bottle in a 5 star restaurant, and gone the next day and bought the same vintage at a liquor or wine store for 1/2 as much, and it tastes 1/4 as good, sometimes even worse.
Cork is something of a trap too. Cork is getting harder and harder to find. The controversy of using screw caps is hot and widely debated.
I knew a guy who took a wine tour of a vintner in CA, had two cases shipped to him and they were so bad he sent them back for a full refund. But they were sure good at the vintner's.
So, Hannah cabernet can be good, but half the time the bottom of the cork is rotted and breaks off into the bottle. But a good bottle is hard to beat for the price.
Cakebread Reserve is a great wine but pricey.
One thing you might want to consider is joining a reputable wine club where they send you samples each month. My friend in the Quad Cities swears by the wines. Even ones he wouldn't ordinarily choose for whatever reason turn out to be fairly good. He's gotten me to expand from my fav cabernet and tried some Merlots (which generally I think lack body compared to cabernets). I like the tannins. But watch out for the sulfites. My wife haS a genuine choking fit when served a sulfite ridden wine in a restaurant. Especially the Black Stallion approximately half way between Minneapolis and Rochester.
15 year old Dry Zack from Spain is impossible for me to drink, but cooking with it the taste it delivers is unbelievable. Another myth about not using wine you wouldn't drink, although it seems to be an exception.
If you can find a good Maltec, and they are very hard to find and grow. The conditions have to be just so. But a local merchant had one bottle left and talked me into it and I couldn't believe how good it was. But other local merchants won't carry maltec grape wines because of their unpredicability.
So, hope this helps. Just figure out how much you're willing to spend, find a trustworthy merchant, and see if his tastes match yours. They generally will take back a wine if they recommended it and you found it to be unpleasant.
At least that has been my experience with wine since about 2002 when I really started to get into red wines. I had a Chateau Margot once for about $44 served in the 510 restaurant near the old Guthrie theatre. THey used a candle to decant it into another glass jar. I had seen recently at the time a story about how they were one of the last French vintners that did things the old fashioned way. That experience is what made me think "Ah Ha, so this is what everybody is so excited about red wines", because previously I couldn't drink 'em.
I stuck with German Saar/Ruwer valley whites preferring the much over Rhine wines. (Rhine wines come in dark brown bottles (or at least they used to) and Saar/ruwer wines came in green bottles. I like the delicate sweetness of them. But once I got into Reds, I never looked back.
The bottom line is if you can't taste the difference don't pay anymore. Every now and again just go up a few dollars. Ask friends and remember what you have liked. Italian, French, US, greek, SA, Chile, Aussie wines are all different, even with the same variety. Drink what you can afford and tastes good. Then challenge your pallet every now and then. In the end it comes down to what you like and what you can afford. I have been excited by a $5 bottle and by a $700 bottle, it depends on so much that is subjective.