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Thread: Red Wine

  1. #1
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Red Wine

    I guess this thread can be for red wine talk in general.

    I'll start with a request-for-recommendation of my own:

    I know next to nothing about wine, other than that I prefer "dry" red wine. I wish I'd paid attention to what was on the bottle of the "dry" red wine I once tasted, that has since set the bar.

    So, I ask: who can refer me to a good "dry" red wine? Perhaps one both "premium" and, if extant, one more pedestrian?

    Every time I've tried to "research" this, I find myself falling down these rabbit holes of pomp and pretense... I don't give a damn where it is from or what its history is. I just want to find a damn good dry red wine.

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    Vacantly Occupied rincon's Avatar
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    Even without the pomp and pretense it's still quite a rabbit hole.

    "dry" just means the wine has low/very low residual sugar. I vastly prefer dry wines of all types (red, white, rose, bubbly).

    I am most familiar with wines from the US west coast and California in particular.

    I'll post more and some recommendations when I have a real keyboard to type on (currently on touch device).

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Every time I've tried to "research" this, I find myself falling down these rabbit holes of pomp and pretense... I don't give a damn where it is from or what its history is. I just want to find a damn good dry red wine.
    FYI, there have been numerous blind taste tests with so called "experts" that show very little correlation between price and "score". Two Buck Chuck has been known to come out on top of some of these tests.

    My point is, don't think you have to spend a bunch of money for quality. Given this, since your personal preferences will likely be unique to you, I suggest you just go out and buy some modestly priced dry reds almost at random, and give them a try. Eventually, you will settle on a few that you like.

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    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    My point is, don't think you have to spend a bunch of money for quality. Given this, since your personal preferences will likely be unique to you, I suggest you just go out and buy some modestly priced dry reds almost at random, and give them a try. Eventually, you will settle on a few that you like.
    Sure, I've considered it. But I thought I'd tap whatever experiences might be here for some suggestions/hints, first, heh.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    OK. Well, for what it's worth, here's where my taste buds led me.

    I tend to like Cabernet Sauvignon reds. Which is handy because that grape seems to grow everywhere. Which means it's inexpensive. South America is a cheap producer, and their Cabernets taste as good as any other countries in my mind, so it's a good selection for me for a run of the mill table wine.

    I also tend to like Vallipolicella and Bardonlino reds. Which are varietal wines that come from the grapes grown in those regions in Italy. They cost a bit more, but there are still inexpensive brands available. So I buy one of these if I am in the mood for a modest treat.

    I think because of the latter, I have developed a slight general bias in favor of Italian red wines. But that could all be in my head. I've liked lots of other wines from various grape varieties from all over the place too. I find my palate seems to work on a "like more" vs "like less" basis. It's not a love and hate thing where I tend to develop super strong opinions one way or the other. At least not within the class of "dry red wines".

  6. #6
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Ptah - depending on how Illinois taxes wines, foreign wines might be ridiculously expensive for their quality. While there's not a *lot* of price/quality correlation you don't necessarily want to be spending $2.50 in taxes on a $4 bottle of wine. That's just silly.

    Most of the classic great wines are blends of different grape varietals. The U.S. practice of labeling wines by the type of grape they are made from is idiotic. Blended U.S. wines are generally called a meritage. "Goats Do Roam" is a U.S. wine modeled on the French Cotes du Rhone, and it's pretty good.

    Idiocy aside, most wines you'll find will be labeled by grape varietal -- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir or Malbec are all right. Shiraz is good if you're getting it from Australia.

    If you like dry red wines, consider one from Spain. Rioja is the one most people like. Tempranillo is the grape they use.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  7. #7
    Member kuranes's Avatar
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    You can get a lot of bang for your buck ( re: dry red wines ) from Spain and Italy. Even lower prices from places like Yugoslavia and Chile etc. I tend to like the Italy Spain stuff better than my second option offered, but it may just be because I have some habit patterns associated with certain brands there. However, my favorite dry red grape is not available from those countries. So...for Pinot Noir I typically have to spend more, since I'll be getting it from someplace like France or the USA. ( Yes, I know one can get Pinot Noir from other sources, but I can't think where at the moment. )

    Petite Syrah is a grape that produces a real bold dry red. Despite the similarity of name, it is a different grape than the one that is called Shiraz in Australia and is called Syrah in Europe.

    I'm not sure I understand your original question - about not wanting to be bothered about details. A person armed with the name of a grape can ask for that by name in any good liquor store that has a wide variety of material available, but a grape name might not be helpful in one of those little corner stores that has a limited selection. Are you saying that you want the name of the store, the exact brand name ( many companies can sell a grape type ) of the wine and price etc. ? This could be limiting for you, since the same grape might be available through a different company with its own brand. So it would be like insisting that your dill pickles be supplied only by Vlasic, for example.

    EDIT - cross posted with Oso. Shiraz is the same grape as the French ( including much of Rhone ) Syrah, but they can taste different, since they were grown under different soil and conditions. It looks like Oso likes both Rhone and the Australian form of this.

    I looked up an inexpensive but good Italian that I like. Just everyday drinking wine - nothing spectacular. "Unpretentious", as they say... I'm not sure which grape is used in it. Taurino Salice Salentino

    Last edited by kuranes; 02-14-2014 at 11:05 PM.
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    I'm not much of a wine connoisseur, but I strongly prefer red wine, and only drink white if I don't really feel like drinking wine. I also don't know what's considered a dry vs. a semi-dry vs. a sweet red wine. I find merlots, chiantis, and pinot noirs to be too bland. Most cabernets are too something (strong? sweet?) for my taste as well, as are malbecs. Syrah is hit or miss. But I've never had a wine from the Piedmont region of Italy that I didn't like. So if I see one of those, I'll get it. They can be pricey though. A bottle of bottom of the line Barolo will set you back about $50. But you can sometimes get a bottle of Barbera d'Alba or Nebbiolo (which is a grape? but must also be a wine?) for between $10-30. I usually spend between $10 and $20 on a bottle of wine, but if I only want to spend $5, I'll go with the Archeo Nero d'Avola from Trader Joes. I'm not a fan of two buck chuck. I've been told that if you get a bottle of two buck chuck cab one week, and go back the next week to get another bottle, it's often a different wine with the same label. So two buck chuck is more like a grab bag of wine. You know the varietal, but you don't really know what you've got until you open it.

    I think you just need to try a lot of wines to figure out what you like. Most wine shops have free tastings (at least around here) once a week, and they'll have different growers, or feature wines from different regions every week. Some wine shops also have a wine station, which is much like a tasting in that you can get a small taste of a lot of different wines, but you usually have to pay for it. It's kind of like a little vending machine that dispenses 1-4 oz of wine into a glass from a spigot. And most restaurants will let you try a wine before you order a glass. In fact, at most nice restaurants, if you tell the server what kind of wine you like, he/she can make a recommendation and will offer to bring you a taste of it. So taste a lot of things and figure out what you do and don't like. If you come across something that tastes good to you, buy it. You'll probably eventually be able to narrow down your preferences to a couple grapes or regions, at which point you'll have to pony up and buy bottles to taste anything over ~$20/bottle, because they don't give that away for free and they don't usually pour glasses of expensive bottles of wine at restaurants.

  9. #9
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Kuranes, Syrah and Shiraz come from common grape stock, but they've drifted apart genetically because they were selectively bred in isolation from one another by viticulturalists for a long time. Today in California you'll find both Syrah and Shiraz being planted in different locations. Shiraz is a product of the Australian viticultural school which embraces modern genetic modification techniques, while Syrah changes much more slowly because it's a product of traditional French viticulture.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  10. #10
    Member kuranes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osito Polar View Post
    Kuranes, Syrah and Shiraz come from common grape stock, but they've drifted apart genetically because they were selectively bred in isolation from one another by viticulturalists for a long time. Today in California you'll find both Syrah and Shiraz being planted in different locations. Shiraz is a product of the Australian viticultural school which embraces modern genetic modification techniques, while Syrah changes much more slowly because it's a product of traditional French viticulture.
    Hmmm. I actually don't seek it out, but I know that people who like reds with a lot of "backbone" ( which translates as "plenty of tannins" to my ears ) or "tongue on stone" taste ( which may be what Ptah likes about the "dry" term's reality ) tend to enjoy this family of grapes. So I mentioned it, and got my info from this .https://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/s...=CATEGORY_4034
    cute as a bug

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