Wine Recomendations

My favorite under $15 wine recomendation:
Estanice Cabernet Sauvingnon
Average Price $12 in VA. Available in most wine retailers
Tasting Notes:
Every year its a consistantly good bottle of wine. I have never had a bad vintage. It will easilly age for 10 years, however is always drinkable now.

Its great with food. Especially good with grilled meats.

Thanks for starting the thread…I’ll sticky it for a while.
Here’s one of my faves for a $20-ish red for a nicer occasion.

Bonny Doon “Cardinal Zin”- big, spicy, yummy. Very good with beef or lamb.

Another under $20

Chateau Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley
About $16 per bottle in VA. Great Cab year after year. Early 90’s are great. Great balance with mellow tannins and nice friut. Will age for 10-15 years but is great when young.

I just had the Chard this weekend:

Chateau Souverain Chardonnay Barrel Fermented Sonoma County

Great value. Priced around $12 a bottle in VA
Definitely leans to the dry-er side of chardonnays, nice subtle acidity with mellow oak
Sweet I’m way too much of a noob to recommending wines.

Wine Noob’s are welcome post what you like. Any info is good for wine drinkers of all levels. The important thing is that trying different wines and finding out what you like is the most fun part of wine drinking. The more you drink, the more you learn.
Sweeeeet

I’ll step in with many a recommendation
No, that’s the problem. I’m too poor to have tasted many wines.
I’m going to have a field day with this thread tomorrow….at work.

no problem. the great thing about wine is that there is something to fit anybody’s budget.

Are you in the wine business or somehing? If so, group buy?
Valley of the moon Sangiovese
About $12 a bottle in VA
Mellow, good flavor. A lighter red from an area not known for Sangiovese grapes – Sonoma County

I’ll post some recommendations when I get home tonight. My wife may start frequenting this forum too, she knows a hell of a lot more than I do. I’ve been trying to get her off the shite MSN wine forum she’s on now but there wasn’t a real alternative for her

Another under $20

Chateau Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

this is a great wine!

pretty much any 97 california cab ownz.

i’m also a fan of turning leaf cab, i’ve tried the 97 through 00 and they’ve all been decent *edit* and beringer founder’s estate cab is very good as well */edit*

i’m a varietal man meself, cab sauvignon specifically the woman is more of a white wine fan
I’m just starting to get into wine, so I really don’t have much of a foundation of knowledge on the matter. I’d like to pick up a book or two that would give me a good introduction to wine…any suggestions?
the first book i got was parker’s wine buyer’s guide 6th edition by robert parker jr. the beginning of the book has concise info on basic wine service, storage, purchasing, stemware, as well as the business side of things. the rest of the 1600 page book consists of ratings and tasting notes for many wines in most major wine producing areas.

i took that book with me when i lived in spain for awhile to help guide my purchases there and in paris.

eta:

a hardcover edition is available and i have it.

Pick up a copy of The Wine Avenger, by Willie Gluckstern. I personally haven’t read it yet, but my wife has and she said it was great. (still working on getting her in this forum I think she’ll have to register again)


Robert Parker is usually referred to as ‘The God’ of wine reviewers. His books are very good.
Here’s another one:

Simi Winery ChardonnayVA retail price about $10
Good easy drinking chard. Not over oaked like alot of California chard’s.

Winmaker description:

Composed of top quality fruit from Sonoma’s Russian River and Carneros growing regions, Simi Chardonnay is characterized by its excellent balance, luscious fruit flavors and long, elegant finish. The 2003 vintage produced fully ripe and flavorful fruit with superb concentration and balance thanks to an extended growing season. Aged in French oak, silky smooth in texture and accented by topical fruit, pear, spice and toasty oak, this wine is a true reflection of the Sonoma County appellation.

THE WINE
Appearance: Brilliantly clear, light and golden straw colored.
Aroma: Vibrant tropical fruit with pear, white peach, and vanilla lightly spiced with clove, cinnamon and toasty oak.
Taste and Texture: Lush, creamy texture enhanced by citrus notes and flavors of pear, apricot and tropical fruit. Hints of vanilla and oak that carry through to a long, lingering finish.
Appellation: Sonoma County

WINEMAKING DETAILS
Varietal composition: 100% Chardonnay
Time in Oak: 6 months
Type of Oak: 100% French Oak; 18% new
Total Acidity: 6.6 g/l
pH: 3.59
Alcohol: 13.5%

Our Chardonnay complements scallops with tomato and fennel ragout, warm calamari salad, shrimp ravioli and mustard vinaigrette. Or try it with these featured recipes:
That stuff was $18 at my local store tonight or I would’ve bought a bottle

Valley of the moon Sangiovese
About $12 a bottle in VA
Mellow, good flavor. A lighter red from an area not known for Sangiovese grapes – Sonoma County

What I bought tonight:

Bummer. I guess we are spoiled for wine prices here in VA. Is there high taxes on liquor in TX?
I had this last Weekend:

2001 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel
Approx $13/bottle in VA

This is a BIG wine. Lots of fruit, lots of complexity. Ravenswood’s tagline is “No Wimpy Wines” This is definitely not a winp. Its big, smells great, looks great and is a great value. Beware, this is a BIG wine.
This wine stands up to spicy meals…mainly because it has ballz.
We drank it with a pizza with spicy italian sausage and green peppers.
Wine Maker’s Description:
FLAVOR PROFILE: Bright, flashy, ripe raspberry, blackberry and vanilla flavors are wrapped around a soft sweet fruit core highlighted by scents of cinnamonComposition: 95% Zinfandel, 4% Carignane, 1% mixed blacksAppellation: Sonoma CountyAging: 24 months in French oak, 35% newAlcohol: 14.5%Ageability: Up to 10 years
Next pay check… I’m buying something from this thread.
No, it’s the same as typical sales tax. I’m not sure why vine is more expensive. Hard liquor is cheaper, as is beer.

Finca Flichman Malbec Mendoza 2004 (Argentina) ~$7
We picked up a bottle of this over the weekend at Total Wine and it was excellent. I’m not as good at describing wines as my wife is, so here’s a cut and paste from the net, it matches up with what i remember:

“The Malbec is my favourite with big chunks of chocolate-laden fruit and a touch of spice. There are not many wines which offer quite as much flavour for money as this range does” Christine Austin, Yorkshire Post

Here’s the label:

The one I posted? Shit. I dunno. I guess it would be in the foreign section, we did a tasting at Total Wine and this was one of the featured wines, so they had it right there at the tasting table.
I’m a huge fan of Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio. Its around $20 per bottle, but its so good.
If you’re looking for something different, I stumbled on a Canadian Rose from the Niagara region(Ontario)@12$, it’s tart and pairs well with chicken or fish, especially if garlic is on the menu.

I had this last Weekend:

2001 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel
Approx $13/bottle in VA

This is a BIG wine. Lots of fruit, lots of complexity. Ravenswood’s tagline is “No Wimpy Wines” This is definitely not a winp. Its big, smells great, looks great and is a great value. Beware, this is a BIG wine.
This wine stands up to spicy meals…mainly because it has ballz.
We drank it with a pizza with spicy italian sausage and green peppers.
Wine Maker’s Description:
FLAVOR PROFILE: Bright, flashy, ripe raspberry, blackberry and vanilla flavors are wrapped around a soft sweet fruit core highlighted by scents of cinnamonComposition: 95% Zinfandel, 4% Carignane, 1% mixed blacksAppellation: Sonoma CountyAging: 24 months in French oak, 35% newAlcohol: 14.5%Ageability: Up to 10 years

i’m the noob of noobs to wine…what do you mean by “big wine”?

i’m buying something tomorrow…i need something good to go with a steak…
He probably means that it has a very strong flavor, and a lot of noticeable tastes in said flavor.

Try some Penfold’s Koonunga Hill (any red) if you can find it locally. Fantastic with meat, I’ve found.

Exactly what Minty said. It has big bold complex fruit flavors (lots of dark cherry flavor, some current), big meaty tannins. Its also about 14.5% alcohol which is on the high side for wines.
The nice thing is that since the fruit and tannins are strong, it doesn’t just taste like alcohol.
Its great with spicy food and perfect with steak.
I had this tonight:

Smoking Loon Merlot 2003

Not as dry as most merlots I’ve had, but still has a very good flavor. Fruity, but not overbearing.

I had this tonight:

Smoking Loon Merlot 2003

Not as dry as most merlots I’ve had, but still has a very good flavor. Fruity, but not overbearing.

That’s good stuff, we’ve had it a few times.
For parties and a cheap wine I usually go with

Rex Goliath or Rex and Goliath Pinot Noir
or

Little Penquin Shiraz.

Not something i drink all the time or for my own taste but cheap to pickup for parties
For a decent chard imho I always have liked Kendal Jackson. It is a little on the wet side for my tastes however anyone I have ever given it to complements it for its fruity flavor with a tad bit of ‘woody’ flavor (for lack of a better term.)
just figured I’d throw one out there…

Merryvale’s “Starmont” Cabernet
76% Cab Sauv, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
14.5% by vol

its a bit on the more spendy side for some (depending on location, it varies from about 15-27), but IMO, well worth it
These are all $10 and under

NZ Riesling
Pepperwood Grove Zin 2001
Any Riojas <–they’re all Spanish
Smoking Loon Syrah
Black Opal Shiraz
Coppola Rosso – anything
Marques de Caceras – anything <-my favorite brand. I’m drinking a 03 Rioja as I type this

you can hardly ever go wrong with a spanish wine as they are all so well made
I love Amarone, especially Tomassi bottlings

I first tasted it at a wine dinner hosted by a local Tuscan restaurant (now defunct). It was paired with farm-raised venison served with a heavy fig-based sauce. Good grief, it was fucking incredible.

It is really the only wine I drink, because I love it so, especially with a straight-up ribeye

I’ll have to check out the publications mentioned, try some other wines.

Okanagan Falls, B.C., Canada

“Spicy aromas of lichee fruit, orange blossom and violets, followed by rich, full flavours of passion fruit, lichees and ripe melons. This wine is a wonderful complement to curries and other Asian cuisine, especially where ginger, anise, hot peppers and soya sauce is used. $13.99 (CDN)”


Okanagan Falls, B.C., Canada

“Spicy aromas of lichee fruit, orange blossom and violets, followed by rich, full flavours of passion fruit, lichees and ripe melons. This wine is a wonderful complement to curries and other Asian cuisine, especially where ginger, anise, hot peppers and soya sauce is used. $13.99 (CDN)”

I’m going to look for this one tonight. My wife is a fiend for Thai food and it’s been a few days. Is it really sweet, like a Reisling?

Depends on the winery, but yes, it can get very sweet and fruity. The Columbia winery version is like drinking lychee juice.

I had this tonight:

Smoking Loon Merlot 2003

Not as dry as most merlots I’ve had, but still has a very good flavor. Fruity, but not overbearing.

We sell this at the restaurant as a glass pour. Not a big mover. But nice.

We always joke that as a rule of thumb with wines like that, the longer the name, the sweeter it is.

I had this last Weekend:

2001 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel
Approx $13/bottle in VA

This is a BIG wine. Lots of fruit, lots of complexity. Ravenswood’s tagline is “No Wimpy Wines” This is definitely not a winp. Its big, smells great, looks great and is a great value. Beware, this is a BIG wine.
This wine stands up to spicy meals…mainly because it has ballz.
We drank it with a pizza with spicy italian sausage and green peppers.
Wine Maker’s Description:
FLAVOR PROFILE: Bright, flashy, ripe raspberry, blackberry and vanilla flavors are wrapped around a soft sweet fruit core highlighted by scents of cinnamonComposition: 95% Zinfandel, 4% Carignane, 1% mixed blacksAppellation: Sonoma CountyAging: 24 months in French oak, 35% newAlcohol: 14.5%Ageability: Up to 10 years

We also sell this. It’s definitely one of our favorites as far as inexpensive wine goes.
Had this last week

$86 a bottle

It’s incredibly rich, very long finish… almost viscous on the tongue.

A customer ordered 4 bottles for his table. They always left a taste in the each bottle.

Haven’t been able to find any yet . I have yet to try any of the really well-stocked wine shops yet though.

I did grab a bottle of this tonight — never had it, but I’ve heard good things about it. Cheaper than the Amarone, for sure

Now I have to get something to eat with it

2004 Sauvignon Blanc – Napa Valley – $20
That is good stuff. It’s one of my regular purchases.

That along with Penfold’s Bin 128 Coonawara Shiraz.

I also liked Chateau St. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon ( 2002? )

I had this last Weekend:

2001 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel
Approx $13/bottle in VA

This is a BIG wine. Lots of fruit, lots of complexity. Ravenswood’s tagline is “No Wimpy Wines” This is definitely not a winp. Its big, smells great, looks great and is a great value. Beware, this is a BIG wine.
This wine stands up to spicy meals…mainly because it has ballz.
We drank it with a pizza with spicy italian sausage and green peppers.
Wine Maker’s Description:
FLAVOR PROFILE: Bright, flashy, ripe raspberry, blackberry and vanilla flavors are wrapped around a soft sweet fruit core highlighted by scents of cinnamonComposition: 95% Zinfandel, 4% Carignane, 1% mixed blacksAppellation: Sonoma CountyAging: 24 months in French oak, 35% newAlcohol: 14.5%Ageability: Up to 10 years

My favorite under $15 wines :

Yellowtail Shiraz – It’s an Australian wine. It’s not too strong and it is smooth to the taste. Around $12 – $14 for the big bottles.. highly recomended if you like Shiraz.

Beringer White Zin – Not very costly, very tasty if you like White Zin. Around $11 for a big bottle…. They also have a Beringer White Merlot that I recently tried and liked, around the same price.

I like the big bottles!
Charles Shaw, aka 2 Buck Chuck. Sold by the case at Trader Joes for about $30. VERY good, it was actually winning wine tasting comparisons a few years back.

Dr. Frank Dry Riesling (2004) Limited
This dry Riesling, presenting a green gold hue, displays the traditional qualities of Dr. Frank???s Riesling : crisp acidity, a pronounced mineral character and layers of fruit aromas. Descriptors include honeysuckle, apple, pear, quince and a slight hint of petrol. The ripeness of the grapes resulted in a great texture with a lingering fruity aftertaste.

Awards:
2005 DOUBLE GOLD: San Francisco International Wine Competition; GOLD: Tasters Guild Wine Competition, Riverside International Wine Competition; CHAIRMAN’S BEST OF CLASS: Long Beach Grand Cru

Had some over the weekend to celebrate my 1 year anniversary.
Spy Valley make a really good Gewurtztraminer in addition to the Reisling. It will be in the New Zealand/New World wine section
Gewurtztraminers are not typically very sweet. They tend to be on the crisp side. Little acidic, some mineral notes. In a blind tasting you can pick out a Gewurtz because they smell like petrol on the nose. They are a good complement to Thai food. An Alsation Reisling would also go great. They are off-dry and would cut the spice of Thai cuisine.
This is my personal “under $20” favorite. A nice red:

Bolla Valpolicella

Dry, full and well-balanced, Valpolicella has a spicy flavor of cherries, berries and other dark fruits. This ruby red wine is particularly good with meat dishes such as roast beef, beef stew and lamb. Serve also with steak fajitas, veal and highly seasoned cheeses.

I dont think this will help much, but I got back from my trip to Italy and they said this year, 2005, has been their best harvest year for a couple of years. So when 2005 hit the market, roughly Jan-Mar, it would be wise to stock up.

Italy also has a strange thought about which years are best, they believe every year after leap year is a good year. Which has been true. 1997 great, 2001 good, and 2005 should be great as well.

just a heads up post I guess this is.

This is my personal “under $20” favorite. A nice red:

Bolla Valpolicella

Dry, full and well-balanced, Valpolicella has a spicy flavor of cherries, berries and other dark fruits. This ruby red wine is particularly good with meat dishes such as roast beef, beef stew and lamb. Serve also with steak fajitas, veal and highly seasoned cheeses.

I love Valpolicella.

2 of my recent favorites are Virginia wines.

2002 Horton Norton
Norton is a native Virginia grape that produced the internationally prize winning clarets of the Monticello Wine Company of Charlottesville in the late 1800’s.
Our Norton has a dark, rich color and an intensely fruity aroma of plums and tart cherries. Ageing in oak for 14 months has given this wine a long, flavorful, spicy finish. A wine for game, grilled sausages, and spicy ethnic foods.

2002 Keswick Trevillion
This unique blend of Touriga, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Norton was aged in French and American oak barrels for sixteen months. This well-balanced wine has soft, velvety red fruit and sufficient tannins and structure to age further.

Both are under $20, and delicious.

The other I had recently was

Castello di Gabbiano Chianti, DOCG

new to the whole wine thing. what is a good fruity wine to drink? not really looking to drink with much food or anything. just something to relax with and have a glass or two. i had merlot not too long ago. it wans’t too bad. but i was looking for something fruitier and sweeter.

This wine usually never lets me down. This and something by them called Ruby Cabernet which is more fruity.

I’m addicted to wine….and cheesecake. Mmmm…

Chianti reseva, I’ve been drinking a lot of this lately….

Reisling eiswein, its great if you can afford it!
delicious
I almost peed myself seeing that 1970 TF Port, Chef.

I LOVE Sourgal 2003 Moscato DiAsti, Elio Perrone Wines
Yep, I like them floofy.
Muscats are among my FAVS.
…and hey, that TF port is as old as I AM!!! Born the same year! LOL
Although I prefer a 40 year old, a 35 year old port would also be so freakinin awesome!

Since you mentioned Merlot I’m guessing you’re interested in sweeter Reds.

Anything made with Concord grapes are going to be about the sweetest wine (short of dumping suger in the mix) you can find.

Try and find something like a young Chambourcin that hasn’t been oak aged. Maybe a wine made from DeChaunac grapes.

Check your local area and see if there is a winery/vineyard around. Usually you can do a tasting there. Tell the server what you like (semi-sweet etc) and they’ll hook you up.

new to the whole wine thing. what is a good fruity wine to drink? not really looking to drink with much food or anything. just something to relax with and have a glass or two. i had merlot not too long ago. it wans’t too bad. but i was looking for something fruitier and sweeter.

MUSCATS, like the one (with bubbles, but you can get them without) I recommended earlier are sweet and easy to drink. They fall under the “nectar” category of wines. So look for Muscat, Moscato, Muscato, ( that’s the type of grape)in the name. Most of them are really good, though I have had one or two that I did not like. I don’t like Kokopelli Muscat. I do like their white Zin, and you might want to try white zinfandels too, if you like sweeter wines.
Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Port
It’s not vintage, but it’s alright.
Pairs well with dark chocolate.
if you like viogniers, try yalumbo.

it’s cheap (<$20) and quite delicious.
I’ve been drinking Tomassi’s pinot grigio alot lately. It’s only thirteen bucks a bottle and is dryer than most pinot grigios at the price point. Very good, cheap dinner wine. I’ve noticed it has just recently moved into a 2004 vintage, so the quality may change.

Yeah, I have been thinking about trying out more Austallian wines. New World wines (like Aussie) are made from grapes that are allowed to ripen more than Old World wines.(european)
New World wines are made to have much more flavor to them, to stand on their own, but Old World wines don’t do that because they believe wines should always be paired with food, and should not overpower the food.
This is what I have learned recently, anyway.

Yeah, I have been thinking about trying out more Austallian wines. New World wines (like Aussie) are made from grapes that are allowed to ripen more than Old World wines.(european)
New World wines are made to have much more flavor to them, to stand on their own, but Old World wines don’t do that because they believe wines should always be paired with food, and should not overpower the food.
This is what I have learned recently, anyway.

It’s true–food is king in Europe. This is also a natural result of the difference in growing seasons. Europe has shorter growing seasons than the New World, and so their grapes tend to yield much dryer and less sweet wines (with exceptions, of course).

Yeah, that’s what I heard too. The growing seasons are shorter, so they kind of CAN’T produce a more “new world style” of wine, in general.
I think I only saw one or two Pinot Noir recommendations….Anyone have more? I haven’t liked the couple that I have tried. One I only bought for the name, which is “Vampire” and it’s from Transylvania, so I thought the novelty of it was cool. It’s a decartion in my kitchen because the wine, to me, is craptacular.
I am still not willing to totally give up on Pinot Noirs yet. I think I just haven’t found a good one. I got an Aussie one today, but the name is escaping me….
If anyone wants to tell me some good Pinot Noir pairings, feel free.

Yeah, the Aussie Pinot Noir was way better. (had it with Havarti)
New World wines FTW.

Yeah, the Aussie Pinot Noir was way better. (had it with Havarti)
New World wines FTW.

I don’t know if it was mentioned in this thread, but New Zealand makes some great pinot noir. Check that out as well.

Lovely. Thank you.
I am looking into getting wine, but port and sherry sound like my sort of game. I am looking for something fun to drink and relax too as summer is coming up, I figure it’d be nice to try something new.

What would be great value, budget/entry wines that would be great to drink on their own? I am used to drinking mixed drinks and bottled beers, so I could use some enlightenment.
Port and sherry aren’t really summer drinks. They have a higher alcohol percentage than non-fortified wines.

For the summer try a sauvignon blanc or Alsatian Riesling. Alsatians are drier than German Rieslings and are great aperitifs.

For Sauv Blancs, try Forefathers, St. Supery, Kenwood, or Pepi.

Pierre Sparr makes a great Alsatian Riesling for $10.

I think I only saw one or two Pinot Noir recommendations….Anyone have more?

Try some Oregon or Washington St. Pinots. Archery Summit is fantastic out of Oregon. MacMurray is a good, affordable pinot out of Sonoma.
Some of the best Cabernets in Australia come out of Coonawarra. For Shiraz, look for McClaren Vale.

I will keep that in mind. Thanks!
I really like Cavit Pinot Grigio. It’s under $20 and has a great taste.
I just got back from a summer in italy and visited Chianti. I brought home a bottle of Castello Di Verazzanno Chianti Classico 2001 Reserve.

I’m a wine noob so i couldn’t tell you anything specific about it except that it was absolutely delicious. i guess it would go well with meat. At the vineyard we tasted it with prosciutto and salami.

Only downside is the price, i paid 47 euro for a 1.5L. I dont know what the price is here in the states.
Went to a Italian Restaurant recently and had a bottle of Rutherford Ranch Cabernet and it was really good. I’m not good with the wine lingo but I like cabernet for its dryness (I call it) or the amount of tannins. It cost $30 for the bottle at the restaurant but you can find them at stores for as low as $12. Contradictory to what I liked this is not as dry but had a nice flavor, thought I would share.

I have been told by a sommelier from Japan, that anything chilean is usually great cause the temp is usually great every year.
it’s very inexpensive and great day to day drinking wine.

I myself love the merlots from chile.

For something much more tanic and robust i usually love Italian Amerone
I just had Folie a Deux winery’s Menage a Trois Red. It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

I found it very smooth, slightly tannic (I’m not a big tannin fan), and lightly oaked – just a hint of it.

Since it’s a young wine, we aerated it before drinking.

Figured I’d toss in my limited experience here….forgive my lack of terms for tastes, I’m new at describing wines!

Got a few bottles of Twin Fin 2004 Chardonnay on sale one weekend. Cracked open a bottle and had it over two day’s dinners. Great stuff!
Sweet, fragrant, smells of tropical fruit…..pineapple, melons…..didn’t taste really any oaking. Went excellent with my shrimp alfredo pasta.

Also got some Rosemount 2002 Cabernet/Shiraz. Another good, fairly sweet wine. Fairly full-bodied, strong flavor, went well w/ a spicey dinner. Possible chocolate/plum taste?

A while back I tried a bottle of Turning Leaf’s Pinot Noir. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about Noir’s at the time and was expecting something different. It had a very nice, soft taste, light texture. Nice taste, hard to describe it, but it would be a nice wine to enjoy it’s subtleties on its own. I had to pay attention to my sips to catch its flavors.

I’ve also tried many of Yellow Tail’s wines; particularly their shiraz, cabsav, and cab/shiraz mix. All were very nice, sweet, easy drinking wines. Big taste, fairly thick body. To me, though, these taste like they have a sweetener added or something…they have a distinct different sweetness to them that sticks out in the aftertaste. While I really enjoy their reds, I wouldn’t be proud to bring the name up to any wine aficionados.

I did not like Alice White’s Shiraz at all! Not recommended at all!
Is it true that Merlot is regarded as a “cheap” Cabernet? I know they are different grapes, but I was told you shouldn’t pay alot for Merlot; if your going to spend some money, get a Cabernet instead.

This is completely false. Two of the most expensive wines in the world, Chateau Petrus and Chateau Le Pin, are almost 100% merlot.

There are excellent merlots out there that are far better than a lot of cabs. Duckhorn, Matanzas Creek, Cuvaison, and Swanson are fantastic and are all above $25.

About Chiantis, make sure the Chianti you buy is from the Chianti Classico region. The appellation of Chianti is too large for consistency. The Classico region is how the appellation was originally delineated.
What’s OT think of Seven Deadly Zins?

I’ve been on a zifandel kick lately, and have had a few that I think are really good.

The seven deadly zins might just be my favorite, but I also liked the Rancho Zabaco, and the Ravenswood. I also liked the Francis Coppola Zifandel…

What’s OT think of Seven Deadly Zins?

I’ve been on a zifandel kick lately, and have had a few that I think are really good.

The seven deadly zins might just be my favorite, but I also liked the Rancho Zabaco, and the Ravenswood. I also liked the Francis Coppola Zifandel…

If you’re into zinfandel, try Rombauer. It’s unreal. Ridge is another label that gets a lot of attention, though I personally think they’re overrated for the price. Liar’s Dice is another zin that I could drink any day.
I’ve been buying alot of Prosecco lately. It’s a light sparkling wine that is affordable and delicious. With fruit juice (peach, I think), it can be mixed into a traditional Italian beverage.

I’ve been buying alot of Prosecco lately. It’s a light sparkling wine that is affordable and delicious. With fruit juice (peach, I think), it can be mixed into a traditional Italian beverage.

Prosecco is good for one thing, bellinis.

mmmm…it was pretty good with a white tomato soup.
I love this thread! I hope y’all don’t mind a newcomer joining in?

While I’m in no way any kind of expert, I have been “experimenting” with wines for a few years now. It started with cooking for a cancer patient. Need to drastically lower salt, tenderize meat and increase flavor without adding other spiciness? Wine! Real wine, too, not that supermarket cooking wine stuff.

A very dear friend was born and raised in a small, rural farming area of northern Italy. I complained to her about trying to like reds but just couldn’t do it. She told me she was sure my problem was that I was an American Sipper. Drink Reds with meals! They make love with the right foods and your palette gets all the benefits. Drinking (sipping) them alone, like we so often do with whites, is like sleeping alone in a double bed. Consider the whites as foreplay, or the cigarette afterwards. The Reds are the heart of the relationship. I took her advice and my taste buds have been purring ever since.

About a year ago, somebody here asked about pinot noirs — my current favorite, extremely affordable, belongs to Rosemont Estate. In fact, I very much like many of their contributions. I really like the blends as they are so very drinkable and all of them, including their reds, can at least take a slight chill.

Right now I’m working on a bottle of Two Oceans Shiraz. It’s a South African (2006) and not bad. Next up will be a Shiraz/Pinotage blend from the Sebeka Wineries (2006), also of South Africa.

Now that summer is approaching, I’m turning more to the younger wines — they are more fruity with less smoke -n- oak and can always take a chill. They are just about always less expensive.

Has anyone here had much experience with the old vine Zins? Are they worth the hunt and expense?

Also, for those just learning about wine, please try the whimsical label from CA — Pink Truck and Red Truck. Chill them well and enjoy. I doubt you’ll pay more than $12. They are both delightful!

Thank you for so many great recommendations and thanks for letting me post!
Arrogant Frog Ribbet Red (France)- Just under 15, great with food or just on it’s own.
3$ a bottle and the only good thing to come fromw wal-mart….

Tres Rios (red) -You’d be suprised what 3 bucks can get you. My dad grew up in spain and he copares it to when he would go to the vinyards and pay a quarter to fill up a bottle – always a random mix of wines 😛

But specifically my two favorite reds are the:

Black Opal (just had 2003) cabernet from southeastern australia

Jacobs Creek Shiraz (only had 2003-4)
I came here to recommend two excellent ports: Graham’s 10 Year Tawny Port ($30) and Dow’s 10 Year Tawny Port ($30). I won’t go on at length about their character… you will just have to trust my recommendation. Both are magnificently complex and smooth.
Has anyone drank Paraduxx? A wine geek convinced me to buy a bottle, but I haven’t opened it yet. What should I expect?

Made by Duckhorn so it should be good. It’s a big wine from what I’ve heard, Cab/Zin blend mostly.
Tried Chateau Roquefort Bordeaux, it was 13 dollars. Great taste, definately will be great once it has aged, like most bordeaux’s.

I’ve had several bottles and that’s exactly what it is.
My favorites are Pouilly Fuisse (dry, medium-full bodied, white and Relax (a riesling approx $10) I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like Relax. It’s light and fruity but not in an artifical “arbor mist” kind of way.
i am SO SICK of redbull and monster energy drinks – does anyone have any better ideas, i just need to stay awake for homework and well, to stay awake haha
comprehensive wine guide?

I saw one at the local liquor store, complied by the owner/staff/whoever. It paired generally every type of wine with suggested food. Anyone have anything like this?
#1.) book- wine bible by Karen MacNeil, great easy read, or the culinary institute of america’s textbook also excellent resource.

#2.) wines- less than 25, basically any rhone style wine from australia. Syrah grenache blends, rutherglen red is a great one, as well as pillar box red, and innocent bystander.
For higher end. Cab/blend-trefethen halo (01 preferably)
shafer hillside select
bryant family
seavey
joseph phelps insignia
rubicon
bordeaux-cht. grand puy lacoste
cht. pavie
merlot-twomey
northstar
shafer
Other reds-shafer relentless
stags leap petite sirah
earthquate petit sirah and zinfandel.
I really like their Syrah and Cab Sauvignon!

I had this tonight:

Smoking Loon Merlot 2003

Not as dry as most merlots I’ve had, but still has a very good flavor. Fruity, but not overbearing.

If you live in Virginia, you should check out Williamsburg Winery’s Governor’s White. It’s sweet, but REALLY easy to drink. It’s perfect to have around for parties when you are unsure if people like wine or not. Lovely, and cheap too!
You should also visit their winery, it’s beautiful– and just a hop away from Colonial Williamsburg!

If you live in Virginia, you should check out Williamsburg Winery’s Governor’s White. It’s sweet, but REALLY easy to drink. It’s perfect to have around for parties when you are unsure if people like wine or not. Lovely, and cheap too!
You should also visit their winery, it’s beautiful– and just a hop away from Colonial Williamsburg!

hrm?
I just knocked off a bottle of Copolla pinot grigio, 8 bucks from Whole Foods, it was delicious.

I am not an expert, but not a supern00b either. Here are some of my favorites (I’m not that well rounded yet)

Pinot Noirs:
Estancia
Montes
Au Bon Climat (I like the $22 bottle–the $60 bottle (isabelle) is not much better in my opinion)
Talley (yum–about $37 though)
domaine drouhin –very tastey — about $50 though, once I saw it at sam’s for $35 which was an exciting day (should have bought a few bottles cause it was sold out the next day)

Syrah
6th Sense
Mettler

One of my favorites has got to be the robert hall rhone de robles….its a rhone blend from california and should be around $22 in the store. great overall wine and if you don’t like it, you may not be a red wine drinker

A really cheap one I found at whole foods is morro bay cab…its under $10 but very drinkable…it looks to be a bit more expensive online so maybe whole foods gets a good deal on it. either way, its great and i’ve drank nearly a whole bottle and didn’t feel awful the next day

About 9 months ago I knew absolutely nothing about wine and I have learned a lot (yet still barely scratched the surface) by going to wine bars and talking to wine shop owners/employees. They really seem to be willing to help and give you their opinions
o i forgot a merlot i like: markham merlot. I haven’t tried too many merlots and I know they are considered to be crap, but i really enjoyed that one

Merlots are not crap. Most expensive wines in the world are Merlot (Chateau Le Pin and Petrus)

Excellent merlots:
Swanson (personal favorite)
Duckhorn
Matanzas Creek
Cuvaison
I’ve found everything from Wilson out in Sonoma to be good stuff. They’re still pretty small so you won’t see a wide distribution but great stuff.
my two favorites at the moments:

Silver Oak Cab 2003 Alexander Valley ~$60

Black Stallion Muscat Napa Valley ~$30 for a half bottle. Has very strong pineapple flavors to it. A wonderful dessert wine. I made a dessert using a reduction of this with some blackberries and asian pears, topped with a coconut whip cream that was ungodly good.
suprised i havn’t seen the name Fetzer in this thread yet.

definitely my favorite Budget cab (~$8-$10), and i’m sure many of you would not be able to tell the difference between this and a $30 cab.

available at most supermarkets/everywhere
Fetzer is never a good recommendation unless you’re homeless.

I must have bought a bad bottle, casue that shit made me want to puke. I literally poured the bottle down the sink after the first glass.
Wine intimidates me

I buy this Georgian wine often, it tastes pretty good to me

Any suggestions for good not so expensive wine that comes in a fairly small bottle? The g/f doesn’t drink at all so it’s just me I can’t kill a bottle in 3 days.
If you go to a larger wine specialty store they should have a selection of 375ml bottles.
Check out Pomelo.

It’s a light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc that sells for about $10.

It’s not syrupy and it tastes like a ton of grapefruits without tasting like a cheap fruit-flavored wine.

I recommend buy 2 bottles at once just because it could become a guzzler.

Is anyone still in here?
I need a recommendation on a good Pinot Noir. Ill be bringing it to a dinner at a friends house and want something sub $20. Im normally a cab kinda guy so im stuck.
1999 Wynns Coonawarra John Riddoch Cab Sav

Wow. Very big wine. Gutsy as. Had it with a chunky venison pie which is really the only suitable match (apart from maybe steak), Could have done with another few years in the cellar but overall very, very, very drinkable

The problem is it is a very strictly limited release, only released in good years and in limited numbers. But if you ever get the chance to pick up this fine Aussie red give it a go

Is anyone still in here?
I need a recommendation on a good Pinot Noir. Ill be bringing it to a dinner at a friends house and want something sub $20. Im normally a cab kinda guy so im stuck.

well if its not too late

try and oregon pinot, like cherry hill or A to Z both right under 20 and not too shabby at all.
can someone recommend a ’58? hopefully something i can buy online — not looking to break the bank though.

i don’t really have any knowledge about wines, but i’m looking to get this as an anniversary present.

can someone recommend a ’58? hopefully something i can buy online — not looking to break the bank though.

i don’t really have any knowledge about wines, but i’m looking to get this as an anniversary present.

does it have to be wine or port…also what state do you live in because shipping laws will be an issue.

if you dont want to break the bank go with a colheita port.

does it have to be wine or port…also what state do you live in because shipping laws will be an issue.

if you dont want to break the bank go with a colheita port.

i suppose it doesn’t necessarily need to be either.

i didn’t realize there might be shipping laws. i’m in nj. is there anything i have to worry about?

i’ll look into the colheita port.

can someone recommend a ’58? hopefully something i can buy online — not looking to break the bank though.

i don’t really have any knowledge about wines, but i’m looking to get this as an anniversary present.

Only thing I’ve found:

Check out Pomelo.

It’s a light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc that sells for about $10.

It’s not syrupy and it tastes like a ton of grapefruits without tasting like a cheap fruit-flavored wine.

I recommend buy 2 bottles at once just because it could become a guzzler.

Nice…sounds really good. I’ll check it out!
2005 columbia crest grand estates merlot or cab. $8.99. Great wine for the price and 2005 was a great year in columbia valley