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SmootSmack 02-01-2006 09:16 PM

Shout Out To All My Wine Experts
I want to learn more about wines, and as much as Matty's bumwine.com link from a while back helps I want to know more. What are the different types? What goes well for what occassion, with which dishes? What do I look for in choosing a good wine (date, where it was made?) Where are the best wines from?

All that good stuff. So I (and maybe some others here too) would welcome some rudimentary wine lessons from the Warpath Wine Experts

BDBohnzie 02-01-2006 09:54 PM

Re: Shout Out To All My Wine Experts
I am, by no means, a wine expert...but I'll give it a try.

For the most part, there are 3 different general types of wine: Red, White, and Blush. And in each of these categories, there are subtypes (for example, Merlot is a red, Chardonnay is a white, and White Zinfadel is a blush). Reds tend to be much more dry than white or blush, which can have a strong fruit flavor.

Check out this site:
This gives you a very basic outline on wine, with the 2nd paragraph specifying which wines go with what.

The cool thing about wines is that all the different brands do things differently, so the most expensive wine is not necessarily the best (kinda like beer). I have found that you can spend between $6 and $12 on a bottle of wine and it'll be just as good as that $40 bottle 2 shelves down.

As far as where they come from...that has never really mattered to me. Here in the States, most wines you'll find come from California, but French, Italian wines are good. I have come to like the Down Under wines as well (Australia, New Zealand). In the DC area, there are a few wineries in MD, but much much more in VA, and they produce pretty good wines. So, instead of focusing on where it comes from, it's better to find which type you like, and try a few different brands.

This site goes over the different types, and tells you a little about each type. He also suggests white for beginners, and I tend to agree. A few to look at would be Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Riesling. A few milder reds are Pinot Noir and Shiraz. One of my faves is Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a fairly dry red.

Your best bet is to check out wine tasting events in your area, or even go to a winery. Or, just go to the Liquor store, decide which type you'd like to try, and try 1 or 2 brands. If you find a store that specializes in wine, ask them what they prefer. There is a wine store near me that has tasting all the time, and you can pick their brain about different brands, different types and what they taste like.

Good luck!

dmek25 02-02-2006 07:01 AM

Re: Shout Out To All My Wine Experts
bohnzie,a wino from way back???

skinznut 02-02-2006 07:51 AM

Re: Shout Out To All My Wine Experts
All I can tell you is go on a wine tour. I went on one back around Thanksgiving and had a blast. I really found out what wine was all about and which ones I really liked. Of course, I live in the Finger Lakes region of NY and you could go on a wine tour every day and not visit the same winery twice in a week. As for what wine goes well with what food, I don't buy into what the "experts" say. I drink what tastes good to me. A lot of red wines are stored in oak containers and it gives the wine a distinct flavor that I don't enjoy. Lots of other people love it. Basically what I'm trying to say is, try some different kinds and decide for yourself.

EEich 02-02-2006 08:44 AM

Re: Shout Out To All My Wine Experts
I've done a tour of the Finger Lakes wineries almost every year for the past 10 years.
When I started, I was a beer drinker... and I only had a taste for white wines.
Chablis, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.
As I learned more and my palate developed over time, I began enjoying sweet reds.
Now, I drink primarily drier Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.

I would definitely find yourself a designated driver and do a Finger Lakes wine tour.
In our earlier days, 20 of us would get some minivans on a Saturday morning in May...
the challenge was on to see how many wineries we could do. Our record was 15, mostly around Seneca and Cayuga.
Our favorite was always Hazlitt, but I have to shout out for Earle Estates Meadery also.
These days... we take it a little slower and enjoy it a little more.

BDBohnzie 02-02-2006 09:34 AM

Re: Shout Out To All My Wine Experts
[QUOTE=dmek25]bohnzie,a wino from way back???[/QUOTE]
I wouldn't say from way back, considering I'm 26...but my mom's side of the family hail from France (she and my uncle are the first generation born in the States), and so wine was always around when I was growing up. Which is why I definitely prefer reds...because there was always a good bordeaux on the table for Sunday dinner at my grandparents' house.

And, being a history major, I can research like nobody's business...

skinznut 02-03-2006 11:10 AM

Re: Shout Out To All My Wine Experts
Our favorite was always Hazlitt, but I have to shout out for Earle Estates Meadery also.
These days... we take it a little slower and enjoy it a little more.[/QUOTE]

Hazlitt is pretty good. Red Cat is the big seller but I thought it was a little sweet. We really liked Americana Winery. They give you some awesome fudge with your tastings. :)

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