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Making Wine
12-19-2010, 04:07 PM
Post: #21
RE: Making Wine
Well Boomer..... take you and your Bride and head out on the motorcycle. I know the IA must have some local vineyards and Wineries. I know WI does and that some of the places we've visited are not set up for us BMW LT riders they are much better suited to the BMW GS crowd( long, curvy and gravel roads). It's a nice way to spend time together see the views and try some nice local wines. Smile Plus build your cellar 1 or 2 bottles at a time.

"... always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can..." Practical Magic
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12-19-2010, 04:46 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2010 08:34 PM by Mufasa.)
Post: #22
RE: Making Wine
What Brute' said.
Dawn formed the Wichita Winos a few years ago on that very platform.

There are usually 10-15 of us that gather up and taste the milk of paradise (although some of my descriptions have been known be a bit ... "colorful" when describing said milk...)
"Hammered Goat A**" is how I described a particular pinot. See, that's half the fun when you're tasting; coming up with over the top descriptions- both good and bad, of what's in your glass.
It usually ends with several, if not all, being torched from sampling and hoarse from laughing... but you WILL quickly, and inexpensively learn what you like... and wouldn't use to rinse your toilet.

Most of us are so caught up in life that we forget to live it.
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12-19-2010, 08:26 PM
Post: #23
RE: Making Wine
(12-19-2010 01:23 PM)Brutus Wrote:  Hi Boom,

Just a quick: Yeah, right!

That's a tough challenge. So many factors to consider. Do you want to cellar your wine, wait for it to become drinkable and in the meantime drink more immediately available wines? Most wine available to us common folk are usually one of 2 things: They are ready to drink but have no finesse, character, or distinctive qualities, or they are good wines that are going to be very nice in X number of years but at the moment taste like the dregs from a spitoon....tobacco being a highly rated quality in wine! One thing I've learned from "reading" about wines I could not afford, is that your tastes will change as you get deeper into your interest. Did you think, when you were young, that you'd enjoy olives, anchovies, eating gravel, chewing on a plug of tobacco? Apparently these are all possible descriptions of wine bouquet and taste. There are actually web sites that mock and toy with oenologist usage. My recommendation is to find people in your area that have formed a tasting group. It works because you bring a bottle and they bring a bottle....the more the merrier...and you get to do blind tastings of many different wines for the price of one. An interesting phenom of wine groups is the fact that when they repeat the tests years or months later....EVERYONE!!!!!!...has changed their opinion of the wines they tasted earlier...I think that is what is so cool about wines...the constant evolution and perhaps devolution.

Whaaaa....you dont believe I am a "beginner" wino???

Ahhhh lots of questions, but no ideas. Our thought....wait, strike that - HER thought, is to use a not very much used area underneath the stairs to the basement and actually build up a cabinet that can hold about 30 bottles. But - you compare palattes. Lets put it this way. When I was 19 I tried a bottle of 12 year old single malt scotch. At the time - I thought it tasted like something between gasoline and hydrochloric acid. Nowadays - it is a nice little after dinner enjoyment on a Saturday night or a celebration that I made it thru the work week on Fridays. That being said - wine is an altogether different scenario. In checking with a couple of the local folks, they do not, per se, have any tasting groups, however, the local vino shoppe (where I acquire my single malt) does have wine tasting events every month. Before I get all inspired to start buying hoards of boxed wine (snort!) I thought I might at least try to inform myself...a little.

Here is what I do know. We enjoy a TON of pinots, merlots, zinfandels, reislings, and maybe a few other whiter wines. What I have trouble with is those Cabernet Sauvingnons. The folks that enjoy those wines are the hard core masters of wine that I know I will never be and I know I will NEVER have a wine collection like I see in many of the fine cuisine books and magazines we pick up, but at least would like to make some progress into learning about the different wines and what kinds of bottles to look for that might be...a steal?!?!

That make any sense?

Primary Principle - "It must NEVER be my fault"
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12-19-2010, 08:44 PM
Post: #24
RE: Making Wine
You need to narrow down the choices of the animal you want to ride, so to speak.
Merlots can be very dry and acidic, on the other side of that - I have had some very "calm-smooth" Merlot as well.
Pinots can be downright funky to the nose, but have a very nice taste.
Cabs and Grigios and blends (oh my!) all have their own aromas, finishes, pairings, and overall drinkability.
The wine gatherings really helped me widen my tastes. I still struggle with some of the more "top end" stuff.
There's wayyyy too much inexpensive (downright cheap) stuff being made that can run with the higher-priced stuff.

I have never had a truly "bad" wine from Chile, and you can nab that regions best for $9-$20. All good.
Australian wines leave me wanting. Never had much luck with them.
If you figure out what "type" you lean more towards, I can help by offering some of what myself and the others really liked - and really dis-liked in that arena.

Most of us are so caught up in life that we forget to live it.
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12-19-2010, 09:44 PM
Post: #25
RE: Making Wine
Buy a bottle of wine...perhaps you'd found it in a wine google or read about it in your local paper. Red, white, doesn't matter. Make sure you leave it upright over night and in the case of white wine, put it in the fridge. If you've refrigerated it, take it out and let it sit 30 minutes before you taste. Too cold is too bad. Gently uncork. By that I mean pull the plug without disturbing the lees (sediment...unlikely in a bottle less than 10 yrs old....this is important..most of us, me included, will never enjoy a bottle that has aged to it's ripe and ready time. I once managed to save a bottle of a wonderful wine that I saved for my son's 18th birthday. It was so amazing and beyond what I assumed a wine should taste like that I was ruined forever.) Sometimes, too much knowledge is a bad thing.

If I had a cellar I would only use it for wines I would not touch for 10 years, minimum. In the meantime I would introduce my children to the grape and allow them to suppliment that stash all the while knowing that their choices would only be available decades after their selection. In the meantime, I think a family should explore the jus de vin together. (assuming your kids are old enough!). Most wine critiques are available on line. Use those descriptions as a guideline but leave tons of room for your own expression.

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I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughtnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, 'Don't even act like I didn't get that doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D".'
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12-19-2010, 11:36 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2010 11:49 PM by Boomer.)
Post: #26
RE: Making Wine
Thats a some great info guys! Of course, yes it might help to narrow down the llist a bit I guess, but since we are not actually trading "boxed" wine, lets just say I am really a rookie "winer" but a pretty decent "wino".

Little things about wine I know absolutely nothing about. Its something we put off once the kids came along, but now we think it might be time to "come out of the shell" as it were. So - things like, how to actually "store" a bottel of wine, what angle to keep the bottle, is there a temp difference, can colder temps affect the wine? What wines are better refriedgerated? What wines do better during what months? Certainly I must say -- I dont think there is a snowballs chance in h*** that we would have any particular bottle for ten years, but certainly if we find a particular vintage I could see us wanting to keep a couple extra bottles. With our oldest daughter we shrivelled up at the thought of her even getting near anything alcoholic, but our youngest is now 16 - at about the same age I was the first time my pappy let me try some wine. While she hasnt shown a real interest, she is a bunch more inquisitive than our oldest.

It is important to consider that my palatte and my wifes are different beasts. A Grigio, for example tastes much different to me than my wife...and the same goes for other wines. She does not care for a reisling, but I love them, mainly because they are a much sweeter wine, and a few of the better ones I have had come from Oregon. Unfortunately thats all I know. To tell me a Cab is a dry wine vs a Pinot Noir....what does that mean?

Maybe I should, as Brutus suggests - just buy a bottle or two, and set them up for a post holiday tasting. Maybe just a friend or two. Work into it a bit at a time, and dont bite more off than I can chew. I can tell you there are a couple members of the local astronomy club who love wine. We did a tasting a couple years ago, on a Tuesday night. Boy was I EVER thrashed!
(12-19-2010 04:07 PM)2Beers Wrote:  Well Boomer..... take you and your Bride and head out on the motorcycle. I know the IA must have some local vineyards and Wineries. I know WI does and that some of the places we've visited are not set up for us BMW LT riders they are much better suited to the BMW GS crowd( long, curvy and gravel roads). It's a nice way to spend time together see the views and try some nice local wines. Smile Plus build your cellar 1 or 2 bottles at a time.

Actually thats not a bad idea....except my wife doesnt ride, so I guess I will have to do most of that work. Its a tough job, but I am fully prepared to adapt! I just dont want anyone in those wineries to get some crazy idea their vineyards are being invaded by crazy beer guzzling Harley dudes.

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12-20-2010, 08:04 AM
Post: #27
RE: Making Wine
My Hubby likes the Bike trips because he knows that keeps my on my toes as to how many bottles I may put in the cases and have them be safe. When we go by cage well..... so even if your Bride isn't a 2-Up person the time spent together talking in the car is always nice too.

"... always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can..." Practical Magic
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12-20-2010, 08:20 AM
Post: #28
RE: Making Wine
There are a couple schools of thought, but the one that might work is I ride and she drives. That way her and our youngest daughter can tag along, but even thats not always possible. We'll have to see, but its something that we can do together or I can do alone.

Of course, there is the issue of keeping the bottles safe. Thats something I might have to work on over the winter.

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12-23-2010, 06:44 PM
Post: #29
RE: Making Wine
My "wine cellar" is a rack in the kitchen. I have several Bordeaux from my kids' birth years and other milestones as well as an Amarone. I notice very often a correlation to price and quality, though at times less expensive can be quite surprising. Et tu Brutus, you are hardcore! I love it. I buy generally to drink and will usually spend $9-$28 for most reds. I like them all, but have favorites. I prefer imported but enjoy California as well. I'll buy one or two of each grape, and maybe a novelty method of fermentation once in awhile. I usually drink most of it before it can really age. Generally their about 3-5 years old unless it's a reserve. I'm hoping that the few I'm holding mature well.

Speaking of maturing, I bottled 30 Pino Noir finally last Saturday. What a mess! I don't know if I'll get the ceramic tile in my basement (finished studio) clean. I sipped each bottle and it was overall very immature (sweet), with a shadowy hint of the carbonation of the fermentation process. Hopefully it will mature; either that or I really muffed it up! I'll try some tomorrow to see if it's fit for the table otherwise it won't be served on Christmas. Now that you get me thinking, when I was in Vienna in 1987 my cousin took me to a Christmas wine fest on the side of a mountain where I sampled Christmas wines from various years going back to the early 80's. Very sweet, but as I found with sampling my own really hits you hard. maybe if it's like that I'll serve a bottle.

Gentlemen, my glass is raised to you with wishes of a Merriest Christmas and Joyous New Year. No, literally I'm holding it and sipping from crystal as I hit "post reply."
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12-23-2010, 08:40 PM
Post: #30
RE: Making Wine
I highly recommend going to those tastings at the local wine store - and look around, other stores may have ones like it.
a couple of thje stores I frequent have weekly tastings of wine. I found that it doesn;t take long before you get a good idea what you like and don't like... and yes, those ideas can change sometimes weekly... not to mention the fact that wines are very different year to year, and sometimes out of different barrels / tanks.
OVer time, my folks and I have built up an interesting little collection - my folks have maybe 100 bottles, I have only about 20 or so, (I'm more a beer guy, so I have a pretty big supply of interseting ones of those to go.
first of all, we can say that we have absolutely tried everything we have, and is very good and up (in our opinions) or we wouldn;t have got it.
Second, there are some fantastic wines at fairly short money, say under $15 a bottle. Most of those are't really the ones meant to age for years and years, but most reds especially will last and change over a year or 2.
Between myself and my parents, we have less than 10 bottles over $20, and probably nothing over $30.
It doesn't hurt to check out some of the wine magazines and websites - Wine Spectator does mainly aim at the high-dollar collector / enjoyer, but they always have some reviews and articles about the lower end ones as well.

As far as storage, it's best to keep wines out of direct sunlight, and at a steady temperature - preferably around 55 degrees (F) that closet you mentioned would be perfect. Keep the bottle on it;s side, to keep the cork wet, (most important with real cork versus artificial and screw-tops) and for drinking, it's like Brutus said. Won't repeat that.
Oh, yeah, and don';t say you will never / can never enjoy Cabs, there are plenty of that varietal for every taste, from very light to super heavy, rich ones. Try a few here and there, again, you'll get an idea what you like.
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