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Wine?

billwillbillwill Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
My girlfriend and I would like to try some wine. Neither of us have ever had alcohol before, except for maybe one or two sips apiece.

So with that in mind, recommend away! (We're not trying to break the bank here, so please don't get too crazy. We don't need Coca-Cola...we can settle for Shasta!)

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    One of the most accessible wines out there is Charles Shaw, colloquially known as "Two-Buck Chuck." In most states, it's $2 a bottle.

    You probably want to start with a couple of whites, work your way up to reds. Chardonnays are really common dry white wines, while I don't think there's really anyone who won't drink a Riesling (which is a sweet white wine). I would start with those.

    Thanatos on
  • billwillbillwill Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    What is the difference between white and red wine?

    billwill on
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  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Red wine uses the entirety of the grape, white wine is made from the juice of the grape. Red wines have a 'fuller' flavour. I personally say jump straight to red and don't look back, as I think a cheap white tastes absolutely horrible, whereas I can stomach pretty much any red you put in front of me.

    Taken in volume (and if you're a non-drinker, a couple of glasses can be considered volume) drinking red wine (especially cheap red wine) will mess you up. And not in a 'wooo party!' way, in a 'oh my god, my sinuses are trying to get out of my head' the next day kind of way. If you're prone to hay-fever, this warning goes double.

    Sadly, I'm in the wrong country to give you specific wine advice.

    soxbox on
  • FerrusFerrus Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    From the top of my head:

    - Most important: White wine needs to be cold, red wine needs to be at room temperature!

    - For someone with little alcohol experience in general, stick with half-dry or sweet wines at first. As Thanatos said, Riesling is pretty good for starters.

    - This might just be us snobbish Europeans but American wine has a rather bad reputation here. I'm not sure if there is anything to it, but I doubt the really cheap hobo wines can be considered drinkable.

    Ferrus on
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  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Thanatos mentioned Riesling and Chardonnay. Most Riesling is easy to get used to and enjoy if you've never had wine before - it's pretty mild and even dry types of it are more of an acidic/sweet combination than a flat out dry white wine. California Riesling is (in my experience) like grape juice with alcohol added, REALLY sweet.

    Chardonnay is a little different, though I'm biased against it. It's much, much more complex in flavor because it's aged in oak barrels, picking up all kinds of aromatic compounds in the process. Chardonnay was the first wine that I ever had and I still don't like it; to me it tastes like rancid grape juice that was stored in an old boot. Every now and then I try it again and get reminded of why I don't care for it. Don't let that scare you off of it, though - lots of people love it and it's definitely possible that I've only ever had bad vintages.

    Pinot Grigio is a versatile white wine, not really sweet or dry. It's fairly cheap and right in the middle of the road so far as wine goes, neither easy nor difficult to enjoy. It's not as complex as Chardonnay or as sweet as Riesling and goes well with lots of different foods.

    Ferrus wrote: »
    I doubt the really cheap hobo wines can be considered drinkable.

    Oh, they're drinkable. You just lack the refined hobo palate needed to appreciate them.

    Raekreu on
  • dukederekdukederek Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Raekreu wrote: »
    Chardonnay is a little different, though I'm biased against it. It's much, much more complex in flavor because it's aged in oak barrels

    Not all Chardonnay is oaked. The unoaked stuff is FAR nicer. When I left for university the advice my parents gave me was "Never spend more than £5 on a bottle of Chardonnay" (oh god how middle class). As a rule the more expensive Chardonnays are the oaked ones which are horrible.

    I would recommend Pinot Grigio for a white and maybe a Shiraz for a red.

    Try the white very cold to start with and work up to being able to slug it out of the bottle at picnics. Be careful with red, red wine = horrific hangovers

    dukederek on
  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    dukederek wrote: »
    Raekreu wrote: »
    Chardonnay is a little different, though I'm biased against it. It's much, much more complex in flavor because it's aged in oak barrels

    Not all Chardonnay is oaked. The unoaked stuff is FAR nicer. When I left for university the advice my parents gave me was "Never spend more than £5 on a bottle of Chardonnay" (oh god how middle class). As a rule the more expensive Chardonnays are the oaked ones which are horrible.

    I would recommend Pinot Grigio for a white and maybe a Shiraz for a red.

    Try the white very cold to start with and work up to being able to slug it out of the bottle at picnics. Be careful with red, red wine = horrific hangovers


    I may have to investigate this angle and revise my opinion on Chardonnay, then.

    2nding the Pinot Grigio recommendation - I brought it up in my first post because it's what I like to drink wine-wise.

    Raekreu on
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    For red wine, check out malbec. Its mostly from Argentina although more California vineyards are starting to grow it. It's got a good balance and goes well with red meat.

    As far as buying wine goes, if you have a Cost Plus/World Market around check it out--they have pretty good selection and the prices aren't bad.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    While starting with white is a good idea, just know that I thought I hated wine until I tried a red. I like most whites now, but still prefer a good red. And it's already been mentioned, but don't put a red in the fridge. It tends to dull the good parts and bring out the bad. Also, start slow, taking sips. I find the taste can be overpowering if you start out taking large drinks.

    Sir Carcass on
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    As far as temperatures go, check out this chart: http://wineintro.com/basics/temperatures.html

    What's this mean? Contrary to popular belief, red wine should not be served at room temperature, unless you keep your room at 60 degrees. While overly-chilled red wine will taste overwhelmingly of fruit, too-warm reds taste too much of alcohol. Toss your red in the fridge for 5 minutes or so before drinking.

    Same goes for whites, which should generally be served warmer than your refrigerator's temperature. So take it out 5 minutes before drinking.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Thanatos wrote: »
    One of the most accessible wines out there is Charles Shaw, colloquially known as "Two-Buck Chuck." In most states, it's $2 a bottle.

    You probably want to start with a couple of whites, work your way up to reds. Chardonnays are really common dry white wines, while I don't think there's really anyone who won't drink a Riesling (which is a sweet white wine). I would start with those.

    I don't know a lot about wine, but I do know Charles Shaw will leave you with one hell of a hangover.

    EDIT: This is a really good book to get started with if you're really interested in learning.

    Esh on
  • bloodatonementbloodatonement Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    You might want to check around for a place you can do a wine tasting. Usually get like 6 taste for $10~$20 depending on the place. Then you can get an idea of what you like.

    And once you start drinking decent wine, Chuck will be ruined for you.

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  • TavataarTavataar Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Find a nice wine store in your area, not a liquor store mind you, and go in and ask for some suggestions. There will be plenty of $10-$20 dollar bottles that are very nice to drink!

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Raekreu wrote: »
    Thanatos mentioned Riesling and Chardonnay. Most Riesling is easy to get used to and enjoy if you've never had wine before - it's pretty mild and even dry types of it are more of an acidic/sweet combination than a flat out dry white wine. California Riesling is (in my experience) like grape juice with alcohol added, REALLY sweet.

    I love Riesling, it's my go to wine. Personally, I stick with German Rieslings and you can get a decent bottle for $11-16 easily.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I've you've never had alcohol before, please don't get a $2 bottle of wine. It'll just put you off the entire experience. It's like trying to convince a person that beer is delicious by handing them Colt 45. On second thought, I imagine that analogy wasn't any more helpful for you...

    Right. Don't get a $2 bottle of wine. Go to a wine store, tell the dude you don't want to spend a lot but you want your first bottle of wine to be banging. He will get you something for $8-$10 and it will be quite good.

    Wine doesn't correlate to price nearly as well as one would hope. You can find an amazing bottle of wine for $10 better than most $50 bottles, and you can also find a terrible bottle of wine for $10 worse than urine.

    Cognisseur on
  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    If you've never had alcohol before and have trouble with the alcohol taste being kind of strong, you could start out with ice wine, it's a lot sweeter and milder than white wine and you can use it to get used to the alcohol flavor. It's more expensive than some wines (like 2 buck chuck), but it's definitely easier to drink.

    Hypatia on
  • FightTestFightTest Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I don't even drink and sometimes, while bored, I will watch Wine Library TV because the guy's obnoxious charm sort of grows on you and he's not a wine snob. He gives his impressions on all different types/prices of wine so you can dig through to find a show for wine in your price range.

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  • oracleoracle Registered User
    edited June 2010

    I love Riesling, it's my go to wine. Personally, I stick with German Rieslings and you can get a decent bottle for $11-16 easily.

    What this guy right here said, German Rieslings! Dr. Loosen or Monchoff Estate are my two favorites, Monchoff is getting very hard to find though.

    oracle on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I like Schloss Vollrads for riesling.

    Sir Carcass on
  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Definitely don't let Charles Shaw be your entry into wine drinking. That stuff is decent for the price, but it's hardly representative of how enjoyable wine can actually be.

    Your safest bet is to visit a store that has a semi-knowledgeable staff when it comes to wine. You don't need to hit up a wine store necessarily, but places like Trader Joe's or Beverages and More should usually have a number of people on hand that can suggest some wines to you. Just mention that you are trying it for the first time and they'll point you towards bottles that don't require an acquired taste to appreciate.

    If you don't have any stores nearby with a knowledgeable staff, I'd recommend that you start with an Italian Pinot Grigio for a white and a California Merlot for a red. Both are usually rather mellow wines. I'd suggest avoiding Cabernet Sauvingnon, French red varietals, Chardonnay (oaked), and Sauvingnon Blanc (except if from New Zealand) as they have a high chance of having some flavor elements that most people don't like straight off the bat.

    Zinfandels and Malbecs are two of my favorites personally, but some of them might take a bit of getting used to if you've never had wine before. Some Zinfandels are full of fruity jam flavors (which are probably easy to get into) while others can be pretty hot (high alcohol) and spicy. Malbecs tend to be full bodied with traces of smoke that I can imagine being rough for a first time. Cabernet Sauvingnons often have a lot of oak in their flavor, which is great once you get to like it, and the same is true for many Chardonnays.

    French wine is the grandfather of prestigious wine, but unless you've grown up with it, often has a distinct earthy flavor that can take quite a while to come to enjoy. This obviously isn't true for all French wines, but is frequent enough and hard enough to tell from the bottle that I'd avoid them for while until you are ready to branch out more with your wine experience.

    As far as temperature is concerned, someone already posted a chart, but as a general rule you want white's to be slightly chilled (but not ice cold) and reds can be served at room temperature if the weather is mild (or AC'ed). I'd rather have a red wine at 72 degrees than have it accidentally left in the fridge too long and served cold.

    Anyways, I wish you luck in your wine adventures. Let us know how it goes.

    P.S. If you are looking for specific bottle recommendations, knowing what region you are in will be very helpful. For example, if you have access to a Trader Joe's I can recommend a dozen different wines you'd probably like for under $10 (and even some under $5).

    Midshipman on
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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Wine can be daunting due to some dissonance on the price versus quality range. With beer, for example, there is a substantive increase in quality as you go up in prince (a $7 six pack is usually better than a $5, a $12 micro brew is usually much better than a $7, etc), but with wine this isn't always the case. Your goal at first should be to try some wines that are affordable but good.

    For reds, I suggest "Le Grande" (tan label, black sheep on the bottle). It's a might fine pinot noir that runs about $8-$11 bucks depending on location.

    For whites, "Relax" makes a pretty nice Riesling for about the same price (blue bottle, big white letters).

    The main thing I would advise is to find a large-scale wine vendor in your area (such as Total Wine in the southeastern US)that ranks their wines via 3rd party taste tests. It's a great way to see what people thought of the wines in each price range and can give you some good leads. There are hundreds of thousands of labels, and while some trends generally are true (American wines should come from Nappa Valley, etc), your best wines will be found via referral or just trying something new.

    Also, you'll find the worst wines the same way.

    Two-Buck-Chuck is ok if you are looking for something cheap to put in pasta, but branch out a bit more. Saying that it's as good as it gets is like saying Coors is as good as a German Microbrew.

    Enc on
  • RubberchristRubberchrist Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I work at a wine store. I have a couple good recommendations for you.

    My favorite entry-level red wine is a french bottle made by "Delas" called "Cotes du Ventoux". It costs right around 10 bucks, and is one of the best little red wines I've ever had. ~50% Grenache, 50% Syrah.

    Also good, if you can find any "Moscato d'Asti", it is a sweet sparkling white wine from Italy that is REALLY nice. In particular I like the bottle from "Cascietti Vietti" for about $15.

    Torbreck from Australia makes some REALLY nice wines in general, and have a couple that are in the $15 range. I recommend their Viognier and Syrah.

    For Rieslings, you could go with the Columbia Winery "Cellarmaster's Reisling" which is about 7 bucks, but its not a very good representation of what Riesling really is. Look through the German section for some "Spatlese" (meaning late-harvest) Rieslings. There should be some decent ones for around 12 bucks, and they wont be near the crappy sugar water that a lot of the cheapy american ones are.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    If you've never had alcohol and you'd like to try wine I'd say either (1) go to a restaurant, or pub, or wine bar that does wine flights: for the cost of a nice glass of wine they serve you 3-5 tastings of wine, usually they are grouped in some way that makes sense (varietal, region, vintner) (2) find the liquor stores that have deep wine selections, some do wine tastings (some free, some paid entry), some of the nicer places will do tastings regularly.

    Some nice restaurants have a tasting menu or chef's course that you can pair to wine, where they pair a sample or half glass of wine to each course, although that's not a cheap intro to wine you get the full experience as wine is best enjoyed with food. If you do go the route where you have a wine steward at a liquor store rec a bottle you might want to have something to nibble on when you taste, though whether fruit, olives, cured or roasted meats, cheeses, flatbreads, or chocolate really complements the wine the best depends upon the wine.

    Djeet on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Djeet wrote: »
    Some nice restaurants have a tasting menu or chef's course that you can pair to wine, where they pair a sample or half glass of wine to each course, although that's not a cheap intro to wine you get the full experience as wine is best enjoyed with food. If you do go the route where you have a wine steward at a liquor store rec a bottle you might want to have something to nibble on when you taste, though whether fruit, olives, cured or roasted meats, cheeses, flatbreads, or chocolate really complements the wine the best depends upon the wine.

    If there's one near you, Carino's does a monthly thing where they have a special 4 course meal with each course paired with a certain kind of wine. It's $30 per person, and goes to some charity they do.

    Sir Carcass on
  • badpoetbadpoet Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Going to agree with the wine flight idea. Decent places usually have three or four flights that will allow you to (after multiple visits hopefully) get a good idea of what you like. Personally, I used to drink a lot of red wines but I get horrific hangover headaches from them, so now I stick with whites.

    Go with a few friends, taste some different kinds, and see what you like. Everyone has different tastes in wine, so go find yours.

    badpoet on
  • The Raging PlatypusThe Raging Platypus Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Midshipman wrote: »
    Definitely don't let Charles Shaw be your entry into wine drinking. That stuff is decent for the price, but it's hardly representative of how enjoyable wine can actually be.

    Your safest bet is to visit a store that has a semi-knowledgeable staff when it comes to wine. You don't need to hit up a wine store necessarily, but places like Trader Joe's or Beverages and More should usually have a number of people on hand that can suggest some wines to you. Just mention that you are trying it for the first time and they'll point you towards bottles that don't require an acquired taste to appreciate.

    If you don't have any stores nearby with a knowledgeable staff, I'd recommend that you start with an Italian Pinot Grigio for a white and a California Merlot for a red. Both are usually rather mellow wines. I'd suggest avoiding Cabernet Sauvingnon, French red varietals, Chardonnay (oaked), and Sauvingnon Blanc (except if from New Zealand) as they have a high chance of having some flavor elements that most people don't like straight off the bat.

    Zinfandels and Malbecs are two of my favorites personally, but some of them might take a bit of getting used to if you've never had wine before. Some Zinfandels are full of fruity jam flavors (which are probably easy to get into) while others can be pretty hot (high alcohol) and spicy. Malbecs tend to be full bodied with traces of smoke that I can imagine being rough for a first time. Cabernet Sauvingnons often have a lot of oak in their flavor, which is great once you get to like it, and the same is true for many Chardonnays.

    French wine is the grandfather of prestigious wine, but unless you've grown up with it, often has a distinct earthy flavor that can take quite a while to come to enjoy. This obviously isn't true for all French wines, but is frequent enough and hard enough to tell from the bottle that I'd avoid them for while until you are ready to branch out more with your wine experience.

    As far as temperature is concerned, someone already posted a chart, but as a general rule you want white's to be slightly chilled (but not ice cold) and reds can be served at room temperature if the weather is mild (or AC'ed). I'd rather have a red wine at 72 degrees than have it accidentally left in the fridge too long and served cold.

    Anyways, I wish you luck in your wine adventures. Let us know how it goes.

    P.S. If you are looking for specific bottle recommendations, knowing what region you are in will be very helpful. For example, if you have access to a Trader Joe's I can recommend a dozen different wines you'd probably like for under $10 (and even some under $5).

    This guy knows what he's talking about.

    The only thing I'll add is that to reiterate that the big jammy fruitbomb-type reds might be what turns you on to wine. Midshipman mentioned zins and malbecs, which are fantastic varietals when you're searching for that kind of profile. (Also, hi5 for my favorite varietals as well. Wine trips through Sonoma County is like being transported to heaven for a zin lover)

    Also, when it comes to whites, if you find that sweet rieslings are too cloying for your liking, it wouldn't be a bad idea to give dry rieslings like ones from Alsace a shot. Nice, crisp, goes great with Thai food. And if you're feeling particularly adventurous, the Torrontes grape from Argentina is a fantastic summer white wine. Loads and loads of well-rounded fruit.

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  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    Chilled German rieslings tend to be a really accessible way to get into white wines. I personally still don't care for whites at all, and love reds. I've found more people who like reds than whites, too.

    It sort of depends on personal taste though. Stick to bottles that cost around $10 or so, and try a different one out every time. Keep a list of the ones you liked.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Everyone keeps saying not to try Charles Shaw, but really, if it's your first wine experience, I really don't think you're going to know the difference between a decent wine and a good wine. Then again, I grew up in wine country, so it's been quite awhile since I started drinking it, so maybe I just don't remember.

    Thanatos on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    You want someone to start with something that goes down fairly easily and strikes a good balance. It can't be overly dry or sweet.

    I've never had Charles Shaw being that Canuckistani liquor laws are a bizarre aberration of reasoning, but if you want advice on Canadian wineries, I know a thing or two there. Also, Santa Isabella's Merlot is a great one if you just want to get a whole mess of people drunk on the cheap. And I really, really adore the Cloof brand wines out of Africa, but those are... untraditional to say the least. Probably the least representative experience you could possibly go for, asides from maybe a wine cooler.

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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Also good, if you can find any "Moscato d'Asti", it is a sweet sparkling white wine from Italy that is REALLY nice. In particular I like the bottle from "Cascietti Vietti" for about $15.


    I wanted to post in this thread just to recommend the Moscato. It's delicious. If I would pick a wine to get started on, it would be that.

    RocketSauce on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    My first red was Wolf Blass's yellow label. For a while I thought it was pretty incredible, but now looking back it's just average. Actually, more accurately, it's a phenomenally average wine. It's very, very good at not sticking out from the crowd in any way, and it's better than any other wine I've ever had that had the same aspirations.

    So I guess it IS a good starting point. Their cabernet sauvignon, I mean. It's tasty. It's very middle of the road but it's in the middle of a very nicely paved road. A little more expensive than it's absolutely worth, but if you need a safe bet, that's what it excels at.

    Pheezer on
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  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Everyone keeps saying not to try Charles Shaw, but really, if it's your first wine experience, I really don't think you're going to know the difference between a decent wine and a good wine. Then again, I grew up in wine country, so it's been quite awhile since I started drinking it, so maybe I just don't remember.

    Why even bother with the cheap shit then? I mean, for $2 (it's $3 now I think) it's not bad, but it's certainly not a good or average wine. I'd drink it before Gallo, but why not just shell out a few more dollars and get something decent?

    If someone had never had pizza I wouldn't take them to Dominos. Same idea.

    Esh on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    OP, where are you located geographically?

    Thanatos on
  • Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The only problem with Charles Shaw is that it is extremely inconsistent. There is no Charles Shaw "vineyard", they simply buy excess grapes from various California growers. While many winemakers do this, Charles Shaw is very specific about maintaining their price point, so depending on the quality of the growing season, the quality of Charles Shaw will vary STRONGLY, so if it's your favorite once, you likely won't get that exact same taste again.

    Where I live, people will frequently buy a bottle of 2 buck chuck, take it home and try it, then go back the same day and buy a case if it's good, or not buy anymore for a few months if it's bad.

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You know, if there's a good Spanish restaurant around you can go get some sangria. That was how I first had wine. I still don't care for 90% of reds but I do love a good red sangria.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You know, if there's a good Spanish restaurant around you can go get some sangria. That was how I first had wine. I still don't care for 90% of reds but I do love a good red sangria.
    Sangria really has only a vague resemblance to wine.

    Thanatos on
  • celandinecelandine Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Cheap and good: go for big, reputable producers.
    Georges Duboeuf makes nice little 8-dollar wines, esp. Beaujolais. Very nice stuff. They have flowers on the label.
    Louis Jadot is good too. I think they make nice, cheap, happy Chablis.

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  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Thanatos wrote: »
    You know, if there's a good Spanish restaurant around you can go get some sangria. That was how I first had wine. I still don't care for 90% of reds but I do love a good red sangria.
    Sangria really has only a vague resemblance to wine.

    To be clear, sangria is what you get when you soak fruits in wine for a day or two in a fridge, and usually you serve it in a carafe over ice. You use things like strawberries, cherries, apricots, etc. Sometimes you add a spice. You come up with a blend that complements the wine you're using as a base.

    It is to drinking wine as drinking a whisky and cola is to drinking whisky.

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  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Esh wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Everyone keeps saying not to try Charles Shaw, but really, if it's your first wine experience, I really don't think you're going to know the difference between a decent wine and a good wine. Then again, I grew up in wine country, so it's been quite awhile since I started drinking it, so maybe I just don't remember.

    Why even bother with the cheap shit then? I mean, for $2 (it's $3 now I think) it's not bad, but it's certainly not a good or average wine. I'd drink it before Gallo, but why not just shell out a few more dollars and get something decent?

    If someone had never had pizza I wouldn't take them to Dominos. Same idea.

    Charles Shaw is still $2 in California. It's often a bit more in other states.
    The only problem with Charles Shaw is that it is extremely inconsistent. There is no Charles Shaw "vineyard", they simply buy excess grapes from various California growers. While many winemakers do this, Charles Shaw is very specific about maintaining their price point, so depending on the quality of the growing season, the quality of Charles Shaw will vary STRONGLY, so if it's your favorite once, you likely won't get that exact same taste again.

    Where I live, people will frequently buy a bottle of 2 buck chuck, take it home and try it, then go back the same day and buy a case if it's good, or not buy anymore for a few months if it's bad.

    All this is true. Charles shaw is highly variable. The guys that do the try first, buy in bulk if it's good at the moment also check the production code on the case to make sure they are getting the one that they tried and liked.

    Midshipman on
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  • The Raging PlatypusThe Raging Platypus Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The only problem with Charles Shaw is that it is extremely inconsistent. There is no Charles Shaw "vineyard", they simply buy excess grapes from various California growers. While many winemakers do this, Charles Shaw is very specific about maintaining their price point, so depending on the quality of the growing season, the quality of Charles Shaw will vary STRONGLY, so if it's your favorite once, you likely won't get that exact same taste again.

    Where I live, people will frequently buy a bottle of 2 buck chuck, take it home and try it, then go back the same day and buy a case if it's good, or not buy anymore for a few months if it's bad.

    The same deal goes for Yellowtail. It's become so popular that the winery sources the cheapest grapes from around the world to meet demand. And in some sugar to mask the crap flavor and BAM! You've got crappy yet drinkable mass market wine.

    Also, OP, you might be lucky enough to live within driving distance of wine festivals. If your state or county likes to hold one of these events once or twice a year, it's a great way to taste a huge variety of wines to get a better handle on what you like. Just make sure you spit, or else you'll either get sloshed a quarter of the way through or just experience enough tongue fatigue where everything will end up tasting the same.

    The Raging Platypus on
    Quid wrote: »
    YOU'RE A GOD DAMN PLATYPUS.
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