Come out of the closet wine lovers.
Let's discuss what we like and don't like.
Let your wine loving friends of MR where the best value.
Advice on storing your "juice".
Plus multitudes of other topics relating to wine.
I have a good news/bad news situation:
BAD NEWS: My collection once totaled 900 bottles
GOOD NEWS: I have 500 left!!!
Who wants to start?
I'll start. I enjoy drinking wine but have no advice. I need advice, actually. My husband doesn't drink wine, so whenever a bottle is opened at my house, I'm on my own. It's a challenge to keep an open bottle fresh for a few days. I don't have a cellar. At present, I have 6 bottles on hand. Nothing too expensive. They happen to be: 3 from France - 2 Rhone Valley, a Gigondas and a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 1 Loire Valley, a Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, and 3 from California, 1 Napa, 1 Central Coast, 1 Temecula. Well, Temecula is a misnomer, sort of. Ponte Winery owns vineyards in the Andes mountains in Argentina, and they grow the Torrontes grapes there (they have Malbec vineyards there too, but their Torrontes is the real prize, according to - me ) The Torrontes is wonderful.
When I was visiting family in New South Wales last year, all of our wine consumption was of Australian wines, mainly from Hunter Valley and Western Australia wineries. They were excellent. I've noticed that it's difficult to find Australian wine here. The wines available locally (from down under) are mainly from New Zealand.
Anyway, my latest delight is the Torrontes from Ponte Winery in Temecula.
Pluto, seriously here the same advice I received 45 years ago when living in Paris I discovered the "joy of wine".
1. Buy a bottle (irrelevant what it cost)
2. If you enjoy it keep buying it.
3. Buy a different bottle and follow the first two rules.
It's that easy. More expensive does not translate into more enjoyable!
I now have over 500 bottles in my collection - acquisition cost was between $10 and $150.00 per bottle - I enjoy them all
Mrs. Anadyr and I are suckers for all Paso Robles AVA wines, named as the best in the nation by Wine Spectator this year. Paso has enough micro-climates to make a meteorologist's head swim, calcareous soil, alluvial soil, some live oak rooting soil, and small producers who love to make excellent wine.
Paso Robles is the largest AVA in San Luis Obispo County. It is in fact among the largest in California, rivaled only by the state's regional AVAs: North Coast, Sierra Foothills, San Francisco Bay and Central Coast. There are varying claims about the AVA's size, but the US Wine Institute lists it as 666,500 acres, two-thirds the size of the entire Central Coast AVA.
The Anadyr Wine Cellar Collection of three hundred or so bottles is international, mostly reds, and the majority is Paso inspired, grown, and bottled.
Rhone is the name we love, the grapes we humbly worship. Paso Robles is the home of the Rhone Rangers, as they refer to it. The Rhone Rangers dedicate themselves to the grapes whose ancestral home is in France's Rhone Valley. The French government recognizes 22 varieties in the various appellations that comprise this large and diverse wine-growing region. Rhone Appellations (including Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Condrieu, Chateuneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Bandol, Cotes du Rhone and several others) each choose a different subset from the collection of grapes known (from their place of origin) as Rhone varietals. For a wine to be considered a “Rhone Ranger” wine, and poured at an official Rhone Rangers tasting, the 22 recognized accepted varieties must comprise at least 75% of the blend.
Some of our personal favorites are (in no particular order) Tobin James, Jada, Denner, Eberle, Justin, Opolo, Rotta, and Wild Horse. Both Jada and Eberle are owned by good friends, but that is not why they are on our list. And a final vineyard shout out, Rotta, which is the oldest vineyard in the area, produces an excellent fortified wine called Black Monukka, made from a Spanish Table Grape.
Making a spirit from a food grape invites more scrutiny that a tax exempt 501.c.4 reviewed by the Cincinnati IRS office, but they persisted for 5 years, and brought it to market. The taste is incredible and it is only about $31 a half bottle, well worth it.
While Paso wines have made it to Costco and to supermarkets, the really good stuff (Jada being one) barely escapes the zip code. Demand outstrips supply, and wine clubs (to which we belong) get first dibs on the good stuff.
Our favorite of all our collection is the "5" Blend, approximately $60 retail at the Tobin James Vineyard. Here's a video about that wine. Second would be the Tobin James Dusi Vineyard estate-bottled Zinfandel ($70). One note on Paso Wines is that because of their exceptionally long growing season (perhaps the longest in the world) the alcohol content ranges from 14 to 17 percent for most full-bodied reds. For some palettes this high alcohol overcomes the fruitiness of the wine, but for us, it gives the wines a smoother finish and great aroma.
Bravo!!! What a great post. Mucho Gracias for taking the time and effort to tell us what you guys enjoy.
FYI - about 20 bottles of my collection are what is referred to as "central coast" - which includes the Paso Robles area.
The winemakers of Paso Robles produce some of the best value in quality wines in the U.S.
Actually Central Coast is a huge AVA just to the North of PR. Many Chardonnay Grapes are grown in Monterey County (where we live) and included in the Paso whites. But for estate bottled the Paso imprimatur must be Paso, he says with a smirk!!!!
We love our Central Coast wines too, and there are many, but Paso is the best. (IMHO)
Shoeman, it is pricy but
In 1998, when 28-year-old Justin Smith started making wine in Paso Robles, it was a sleepy Central Coast area. Now the wine region is one of California’s fastest-growing. West Paso has a magical combination of rocky limestone soils, rolling hillsides and a not-too-cool climate that gives red Rhône varieties a firm structure to frame their rich, dark berry flavors.
Smith, who owns the 3,000-case Saxum winery with his wife, Heather, creates wines of distinctive character, depth and personality. In 2007, a near-perfect vintage, Saxum’s wines reached new heights. The 2007 James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles is a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah from a vineyard named after Smith’s father. The three varieties are aged 20 months in new and used barriques and large puncheons, to emphasize fruit purity. With its classic quality and reasonable price, this wine is a testament that Paso Robles has earned its place on the world stage.
We are by no means connoisseurs of wine or for that matter much of anything. We do belong to two different wine clubs in Sonoma and get shipments every quarter from Viansa Winery and Gloria Ferrer. Both my wife and I prefer Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio in the warmer month of which we have many and Pinot Noir, Shirah, Shiraz or Malbec when the temperature gets down a little.
We probably have 40 bottles from Viansa, Gloria Ferrer, Cakebread, Korbel, Eola Hills, King Estates, Grgich Hills, Santa Margherita, Greg Norman, and Trapiche. In the Champagne section another 10 from Gloria Ferrer, Korbel and Viansa.
Unlike pluto77, an open bottle of wine does not stay around long in our house, it's part of our prescribed "Meds"!!
My wife and I are fortunate enough to have been to Napa on vacation and loved it. We prefer reds over white wines but on occasion we will have a nice muscato. We don't have space for a large collection right now but have about 20 bottles. I have to say that Napa is a great place to visit for a few days. I wasn't even a wine drinker before going but now I can actually appreciate a good wine and can find my way around a liquor store with regards to purchasing it. I have to say the education you get when you visit SOME of the tasting rooms is invaluable. The big commercial places like Robert Mondavi and BV make some excellent wine but most of their stuff I find pretty pedestrian and usually overpriced. I would have to say that there are a few small wineries that we love and I would recommend all of these to anyone who truly loves good red wine.
Vincent Arroyo - Calistoga, CA - Produces 8,000 cases total per year. Best wine I have ever had. Truly amazing wine and VERY reasonable prices. Amazing staff and very cool tasting room. They allowed us to do a regular tasting and we had a private tour by Rick on their staff and he let us do a tasting right from the barrel as well. It was awesome.
Field Stone - Healdsburg, CA Produces 8,000-10,000 cases total per year. Very good wine at again VERY reasonable prices. Tasting room was a cool place and they have a very knowledgeable and friendly staff too.
Twomey - Healdsburg/Calistoga CA - Affiliated with Silver Oak Winery and it is amazing stuff. Their Pinot Noir will knock your socks off.
Silver Oak - Well known and very expensive. Very good wine, but the above mentions are in my mind even better wine at half to 1/3 the price.
Justin - As mentioned by anadyr, they make great wines. I wanted to visit Paso Robles on my trip to Cali but just ran out of time. It is on my list of places to go to. Their Isosceles is absolutely delicious.
My wife and I novices but are eager to expand our knowledge and visit new places. Starting in Napa was a great experience for us and we enjoyed every minute of it.
I started collecting in 2012 for several reasons, mostly to learn about wine and make it a hobby while also assuring I always had a nice bottle at my immediate disposal. As such, I do not collect for investment reasons but for consumption! I try to be reasonable in all my purchases (my average bottle cost is $41.23, not counting tax and/or S&H) and I have only two wines that cost more than $100: Chateau Leoville Barton Bordeaux Blend Red 2009 & 2010, a case of each. You will NEVER find me paying $150+ for a single 750ML as I think that is silly and in all honesty, I doubt I could tell that much of a difference if price were an indication of quality, which I know it is not.
As a novice in 2012, I took the approach to buy wines based on professional reviews in hopes their tastes and ratings would translate to my preferences. I find the Wine Spectator and International Wine Cellar staffs are a very close match to my taste buds, especially the reds but with the latter slightly too favorable on the whites.
I bought a book about wine collecting before buying my first serious wine purchase. In it I read a "warning" that one can easily get carried away with building their collection and can quickly run out of storage space. That was dead-on as I had to build a wine cellar in my basement as the stacked milk crates couldn't handle the volumes any more. I now have racking for 1584 bottles powered by a 2500BTU wine cooler and space to add another 792 rack (gosh, I hope not). So I got carried away in a very short time as the book warned as I have 1210 bottles currently in storage.
Here are my top varietal counts (I keep everything in an Access Database I developed):
|Bordeaux Blend Red||214|
|Sauvignon Blanc - Semillon||35|
We are on the same page 100% - even at the height of my collection (900 bottles) never did I purchase for investment. I have trimmed down to 500. This allows we to consume an expensive wine twice a month (will add judiciously) .
I usually consume the expensive stuff with fellow collectors once or twice a month at our local Ruth Chris which is kind enough to wave corkage for our group.
My everyday wine usually averages about 12 -18 dollars a bottle and currently (based on value) are wines from Spain, Chili, Argentina and Australia.
Enjoy my friend.
Living in the wine country of Long Island, I have found my way into enjoying a variety of wines over the past few years. I think there's more than 38 wineries between my house and the interstate and another handful on the south fork so we have plenty of local varieties of grape juice to enjoy
I've found most of the really good bottles we enjoy are in the $15-25 range and have had great reviews or no reviews. There are a few restaurants in our area the focus on locally sourced products, to the point they tell you on the menu where each item was raised, farmed or produced. Its usually at these places that we find a wine pairing with a meal from a local winery that is new to us. Very infrequently do we actually go to the wineries for tastings, mostly because they are overrun with tourists, tour buses and other less fun folks. There's always the fun new one found while on the road as well but we try to limit it to 6-12 bottles in the house at a time.
Not sure if anyone here is a fan of any of the Long Island wineries but there's certainly some good ones
I am embarrassed to tell you that not only have I never had the opportunity to taste a Long Island wine, this Brooklyn born guy never knew there was a wine industry or area on Long Island.
I have tasted wines from areas that would surprise many (Thailand for example - BTW - horrible) and this includes wines from areas of New York. But, NEVER Long Island.
So I make you this promise - before the week is over I will find a bottle of Long Island produced wine, consume it and report back as to my (amateurish) opinion.
Have a great day - hope it warms up back there in the "homeland:.
Sounds great! There are a bunch, here's a list http://www.liwines.com/?cat=7
The Old Field Vineyards, Raphael and Duck Walk are some of our more popular places to pick up bottles from. Bedell Cellars was the producer of some of the wines at the last presidential inauguration