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Hey did you know? I really like wine.

Now, I consider myself a novice. (I say this because a friend's husband is a sommelier, and WOW do I love when they invite me to dinner!) I grew up hating wine (hey: Mormon), and until I had GOOD wine, I didn't understand.

And now I do. And I'll say this: while not having an education beyond trying and failing, trying and loving, making notes, etc., when I recommend wine, I've never heard back that someone didn't love it. Maybe they're not telling me I don't know. But I have a pretty decent palate, is what I'm getting at. (And honestly a big secret is to pay attention to WHERE THE WINE IS FROM. Regions tend to have similar tastes.)

Apparently I have an expensive palate, too. But now, my daily sip (I'm talking a glass, maybe two, please don't worry about me) is Ladera, Napa, 2009 CabSav. I can get it for about $28 a bottle in bulk, but their website has it for $40. Which means I'm filling up my wee wine cellar with bottles while I can. Easily one of the most sippable wines I've encountered. (Cheaper, and fine as well, is Markham Merlot - 2009 at around $16 bottle. Let it open up for a bit. Napa Cellars Cab was my previous "cheap" daily vino at $21 - not their merlot, though. Their merlot has a different mix, unlike Markham's merlot vs. Cab.)

I just don't care for most whites. They tend to taste weak or like dirty socks. I like to taste the grape. I don't want to taste the American oak it soaked in (which is why I avoid labels that point out the oak - that's the vanilla flavor on the back of your tongue at the finish - no me gusta) and have learned that many California wines add chunks of oaks to stainless steel barrels to get that flavor, because Americans like their wine sweet. NOPE. Gross. Not me. Me and an old Frenchman with broken blood vessels across his cheeks would get along fine, topping each other's glasses off and sharing hunks of bread while laughing about the absurdity of life.

I basically want to have several friends over to open about four or five bottles and talk shop and get drunk and then devolve into telling dirty jokes. SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT NIGHT TO ME. :D

(BTW, my sommelier-friend hooked me up with maybe my most favorite champagne ever: Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose. WOW, is that the most delicious champagne for under $200 - hey, it can get pricey - I've ever had. And it's romantic. Two families, rivals, daughter and son fell in love, made their own champagne and have been going strong for over 100 years. And it is exquisite. If you're in Texas and can access a Central Market, this normally $150 bottle is $90. If you have a special occasion, or have the coin, get it. Trust.)

YEP, I HAD HALF A BOTTLE TONIGHT OF MY LADERA LOVE. What of it? :) Now to dig up some cheese and veggies....

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Comments

fitofpique
Jun. 20th, 2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
Well, with very few exceptions, I never drink Chardonnay! You mentioned the overwhelming oakiness/vanilla overtones, which I think is characteristic of American Chardonnay in particular, and I just hate it. It's like a headache in a bottle for me! That said, I really like Pouilly-Fuissé, which is basically French Chardonnay, but it is dry and delicate and rarely oaky, even though it's aged in oak! I also love Pouilly-Fumé, which is basically French Sauvignon Blanc, but it's usually not as acidic or sweet as the NZ. Sancerre can also be good but is more acidic.

Another wine I recently discovered is Melon de Bourgogne! I just ordered a case of it from an Ontario winery (Norman Hardie), but I have seen the odd bottle on the shelves in liquor stores (we get totally different wines than you do in the US though, so I don't know if that will be the case for you). It is a little sweeter but light and delicate and refreshing and perfect, oh my god, I want to drink it all the time! My husband really loves Chablis, too, so I guess we just really like French whites? I will totally drink new world Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot or whatever, but I check the sweetness level before buying.

I also drink a ton of sparkling wine and champagne. I mean, champagne is amazing, but there is lots of French sparkling wine that is cheaper and just can't be called champagne because it's grown in another region. I love Cremant d'Alsace especially. And there are many good Cavas and Proseccos too! Again, I just check to see how sweet they are before buying and buy the slightly more expensives ones.

I am also a huge fan of rosés in the summer time! Again, the French rosés are great, and I would recommend trying a Tavel if you can find it!

Edited at 2013-06-20 03:12 pm (UTC)
stoney321
Jun. 20th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
I learned that the headachy oakiness (it's TOTALLY THAT) is because of American oak - it has way more turpentine in the wood than French oak, so that makes sens about the Pouilly-Fuissé. Hmm. I may need to go on a shopping trip this weekend... FOR SCIENCE.

I'm a fan of French wines, but I've wanted to sit with someone who knows their stuff to show me down the path to delicious whites instead of blindly buying and being unhappy with my purchase.

(I love Cavas and Proseccos as well! I don't think to call them whites, though, because people tend to refer to whites as Chablis, Chardonnay, etc.) BASICALLY I AM COPYING NOTES TO MY PHONE FOR MY TRIP, because I've had a few Argentinia wines you recced a while back that I liked, so I assume we'd enjoy a similar flavor profile. <3

I LOVE ROSE. Mm, mm. This has me excited for my weekend, THANK YOU! <3
alittleacademe
Jun. 20th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
I also love rose a WHOLE LOT. Can you get Pimms in Texas?? Because a PIMMS ROYALE is the best thing (Pimms, and, um, Prosecco where the lemonade should be. Basically any -and-lemonade drink can be improved by putting Prosecco where the lemonade should be).

I also like P-F. And Sauterne for a dessert wine.

I would like wine now/always.
fitofpique
Jun. 20th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
We went on a little getaway last summer to Prince Edward County, which is one of the newer wine growing regions in Ontario, and we ended up at a vineyard that specializes in converting people who dislike Chardonnay into believers! And we found a couple that we liked, but guess what? They bought their oak barrels in France! It makes a huge difference.

We're travelling to Italy this summer with a friend who trained as a sommelier, and I can't wait! He's super knowledgeable and I love being able to leave all the decisions about what to order up to him.

p.s. Second the recommendation for Sauternes as a dessert wine! So delicious! The French (i.e., good) stuff is expensive but so worth it!

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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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