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Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Walked posted:

Any good books to teach me more about wines / whatever?
Internet is scary and I can only do so many tastings and whatnot. Plus I have a 1hr busride twice a day, may as well.

Wine for Dummies. Seriously. It's an outstanding book. It's where I started.

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gay picnic defence
Oct 5, 2009

If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?

To Shrug.

The Oxford wine companion and the World altas of wine are both good.

gay picnic defence
Oct 5, 2009

If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?

To Shrug.

What are y'all drinking for christmas? I got a couple of bottles of the 08 Seppelt Salinger, and a bottle each of penfolds bin 389 cab shiraz, and bin 311 chardy.

Walked
Apr 14, 2003



4liters posted:

What are y'all drinking for christmas? I got a couple of bottles of the 08 Seppelt Salinger, and a bottle each of penfolds bin 389 cab shiraz, and bin 311 chardy.

2010 Zeppelin Winery Colossus Syrah that I picked up off wine.woot.com, opening it shortly.

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade


Just opened a 2008 Belle Glos Pinot Noir, Las Alturas vineyard. Could easily have held onto it for a couple more years, and it definitely needed decanting, but it's pretty drat good. Wish I bought more of this.

AriTheDog
Jul 29, 2003
Famously tasty.

assraped aquaman posted:

i live in Mendocino!

If I know what you like I can give you tips.

Toulose has pickled flavored wine! Have to visit. If Navarro has old style pinot noir it is great. I love the unfiltered.

Roederer is great if you love champagne.

I have a friend who loves Handley for the values. Goldeneye has the rep but crazy prices..

When I go i like Navarro and Roederer for gift buying. Definitely pinot noir and champagne (sparkling) country.

Have fun. Stay away from Boonville tasting rooms I think. Best ones are at the wineries themselves.

pork never goes bad posted:

Visit Unti as well, if you can make it!

Thanks a ton for the recs! We ended up going to Phillip's Hill and Toulouse, both of which were great.

Tasted some amazing wines at Toulouse that were outside my price range, (notably a '08 pinot noir that had a truly fantastic aroma) but bought a bottle of some delicious pinot gris.

At Phillip's Hill I ended up with a couple bottles each of a really nicely balanced '09 dry gewurztraminer, and a low alcohol content '09 pinot noir with lots of strawberry flavor and a really light finish.

All in all, I had a great time, and can't wait to go back. I'd have loved to have tried more spots, but we were with a couple that neglected to swish and spit. The coast is loving gorgeous, and I'm tempted to try and find a reason to move up to Mendocino now.

nwin
Feb 25, 2002

make's u think


Fallen Rib

I don't try to act like I know a thing about wines, but I've been really in to Cabernet Sauvignon lately.

However yesterday I opened some bottle and it tasted a bit too boozy. I had a glass and corked it with one of vino save things. Today I had a glass and it tasted much better and less boozy.

So my question is, is that one of the reasons to decant? Also do these things that you hook up to the wine bottle that supposedly decant as you pour actually work/ worth it?

BigLove
Nov 19, 2009


nwin posted:

I don't try to act like I know a thing about wines, but I've been really in to Cabernet Sauvignon lately.

However yesterday I opened some bottle and it tasted a bit too boozy. I had a glass and corked it with one of vino save things. Today I had a glass and it tasted much better and less boozy.

So my question is, is that one of the reasons to decant? Also do these things that you hook up to the wine bottle that supposedly decant as you pour actually work/ worth it?

All the spouts do is aerate the wine, which is pretty much what decanting is meant to do. Decanters present a large surface area for aeration. Is decanting necessary? No. However you may want to seriously consider it if you're getting into very expensive bottles of wine.

All it really does is allow the wine to mellow some, and gain some temperature. You're allowing the wine to 'breathe', to purge it's excess tannins and such. The more air your wine sees, the more mellow it will be.

nwin
Feb 25, 2002

make's u think


Fallen Rib

So it sounds like the spouts are worth it as it does what decanting does, but quicker?

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade


nwin posted:

So it sounds like the spouts are worth it as it does what decanting does, but quicker?

My mom and her husband picked up a Vinturi a few months ago and have been using it pretty regularly - it improves most wines, and it hasn't made a single wine less pleasant to drink.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


nwin posted:

So it sounds like the spouts are worth it as it does what decanting does, but quicker?

There's a special method you can use to decant more thoroughly if you're trying to get some air into the wine. The trick is to use TWO mason jars instead of just one, and pour the wine back and forth once or twice. Very technical; don't gently caress it up.

There is literally one reason to buy a nice decanter for wine: aesthetic appeal. If you can't afford a nice decanter (they can be expensive!), using a $10 Ikea carafe or even just a clean, quart-sized mason jar works just about the exact same way. Slosh the wine in, give it a swirl, voila! There is no reason to buy those silly spout pourers.

As far as decanting goes, some wines need it, some wines don't. AFAIK there are a few very broad guidelines (like, usually decant younger, tighter reds) but it really comes down to the specific wine in question, and has little to do with something like price point. For example, I have a bunch of St. Chinian (red wine blend from the Languedoc region) that I bought for like $12/bottle that really comes together after it sees a little air. There are plenty of wines out there that would cost you more and would fall apart after too much aeration. Some older wines need aeration to come alive; some go to pieces.

If you're interested in decanting, start experimenting. Open the bottle of wine you're drinking for the evening and pour an extra glass. Stick it in the corner somewhere and go taste it after an hour or so, then after another hour, etc, and try to note if the wine changes and how it changes. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, sometimes it's frozen in time. The big thing to remember is that you don't need anything special to do so - I've seen Gevrey-Chambertin decanted into a (clean!) milk jar, and it worked just fine.

Plastic Jesus
Aug 26, 2006

I'm cranky most of the time.


I intend to make wine after the fall harvest, but before dropping a decent amount of coin on grapes and renting equipment I want to get familiar with the process. So I'm making an Apfelwein from Whole Foods juice ($1.69/gallon, yo!) with the following enhancements over the Ed Wort prison wine:

* Add dextrose to achieve 24.5 Brix
* Add malic acid to achieve 0.65-0.70% TA
* Add tannin to give a tightness to the end wine. I'm aiming to reproduce an overproof Frankfort-style Apfelwein, which uses Service Tree fruit for astringency.
* Do a malolatic fermentation
* Use pectin enzyme to clarify (the juice is unfiltered)
* Use meta to stabilize

I understand that the initial fermentation will not bear any resemblance to that of wine from grapes, but for now I don't want to bother with the expense or difficulty of dealing with fresh fruit. I also like the idea that I don't have to rack if my other carboy has beer in it. Does this seem like a stupid idea, or one worth pursuing? I don't want to do a kit for my first wine, since that seems like learning to bake by buying one of those cookie dough logs in the freezer section. This seemed like the cheapest way to go.

BTW, I agree that mason jars are the best decanters. Only difficulty is that they sometimes drip when pouring.

gay picnic defence
Oct 5, 2009

If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?

To Shrug.

You can use black tea leaves for astringency as well if you want. Tartaric acid might be cheaper than malic acid and it wont be broken down by bacteria. You'll have a really flabby drink if your MLF consumes all your acid so maybe look at using a blend of acids.

Plastic Jesus
Aug 26, 2006

I'm cranky most of the time.


I thought of malic acid since that's what's in apples anyway, but was too dumb to think about the fact that the MLF may cancel out any additions. Tartaric acid it is, then (which also seems to be used most frequently in wine production). I read about the black tea thing after I'd already bought the tannin, so I'll probably stick with what I've got. At the risk of sounding stupid, doesn't black tea impart at least some tea-like flavors? In juicier reds like syrah or zin I imagine it's not noticeable, but I'd think you'd taste or at least smell it in apple wine.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Plastic Jesus posted:

I intend to make wine after the fall harvest, but before dropping a decent amount of coin on grapes and renting equipment I want to get familiar with the process.

You can make perfectly drinkable wine without spending much and without all of the technological hoo-hah. Really, all you need are clean grapes and a clean container to ferment them in. Get a few hundred pounds of something, footstomp it and ferment stems and all, and inoculate if you're concerned with that kind of thing (although you don't need to necessarily).

I know a guy who pressed a small batch by tossing his must in a pumpover strainer and then footstomping it. Sure, you aren't going to get amazing Gallo 110% yield or anything, but you'll get absolutely drinkable wine. At the most the equipment you'd need to rent would be one of the small basket presses and then a bottle filler + bottle corker once it's time to bottle. Maybe buy a few carboys. It's totally doable, don't worry so much about all the sciency stuff!

On another note I know a bunch of people in here are Riesling fans - you can get 1988 Renaissance Late Harvest Riesling for $45 for a 750ml, and it blows equivalently priced German stuff out of the water. I'm finishing off a bottle that I opened for Christmas dinner. There was a bit of cork seepage, but it's goddamn delicious.

edit: I can't knock decanters that hard - it can be a true pleasure to use a nice decanter (especially with a treasured older bottle), and I'd love to own one of the Rare Wine Co decanters.

idiotsavant fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2011 around 08:55

4/20 NEVER FORGET
Dec 2, 2002

NEVER FORGET OK

Fun Shoe

On young wines with no sediment I've stopped using my decanter and just give them the "Mollydooker shake". This whole video is stupid as hell but the process works just as good for "decanting" young wines. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrt9G-q2Zy0

With older wines, they tend to have more sediment so I still use my decnater mainly for getting rid of the sediment.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


4/20 NEVER FORGET posted:

On young wines with no sediment I've stopped using my decanter and just give them the "Mollydooker shake".

What, no blender?

gay picnic defence
Oct 5, 2009

If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?

To Shrug.

4/20 NEVER FORGET posted:

On young wines with no sediment I've stopped using my decanter and just give them the "Mollydooker shake". This whole video is stupid as hell but the process works just as good for "decanting" young wines. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrt9G-q2Zy0

With older wines, they tend to have more sediment so I still use my decnater mainly for getting rid of the sediment.

They tried to do the mollydooker shake on a whole shipping container of wine at the docks in Adelaide a few months back.

Didn't end well.

Plastic Jesus
Aug 26, 2006

I'm cranky most of the time.


idiotsavant posted:

You can make perfectly drinkable wine without spending much and without all of the technological hoo-hah. Really, all you need are clean grapes and a clean container to ferment them in. Get a few hundred pounds of something, footstomp it and ferment stems and all, and inoculate if you're concerned with that kind of thing (although you don't need to necessarily).

I know a guy who pressed a small batch by tossing his must in a pumpover strainer and then footstomping it. Sure, you aren't going to get amazing Gallo 110% yield or anything, but you'll get absolutely drinkable wine. At the most the equipment you'd need to rent would be one of the small basket presses and then a bottle filler + bottle corker once it's time to bottle. Maybe buy a few carboys. It's totally doable, don't worry so much about all the sciency stuff!

I like the sciency stuff, and I enjoy the process of making things. I figure that if I'm going to bother getting and taking care of 100 lbs of grapes I should try to do the best with them I can.

I'm fortunate to live near a brew shop that takes orders for grapes before the fall harvest and will do the crush for you, so that's sorted. I'll need to rent a press, but that's not as big of a deal. I have 3 carboys, hydrometer, auto-siphon, bottle filler, etc. from making beer. Renting a bottler is an annoying expense (also those fuckers are both heavy and unwieldy), but there's no way around that, is there? I assume that the $8 plastic corkers and $22 capper-looking corkers are wastes of money, yes?

donkey salami
Jun 28, 2008

DUNK A DILL PICKLE REALDO

Grimey Drawer

AriTheDog posted:

Thanks a ton for the recs! We ended up going to Phillip's Hill and Toulouse, both of which were great.

Tasted some amazing wines at Toulouse that were outside my price range, (notably a '08 pinot noir that had a truly fantastic aroma) but bought a bottle of some delicious pinot gris.

At Phillip's Hill I ended up with a couple bottles each of a really nicely balanced '09 dry gewurztraminer, and a low alcohol content '09 pinot noir with lots of strawberry flavor and a really light finish.

All in all, I had a great time, and can't wait to go back. I'd have loved to have tried more spots, but we were with a couple that neglected to swish and spit. The coast is loving gorgeous, and I'm tempted to try and find a reason to move up to Mendocino now.

Happy you had fun! Anderson Valley wines can be all over the price range. I have found they have some really good deals the day after big events. Like the pinot noir festival coming up in May. Big tasting day. Last year the next day wineries were having free tastings with food pairings and good discounts at their sites. They did the same the day after the big crab fest event.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Plastic Jesus posted:

I like the sciency stuff, and I enjoy the process of making things. I figure that if I'm going to bother getting and taking care of 100 lbs of grapes I should try to do the best with them I can.

I'm fortunate to live near a brew shop that takes orders for grapes before the fall harvest and will do the crush for you, so that's sorted. I'll need to rent a press, but that's not as big of a deal. I have 3 carboys, hydrometer, auto-siphon, bottle filler, etc. from making beer. Renting a bottler is an annoying expense (also those fuckers are both heavy and unwieldy), but there's no way around that, is there? I assume that the $8 plastic corkers and $22 capper-looking corkers are wastes of money, yes?

No idea on the corkers. I've only ever used a manual corker, but it's still "professional" or industrial or whatever you want to call it. If you're doing 100 lbs of grapes you'll end up with like 2-3 cases; I'd skip getting a bottler and just siphon it all. Maybe get a valve or one of the clamp dealies such that you can siphon and cork a bottle at a time. If anything you could just use crown caps as long as they fit the bottles you're using.

Just rack it all into a clean container and blanket with some CO2 while you bottle - hell, you could probably use a large water cooler and fill straight from the spout. Just use whatever normal beer sanitizer you have to clean it first.

Dunno what area you live in, but in CA you can check Craigslist and get grapes for something like 80 cents a pound. Or you can try contacting vineyards, telling them you're a home winemaker, and asking if you can glean seconds after they pick through.

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


idiotsavant posted:

Just rack it all into a clean container and blanket with some CO2 while you bottle - hell, you could probably use a large water cooler and fill straight from the spout. Just use whatever normal beer sanitizer you have to clean it first.

Get a beer bottling bucket that has a spigot on the bottom. Put the bucket with wine up on a counter and put a "bottle filler" on the spigot. The bottle filler is about 12" long with a spring-loaded tip. Raise the wine bottle so the filler goes inside and press the bottom of the bottle against the tip and the wine will start flowing until you lower the bottle. Nice way to fill without oxidation from splashing and convenient for lots of bottles (on the homebrew scale anyways). You'll want to take into account that the bottle filler displaces a certain amount of liquid so fill it a little higher than you actually want. It's easy enough to figure out after a bottle or two. Also, get a small bowl underneath to catch drips.

I haven't done any corking yet but I plan to use the manual hand corker. If you can rent the manual floor style corker then I've read that it's easier to use with better results.

For wine drinking content, my buddy gave me a bottle of dessert wine: Chocolate Shop (Red wine with natural dark chocolate flavors) from Walla Walla, Washington. I'm not crazy about chocolate flavor in beer, but I'll give this a shot on New Years Eve.

JetSet
Jan 2, 2004
Germanologist

Does anybody know if there are any worthwhile online wine courses? Or a syllabus/reading list that I can follow myself?

I am interested in expanding my wine knowledge, which is decent, but not nearly as good as I would like to be, especially considering I am pursuing a career in hotel beverage management. Unfortunately, I live in Indianapolis, IN, and I can't find any sommelier programs or even adult education wine classes that are offered in the area. I don't necessarily need any kind of certification, just the knowledge that is associated with such a thing.

gay picnic defence
Oct 5, 2009

If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?

To Shrug.

Wine business or wine marketing might be available online, but winemaking/viticulture are mostly run at the universities.

dphi
Jul 9, 2001


4/20 NEVER FORGET posted:

When I have more time I will put together a section that is wine suggestions at or under $15 that is broke down by Red and White wine, then varietal. The question of a good cab/chardonnay/syrah/whatever wine around $10 gets asked a lot, so I will skim the entire old megathread for all of the suggestions and add them.

Still going to do this?

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


Cpt.Wacky posted:

For wine drinking content, my buddy gave me a bottle of dessert wine: Chocolate Shop (Red wine with natural dark chocolate flavors) from Walla Walla, Washington. I'm not crazy about chocolate flavor in beer, but I'll give this a shot on New Years Eve.

Well this stuff was loving disgusting, could barely get a few sips down and felt sick afterwards.

Stitecin
Feb 6, 2004
Mayor of Stitecinopolis

Plastic Jesus posted:

I assume that the $8 plastic corkers and $22 capper-looking corkers are wastes of money, yes?

I worked in a "Make Your Own Wine" shop between my first and second vintages, and I made a lot of wine in my dorm room. At the shop we had the kind of floor stand corker that has four brass bits to compress the cork before the pin comes down and pushes it into the bottle; the same type we use for corking small batches at the winery. They're much better. In the dorms I had one of the $8 plastic double funnel corkers, and it worked ok after I got to the point that I would drive the corks in with a rubber mallet.

As important as bottling sanitation and proper cork seating are, you should also consider how you'll inert the bottles before you fill them. It sucks to look forward to a bottle and open it to find it's been destroyed by oxidation.

AriTheDog
Jul 29, 2003
Famously tasty.

Cpt.Wacky posted:

Well this stuff was loving disgusting, could barely get a few sips down and felt sick afterwards.

Yeah there was some local "winemaker" operating out of some warehouses around here who sold a wine that he proudly explained was "a dessert wine flavored with McCormick's brand chocolate extract!" It was incredibly terrible, much like his other wines made with tropical fruit sourced from the Oakland night market.

Chocolate and wine go together because they contrast in a complementary way. Much like how you wouldn't puree a hamburger and enjoy it, food and wine should be kept apart. Wine flavored with blue cheese extract, however...

Selenite
Feb 17, 2011


Got myself a Screwpull to help celebrate the new year. There is going to a shitload more wine in my house from now on.

4/20 NEVER FORGET
Dec 2, 2002

NEVER FORGET OK

Fun Shoe

dphi posted:

Still going to do this?

God drat you Mike, attempting to hold me to do something I said I would do....

Yea, when I get around to it. Question is when, so if anyone wants to compile that information themselves and post it I'll quote it in the OP.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


As long as it includes Pepiere...

Gwamp
Apr 18, 2003

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,

Yam Slacker

AriTheDog posted:

Yeah there was some local "winemaker" operating out of some warehouses around here who sold a wine that he proudly explained was "a dessert wine flavored with McCormick's brand chocolate extract!" It was incredibly terrible, much like his other wines made with tropical fruit sourced from the Oakland night market.

Chocolate and wine go together because they contrast in a complementary way. Much like how you wouldn't puree a hamburger and enjoy it, food and wine should be kept apart. Wine flavored with blue cheese extract, however...

There is an old local guy (Paul) here who makes a chocolate orange wine that is wonderful. This is an actual wine and not a flavored abomination. He also makes several other fruit wines that contain whey as well. He is some kind of chemistry genius and is holding his secrets close to his ancient chest and will not tell anyone how he does what he does. His wines are worth every penny and are unique as far as I know. If you are in the Astoria, Oregon area at anytime and enjoy something unique, his winery is well worth a visit.

http://www.shallon.com/

He is quite the curmudgeon though...

Bleston Humenthal
Nov 5, 2008

What are you doing, Julian! The chicken fingers aren’t even cooked! You want us to get sasparilla or something, you dick!

Quick question. 2007 Chateau Chauvin. Decant or no?

Stitecin
Feb 6, 2004
Mayor of Stitecinopolis

Bleston Humenthal posted:

Quick question. 2007 Chateau Chauvin. Decant or no?

Wouldn't hurt. At least open a couple hours before you're going to drink it.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



I was crushed to find out that mywinesdirect.com shut down. I assume that anyone who knows anything about wine either never heard of them or wishes them good riddance, but it was the only place I've found so far that ships wine to Pennsylvania. They had sales on every few weeks which allowed me to both stock up on decent wine for $10/bottle or less AND boycott stupid PA laws. I'm glad I don't have refined taste in wine so that I could enjoy their stuff.

There goes my budding wine hobby

Plastic Jesus
Aug 26, 2006

I'm cranky most of the time.


I went to the North Coast of California this weekend. What I learned:

* No one working at a tasting room or restaurant should wear perfume.

* Wine tastes better in a barn.

* MLF and oak ruin semillon, I wish that Californians had a different palate

* Single-vinyard Pinot Noirs might sell well, but they're only interesting given the backstory. The blend that's 2/3 the price that actually shows the winemaker's ability, however, is an exceptional wine. Also, I know that 3 different vineyards didn't produce exactly 14.5% ABV. Again, the California palate...

* Gewurztraminer LOVES Northern California.

* Why no pink wines? You love to make dense pinots, why not drain off a bit at the press?

* It's not a competition and everyone has different tastes, but I relearned that I enjoy wine much more than I enjoy beer.

Plastic Jesus fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2012 around 08:41

gay picnic defence
Oct 5, 2009

If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?

To Shrug.

Plastic Jesus posted:

I went to the North Coast of California this weekend. What I learned:

* Why no pink wines? You love to make dense pinots, why not drain off a bit at the press?


Because 14.5% alc Rose` doesn't taste very nice. People do it here with grenache drain offs and they taste like full bodied reds not nice, crisp, and refreshing like a good pink wine should be

Plastic Jesus
Aug 26, 2006

I'm cranky most of the time.


4liters posted:

Because 14.5% alc Rose` doesn't taste very nice. People do it here with grenache drain offs and they taste like full bodied reds not nice, crisp, and refreshing like a good pink wine should be

I only saw the absurd 14.5% at one vineyard, and I'm pretty sure that they boosted to get it there, but I hear what you're saying...

BigLove
Nov 19, 2009


I'm still searching for a great rose. It's been a challenge.

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Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


What are the qualities of a good ros? I've only had this local one and it seemed good, but I'm not very experienced with tasting... Ros the Riveter

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