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Furious Lobster
Jun 17, 2006



Grimey Drawer

PRADA SLUT posted:

Whats the best option(s) for wine storage, with some bottles being 500ml (same radial dimensions as a 750, just shorter)? I'm looking to put freestanding storage in a cupboard. I'm looking for something roughly 6 bottles tall, 4 wide, but I could fit something of a larger dimension.

This is for short-term (< 1 year) storage, not aging, mainly just a way to organize my bottles at home.

I still use a couple of these in my off-site storage since they're modular and make wine transporting a little easier as well.

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straight up brolic
Jan 31, 2007

After all, I was nice in ball,
Came to practice weed scented
Report card like the speed limit



Very very late, but the extended attempt to like defraud/explain why "natural wines" is bad in this thread is hilarious.

And the number one reason why each attempt is individually wrong is because when a shopper or customer asks for a natural wine, they are generally not looking for a specific checklist (e.g biodynamic, organic, low-sulfite) of winemaking parameters--they are looking for an exciting, atypical wine, that uses different techniques from industrial winemaking. That's it. You can't say "all natural wines are x" because it's a moving target. If you don't like the way that low sulfur wines taste, you can still enjoy many wines that would be classified as "natural". To ascribe the faults one natural wine to the group is to fundamentally misunderstand the project.

There are some evangelical purists out there, but when I drink a natural wine with people that are not wine geeks, the response is overwhelmingly positive. Not because they are "healthy" or better for you, but because they are interesting, different, and re-frame their experience of wine.

Using the term natural for a glass turns wine drinking from "is this $17 glass of Barolo a.) delicious b.) good value relative to its expression of the grape and region?" to "let's see what we're going to get".

So yes, the class does benefit from lowered expectations, but the effect is something that all winemakers and industry professionals should love: natural wines get people who were not interested in the classic styles excited about drinking a glass.

Even the attempt to create this dichotomy between low SO2 vs. industrial seems false. Sure, some natural producers are militant about sulfur, but "natural" is more of a general descriptor than a style in itself.

A ton of people ask for natural when they want skin-contact whites, regardless of sulfur, for instance.

If someone is a cancer survivor or has a medical reason to avoid SO2, they will ask for a wine with minimal sulfites. They won't ask for a natural wine and expect that the Somm/server understands their expectations.

"Natural" is just a way to describe a "nouvelle cuisine" shift in the wine world in which choice is no longer limited to 15 styles on the typical menu. I like the classic producers as much as anyone else, but it's nice to try exciting and unfamiliar wines that don't cost an arm and a leg. Some of them are also very good.

The Bornard wines mentioned earlier are a really awesome gateway.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


I disagree with so many things you wrote it's hard to know where to start.

No one is saying "all natural wines are x", but absolutely the level of flaws in natural wines is at a higher level than standard wines. The amount of natural producers marketing wines that are rife with flaws is astounding. Yes, those flaws can be an interesting and new experience, especially to a wine novice. And there are extremely talented producers that make wines that fall under the natural label that are extremely talented, and create gorgeous wines through rigorous hygiene practices and vineyard controls (how about Dutraive?). But the main criticism a lot of industry people have is that many people making and marketing their wines as "natural" are in fact marketing heavily flawed wines as a new dichotomy. I'm sorry, if you have a tolerance for mouse taint that's your prerogative, but I'll stay away, especially as I'm making purchasing decisions for a business that needs some consistency in the product and can't tolerate a high rejection rate in my stock.

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


The issue here is that you're defining "natural" in a different way than 95% of people who are interested in natural wine. If somebody asks for a natural wine and you suggest Pontet Canet or Benzinger, yes those wines are made from biodynamic grapes, but you're sure as hell not giving them what they asked for.

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


Crimson, how do you explain the prevalence of natural wines on many restaurants wine lists these days, up to and including the top tiers of fine dining?

I still think all y'all industrial wine apologists are missing one of the most exciting culinary moments today.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


pork never goes bad posted:

Crimson, how do you explain the prevalence of natural wines on many restaurants wine lists these days, up to and including the top tiers of fine dining?

I still think all y'all industrial wine apologists are missing one of the most exciting culinary moments today.

I think you're overestimating the prevalence of natural wines at the top tiers of fine dining. In my experiences, they occupy a niche to carry a few to service the one guest every 1-2 weeks that comes in asking for natural wines. Yes I have some on my list, but they make up about 6 selections out of the over 1,000 that I carry. And frankly I regret buying a couple of those 6 because the mouse taint wasn't immediately noticeable when I tasted with the rep. I didn't even attempt to return them because mouse taint is almost expected at this point with natural wine, although I really should try to send them back.

Although my list is an anecdotal example, I have built and maintained two WS Grand Award winning wine lists in Vegas and SF, and am currently attempting to build another. I'm also intimately familiar with most of the fine dining lists in the Bay Area, and I don't know anyone who is dedicating a large portion of their lists to natural wines. From what I understand, natural wines are a lot more popular in NYC, but I was led to believe that was mostly confined to wine bars. I would be really interested to hear about anyone's experience with this in other markets like NYC, Chicago, or elsewhere.

In saying something like "industrial wine apologists" you're creating a false dichotomy. There is a huge spectrum on how to create wine, not "natural" vs. "industrial"'. Many producers ride that line of nearly natural, with just enough control to minimize flaws. I support a huge amount of those wines on my list, and I do generally find that fully organic and/or biodynamic vineyards and producers create some of the most exciting wines. Going back to brolic's post above, If they're filtering or using even a tiny amount of sulfur to safeguard their wines, they really wouldn't fall under most people's definition of natural.

I can assure you I'm not missing out; I've never been known to shun a taste on principle. I've had some amazing natural wines, and lots that were loving terrible. Whether it's my restaurant's dollar or my own personal dollar, I'd rather not spin the wheel of flaws hoping to get clean examples of natural wine, unless they're a producer with a long track record of putting out sound wine. I don't need or want the lows to experience the highs.

mojo1701a
Oct 8, 2008

Oh, yeah. Loud and clear. Emphasis on LOUD!
~ David Lee Roth

I'm very new to wines, but I have the chance to go to Paris and Strasbourg next month, and I thought I should start some actual appreciation of wine. This may be too broad of a request, but does anyone know of anything wine-related in those two cities that I can experience?

I've found a wine tasting class on AirBnB experiences, and I've heard that Alsace has some really nice vineyards, but I'm out of my depth in terms of picking a vineyard where I can take a tour, or place where I can experience wine. I'm planning on going to a Parisian wine bar at least once, but I thought I could get some more advice wrt. being a tourist.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


This argument is tiresome not because it's not something we should be discussing, but because it always gets framed in such a polarizing way. I find it necessary to ask a question of every question: Just what is natural wine to you? Is it no sulfur additions? No pesticides? No chemical pesticides? No pumpovers? No punchdowns? No oak? No temperature control? No yeast inoculations? It's always defined in the negative by people trying to "debunk" it, but it's a loving mirage, really.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Overwined posted:

This argument is tiresome not because it's not something we should be discussing, but because it always gets framed in such a polarizing way. I find it necessary to ask a question of every question: Just what is natural wine to you? Is it no sulfur additions? No pesticides? No chemical pesticides? No pumpovers? No punchdowns? No oak? No temperature control? No yeast inoculations? It's always defined in the negative by people trying to "debunk" it, but it's a loving mirage, really.

While there is no legal framework to define what is natural wine, it really has come to mean several things colloquially around the world, including criteria like: wine is made from organic or biodynamically grown grapes, no additives in the cellar including sugar, yeast, alcohol, or acidity modifications, and little to fining, filtration or use of sulfites. The lines are extremely blurry, which is why I agree that saying you're in the industrial camp or the natural camp is ridiculous. But that shouldn't prevent us from having open discussion about wines made in that style. I'm all for the advancement of the knowledge pool; I'm hoping that all these articles in the past couple years pointing out how heavily tainted a lot of "natural" wine really is compels people making this style to come to terms with the flaws, and learn the arduous tasks of maintaining a clean cellar instead of marketing wines that taste like cheesy horse poo poo as some new frontier in wine flavors.

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


On the one hand, y'all so easy to troll (me too). But if no sulfur is a precondition of natural wine, even Cornelissen isn't natural.

Jerome Louis
Nov 5, 2002
p

College Slice

Taking my WSET 3 exam next week and cramming all this week. This stuff is so boring and stuffy and seems to be so pointless. Part of the reason why I'm so turned off to wine culture. Everyone takes themselves so seriously.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


pork never goes bad posted:

On the one hand, y'all so easy to troll (me too). But if no sulfur is a precondition of natural wine, even Cornelissen isn't natural.

I dunno, man, what I've been seeing out of the natural wine scene has been people blowing a whoooole lotta smoke up each others asses about no sulfur or arbitrary, made up, low sulfur limits. 15 ppm is ok at this event, but 25 is ok at another event, unless it's white wine and then you can use 45 ppm, and if you're RAW you can use 70 ppm oh and by the way you can also filter but not fine because apparently filtered wine is natural now? It's gotten pretty loving stupid.

At this point I just say that I try not to intervene as much as possible. For me that means no inoculations (The engineer in me can't stand the term "native yeast"), no new oak, no carbonic, no blending trials. I use sulfur. I've acidified a vintage that had super high pH; maybe I'll stop using those grapes, maybe I won't. All that said, the proof is always in the bottle.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Jerome Louis posted:

Taking my WSET 3 exam next week and cramming all this week. This stuff is so boring and stuffy and seems to be so pointless. Part of the reason why I'm so turned off to wine culture. Everyone takes themselves so seriously.

Out of curiosity what aspect, if any, of the business are you in? There may be better options for you if you're finding the WSET to be dry and dull. I took a look over the material a long time ago and totally agree with you, so I went the CMS route instead.

Jerome Louis
Nov 5, 2002
p

College Slice

Crimson posted:

Out of curiosity what aspect, if any, of the business are you in? There may be better options for you if you're finding the WSET to be dry and dull. I took a look over the material a long time ago and totally agree with you, so I went the CMS route instead.

I work for one of the big corporate wine companies managing their sensory science and descriptive analysis program. My background is in food science and brewing science and I do find the viticulture and winemaking side of things really interesting. The service, suit wearing, fancy dinner high dollar stuff is what I really dislike I guess, I really wish the focus was more on the agricultural side of things and the down and dirty farmers and cellar rats. TBH I don't really know what I want to do in the wine industry later... from a business standpoint I think wine is going to grow a lot in the coming years so there is a lot of opportunity there. Maybe start making wine myself or manage my own vineyards.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Yeah CMS doesn't sound up your alley at all then. Frankly I'd recommend a degree in enology and/or viticulture if you really feel like you need more credentials to get where you want, but it sounds like your foot is already well in the door. Maybe start bugging some winemakers your really admire to apprentice?

Also, your current job sounds pretty drat cool. I'd love to hear more about what your days actually look like. Didn't know any wineries had such a position.

Furious Lobster
Jun 17, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Recommend me a natural wine from K&L that doesn't suck under either Crimson or everyone else's interpretation of the word "natural".

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


Furious Lobster posted:

Recommend me a natural wine from K&L that doesn't suck under either Crimson or everyone else's interpretation of the word "natural".

They usually sell La Clarine Farm. Try one of the reds (the whites are funkier, deliberately). ETA - or Catherine and Pierre Breton from Loire, or jp brun (terre dores saint amour is lovely) would both meet my definition of natural. All of these use a small amount of sulfur.

And idiotsavant, that sounds like you make natural wine. And that some folks in the "scene" are idiots, which, of course.

The thing that really gets my goat about this argument is that there really was a trend, a state of affairs, in the wine world where taste was homogenizing, production methods were on a consistent trajectory towards the industrial a la food or beer production on a large scale, and producers who had always been more or less natural often ended up with the choice between intervention, selling grapes cheap, ripping up traditional grapes and replanting industrial varieties, or folding. Natural wine represents a radical critique of that paradigm, of that history, a rejection of sameness and engineering in favor of freshness and vivacity. And now that the mainstream is incorporating elements of the radical critique, of course the radicals further radicalize and concomitantly the mainstream moves the goalposts. But it'd be nice if industry apologists admitted that natural wine is a spectrum, that natural products and producers have had a positive influence across the wine world - perhaps this would allow some more constructive dialogue. Benzinger wouldn't be biodynamic without some trailblazers laying the way. I see more natural producers and critics by far talking like idiotsavant about minimizing intervention but allowing a sensible amount than the people he criticizes, but perhaps I don't try to show wines at Brumaire or RAW. But if you admit the nature of this spectrum, I also don't see something wrong with carving an arbitrary piece out of it for some specific event.

pork never goes bad fucked around with this message at Jul 11, 2017 around 13:17

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Jerome Louis posted:

I work for one of the big corporate wine companies managing their sensory science and descriptive analysis program. My background is in food science and brewing science and I do find the viticulture and winemaking side of things really interesting. The service, suit wearing, fancy dinner high dollar stuff is what I really dislike I guess, I really wish the focus was more on the agricultural side of things and the down and dirty farmers and cellar rats. TBH I don't really know what I want to do in the wine industry later... from a business standpoint I think wine is going to grow a lot in the coming years so there is a lot of opportunity there. Maybe start making wine myself or manage my own vineyards.

Depending on your location you can get that exact kind of info at JR/Community Colleges, and if you're anywhere close to industry you'll be able to make a ton of connections to learn more. I took a few night classes at Napa Valley College for exactly what you're talking about. Probably 90% industry, so lots of chances to meet people who could give you hands-on vineyard experience. They had their own teaching vineyard, too, for a hands-on class. Cheap, convenient timing, lots of actual industry people. But it does depend where you live.

Lobster: Jean Paul Brun, super juicy Beaujolais. LCF rec by pork is a good one. If you're trying to get what some of this natural weine kerfuffle is about, I think Olivier Cousin's wines are a great intro to the raunchier side of things. Not K&L, but shouldn't be too tough to find. His story is pretty great, too.

Pork, as far as I understand the original Gang of Four was a reaction to the post-war boom of chemicals in agriculture throughout France and the rest of Europe. They were all working towards using less or no chemicals, but I believe they were all trying to do so while still making sound, unflawed wines. Talking from experience, it isn't easy. It seems like it when you get started, and then you find out all the ways that wine can go wrong. I know what you're saying about the spectrum of wine, and I agree with you on it completely. If anything, though, people also fail to see how the spectrum can move into what's seen as more commercial wines - there are plenty of wineries who don't inoculate, or use a whole lot of sulfur, but don't necessarily call it out. And honestly, Gallo and Franzia have their places, too. It's a big world.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Furious Lobster posted:

Recommend me a natural wine from K&L that doesn't suck under either Crimson or everyone else's interpretation of the word "natural".

Hmmm turns out a couple of the producers making "natural" wines do use minimum levels of sulfur, including the amazing Beaujolais wines of Dutraive, and the tasty Rhone style reds of Donkey & Goat in Berkeley (I don't like their whites). The only producer whose wines I enjoy that I can think of off the top of my head that meets the stringent no sulfur criteria is AmByth in Paso Robles. The lineup is a bit of a rollercoaster that veers from absolutely delicious to strange and weird, but the wines are well made on the whole.

Looks like K&L carries Donkey & Goat, that's about the closest recommendation I can come up with.

Edit: Well look what they have in stock here! I don't think I tried this one with you, idiotsavant, but I definitely enjoyed your Rhone blend that I picked up a couple years back.

Crimson fucked around with this message at Jul 11, 2017 around 18:17

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



mojo1701a posted:

I'm very new to wines, but I have the chance to go to Paris and Strasbourg next month, and I thought I should start some actual appreciation of wine. This may be too broad of a request, but does anyone know of anything wine-related in those two cities that I can experience?

I've found a wine tasting class on AirBnB experiences, and I've heard that Alsace has some really nice vineyards, but I'm out of my depth in terms of picking a vineyard where I can take a tour, or place where I can experience wine. I'm planning on going to a Parisian wine bar at least once, but I thought I could get some more advice wrt. being a tourist.

Sorry, we can't help you at this time we're having our monthly natural wine circlejerk with a brief sidetrack into "wine people are too pretentious."

The only advice I'd give would be "don't overthink it." You can get as nerdy as you want with wine, but honestly the best place to start appreciating wine is just by drinking some wine. Nowhere in Western Europe with good (or even decent) food is going to whiff on the wine selection, so you can feel pretty confident just going with whatever the house wine is. One thing you might want to get familiar with is the way that wines are labelled and classified in Europe. Compared with North America, where wines are usually labelled by the type of grape they come from, European wines are usually labelled with the area they come from, and each area is usually restricted to growing one or more different types of grapes. There's probably a sort of cheat-sheet somewhere with the major wine regions in France and the grapes grown there.

Unless you have specific vineyards you want to tour, just look up winery tours on TripAdvisor or google and see which one(s) are the best reviewed.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Crimson posted:


Edit: Well look what they have in stock here! I don't think I tried this one with you, idiotsavant, but I definitely enjoyed your Rhone blend that I picked up a couple years back.
Haha, awesome! My CA distributor was saying they were going to pour for K&L, rad. I added 25 ppm sulfur to it before bottling, tho I mean, if you measure total SO2 now you'll get an undetectable result but whatever. BTW, made my first white wine last year, Albarino from the Sac Delta, and it came out awesome. Hook you up with a sample sometime if you're still around the Bay?

Didn't think of Ambyth; that's a good suggestion. I haven't had the wines in a while but they're pretty solidly in the natural camp.

Furious Lobster
Jun 17, 2006



Grimey Drawer

mojo1701a posted:

I'm very new to wines, but I have the chance to go to Paris and Strasbourg next month, and I thought I should start some actual appreciation of wine. This may be too broad of a request, but does anyone know of anything wine-related in those two cities that I can experience?

I've found a wine tasting class on AirBnB experiences, and I've heard that Alsace has some really nice vineyards, but I'm out of my depth in terms of picking a vineyard where I can take a tour, or place where I can experience wine. I'm planning on going to a Parisian wine bar at least once, but I thought I could get some more advice wrt. being a tourist.

For Paris, I love going to Willi's or Juveniles; they both have fantastic selections, good food and staff that can help you out.

mojo1701a
Oct 8, 2008

Oh, yeah. Loud and clear. Emphasis on LOUD!
~ David Lee Roth

PT6A posted:

Sorry, we can't help you at this time we're having our monthly natural wine circlejerk with a brief sidetrack into "wine people are too pretentious."

Yeah, I'm starting to notice that

PT6A posted:

The only advice I'd give would be "don't overthink it." You can get as nerdy as you want with wine, but honestly the best place to start appreciating wine is just by drinking some wine. Nowhere in Western Europe with good (or even decent) food is going to whiff on the wine selection, so you can feel pretty confident just going with whatever the house wine is. One thing you might want to get familiar with is the way that wines are labelled and classified in Europe. Compared with North America, where wines are usually labelled by the type of grape they come from, European wines are usually labelled with the area they come from, and each area is usually restricted to growing one or more different types of grapes. There's probably a sort of cheat-sheet somewhere with the major wine regions in France and the grapes grown there.

Unless you have specific vineyards you want to tour, just look up winery tours on TripAdvisor or google and see which one(s) are the best reviewed.

Thanks. I've done a whisky distillery tour before, but that was way easier to plan since I know a fair bit about whisky, so I'll see what I can dig up.

Furious Lobster posted:

For Paris, I love going to Willi's or Juveniles; they both have fantastic selections, good food and staff that can help you out.

Ooh, those look really nice! I've been looking on AirBnB's "experiences" and I found a few wine tastings up. I'm not sure how much they should cost, but gently caress it, a) I've no real other method of research and b) I'll be on vacation, I knew it'd cost some money.

Ola
Jul 19, 2004



mojo1701a posted:

I'm very new to wines, but I have the chance to go to Paris and Strasbourg next month, and I thought I should start some actual appreciation of wine. This may be too broad of a request, but does anyone know of anything wine-related in those two cities that I can experience?

I've found a wine tasting class on AirBnB experiences, and I've heard that Alsace has some really nice vineyards, but I'm out of my depth in terms of picking a vineyard where I can take a tour, or place where I can experience wine. I'm planning on going to a Parisian wine bar at least once, but I thought I could get some more advice wrt. being a tourist.

Check out O Chateau, middle of Paris. I can't recommend it enough. http://www.o-chateau.com

Here's a little trip report I posted two years ago: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...0#post450647127

They do day trips to Champagne, tastings in house and sightseeing cruises on the Seine with champagne tasting. Can definitely recommend the latter, even if it sounds a bit silly. The sommelier was very French and cool ("people will see you drinking champagne, you will ignore them"), you get to learn a bit of history as well.

If you don't attend any of the events, you can just show up at the bar (or have dinner) and drink some special wines by the glass as they have an Enomatic machine. They also like getting challenges like "get me a platter with one ham and two cheeses with three pairings". Set aside a chunk of your travel budget to taste the famous wines like Grand Cru Burgundy, 1er cru Bordeaux, Yquem etc. It's the cheapest chance to taste those in a quality controlled setting.

If you only had one hour in Paris, you'd still get something worthwhile out of visiting them, IMO.

Ola fucked around with this message at Jul 11, 2017 around 20:45

mojo1701a
Oct 8, 2008

Oh, yeah. Loud and clear. Emphasis on LOUD!
~ David Lee Roth

Ola posted:

Check out O Chateau, middle of Paris. I can't recommend it enough. http://www.o-chateau.com

Here's a little trip report I posted two years ago: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...0#post450647127

They do day trips to Champagne, tastings in house and sightseeing cruises on the Seine with champagne tasting. Can definitely recommend the latter, even if it sounds a bit silly. The sommelier was very French and cool ("people will see you drinking champagne, you will ignore them"), you get to learn a bit of history as well.

If you don't attend any of the events, you can just show up at the bar (or have dinner) and drink some special wines by the glass as they have an Enomatic machine. They also like getting challenges like "get me a platter with one ham and two cheeses with three pairings". Set aside a chunk of your travel budget to taste the famous wines like Grand Cru Burgundy, 1er cru Bordeaux, Yquem etc. It's the cheapest chance to taste those in a quality controlled setting.

If you only had one hour in Paris, you'd still get something worthwhile out of visiting them, IMO.

Thanks. I'll be in Paris for ~9 days, so I definitely have some time to just lounge about, drink and read a book (assuming that romantic notion is still possible).

Ola
Jul 19, 2004



Just had some nice days in Berlin. Visited a wine shop which has a nice selection with many aged ones at palatable prices. Perhaps not a good place for high-$ collectors but certainly good for value hunters who occasionally want to dip their toes in the higher end, which is about where I belong.

Found it on Wine Searcher, it's called La Vinothèque du Sommelier and is just off Ku'damm in Halensee. https://www.vinotheque.de/ (They have an online pricelist.) Bought a handful of different ones, limited by the taxtree quota into Norway and the size of my bag and wallet. Most beautiful label was this 1976 Ch. Chalon, my first ever taste of Vin Jaune. The thick paper completed the tapestry illusion.



I had planned to open it in our rented holiday apartment after getting some ham and hard cheese, and did, but I should have recognized the problem and abandoned the plan. You need good hardware to extract an old cork and the opener available made an absolute massacre of it. The subsequent decant and filtering of cork fragments, with what kitchen utensils were available, was a total affront to Bacchus and my priciest purchase (€140 or so) was justly punished with a mediocre experience. I was prepared for the Jurassic ox, I love it with cured ham and hard cheese in Jura Chard and Savagnin, but it was very ho hum beyond that. No more of a pairing pleasure than a dry Tokaji which costs 1/12th the price and the wine alone didn't contain all the mystery I imagined it would. Lesson learned.

Next bottle, two glasses deep at time of writing, my first ever own bottle of red GC Burg, aged at that. 1979 Clos Vougeot. Hubert D'Arnonville might sound like he was featured on the Bayeux tapestry, but I've never heard of him. A D-list producer (?) with a patch in the slummiest of grand crus in a mediocre year, yep that's about my budget. €90s, didn't get a receipt. (e: a négociant, not producer. So a bunch of random patches in Clos Vougeot then)



Looks like it had a big chunk of mold on the cork a while back which subsequently dried, the foil had bulged a bit. Did a thorough wipe down before opening the patient.



With the right tool, the job is a piece of gateau. Nice fill as well, I figured. I'm not well versed in the upper echelons of Burgundy, I've only occasionally visited the middle ones, but I am so far very happy about my purchase. It started out with a bit of animal, bit of anise boiled sweet and a bunch of earth cellar, changing in the mouth as fast as you can read this sentence. (If "anise boiled sweet" is a weird note, there's an anise flavoured candy called "King of Denmark" over here, classic favorite of grandmas, which is my go-to note for a particular flavour in aged reds) A few minutes later, it was all sour cherry soft candy from the pick 'n' mix. Then it went through an ultra-raspberry phase, now it has settled into a raspberry/cherry compromise with a few of the classic aged red flavours of earth, liqorice, anise, etc. Plenty of flowers as well, but I haven't stopped and smelled the flowers often enough to know which one is which. It's not quite jumping out of the glass and owning the room how I imagine the 10-100x more expensive bottles are, but still very pleasing. No drying tannins at all, but plenty of nice, structural acidity. I feel I got good value for my meager stack of euros and it emboldened me to get more of these off-vintage, non-famous Burgs which you find in specialist shops and auction houses but which the collectors and score whores scorn. (if score whore isn't already a term, I'm claiming it)

Got two more bottles, which I will protect from the risks of storage as fast as practical, a 2009 Ogier Côte-Rôtie and a 1989 Tollot-Beaut Corton-Charlemagne. One thing I almost took the chance on was some old NV champagne. He had a few casefuls of Mumm, Heidsieck and Laurent-Perrier, all non-vintage, from the 50s and 60s. A bit too Indiana Jones-y on a budget and with a small bag. Who knows if the cork even comes out with no pressure left. But it was fun to see a Laurent-Perrier label with "Französischer Sekt" written on it for the export market. Champagne makers don't have to explain themselves today, but I suppose in the 1950s, the Germans who had seen the French countryside and/or purchased wine from it, weren't in the market anymore.

Ola fucked around with this message at Jul 14, 2017 around 22:34

Trimson Grondag 3
Jul 1, 2007



Clapping Larry

Kasumeat posted:

Boutari Grande Reserve Naoussa is amazing dead-ringer-for-Barolo for well under $20. In fact it's more balanced on release than 90% of Barolo ever will be and has 10-20 years of cellaring potential.

Quoting a post from May but its worth the repeat. I found a bottle of this in the 'hosed if we know' section at Dan Murphy in Australia and its one of the best things I've had all year. Today I Sspent the day spending my tax return trying to hunt down a complete set of everything Prum put out in 2015.

straight up brolic
Jan 31, 2007

After all, I was nice in ball,
Came to practice weed scented
Report card like the speed limit



Trimson Grondag 3 posted:

Quoting a post from May but its worth the repeat. I found a bottle of this in the 'hosed if we know' section at Dan Murphy in Australia and its one of the best things I've had all year. Today I Sspent the day spending my tax return trying to hunt down a complete set of everything Prum put out in 2015.
Will check out a bottle!

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


Cheers, glad you enjoyed it.

got off on a technicality
Feb 7, 2007

oh dear


Crimson posted:

Although my list is an anecdotal example, I have built and maintained two WS Grand Award winning wine lists in Vegas and SF, and am currently attempting to build another. I'm also intimately familiar with most of the fine dining lists in the Bay Area, and I don't know anyone who is dedicating a large portion of their lists to natural wines

What's your favorite list in SF at a place you aren't/haven't been affiliated with? Mine are Terroir and The Morris (hellooooo perfectly stored 80s Napa cabs for ~$110)

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


got off on a technicality posted:

What's your favorite list in SF at a place you aren't/haven't been affiliated with? Mine are Terroir and The Morris (hellooooo perfectly stored 80s Napa cabs for ~$110)

Had an awful experience at Terroir and won't go back. Also, they don't actually have a complete list, right? I was instructed to look at the empty bottles decorating the room and point to one, and they would find me something similar. Ugh, no thanks.

Paul's list at The Morris is awesome! And so is he. I love his tastes in California and Rhone.

Man it gets pretty thin after that. The lists themselves are not that impressive at State Bird and Benu, but I always find something tasty. Benu is just worth going to when Yoon Ha is working, because his pairings are magical. Spruce's list is also huge and a lot of fun.

Tawla has been quietly adding some fun Mediterranean stuff, including library Musar. Also, I would check out Lazy Bear's list in about 2-3 months. The guy that took it over is extremely talented, I know he's adding a bunch of cool stuff right now, including old California.

Ola
Jul 19, 2004



Is there a consensus on what a "medicinal" taste actually is? At wine tastings and in articles, it seems to be at least three things: 1) Bitter/chemical like the taste of chewing a pill. 2) Band-aid, bandages. I guess the glue and the fabric can have a particular smell. 3) Menthol, minty.

3) is something I can often taste in aged reds, I associate it with a nostalgic smell of pharmacies in childhood. In addition to my grandmother's nerve pills, they also sold star anise, cough drops etc which made the room smell very nice. I don't find it a fault at all, yet "medicinal" is rarely used in a positive context. I suspect it's one of those things where it has become part of the wine taster's lingo and while people don't agree on what it is, it gets thrown around in order to make the correct wine tasting noises. What is it to you?

Jerome Louis
Nov 5, 2002
p

College Slice

6-chloro-o-chresol, similar to antiseptic or "hospital" smell. Not something I could see as contributing positively to complexity and usually a result of poor sanitizing practices + brett, and pretty rare. Band aid on the other hand or 4 ethyl phenol is more common and also comes across as a bit plastic but more pleasantly so and I could see some people liking that a bit sometimes

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



I'd also use "medicinal" when, for example, a wine reminds me off cherry cough syrup more than actual cherries or whatever.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


got off on a technicality posted:

What's your favorite list in SF at a place you aren't/haven't been affiliated with? Mine are Terroir and The Morris (hellooooo perfectly stored 80s Napa cabs for ~$110)
It's been a minute since I've been, but Heirloom Cafe is one of my top spots in the city. His prix fixe is basically unbeatable qpr, his by-the-glass list is always crazy on point, and he's got a pretty sweet cellar, too.

Edit: medicinal to me makes me think anti-septic chemical smell. In the band-aid vein but not exactly.

idiotsavant fucked around with this message at Jul 19, 2017 around 01:30

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


PT6A posted:

I'd also use "medicinal" when, for example, a wine reminds me off cherry cough syrup more than actual cherries or whatever.

I'd just use "cherry cough syrup" instead of medicinal. Idk that the two are similar, and I think "cherry cough syrup" conveys the exact sense much better.

Jerome Louis
Nov 5, 2002
p

College Slice

Crimson posted:

Yeah CMS doesn't sound up your alley at all then. Frankly I'd recommend a degree in enology and/or viticulture if you really feel like you need more credentials to get where you want, but it sounds like your foot is already well in the door. Maybe start bugging some winemakers your really admire to apprentice?

Also, your current job sounds pretty drat cool. I'd love to hear more about what your days actually look like. Didn't know any wineries had such a position.

Late reply, but I just finished my WSET 3 exam and finally have the time to actually think about my replies. My company has historically grown by acquiring wineries and was yet to have a centralized sensory department that will profile wines and give winemaking and marketing departments an objective view of the sensories of our wines and our competitors until myself and my boss joined the company. We implemented this department ~3 years ago and it has grown quite a bit. For a bit of background, I studied food science at UC Davis and interned in a sensory science lab. Sensory science is used in a lot of consumer packaged goods companies to provide product insights -- for example, previous to this I was working for a personal care product company and I would often run sensory studies to investigate how consumers perceived different lather attributes of body washes. We learned that in Japan, consumers loved the "squeeky clean" skin feel of soaps while in America, that was perceived as overly drying, and consumers here liked to have a smooth, soft and almost "slick" skin feel. The same kind of study methodology is applied to wine industry and allows us to understand what most mass consumers are looking for in wines. In the wine industry, EJ Gallo really pioneered this kind of thing 12-15 years ago and has been pretty successful with it. Saying that, it probably makes it easy to figure out who I work for, they're the people who bought the brand that rhymes with Smay O Me and has seen a lot of growth recently.

The day to day for my job, we have a group of ~20 people who we've recruited from the towns surrounding our office, who we've screened extensively for their openness to experience, ability to use descriptive words, and their sensory acuity. We've trained them for 3 months to fully profile wines on 70+ attributes, and on a daily basis from M-F they come in and profile wines for us. They're paid to do this, and my job was to train them to do this and to maintain their motivation, interest, and performance. My current job now is to manage the person that does that and to ensure our department is running smoothly, has all the wines and stuff we need, etc. So we throw parties for them once a month, give away a ton of wine, etc. They come in thinking their job is to taste wine, but tasting for 3+ hours straight and actively using their brains to describe the attributes and scale the intensity of those attributes is pretty taxing, so we have lots of people quitting. We gotta keep them happy.

A big part of the job is getting references for the 70+ attributes, so I regularly order fresh frozen black currants, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, red currants, etc from Washington where they have the strongest/ripest aromas, getting all the necessary fruit, floral, green/herbaceous, spice, oaky/woody/nutty, sweet, micro/animal, chemical, earthy, and inorganic aromas, among others. Once our panelists profile the wines, we use the data they generate to get a map of where our wines compare to competitors, and our own brands, and we can link that up to consumer liking data to see where we fit in with consumers. It's not really applicable to "artisanal" wine making, but for our purposes it works out well. I've never proclaimed to be the most talented taster, but I do have a great sense memory and am pretty good in front of a group of people. It's fun (and frustrating) to taste with winemakers as they often have their own personal descriptors to describe wine rather than using objective descriptors. (see the medicinal convo above for a good example)


So yeah. I'm a bit sleep deprived from studying so I hope that made sense.

Trimson Grondag 3
Jul 1, 2007



Clapping Larry

So long as you don't mind me using terms like 'flexy tannins', 'sort of brownish', and 'like blood but in a good way' in my cellar tracker notes.

Flyndre
Sep 6, 2009


That sounds like a very cool job Jerome. A sciency question: is bottle shock really a thing? It sounds odd to me that vibration over a relatively short time span can have any significant impact on the taste of the wine.

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Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Cool stuff, Jerome. Learning the deductive tasting method as used by the CMS actually sounds like it would be right up your alley. Learning to use it effectively is all about developing a strong vocabulary for what you're tasting/smelling, and being able to do it accurately and consistently. But yeah, you do have to put a suit on to take the tests, haha.

I'm assuming your tasters aren't paid particularly well, right? Do any of them typically have any background in wine coming in, or do you train them from scratch?

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