+ Add a Comment

nuggy


quality posts: 2 Private Messages nuggy
ahaslett wrote:What parts are you in? I'm a Mainer resettled in Seacoast NH and I know there are a couple of nearby folks on the boards



There may be more than you think....

Every time I go up here and see a nice Cab deal....Vermont is glowing pink.....LOL....

Up by Killington....Lived in Chitown....Worked/traveled to SAC/SAN Fran/San Jose and spent weekends....

Used to go to Napa on weekends before it went totally commerical....

Living in Vermont you have to give up the ammennities (food, wine, arts/entertainment)for the rest....(beauty...quality of life....winter sports)

But N.Y...Boston..and Montreal are all within 3 hours....

I think WineWoot is a lifeline for us transplanted Vermonters.....I have L.A friends and other transplants and they love this site also.....

ahaslett


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ahaslett
rpm wrote:Ya think? It is frustrating for new wine drinkers to spend a pretty penny on wines because of their reputations, and find that they don't like them, or (as is often the case with wines made in more traditional styles) understand them. I'm sympathetic (if intolerant of 'trophy hunters' with more money than sense), but very often the last thing a new wine drinker wants to hear is the very sound advice to start with more modest wines and develop a palate over time, hopefully by tasting with people who are more knowledgeable and capable of teaching the neophyte how to identify aromas, flavors, acid, tannin, and other characteristics so that he or she can begin to organize their impressions of wine and discover their own palates in a systematic way. Being assured, at the same time you explain that they should drink what they like, that as they drink more, their palates will almost certainly change over time.

A former girlfriend of mine from the early 1970s was an "Annie Green Springs" and "Boone's Farm" drinker when we met. I changed her life with a 1964 BV de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon (an unusual year 1964, the entire crop was released as de Latour. a lovely wine at around 6 when it was released). She applied herself over the years, with me and subsequently, and has done semi-professional tasting at the international level and had an outstanding palate firmly grounded in pre-international style Cabernet, Bordeaux and Burgundy. It takes effort, and a good teacher helps, but the basic princples are summed up in my tag line.

I think inexperienced wine drinkers are often well served to spend time with wines that we used to describe as "sound commercial wine" - that is to say well-made wines without pretense to greatness, but rigged to give the drinker the characteristic aromas and flavor of the grape with reasonable balance, a little tannin where appropriate, and to be good values for money.

One of the hardest things to admit, especially for those of us who like small, interesting wineries -- which includes most of the wineries we see here on woot -- , is that some of the industrial wineries make some pretty good wines which sell at pretty good price points. Even the dreaded Gallo which has its hands on a number of old, famous wine labels such as Martini, Frei Brothers (which was known in the trade, along with Seghesio, as a producer of some of the very best bulk wine in California in the old days) and others, makes wines under those labels that are good, true to type, and instructive for not a lot of money, even if those wines are sad shadows of their former greatness.



As one of those new wine drinkers, I like what you have to say here. Alongside the course I'm taking at UNH and my own exploration, I've set a few rules for myself that I thought I might share.

1. Do not spend more than $15 a bottle. This is in part due to my college budget. It also takes some of the risk out of exploration that you mentioned above. The Helios was a great temptation, especially while reading the threads, but it broke this rule. There are plenty of good cheap wines, and probably just as many bad expensive ones. I do not need to try them all (here's the sign of a rookie).

2. Get as much experience anchored around a central element as possible. A large factor into why I went for this offering was with what people had to say about the two vintages being radically different. I want to know why. I went for the JanKris and the Etude for the same reasons - variety within a brand. What sets it all apart, and what is common across them? I'd love to see such as a small sampler of common varietal and region, variety in winemakers here sometime - but I can see that being more difficult to coordinate.

3. Cheat. I research a lot of tasting notes. I want to know if people think a given wine is of higher quality, and I want to know what flavors and aromas people are finding. It helps me pick them out when I find them, and put a name to them. If had jumped into a Finger Lakes wine, I would not have come up with the term "foxy" to describe what was going on. Also now, I can find qualities like that in wines since without that guidance.

4. If you don't like a wine, be sure you can say why. Not liking a wine can be broken down into either not liking the varietal or not liking your particular offering. Being at a position where you don't have a "mental taste" of everything on deck to recall, this is rather important.

5. Take notes. Mine tend to include CellarTracker average ratings and/or those from a publication, prices (NH liquor stores keep their inventory online - it's a great resource), notes from the wineries, and general themes I see in consumer reviews. Following all that, I have my own bullet where I just throw down what I can smell and taste, if I decanted, what I had with or what I would want to have with and a simple "would buy again" or "would not buy again."

joshaw


quality posts: 24 Private Messages joshaw
PetiteSirah wrote:1986 Old Hill was SUBLIME when we had it 6 weeks ago. I'm trying to acquire more



You just have to rub it in, don't ya?

rpm


quality posts: 172 Private Messages rpm
ahaslett wrote:As one of those new wine drinkers, I like what you have to say here. Alongside the course I'm taking at UNH and my own exploration, I've set a few rules for myself that I thought I might share.

1. Do not spend more than $15 a bottle. This is in part due to my college budget. It also takes some of the risk out of exploration that you mentioned above. The Helios was a great temptation, especially while reading the threads, but it broke this rule. There are plenty of good cheap wines, and probably just as many bad expensive ones. I do not need to try them all (here's the sign of a rookie).

2. Get as much experience anchored around a central element as possible. A large factor into why I went for this offering was with what people had to say about the two vintages being radically different. I want to know why. I went for the JanKris and the Etude for the same reasons - variety within a brand. What sets it all apart, and what is common across them? I'd love to see such as a small sampler of common varietal and region, variety in winemakers here sometime - but I can see that being more difficult to coordinate.

3. Cheat. I research a lot of tasting notes. I want to know if people think a given wine is of higher quality, and I want to know what flavors and aromas people are finding. It helps me pick them out when I find them, and put a name to them. If had jumped into a Finger Lakes wine, I would not have come up with the term "foxy" to describe what was going on. Also now, I can find qualities like that in wines since without that guidance.

4. If you don't like a wine, be sure you can say why. Not liking a wine can be broken down into either not liking the varietal or not liking your particular offering. Being at a position where you don't have a "mental taste" of everything on deck to recall, this is rather important.

5. Take notes. Mine tend to include CellarTracker average ratings and/or those from a publication, prices (NH liquor stores keep their inventory online - it's a great resource), notes from the wineries, and general themes I see in consumer reviews. Following all that, I have my own bullet where I just throw down what I can smell and taste, if I decanted, what I had with or what I would want to have with and a simple "would buy again" or "would not buy again."



You are doing the right things. My only suggestion might be to be a little fexible on the $15 price point where wines represent outstanding values (per the advice here or elsewhere) in the $20-25 range. Cathy Corison's Helios being a particularly good example. If you can find some Louis Martini, Wente, or Beaulieu Vineyards Rutherford 2003, 2004 or 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon at or below $20, pick up a bottle. These are really pretty decent wines, and at that price point will give you very good value for money. Note, 2004 and especially 2005, were stronger years, but I've had lovely bottles of the 2003 Martini at about $17. The $15 price point is just getting very difficult these days.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

randysanders


quality posts: 5 Private Messages randysanders
rpm wrote:High end Ravenswood single vineyard Zins can be outstanding in their teens. Lower end (but not bottom end) Ravenswood (the 'Sonoma' or other 'County' wines, not the Vintners Blend) can be very solid. Vinter's Blend is probably the Ravenswood you're thinking of, it is dreck.



On another varietal, I heard that Ravenswood Vintners Blend Petite Sirah was good. I tried a glass yesterday evening. It's tasty, fruity...perhaps a little fake fruit, and a little disjointed, but all-in-all a pleasant every-day drinker for the price.

darlenee1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages darlenee1
randysanders wrote:On another varietal, I heard that Ravenswood Vintners Blend Petite Sirah was good. I tried a glass yesterday evening. It's tasty, fruity...perhaps a little fake fruit, and a little disjointed, but all-in-all a pleasant every-day drinker for the price.



I've had this one, and it wasn't bad. My tastng notes are on CT. Bottom line, it needs a few more years in the bottle.

Ran out of room for the wines, and can't think of a good quote for now

cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
amilham wrote:Labrat Report



Packity packed

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"

rugrats2001


quality posts: 14 Private Messages rugrats2001
rooboy wrote:LABRAT REPORT 2005

As a reminder I had the previous offering. Thus, I can compare to the 2003.

Had reservations at a local establishment, thus happily paid the corking fee.

Immediately after uncorking, nice general fruit smell, excellent deep red color. Initial taste was a bit lacking. Similar to my notes for the 2003. However, the 2005 was a bit better - a stronger fruit/pepper entry. This wine is not a fruit bomb! The mid and finish are definitely on the pepper side. Mild tannins.

Wine paired well with the stuff mushroom appetizer.

Wife had walleye and I had lamb. Yes, not the best pairing for a cabernet, but this wine worked well for both. Over time the wine opened up. The entry increased in flavor, the tannins mellowed (in a good way), and the pepper taste became consistent throughout.

As with the 2003, this wine pairs extremely well with chocolate - I mean really well! They really compliment each other.

This wine compares well with Louis Martini - NAPA, Block 13 (best QPR!), and Franciscan Cabernet. It is closer in taste (pepper) to the Franciscan, but a bit milder pepper taste.

I still wouldn't pay $30-$35/bottle. However, at $15/bottle this is a very good value. I am glad I purchased.

If you drink this wine in the near future - decant for 60-90 minutes. This wine should age well for the next 1-2 years. The pepper taste will certainly pair well with red meat.



Just for clarification, when you say 'pepper', do you mean black pepper, green pepper, white pepper, jalapeno pepper, or what?

rpm


quality posts: 172 Private Messages rpm
rugrats2001 wrote:Just for clarification, when you say 'pepper', do you mean black pepper, green pepper, white pepper, jalapeno pepper, or what?



Don't know what he means, but in garden variety winespeak, "pepper" without a qualifier is understood to refer to common black pepper (as in ground from peppercorns). If one means some other pepper, it is usual to add the qualifier. Green pepper is probably the most encountered 'other' pepper aroma/taste, and that refers to fresh green bell pepper, not the green peppercorns one sometimes sees. I think you would be unlikely to find a wine with a red pepper taste (unless someone thought a wine reminded them of a red bell pepper) or any other 'hot' pepper taste.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

toottoot


quality posts: 2 Private Messages toottoot
darlenee1 wrote:I've had this one, and it wasn't bad. My tastng notes are on CT. Bottom line, it needs a few more years in the bottle.



I would agree with you here, D.
I tried it 3-4 months ago and bought a case. I was stingy on the rating 84 because >84 was "VERY good to excellent."
I found it rich with flavors, lasting, pepper and heat toward the end. Tannin blended well. Very good with food. True to their motto, "No wimpy wine."
I planned to sample one every 4-6 months or so to see if it would develop. Of course if it became very good at some point, the conclusion is obvious.

rooboy


quality posts: 1 Private Messages rooboy
rugrats2001 wrote:Just for clarification, when you say 'pepper', do you mean black pepper, green pepper, white pepper, jalapeno pepper, or what?



Black pepper.

rugrats2001


quality posts: 14 Private Messages rugrats2001
rpm wrote:Don't know what he means, but in garden variety winespeak, "pepper" without a qualifier is understood to refer to common black pepper (as in ground from peppercorns). If one means some other pepper, it is usual to add the qualifier. Green pepper is probably the most encountered 'other' pepper aroma/taste, and that refers to fresh green bell pepper, not the green peppercorns one sometimes sees. I think you would be unlikely to find a wine with a red pepper taste (unless someone thought a wine reminded them of a red bell pepper) or any other 'hot' pepper taste.



Thanks. I normally assume black pepper, but we recently opened a bottle of Root 1 that was overwhelmingly full of green pepper in both the nose and palate, so I figured I had better ask. I don't mind the green pepper, but my wife despises it in wine.

afranke


quality posts: 10 Private Messages afranke
ahaslett wrote:As one of those new wine drinkers, snip...



Wow. It's like you're in my head...

I do nearly exactly this, but then also splurge three times a year and hike my price point to $40 for a special occasion. Usually I cook myself a nice dinner at the end of each semester, and pair the dish with the pricier wine.

I've also started laying down the occasional bottle (less than 10 total), but am still disorganized in this. As in, I have no set "drink at this time" for most of them.

rpm


quality posts: 172 Private Messages rpm
rugrats2001 wrote:Thanks. I normally assume black pepper, but we recently opened a bottle of Root 1 that was overwhelmingly full of green pepper in both the nose and palate, so I figured I had better ask. I don't mind the green pepper, but my wife despises it in wine.



If your wife really doesn't like any hint of 'green pepper' in wines, then keep her away from the wines of the Medoc and from California Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. More realistically, you should do some experimenting to see if she doesn't like any hint of it -- which will rather limit you -- or only if she dislikes it as a dominant aroma or taste.

A hint of green pepper is very common in Napa Cabernet, especially the traditionally 'best' Cabernet Sauvignons from the Rutherford Bench. It usually doesn't dominate, except underripe vintages (or had late rain near or at harvest). Wines made in the modern 'international' style, with grapes harvested very ripe, will be less likely to have dominant green pepper aromas and flavor, but will also be much higher in alcohol and not as good 'food' wines. (and, many of us do not think they will age very well, but the jury is out on that. Certainly, the first wines made in that style, the 1974s, did not hold up as well as 1970 or 1973).

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

rugrats2001


quality posts: 14 Private Messages rugrats2001
rpm wrote:If your wife really doesn't like any hint of 'green pepper' in wines, then keep her away from the wines of the Medoc and from California Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. More realistically, you should do some experimenting to see if she doesn't like any hint of it -- which will rather limit you -- or only if she dislikes it as a dominant aroma or taste.

A hint of green pepper is very common in Napa Cabernet, especially the traditionally 'best' Cabernet Sauvignons from the Rutherford Bench. It usually doesn't dominate, except underripe vintages (or had late rain near or at harvest). Wines made in the modern 'international' style, with grapes harvested very ripe, will be less likely to have dominant green pepper aromas and flavor, but will also be much higher in alcohol and not as good 'food' wines. (and, many of us do not think they will age very well, but the jury is out on that. Certainly, the first wines made in that style, the 1974s, did not hold up as well as 1970 or 1973).



Thanks, rpm, for the insight. She really doesn't mind mild green pepper as an secondary or tertiary flavor, but not as the main event!

nbj86


quality posts: 1 Private Messages nbj86

LABRAT REPORT: 2004 Lupine Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Sup ya'll! No one was home to sign for the package yesterday (long week), but I went and drove to the FedEx location this morning and picked up the bottle. Opened up the box and I received the 2004 bottle. Got home promptly and cracked it open. Nothing like a little 10am wine tasting session. ;) Poured a few glasses (for the roomies) and let it breathe for about 20min.

I'm a little new to the wine tasting biz so bear with me.

Legs were about 1cm apart on average, color was more towards a darker burgundy, with an emphasis on the dark. A little sediment can be seen if you hold it up to light. Smells of dark cherry and the alcohol noticeably, other smells I can't quite discern.

Overall the taste of the wine is great (I'm a big fan of cabs); the entry, tannin levels are good, not too dry or acidic. While the alcohol content is a little high on this it certainly doesn't overwhelm (take a quick sip and you'll get a little tingle). Tastes a little peppery (like ground pepper), and tad of oak. Finish is nice, will leave a nice warm feeling in the chest, and is most certainly full-bodied. Last about 10 seconds along with the peppery taste.

On the whole, I dig this wine. =) For sure this would be bomb as hell with a fat piece of red meat. I'm considering firing up the BBQ and putting some burgers on (the roomies are out on a catering gig =( ), it is almost lunch time after all!

Kudos to Frazier Winery on a fine bottle and grazie to Woot for shooting me a bottle!

Winedavid39


quality posts: 200 Private Messages Winedavid39

Guest Blogger

nbj86 wrote:LABRAT REPORT: 2004 Lupine Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Sup ya'll! No one was home to sign for the package yesterday (long week), but I went and drove to the FedEx location this morning and picked up the bottle. Opened up the box and I received the 2004 bottle. Got home promptly and cracked it open. Nothing like a little 10am wine tasting session. ;) Poured a few glasses (for the roomies) and let it breathe for about 20min.

I'm a little new to the wine tasting biz so bear with me.

Legs were about 1cm apart on average, color was more towards a darker burgundy, with an emphasis on the dark. A little sediment can be seen if you hold it up to light. Smells of dark cherry and the alcohol noticeably, other smells I can't quite discern.

Overall the taste of the wine is great (I'm a big fan of cabs); the entry, tannin levels are good, not too dry or acidic. While the alcohol content is a little high on this it certainly doesn't overwhelm (take a quick sip and you'll get a little tingle). Tastes a little peppery (like ground pepper), and tad of oak. Finish is nice, will leave a nice warm feeling in the chest, and is most certainly full-bodied. Last about 10 seconds along with the peppery taste.

On the whole, I dig this wine. =) For sure this would be bomb as hell with a fat piece of red meat. I'm considering firing up the BBQ and putting some burgers on (the roomies are out on a catering gig =( ), it is almost lunch time after all!

Kudos to Frazier Winery on a fine bottle and grazie to Woot for shooting me a bottle!



That's good lab work. Thanks.

gcdyersb


quality posts: 141 Private Messages gcdyersb
canonizer wrote:It is your problem in that there used to be better and cheaper wine options available. Of course, there also used to be less options internationally (i'm still struggling to find Aussie and South American wines I like, but they're out there!).



A variety of international options are exactly why it's not a problem for me. Sure, high prices across the board exclude certain appellations and styles. It's hard for me to afford a classically styled Napa Cab because demand for any Napa Cab has driven up the price across all styles. I may never get to try a First Growth Bordeaux unless it's a taste at some event.

This is the good and the bad of globalization. Everyone from Dubai to New York to Paris to Cape Town understands the reputation of Napa and Bordeaux. I can't compete with quite literally a world of wealthy trophy hunters. But at the same time I have access to a global selection of wine.

No one is happy thinking about what he or she can't have. I am content, though, in knowing that are interesting wines that I can afford. Sure, I cannot impress people by name dropping Wellington, Baudry or Joguet in the same way I could with Pahlmeyer, Lafite or Cheval Blanc. However, impressing people who define their worth through their possessions is not a high priority for me.

It really is not my problem. And I suspect that the high prices of certain brands were in large part supported by a world-wide economic bubble. I'd be surprised if prices remain as high as they have for the "elite" brands.

Cabernet Franc: it's not just for blending! It's also for blogging.

gcdyersb


quality posts: 141 Private Messages gcdyersb
rpm wrote:If your wife really doesn't like any hint of 'green pepper' in wines, then keep her away from the wines of the Medoc and from California Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc.



I can only imagine her reaction to a Chinon or Bourgueil!

Cabernet Franc: it's not just for blending! It's also for blogging.

gcdyersb


quality posts: 141 Private Messages gcdyersb
rpm wrote:Indeed. It's also your (his, and all of our) problem that increasingly, the large wineries are trying to move more to the high and low ends simultaneously, leaving fewer, and more expensive, (and less carefully made, alas) wines in the everyday middle category



This is more of a concern to me. But I think because these large wineries are profit driven in a somewhat unhealthy way, they react quickly to what the market demands. Two years ago, they saw low end wines and ultra-premium wines as the big profit centers. Then what happens as wine drinkers trade down for $60 bottles to $25 bottles? They'll have to adjust.

It seems to me that making a line a products with a "donut hole" in the middle between cheap and luxury is not the equilibrium over the long term, just as unending exponential growth in housing prices was a temporary condition. A "correction" is on the way soon.

Cabernet Franc: it's not just for blending! It's also for blogging.

bryanjmatthews


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bryanjmatthews

This is my first wine.woot purchase. It seems like a good deal.

kylemittskus


quality posts: 230 Private Messages kylemittskus
bryanjmatthews wrote:This is my first wine.woot purchase. It seems like a good deal.



Welcome to the party. Come back tomorrow night at midnight (Texas time) and waste more money that your significant other will get mad at you abo... I mean, come back and invest, invest in something that everyone wants: liquid gold. Yeah, that sounds way better.

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

diman


quality posts: 2 Private Messages diman

Ordered 3. I am not sure if I should thank labrats or get upset with them for making me spend $$$. Oh well, I was slowly running out of wine anyway, so I guess I'll thank them.

Cheers!

ahaslett


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ahaslett
rpm wrote:You are doing the right things. My only suggestion might be to be a little fexible on the $15 price point where wines represent outstanding values (per the advice here or elsewhere) in the $20-25 range. Cathy Corison's Helios being a particularly good example. If you can find some Louis Martini, Wente, or Beaulieu Vineyards Rutherford 2003, 2004 or 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon at or below $20, pick up a bottle. These are really pretty decent wines, and at that price point will give you very good value for money. Note, 2004 and especially 2005, were stronger years, but I've had lovely bottles of the 2003 Martini at about $17. The $15 price point is just getting very difficult these days.



Thanks for the tips. I'm gonna look those juices up.


The budget is really 1 part risk assessment to 2 parts college budget. I do allow some wiggle room on the money. If the Corison were a smaller offering and still 15bpb (bucks per bottle? can that be a thing?)I probably would have broken for it - I probably would have sprung for it if it were 2 bottles at $40. The Mandolina was another one that was just too much to spend at one time. I should find a halfsies buddy for the future...

ahaslett


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ahaslett
afranke wrote:Wow. It's like you're in my head...

I do nearly exactly this, but then also splurge three times a year and hike my price point to $40 for a special occasion. Usually I cook myself a nice dinner at the end of each semester, and pair the dish with the pricier wine.

I've also started laying down the occasional bottle (less than 10 total), but am still disorganized in this. As in, I have no set "drink at this time" for most of them.




I like that end of the semester idea. I'm thinking about laying some bottles down - but I'm also concerned that it will just end up further enabling a costly hobby. That being said, I'll probably hang on to one each of these lupines for a good while. And so it begins...

burrnini


quality posts: 10 Private Messages burrnini
ahaslett wrote:Thanks for the tips. I'm gonna look those juices up.


The budget is really 1 part risk assessment to 2 parts college budget. I do allow some wiggle room on the money. If the Corison were a smaller offering and still 15bpb (bucks per bottle? can that be a thing?)I probably would have broken for it - I probably would have sprung for it if it were 2 bottles at $40. The Mandolina was another one that was just too much to spend at one time. I should find a halfsies buddy for the future...




I'll second the rec for BV rutherford hill cabernet. it can be had for ~$18 at your local costco (or sam's club?). it is my wife's favorite bottle if CS and has continued to be despite many tasting trips to CA wineries. i even prefer it to opus one, which was ~$125 when i tried it, and to many other CS at 2-3x the price of BV.

dbergeron


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dbergeron
bryanjmatthews wrote:This is my first wine.woot purchase. It seems like a good deal.

ted now.

I am in again, I am addicted, 3rd purchase in the last 4 offerings.

jwink


quality posts: 39 Private Messages jwink
Winedavid39 wrote:That's good lab work. Thanks.



RPM, Whoopdeedoooooooo, SB, et al. please correct me if I’m wrong; but aren’t the legs in a glass of wine correlated to the alcohol content and are frequently linked to sweeter wines as they sometimes have more alcohol in them (thinking port-style here). In other words, the more alcohol the more pronounced the legs will be? With all due respect to the wonderful duties from this offering’s rats, I’m not sure how the quantitative measurement this ratting session became so focused on the legs and the distance between them as if it’s a defining characteristic. (And I acknowledge I may be off base on my assumptions as well.)

WD, the “ratting strategy” is still holding to my theory that it’s being used towards w.w. noobs and those that post somewhat infrequently or not at all to get them involved and convert them into a loyal customer. I’m not criticizing it (rather it makes business sense), and those who continually post “please let me rat” take notice if you’ve been around a while and like to purchase many woots your “odds” aren’t that stupendous unless you have some sort of expertise or specialty with that wine or happen to be hosting a w.w gathering that weekend.

Additionally, I’d advocate for some sort of standardization of report, I know this has been an ongoing discussion and previously a link was provided to one of the easier standardization tasting guidelines. WD perhaps it can be included with the golden ticket to help the noob get the absolute most out of their rattage duties and to provide the rest of us with information and details we can use and apply to our individual palates?

The distance of the legs isn’t doing a whole lot for me. Regardless, inevitably once the rat reports in the forum the follow-up questions gravitate towards “What other wines do you like?” or “What other woots does this compare to?” If things were standardized a bit more I think the community as a whole would be able to apply the reports to their palate of what they like in a wine to make that educated purchase decision if they’re on the fence as it’s usually the frequent w.w. purchasers that are undecided due to the obscene amounts of wine they purchase here.

The link one more time to the American Wine Society Wine Evaluation Chart (3 pages total and includes a wine aroma wheel): http://www.awstriangle.org/images/WineEvaluationChart.pdf

Follow me on Twitter
Blooging away

joshaw


quality posts: 24 Private Messages joshaw
jwink wrote:RPM, Whoopdeedoooooooo, SB, et al. please correct me if I’m wrong; but aren’t the legs in a glass of wine correlated to the alcohol content and are frequently linked to sweeter wines as they sometimes have more alcohol in them (thinking port-style here). In other words, the more alcohol the more pronounced the legs will be?



The legs of wine are explained by the Marangoni Effect.

gypsysoul


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gypsysoul

Woot a great way to spend a Sunday morning ... latte in bed reading about this wine and wine in general.

Good / bad / indifferent can't sit on the sidelines as curiousity killed the cat ya know.

thx wooters!

rugrats2001


quality posts: 14 Private Messages rugrats2001
jwink wrote:
I’d advocate for some sort of standardization of report, I know this has been an ongoing discussion and previously a link was provided to one of the easier standardization tasting guidelines. WD perhaps it can be included with the golden ticket to help the noob get the absolute most out of their rattage duties and to provide the rest of us with information and details we can use and apply to our individual palates?

Regardless, inevitably once the rat reports in the forum the follow-up questions gravitate towards “What other wines do you like?” or “What other woots does this compare to?” If things were standardized a bit more I think the community as a whole would be able to apply the reports to their palate of what they like in a wine to make that educated purchase decision if they’re on the fence as it’s usually the frequent w.w. purchasers that are undecided due to the obscene amounts of wine they purchase here.



Really, what I personally am looking for in a labrat report are the following:

How SOUR or TART is it?
Does it have 'port-like' qualities?
could you pick out the major varietal in a blind tasting? (i.e., does it TASTE like what it is?)
What are its MAJOR flavors? (especially if there are potentially unpopular flavors)
What are its MAJOR aromas? (ditto)
How EARTHY is it?
How FRUIT-FORWARD is it?
How VEGETAL or GREEN is it?
How long did you decant it?
How TANNIC?
How ACIDIC?
General COLOR?

And yes, I know nearly anything could be 'potentially unpopular', but some examples would be stong olive, strong green pepper, manure, heavy licorice, wet dog, etc.

Keep in mind, to most of us neophytes, saying "it perfectly expresses the terroir of the Rutherford highlands" is no more meaningful than "The aroma brings back memories of my college days at Princeton". Not that you SHOULDN'T use these allusions - but it is a lot more helpful to the unwashed masses if you explain what it means.

Of course, for the labrat who is buying their first bottle of 'real' wine, what can you expect?

annsalisbury


quality posts: 4 Private Messages annsalisbury
gcdyersb wrote:It seems to me that making a line a products with a "donut hole" in the middle between cheap and luxury is not the equilibrium over the long term, just as unending exponential growth in housing prices was a temporary condition. A "correction" is on the way soon.



Oh, it's here. In the last month I've seen two articles in the LA Times talking about deflation and increased availability of high end and "trophy" wines. (I can dig them up and post links, if you would like.)

And while Napa was busy patting itself on the back and cashing checks, (IMHO) Spain came along and filled the middle. I recently went to a tasting and had a wine that left me staring at the glass and saying, "Whoa... I didn't know wine could be like that" (in a good way).

rpm


quality posts: 172 Private Messages rpm
rugrats2001 wrote:Really, what I personally am looking for in a labrat report are the following:

How SOUR or TART is it?
Does it have 'port-like' qualities?
could you pick out the major varietal in a blind tasting? (i.e., does it TASTE like what it is?)
What are its MAJOR flavors? (especially if there are potentially unpopular flavors)
What are its MAJOR aromas? (ditto)
How EARTHY is it?
How FRUIT-FORWARD is it?
How VEGETAL or GREEN is it?
How long did you decant it?
How TANNIC?
How ACIDIC?
General COLOR?

And yes, I know nearly anything could be 'potentially unpopular', but some examples would be stong olive, strong green pepper, manure, heavy licorice, wet dog, etc.

Keep in mind, to most of us neophytes, saying "it perfectly expresses the terroir of the Rutherford highlands" is no more meaningful than "The aroma brings back memories of my college days at Princeton". Not that you SHOULDN'T use these allusions - but it is a lot more helpful to the unwashed masses if you explain what it means.

Of course, for the labrat who is buying their first bottle of 'real' wine, what can you expect?



The whole question of tasting and developing a palate has been the subject of much discussion on the fora.

I would recommend you look at this thread:

A Cat Died in My Mouth (or) How to Develop the Professional Palate YOU Want

especially this post

Comments on how I taste

You might also want to check out this:

Notes, Musings, Reflections on the History of Winemaking in Northern California by RPM especially Tasting Wine - the rpm Method (which should really be titled Notes on Wine for 1982 Summer Associates Tasting).

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

billmort


quality posts: 0 Private Messages billmort

I'm getting real tired of the 1-2 woot labrats, slow boat shipping times, and snarky canned responses from customer service.

rpm


quality posts: 172 Private Messages rpm
annsalisbury wrote: I recently went to a tasting and had a wine that left me staring at the glass and saying, "Whoa... I didn't know wine could be like that" (in a good way).



That's what many people refer to as the "Aha!! experience. Most people who have had at least one become serious about wine, and often seek out further similar experiences. You know it when you've had it, and you'll recognize it when it happens again, and you can recognize when someone else has had it as they describe it, but if you haven't had the experience yet, I would write all day about how the aroma filled the room and the glories of the flavors, the complex interplay of aroma and bouquet, the balance and the finish, and you would think I'm either pretentious or barking mad. Welcome!

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

annsalisbury


quality posts: 4 Private Messages annsalisbury
rpm wrote:That's what many people refer to as the "Aha!! experience. Most people who have had at least one become serious about wine, and often seek out further similar experiences. You know it when you've had it, and you'll recognize it when it happens again, and you can recognize when someone else has had it as they describe it, but if you haven't had the experience yet, I would write all day about how the aroma filled the room and the glories of the flavors, the complex interplay of aroma and bouquet, the balance and the finish, and you would think I'm either pretentious or barking mad. Welcome!



Thanks. I was just glad that it was one of the less expensive ($25) bottles offered and not the $75 bottle.

jwink


quality posts: 39 Private Messages jwink
rpm wrote:The whole question of tasting and developing a palate has been the subject of much discussion on the fora.

I would recommend you look at this thread:

A Cat Died in My Mouth (or) How to Develop the Professional Palate YOU Want

especially this post

Comments on how I taste

You might also want to check out this:

Notes, Musings, Reflections on the History of Winemaking in Northern California by RPM especially Tasting Wine - the rpm Method (which should really be titled Notes on Wine for 1982 Summer Associates Tasting).



Thanks RPM, good stuff and I'm going through it as I post this. At the end of the day if the rattage strategy is to get newbies involved in the forum and w.w (which again for the record I’m not against) I would like some sort of standardization to what they’re reporting on. Even if they haven’t got a clue it can only improve on what we’re currently getting. They get the rat bottle and since they’re not so active in the forums I think they’re not sure what to give us information-wise.

WD, please check your PM for an idea on this subject.

Follow me on Twitter
Blooging away

gcdyersb


quality posts: 141 Private Messages gcdyersb
annsalisbury wrote:And while Napa was busy patting itself on the back and cashing checks, (IMHO) Spain came along and filled the middle. I recently went to a tasting and had a wine that left me staring at the glass and saying, "Whoa... I didn't know wine could be like that" (in a good way).



Spain is here, alright. I was just thinking about how I should make a run in the near future to a local wine shop that has a broad selection of Spanish wines. I had been buying a lot of Spanish wines since there are tons of interesting options in the $10-$20 range. Now it's definitely time to go back in that direction, especially for early drinkers.

Cabernet Franc: it's not just for blending! It's also for blogging.

randysanders


quality posts: 5 Private Messages randysanders
annsalisbury wrote: I recently went to a tasting and had a wine that left me staring at the glass and saying, "Whoa... I didn't know wine could be like that" (in a good way).



Well...What was it, and where can we get it?

amilham


quality posts: 2 Private Messages amilham
jwink wrote:RPM, Whoopdeedoooooooo, SB, et al. please correct me if I’m wrong; but aren’t the legs in a glass of wine correlated to the alcohol content and are frequently linked to sweeter wines as they sometimes have more alcohol in them (thinking port-style here). In other words, the more alcohol the more pronounced the legs will be? With all due respect to the wonderful duties from this offering’s rats, I’m not sure how the quantitative measurement this ratting session became so focused on the legs and the distance between them as if it’s a defining characteristic. (And I acknowledge I may be off base on my assumptions as well.)



Being one of the "noobs" myself, I think the reason the legs are described is because it's something easy to quantify - you can see them, measure them, etc. Smells and tastes are much harder to relate, especially when you don't already have a wide range of wine-tasting experience.

Now, maybe you should say that rank amateurs should be left out of the ratting process, and you'd be justified in that. But maybe part of the purpose of the labrats (aside from converting them into loyal customers) is to bring a different perspective to the discussions.