polarbear22


quality posts: 41 Private Messages polarbear22
InFrom wrote:TT, thought of you when I saw this in the NYT:

To Study: Read About Wines With Your Eyes and Nose

The master sommelier Richard Betts’s clever new scratch-and-sniff book is likely to broaden the novice’s appreciation of wine, explaining how aromas relate to different varietals. The nose is the connoisseur’s best piece of equipment, and the book takes you through the range of grassy, citrusy, fruity, flowery and woody scents you will find, grouping them by wine categories. Some of the scents emerge better than others, and he did not include the hint of cigar box that red wines may display. A useful chart that ties bouquets to wines is tucked inside: “The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert” by Richard Betts (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19.95).


Has anyone checked this out? Perhaps someone got it for Christmas?

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Too bad someone didn't decide to bump this thread when they went on their drunken rampage thru old threads.

At least this one has excellent information in it.

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InFrom


quality posts: 48 Private Messages InFrom

Well, as long as it's been bumped, here's the NYT leading an online wine-tasting gathering: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/dining/get-out-your-corkscrew.html?ref=dining One wine a month, IIRC.

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Link is back up!

Tasting Wine the RPM Method.

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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Bump

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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Wine Names pronunciation guide with audio.


Hey TT, you need to beat into the Code Monkeys that we need some threads (this and RPM's thread) as Stickies!

Failing that, maybe a section on WW for linking to these threads, like the blog posts.

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randysanders


quality posts: 8 Private Messages randysanders

I've been told; "Pop a lot of corks
and remember what you taste", then
"drink what you like". That about
says it all.
I can taste a "corked" bottle from
across the room.
I've tasted petrol in rieslings
lately, not good, but interesting
enough to keep drinking it.

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark
randysanders wrote:I've been told; "Pop a lot of corks
and remember what you taste", then
"drink what you like". That about
says it all.
I can taste a "corked" bottle from
across the room.
I've tasted petrol in rieslings
lately, not good, but interesting
enough to keep drinking it.



The other good thread on developing your wine tasting ability is here .

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ThunderThighs


quality posts: 1006 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

MarkDaSpark wrote:Wine Names pronunciation guide with audio.


Hey TT, you need to beat into the Code Monkeys that we need some threads (this and RPM's thread) as Stickies!

Failing that, maybe a section on WW for linking to these threads, like the blog posts.



Sorry I missed your post. We've tried doing sticky threads and it didn't go well. Our forum code & database is ancient. We treat it with kid gloves.


On vacation until 6/3. I will not answer private messages.
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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark
ThunderThighs wrote:Sorry I missed your post. We've tried doing sticky threads and it didn't go well. Our forum code & database is ancient. We treat it with kid gloves.



Well then, linky poo them in the FAQs! Sheesh!

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ThunderThighs


quality posts: 1006 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

MarkDaSpark wrote:Well then, linky poo them in the FAQs! Sheesh!


Ha, that's not gonna happen but you did get me thinking that maybe we could add something in the global footer in the Community column. Interesting wine reading or something.

Hmmmmm.


On vacation until 6/3. I will not answer private messages.
To contact Customer Service, use the SUPPORT form at the top of every woot page
••• ► Woot's Return Policy ◄ ••• ► Did you check your spam/junk folders for a CS reply?
CANCEL?? How to cancel your order in the first 2 hours!! - except orders with Woot-Off or expedited items

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark
ThunderThighs wrote:Ha, that's not gonna happen but you did get me thinking that maybe we could add something in the global footer in the Community column. Interesting wine reading or something.

Hmmmmm.



Ha! They still haven't added links for Woot Plus OR the Gatherings threads there yet! But that could work, just not in our lifetimes at the rate they go.



But on a wine note, a little birdie told me about the 15/15 rule.

Take Whites out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving, and put Reds into the refrigerator (when you have it at room temp, i.e. 70° or so) 15 minutes before serving. If you've had the red at cellar temp (55°), then never mind.

Have to try it.

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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Dear Dr. Vinny,

If the alcohol in wine acts like a preservative and prohibits the growth of pathogens, why do winemakers use SO2, or sulfur dioxide, as a preservative?



Also, 5 Common wine flaws

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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Notes on Petite Sirah:

KRWINE wrote:Hi, Kent here
It seems to me that Petite Sirah is one of the most interesting wines when it comes to the issue of aging and drinking. Young PS is big, rich, usually pretty tannic and above all full of luscious fruit. Funnily enough, unlike a Cab. Sauv., even though they are structurally huge, they are still very drinkable when they are young—mostly because of the charm of all the wonderful fruit. Once a PS is about 10-15 years old it usually starts to go through a “dumb” phase as it loses it’s fruit, but then when they get really old – 20-25 years they come around again like no other wine I have ever had….wonderful rich Bordeaux-like complexity…tons of that cedar-cigar box character that you always associate with really nice old clarets. So my recommend is drink them young or let them sit forever—most PS have the structure to handle the age.
What made me “an expert” on old PS: A few years ago there was a small wine shop in the San Francisco Bay Area that bought people’s cellars. He also bought our wine, but unfortunately, while the fellow who ran the shop was a nice guy, he didn’t pay his bills. One day I was in the shop (collecting a bill) and he had dozens of bottles from the late 1960s to about 1980 of California PS on a table…I said…why? And he told me that when he resold the wine he bought from collections he could never get anyone to take the PS. I made a deal with him that we would trade a bottle of our wine for a bottle of PS…he got something he could sell and I got paid. Over the course of the next year or so (before the IRS caught him) we traded about a hundred bottles and Celia and I had old old PS for dinner several nights each week. These were the great old fathers of PS…Concannon, Burgess, Freemark Abbey, Ridge, and so on. Other than an occasional corky bottle we never had a single one that was “over the hill”. It was a treat and a rare opportunity to learn about old PS.



More info ...

MarkDaSpark wrote:Welcome!! Since PetiteSirah is busy with trial work (he'll probably pop in during breaks or later in the evenings), I'll try to help out with my meager knowledge as one of his many PSith apprentices.

This is not a mild Merlot ... PS can be tannic on opening, thus the need to decant for a while.

Works very well with BBQ meats and Lamb.

Usually better between 5 to 10 years, and then fine after 20 or so (has a dumb phase which can start somewhere after 10 years and can last 10 to 15 years).

So you can drink it before 5 (infanticide to PetiteSirah), but it will need a lot of decanting to open up.


So I plan to open one to five during the 5 to 10 year timeframe, and save the rest to enjoy after 20 (when I should be retired!).



Enjoy!

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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

And our own Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines (has been on Wine.Woot for Epiphany (Fess Parker) and for his Tercero wines) is featured in the article!

14 Rules for Visiting a Tasting Room

Some other tips from a comment:

"If you're going to spit bring your own "spittoon." I bring a red Solo cup.

Definitely dump.

You don't need to buy--you're shopping.

You definitely don't need to tip. You can if you want, but not mandatory. Tourists see a primed tip jar and think they're supposed to.

Don't show up five minutes before closing and expect a full tasting."



Highlights (last one especially on RPM Tours!):


Go ahead and swallow. There’s no need to spit. “It’s not all about education,” Jones says. “It’s okay to drink a little and have some fun.”

But spit if you’re visiting a lot of tasting rooms, “moderate your intake,” Margerum says. “The bane of tasting rooms are drunk tasters.”



If you're only going to 1 or 2 wineries, you don't need to spit. But any more, and you will need to do so. Especially as you might end up buying something that once you taste it at home wonder "What was I thinking?".

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MarkDaSpark


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Lucas Meeker gives an excellent post on dessert wines!


lucasmeeker wrote:SWEET WARS: THE FRUCTOSE STRIKES BACK
A dessert wine primer…

For discussion purposes:
1.0 g/L = 0.1% Residual Sugar
(weight/volume measurement here, not weight/weight (which is what Brix is))
1.0 degree Brix = 1.0% Dissolved Solids (largely glucose + fructose, weight/weight measurement)

It's important to know that degrees Brix does not directly correlate to percent of residual sugar, though they are very close in most finished wine applications. The issue is that we have to label the wine with the same measurement type for the pre and post labeling to qualify as late harvest.

There are essentially four main categories of traditional dessert wine:

  • Late Harvest
  • Ice wine
  • Fortified Dessert Wines (i.e. sweet Port)
  • Botrytized (i.e. Sauternes)


The vast majority of dessert wines fall into one of these four categories.

The major outliers being wines that are intentionally stopped sweet but *also* with relatively low alcohol (though these aren't really considered dessert wines in my experience, just sweet or off-dry table wines), and the very few and rare non-late harvest wines that are *ahem* forced into higher sugar content via practical methods (like our Meeker Frozin, which is to my knowledge one of the only non-late harvest dessert wines in the world with a starting ferm brix of over 35, but that's a different story for a different day).

Here's the thing though: All three of the latter categories are frequently made from late harvest fruit. Late Harvest is the catchall term for wines made from fruit that has been left on the vine until the vine stops developing the fruit and essentially gives up on it. The fruit begins to raisin on the vine and is picked some point thereafter. Most dessert wines of any category have seen some late harvest time (the exceptions usually being fortified wines, which vary in style and method greatly and are far too varied to summarize). Late Harvest wines can vary anywhere from 10-18% alcohol and can have residual sugars as high as 10+%. It's all a matter of how much sugar the juice started with and how and when it was stopped during fermentation.

Ice wine is made from grapes that are left on the vine until a hard freeze, at which point they are pressed while still frozen, the ice in the grapes is left behind in the press, thus further concentrating the sugar content. Ice wine has to be made according to government regulated standards of minimum sugar content depending on the country. The wines are typically lower in alcohol compared to most dessert wines and very, very sweet (>100 g/L RS).

Fortified wine is a little more complicated. Not all fortified wines would be colloquially reffered to as dessert wines, because not all fortified wines are sweet, even though the usual American exposure to fortified wines is the vast majority of them are sweet (50+ g/L RS).

Port, for example, is made in sweet and dry variations, the sweet being far more common in the US. There are other fortified wines that, while often sweet, wouldn't necessarily be called dessert wines unless you're talking about the sweetest versions (i.e. the many kinds of Sherry, but Sherry is typically not late harvest).

Anyways, fortified wine, by definition, is wine that is fortified with a distilled spirit (usually brandy) to halt the fermentation and increase the alcohol (which makes the wine stable by killing the yeast and creating a far more inhospitable environment for yeast). In terms of California "Port-style" wines, this is frequently done with late harvest fruit, or at the very minimum fruit picked well after typical picking windows (even as those have become late with the style evolution of CA wines). Port and port-style wines are typically 18-22% alcohol with varying levels of residual sugar.

Botrytized wines are made from fruit that has been left to rot on the vine from Botrytis cinerea, colloquially known as "noble rot". The nature of this necrotrophic fungus essentially damages the skin of the berries while still on the vine, allowing them to concentrate from a dehydration process more quickly. This is essentially late harvest, because if you've got bad botrytis issues and you wanted to make table wine, well, you're too late (dealing with small levels of botrytis in making regular wine is pretty typical and not too much of a curveball). These wines are frequently 70-100 g/L RS and sub 14% alcohol.

And then, like I said, there are outliers.

The main issue with dessert wines is that, at least traditionally, they had to be at least largely bottle stable or else they would continue to ferment to dryness. This stability (meaning it won't continue to ferment past a given target alc/sugar balance).

Fortifying the wine increases the alcohol high enough to make it stable. High enough levels of residual sugar, believe it or not, can also create a stable environment (yes, sugar can act as a preservative, essentially, long story don't feel like typing that out today). Lastly, the wine can be made largely stable by adding sulfur to kill the yeast, though that's not always 100% effective.

But then there was this wonderful invention called the sterile filter that allowed wines that are not chemically bottle stable to be made bottle stable because they can be bottled in a way that prevents any yeast or bacteria for making it into the bottle to cause a problem (for those curious: sterile filters for the purposes of wine are 0.45 micron absolute). The sterile filter allows wines of all kinds (including normal wines) to go to bottle without being fully re-fermentation stable, which is why the sub 1.0% residual sugar on table wines thing is now so incredibly common place (worth noting whether a wineries dry wines are sterile filtered or not… ours are not, but ours are also fully dry).

Anyways, the sterile filter allows us to essentially stick the wine where we want it with a sulfur addition as they do with German sweet or off dry wines, then bottle it without concern of traditional bottle stability or refermentation problems. This allows us to make a wine like this that is *not* fortified, but also not incredibly high alcohol.

So yeah, dessert wine. It's made a bunch of different ways resulting in a bunch of different alcohol/sugar combinations. Hard to talk about any of them with sweeping generalizations as I think I've successfully demonstrated here.

TL;DR You start with a given concentration of residual sugar, you convert some of it to alcohol, and then you stop it with one of a few different techniques. The different techniques to achieve the starting sugar content and the different techniques to stop the fermentation are what define a dessert wine.



Excellent info!

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MarkDaSpark


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Bump

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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

And another bump.

This information is too good to not be front and center!

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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Bump .... this dropped to the 3rd page!

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awl85


quality posts: 8 Private Messages awl85
MarkDaSpark wrote:Bump .... this dropped to the 3rd page!



Thank you!