What wine are you drinking today ?

Chris, I'm sure it's just the thing.  

Right now I'm finishing off a bottle of 2013 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon.  It's nothing special but it's a nice inexpensive wine that's probably one of the better examples for the price - in fact I'm sure there are some Cabs at 5 or 6 times the price that are no better, and possibly worse.  I bought a case a couple of years back and can't remember now what it cost, but it probably wasn't very much.

Image courtesy of Cellartracker.

Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cab. Which he bought from me in Oddbins Islington Green (next to his office)

A bottle most days. But he frequently came into the shop to reward himself with something special, at the end of a chapter or after a particularly funny bit.

He was a great guy to chat to. We even got to go to a couple of his parties. 

rodwsmith posted:

Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cab. Which he bought from me in Oddbins Islington Green (next to his office)

A bottle most days. But he frequently came into the shop to reward himself with something special, at the end of a chapter or after a particularly funny bit.

He was a great guy to chat to. We even got to go to a couple of his parties. 

Going on his reputation ... if he was in his office then he wasn't writing ... his reputation (as I recall from various biographies) was that he only really wrote when sequestered in a hotel room or other place away from distractions ... usually 3 months after his publisher's deadline!  :-)

Eloise posted:
rodwsmith posted:

Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cab. Which he bought from me in Oddbins Islington Green (next to his office)

A bottle most days. But he frequently came into the shop to reward himself with something special, at the end of a chapter or after a particularly funny bit.

He was a great guy to chat to. We even got to go to a couple of his parties. 

Going on his reputation ... if he was in his office then he wasn't writing ... his reputation (as I recall from various biographies) was that he only really wrote when sequestered in a hotel room or other place away from distractions ... usually 3 months after his publisher's deadline!  :-)

Wasn't it Adams who said "I love deadlines, I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by"?

Tonight the first taste of our 'Vrai Pineau' which is grape juice & Eau de Vie 60%  at 3 litres of juice :1 Eau de Vie ratio, left to settle for a week then syphoned into a 20 litre chestnut barrel to mature for 3-6 months. Its early days yet and still to clear fully but quite promising. Followed by a couple of glasses of 2015 Cote de Rhone.

Thanks Richard, Mulberry.

DA was just as witty and charming in person as you'd imagine. Although taller. Very tall indeed. He lived round the corner from our shop - one of those great victorian houses on Duncan Terrace (I'm not sure that the money didn't actually come from his wife Jane who if memory serves was a high-flying lawyer of some kind). The basement was one enormous kitchen, and the venue for the parties. After we'd supplied the booze for a couple of them, he started inviting us! He was always up for a chat whenever he came in, and a real wine lover. This was back when Australian wine was a novelty and often derided. Wolf Blass Cab is not the greatest wine in the world, but he told me he liked to drink the same wine when actually writing so he wouldn't get distracted by it. I think he found a lot of things distracting.

He ended up owning a vineyard as part of his place in the south of France, and I designed the label for him.

It was called Quarante-Deux. The name was the best thing about it (well, maybe except the label!!). I still have a bottle somewhere, but it would be completely undrinkable now, which wouldn't be much of a decline from its heyday.

Hardly a friend, but I was still shocked and moved when he died.

2 oz Reposado Tequila

1 oz Cointreau 

Juice of a lime

Pinch of salt

Barspoon of organic blue agave syrup

1 x dash of Oaxaca chocolate bitters

2 x dashes Regans orange  bitters

Orange zest

Add a ton of ice & shake to excess

Strain into a chilled Martini glass

Margarita de la muerte

 

Christopher_M posted:

Waitrose own label Aussie dry white. Hitting the spot, at a fiver. You calling me cheap?!

Waitrose new line of own label wines ( the ones with the blue and white labels) has some really good wines for the price. The Romanian Pinot Noir is especially good at £5.99. It wouldn't disgrace itself at twice that price.

Thank you Kevin. I will investigate. I've seen them but been put off by the labels. Their 'typical wines by country' at a fiver, with single colour labels and bold typography appealed more.

I have noticed the French red 'Plush' and French white 'Zesty' (I love them both) have disappeared from my local branch.

Feeling self-indulgent today, I opened the case of Lascombes 2000 I bought en primeur in those long gone days where a good claret from a fine vintage would cost under £20 a bottle when it came on the market, and I could afford to buy this class of wine  Very lovely it is too, dangerously easy to drink, classy dark red fruits on nose and palate, not the greatest concentration, but powerful enough to fill the mouth. In its sweet spot now, 2 or 3 more years at this lovely place. Just need to control myself to pace the 11 I have left. 

Eoink posted:

Feeling self-indulgent today, I opened the case of Lascombes 2000 I bought en primeur in those long gone days where a good claret from a fine vintage would cost under £20 a bottle when it came on the market, and I could afford to buy this class of wine  Very lovely it is too, dangerously easy to drink, classy dark red fruits on nose and palate, not the greatest concentration, but powerful enough to fill the mouth. In its sweet spot now, 2 or 3 more years at this lovely place. Just need to control myself to pace the 11 I have left. 

Very nice, its a shame prices have gone so daft, I recently saw Ch Giscours Margaux 2015 at a foire au vin for Eu189 a bottle, they were of course 'aving a larf.

naim_nymph posted:

Vegetarian Lasagne with cheese grated broccoli tonight, and while i'm waiting for the oven...

 

SALICE SALENTINO DOC, RISERVA, CANTELE 2013

"Dark cherry fruit on the nose with a delicate floral character, the palate is richer with plummy fruit, spices, even a wiff of smoke whilst the finish is smooth with sweet supple tannins."

13.0%
Italy
Style Full-bodied red
Grapes 100% Negroamaro
Less than 12 quid a bottle


I made a mistake buying a case of this, should have bought six cases! : )

Debs

 

...actually i did go back to buy more cases to stock my cellar.

Enjoying another bottle of this excellent wine tonight - before a pasta/cheese dish : )

2004 Morey St Denis Clos Solon from Domaine Fourrier. Lovely wine, still got good structure, but lovely sweet red and dark red fruits with hints of earth, a seriously lovely wine. I’ve been sampling the case since about 2006, one bottle was closed, all others have been lovely. 

2004 was the last Burgundy vintage I bought en primeur before finally realising that that was the behaviour of a single man, and Jen didn’t care enough about wine for it to be something we did as a couple. 2004 tasted very good on release, unfortunately as it settled in bottle, a very large number of wines developed a hard green edge and became quite flat in flavour. Oddly enough of the three cases I’d bought, the very fine one was one that suffered, this and another good village wine have been lovely since I started tasting them. 

Well, last night. A good friend kindly brought around a bottle of Gevrey-Chambertin Labouré-Roi 2013.

I thought it a bit thin. Then again it's not like I've drunk lots of Burgundy to compare it with.

By coincidence, a programme on Gevrey-Chambertin on R4 at 1.45pm today, as I was driving home. I caught a snippet. At first I thought it was a bit thin...

NFG posted:

Nothing quite so prestigous for us: home made Pineau des Charentes for aperitif - grape juice & eau de vie mixed 3:1 then barrel aged for about 6 months (ish) followed by a bottle of Cotes de Bordeaux which is actually very good.

The Pineau sounds lovely.

Eoink posted:
NFG posted:

Nothing quite so prestigous for us: home made Pineau des Charentes for aperitif - grape juice & eau de vie mixed 3:1 then barrel aged for about 6 months (ish) followed by a bottle of Cotes de Bordeaux which is actually very good.

The Pineau sounds lovely.

Thank you, yes it is good, we have 2 vines called Chasse de la Rose an old Vendeen variety which is small & quite nice to eat & we had a good lot this year. So if you come to the Vendee, let me know come and try some.

Eoink posted:

 

2004 was the last Burgundy vintage I bought en primeur before finally realising that that was the behaviour of a single man, and Jen didn’t care enough about wine for it to be something we did as a couple. 2004 tasted very good on release, unfortunately as it settled in bottle, a very large number of wines developed a hard green edge and became quite flat in flavour. Oddly enough of the three cases I’d bought, the very fine one was one that suffered, this and another good village wine have been lovely since I started tasting them. 

2004 was the year of the ladybirds (ladybugs)!

(A bit like 1976 in southern England, if you are old enough, or were there to remember that)

It was widespread, but not everywhere. The vineyards that were affected gave fruit with a distinct pyrazine flavour (green, leafy, bit nasty/metallic). If, as a kid, you ever licked your finger after a ladybird 'excreted' on you, you will recognise the flavour.

The 2004 Burgundies that were not affected (the majority) can be very lovely, but those that were contaminated can be horrible, and consequently the vintage is relatively cheap. 

Of course the more single-vineyard nature (if from an affected vineyard) the wine the more likely the problem will be noticeable - regional/village wines could and did try to blend it out.

Here's another one Richard.

"X" in Burgundy is pronounced as "SS" - just as ß in German, this is what is is short for.

In wine terms this only really affects 'Fissin' and 'Alosse Corton'.

(The ladybird thing was only Burgundy as far as I know, and hasn't happened since. Makes you wonder how these plagues of insects come about. Surely it would require a plague of whatever-it-is they eat to come first..?)

rodwsmith posted:

 

2004 was the year of the ladybirds (ladybugs)!

(A bit like 1976 in southern England, if you are old enough, or were there to remember that)

[SNIP]

Of course the more single-vineyard nature (if from an affected vineyard) the wine the more likely the problem will be noticeable - regional/village wines could and did try to blend it out.

Thanks Rod, that was really interesting information. The affected wine was indeed a single vineyard, Grivot’s Vosne Brulees 😭.

Anda from Andalucia, via Waitrose. On spesh. A big, gobby, fruity, peppery mouthful.... though probably a bit too cold at the moment as it has been sitting a while in the boot of my car. There's much to like here.

Oh, and it's a tempranillo/ syrah blend, 2105, at 14%. (I know Debs likes that stuff ).

Hungryhalibut posted:

You’d be better using a vacuvin and keeping the bottle in the fridge. There is so much air in a decanter that the wine will oxidise very quickly. 

Nigel, red wine is a room temperature drink.

Yuk! i would never ever in my wildest nightmare put red wine in a fridge! 

 

Well, obviously you’d aim to drink it at about 16 to 18 degrees, but if you want to keep it a couple of days, especially in warm weather, the fridge is the place. You just need to bring it out to warm for a couple of hours first. People drink red wine far too warm, and room temperature relates more to unheated, or less heated houses before central heating. We often put lighter reds, such as Beaujolais, in the fridge for 15 minutes before drinking them. 

Decided I’d have a bottle of Aussie red to say goodbye to Malcolm Young, and spotted this in the cellar. Probably a couple of years early, but lovely and generous now. Nice sweet red fruit, With good sourness of cherry, some nice spices as well. Good New World Pinot, different from Burgundy, the sweetness always seems a bit heavier in the NW wines.

On the storing wine, I’m with Nigel, although I struggle to understand the concept of wine left in the bottle, when it does happen, I keep it in the fridge with the air removed, with either Vacuvin or with an argon pump pushing the air out (depending on whether I remembered to restock the argon capsules). Even with a stopper in I find that there’s enough air in a partly full decanter to oxidise the wine fairly quickly ( in a day or 2) especially at room temperature.

I do find those metal balls work well when I remember to use them, the jug above is quite stained, but previous experience tells me it’ll clean up nicely when I get round to it.  

Best thing to get a decanter sparkling is denture cleaning tablets!

Overnight, then thorough rinse.

But remember to flash your pearlies at the cashier when you buy them, so that they don't think they're for you!

Nigel's spot on that all the nasty things that happen to an open bottle of wine will do so far more slowly (especially the journey towards vinegar) if the bottle is stored cold. But it does generate the serving temperature issue.

Seems to me the way i've been going about it (over the past 30 years)  maybe correct for my own particular circumstances; to leave the bottle on the kitchen counter with cork jammed back in. I've never had a problem if the wine is consumed within 4 days. So buying a proper decanter maybe overkill unless the wine is consumed within a few hours (?)

IMO putting red wine in a fridge is rather ghastly advise, and IME it's where wine philistine's put their plonk because they know no better and have no taste for red wine, and i've known too many people bring red wine out from their fridge - even an hour or two beforehand which is fine if one wants a battery acid lolly on a stick.

I suppose most people here open a bottle of red wine and consume it all within an hour or three [or discard the leftovers?] so the issue of rationing a bottle to one or two glasses a day never arises.

Debs

naim_nymph posted:

Seems to me the way i've been going about it (over the past 30 years)  maybe correct for my own particular circumstances; to leave the bottle on the kitchen counter with cork jammed back in. I've never had a problem if the wine is consumed within 4 days. So buying a proper decanter maybe overkill unless the wine is consumed within a few hours (?)

IMO putting red wine in a fridge is rather ghastly advise, and IME it's where wine philistine's put their plonk because they know no better and have no taste for red wine, and i've known too many people bring red wine out from their fridge - even an hour or two beforehand which is fine if one wants a battery acid lolly on a stick.

I suppose most people here open a bottle of red wine and consume it all within an hour or three [or discard the leftovers?] so the issue of rationing a bottle to one or two glasses a day never arises.

Debs

I'm inclined to agree with you, Debs. I know the recommendation is to refrigerate it, and some French friends who are into red wine in a big way always do this. In their climate, perhaps it's necessary, but in chilly North Wales, I've never found it to be necessary. Putting the cork back in the bottle is fine, and after the first 24hrs, I often think that the second half of the bottle tastes better for the extended breathing time. As you say, maybe this means that it's best not to decant when you're not going to finish the bottle.

Red wine should generally be served at 14 - 16C, (and never more than 18C (which is the temperature at which alcohol begins to become volatile)).

I am lucky enough to live in a place where 'room temperature' is usually higher than this, and in most places with central heating, so are most other people.

In fact, the phrase 'room temperature' was coined in England before the advent of central heating and - in wine terms - meant simply as opposed to 'cellar temperature' (cool enough for the bitter tasting compounds in red wine to be exacerbated).

So, the result is that you should drink wine at whatever temperature you like! (Although </= 18C)

Personally I rather like lightly chilled red wine. But then, I live in the South of France, and also like bitter olives, strong black coffee, very green vegetables, heavily hopped beer, and high %age cocoa-chocolate.

However, for storage of an opened bottle of wine, there is no doubt that cold is better. All micro-organisms function more slowly - if at all - at temperatures less than 7C. Blue cheese, for example, will not go 'bluer' kept in the fridge (but it certainly will on the worktop), and baker's yeast will not multiply.

Acetobacter - which causes alcohol and acids in wine to become vinegar - is no exception. 

Once the bottle is open, this, other bacteria, and oxidisation, all start, and you have up to about a week (depending on tannins, polyphenols, alcohol, and personal tolerances) before the wine is ruined. But the processes are inevitably far more rapid the warmer the wine is.

(Imagine keeping a half drunk bottle in a shady place, versus a half filled glass on a sunny window ledge. Actually it's intuitive).

So, not Phillistine, but sensible, to store opened wine in the fridge. But, of course, you do then need to take it out some time before its intended re-consumption to return it to the preferred drinking temperature. Which is actually exactly the same as cheese, which should also be stored cold but served at 'room' temperature.

It is relatively easy, however, to warm up a glass of wine in your hands, but impossible - unless you are cold-blooded like a lizard or perhaps Theresa May - to cool one down, so there is an argument for starting out too cold that is far more compelling than the alternative.

 

 

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