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Old before new?

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Tom V

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Old before new?

by Tom V » Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:27 pm

I recently read an article that stated that when you're drinking old wines and more recent vintages at the same time you should drink the newer wines first. This is opposite of what I had always thought as I felt the older wines would taste pale in comparison if comsumed after the newer ones and that after having the newer bolder wines you might miss the nuances of the aged wines.
I was wondering what member's opinions are on this.

This weekend I'll be hosting a barbecue (tapas & then steak not too fancy) and I plan to start off with Chardonay 1989 Kistler CA, '94 Mount Eden CA (will be interesting to see if these aged or became cooking wine), & 2000 Hamilton Russell from Walker Bay in South Africa.
Then with the meat course I am going to drag some oldies out of the cellar. I thought maybe I'd go from Sonoma "85 Carmenet & '85 Laurel Glen , to Napa '85 Phelps Insignia & '85 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill, and maybe mix in an '85 Gruaud Larose somewhere in there.
So, Iam interested in any opinions on what serving order folks think might work best. Tom V
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Bob Ross

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Re: Old before new?

by Bob Ross » Fri Jun 30, 2006 8:02 pm

Tom, you've touched on one of the great debates in wine tastings, and I've participated in both types of tastings.

I think the issue is much more important when you are having a wine tasting without food (except for crackers or cheese).

Your lineup sounds just fine to me -- your food/wine matchups should work very well.

Please post your notes on how the event goes.

Regards, Bob
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Alan Uchrinscko

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Re: Old before new?

by Alan Uchrinscko » Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:37 pm

I understand the principles behind plaing he more "explosive: wines later and in my experience I have ALWAYS gotten burned.

I'll stick with with:

White to Red
Dry to Sweet
Younger to Older

until someone convinces me otherwise empirically (and many have tried)...
Alan Uchrinscko
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Jeff Grossman/NYC

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Re: Old before new?

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:57 am

I tried old-to-young once. It has the odd effect of making the young wines seem really weird and tannic and undesirable.

It's true that I was more sober for the old wines, and perhaps my palate was clearer, but I'm not sure that's worth it.
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Re: Old before new?

by Mike Conner » Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:59 am

I pretty much agree with Alan... unless you know that the "heft" of an older wine wine will be overpowering a younger "weaker" wine. An example might be to open your 1990 Latour before opening the '93 (wouldn't most of us wish to have that quandry?).

There are always ways to mix things up a little bit... I've often opened great champagnes at the end of an evening... gives a nice "lift" at the end of a great evening.

Anyway, hope your evening goes well!

Mike
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Re: Old before new?

by Dale Williams » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:13 am

It depends. My Bordeaux group almost always does verticals roughly* older to younger, and I feel pretty strongly that is the best way for tannic wines. With Riesling, red or white Burgundy, or Chenin Blanc, I'd probably go younger to older.

*I say roughly because there is often finetuning. An 1986 Bordeaux will be more tannic than an '85 in most cases, for instance. If wines were not doubledecanted in advance at same time, that can affect serving order. And as we always are tasting with dinner, we'll try and plan (not always successfully) that the stars arrive with main course.
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Re: Old before new?

by Florida Jim » Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:39 am

Tom,

Best first. Or perhaps better stated, the one that has the most potential to be a great wine, first.
Anything you drink before, will dull your senses and I like to have a great wine at its best with all my senses at their best.

But, when drinking wine with food, the ones that match the food in the order you serve the food.

At least, that's my way.

Best, Jim
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Re: Old before new?

by James Roscoe » Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:53 am

Florida Jim wrote:Tom,

Best first. Or perhaps better stated, the one that has the most potential to be a great wine, first.
Anything you drink before, will dull your senses and I like to have a great wine at its best with all my senses at their best.

But, when drinking wine with food, the ones that match the food in the order you serve the food.

At least, that's my way.

Best, Jim


Isn't this the basis for the sory in the Bible where Jesus turns the water into wine? The master of the feast asks the bridegroom why he has saved the best wine for last.
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Re: Old before new?

by Florida Jim » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:48 pm

James,
I am not all that familiar with the Bible but I had a friend who opened a 61 Bordeaux but saved it til the end of the evening - when none of us was in any shape to appreciate it.
Pretty good lesson for me.
Best, Jim[/quote]
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Jay Labrador

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Re: Old before new?

by Jay Labrador » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:50 pm

I used to drink young before old but found the older wine would taste diluted so now I generally prefer old before young.
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Re: Old before new?

by James Roscoe » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:06 pm

Florida Jim wrote:James,
I am not all that familiar with the Bible but I had a friend who opened a 61 Bordeaux but saved it til the end of the evening - when none of us was in any shape to appreciate it.
Pretty good lesson for me.
Best, Jim
[/quote]

I guess my point was that this is nothing new.
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Re: Old before new?

by Jenise » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:39 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:I tried old-to-young once. It has the odd effect of making the young wines seem really weird and tannic and undesirable.

It's true that I was more sober for the old wines, and perhaps my palate was clearer, but I'm not sure that's worth it.


Jeff, doesn't the other way around make the older wines seem flabby and tired? I generally serve old-to-young.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Tom V

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Re: Old before new?

by Tom V » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:41 pm

Wow, I didn't figure there would be such a difference of opinion on this matter. I guess for I am going to have to try the new to old thing to see how it strikes me. In the past I always went old to new.

Yes Bob I'll post my notes, anxious to see how my '85's are.
Have a great 4th of July weekend everyone! Tom V :D
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Bob Ross

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Re: Old before new?

by Bob Ross » Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:25 pm

Same to you, Tom. Looks like a nice lineup.
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TimMc

Re: Old before new?

by TimMc » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:11 pm

Alan Uchrinscko wrote:I'll stick with with:

White to Red
Dry to Sweet
Younger to Older


I concur.

A colleague of mine used to be a chef at a five star restaurant in San Francisco and he always sets up his wine progression this way...even for his customers back then.
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Re: Old before new?

by Graeme Gee » Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:57 pm

Depends if you're drinking or tasting. Tasting; youngest to oldest no problem. (I assume 'taste' means spit, remain sober, etc.)

If drinking, it may depend on the ages involved. If it's a vertical from 2002 back to 1990, the young to old ought to be fine. But if you're looking at 2003 back to, say, 1933, at 10 year intervals, then I reckong there's a case for reversing the order. Or, perhaps, just serving the wines in increasing order of weight, irrespective of vintage.

Simple answer isit all depends...
cheers,
Graeme
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James Roscoe

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Re: Old before new?

by James Roscoe » Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:05 pm

Good morning. I assume it's Monday on your side of the globe.

Would you stop trying to interject common sense into this debate! (Something tells me you may be right.)
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Re: Old before new?

by JoePerry » Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:18 pm

Graeme Gee wrote:Depends if you're drinking or tasting. Tasting; youngest to oldest no problem. (I assume 'taste' means spit, remain sober, etc.)

If drinking, it may depend on the ages involved. If it's a vertical from 2002 back to 1990, the young to old ought to be fine. But if you're looking at 2003 back to, say, 1933, at 10 year intervals, then I reckong there's a case for reversing the order. Or, perhaps, just serving the wines in increasing order of weight, irrespective of vintage.

Simple answer isit all depends...
cheers,
Graeme


Agree...
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Alan Uchrinscko

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Re: Old before new?

by Alan Uchrinscko » Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:25 pm

>> James, I am not all that familiar with the Bible but I had a friend who opened a 61 Bordeaux but saved it til the end of the evening - when none of us was in any shape to appreciate it.
Pretty good lesson for me.
Best, Jim

---

Well, that's just the thing. I would've opened the '61 last too. Those of us that can actually hold our liquor don't worry about our senses being dulled at the end of the evening...

:D
:lol:
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Re: Old before new?

by Jenise » Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:28 pm

Florida Jim wrote:Tom,

Best first. Or perhaps better stated, the one that has the most potential to be a great wine, first.
Anything you drink before, will dull your senses and I like to have a great wine at its best with all my senses at their best.

But, when drinking wine with food, the ones that match the food in the order you serve the food.

At least, that's my way.

Best, Jim


Jim, you said what I meant better than I did. Perfect.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman/NYC

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Re: Old before new?

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:47 am

Jenise wrote:Jeff, doesn't the other way around make the older wines seem flabby and tired?


If you stay sober, no.

If you don't, then the older wines tend to all taste alike.


Jeff

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