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Virgin palate

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Dani B

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Virgin palate

by Dani B » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:04 am

I'm 21 years of age and know the bare minimum basics.

My faves thus far:

-Lawson's Dry Hills 2005 Gewurztraminer
-Lake Sonoma 2003 Dry Creek Valley Zin
- Shooting Star Blue Franc

Help me.

I'm looking for something juicy, jammy, succulent, full, velvety cashmere'ish with a pinch of warmth and depth, easy to drink and love. I'm not sure of which varietal would hit home base, or whether old/new world best fits this description.

I loved the Traminer because it was the most aromatic I've ever had, 50% of the allure experienced by the nose, and the Zin because I swear it's juicyness dribbled a bit down my chin.

Really.... I'm lost. I'd love to dabble a bit in the Spanish wines, as it's a country I've traveled. However, Sangre de Toro & Marques were a bit too harsh and piercing. Isn't there a Spanish wine more soft, submissive, with less ego ?

What do I like? :?
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MtBakerDave

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Re: Virgin palate

by MtBakerDave » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:14 am

Hi Dani,

Welcome!

So, where do you live? Anywhere near a wine shop? Most wine shops hold tastings that are inexpensive and sometimes even free. Attend some tastings. That's a great way to expand your horizons and find out what you like (and what don't like too!) Buy some of your favorites and enjoy them. Next step, find a clerk at the shop you like, tell them what you've tried and liked, and ask for some recommendations. Then you're off and running!

Dave
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: Virgin palate

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:20 am

Welcome to the forum Dani. Dave as usual is spot on, store tastings and local wine club if one around. Lots of tasting notes here and Wine Focus will be of interest I think as we explore different grape varietals each month.
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MtBakerDave

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Re: Virgin palate

by MtBakerDave » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:34 am

So, I haven't tasted any of the wines you mention, but one thing that comes to mind is that you seem to like a good aromatic white. I'm not much of a gewurz fan, but I do really love a good riesling. I might suggest you try one from Alsace (in France) if you want a dry riesling, or a Kabinett from Germany for something off-dry. Australia makes some good ones too. The domestic rieslings just don't stack up in my book though. Again, you'll have to find a wine shop to try these - there's little to none available in supermarkets. Any decent wine shop should have some good examples in a variety of price ranges.

Good luck and have fun tasting!

Dave
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Remo Perriello

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Re: Virgin palate

by Remo Perriello » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:40 am

Dani,

Welcome! Ditto with Dave and Bob. As a store owner, I am constantly inviting my customers to take advantage of my free Saturday tastings. I love getting so many different reactions. That is the beauty of wine...

Second, 21 years old and drinking wine... Bravo! I didn't start drinking wine for real enjoyment until I had to because of my store and I am 34! So, keep up the good work!

From your initial description, one wine just came to mind. The Chauvet Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2004 . Link

Winemakers Notes: "A full bodied jammy wine with a sweet blackberry middle and a ripe acidity. Great with rich foods like BBQ or as an after dinner dessert drink. 14.9% alcohol. 527 cases produced."

If you get your hands on it, let me know how you like it.

Again, welcome...
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Andrew Shults

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Re: Virgin palate

by Andrew Shults » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:21 am

Welcome Dani B!

First, I admire your obvious willingness to branch out beyond the typical Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay.

I have a couple of ideas for you...

If you like the aromatic nature of a gewurz, you might want to a Torrontes from Argentina. I just had a bottle of the 2005 La Yunta Torrontes this week and it was very gewurz-like. While you may not find this producer, imports of Torrontes are growing so one should be available in a store of decent size and quality. Viognier and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc are also wines you may like.

For juicy, velvety, easy-to-drink reds, I give you a bit of an off-the-wall suggestion: Boutari 2003 Kretikos Red. It's a $10 Greek wine made from Kotsifali and Mandilaria. The nose and taste are of tree berries (e.g. mulberry and juniper) and pomegranate. The tannins are velvety. It may be tough to find depending on your location, but Boutari is one of the largest producers. BTW, don't bother with the Kretikos White; it's just a generic-tasting wine.

Regarding Spanish wines, I've had a similar reaction to those I've tasted. One exception was Los Rocas Garnacha (aka Grenache), smoky but not coarse. Also, I'm planning to get the Bodegas Castano 2004 Monastrell next time I see it (so obviously I can't tell you what it tastes like). Monastrell is usually a potent grape, but 40% of this wine is made through carbonic maceration (the process that makes Beaujolais so fruity). Note that this doesn't apply to Castano's more expensive Hecula and Solanera bottlings.

Finally, I second (third? whatever?) others' suggestions go attend tastings and find a good sales clerk. If you're looking to do some reading, I'd suggest Karen MacNeil's Wine Bible. It goes beyond the bare "Dummies" basics, but doesn't assume a lot of prior experience/knowledge. Plus, it's thick enough to double as a doorstop.

Happy tasting!
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Sam Platt

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Re: Virgin palate

by Sam Platt » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:24 am

Dani,

Based on my own early experience I would say that you really don't know what you like at this point. The wine I thought I loved initially I could barely stand after about a year of tasting. My advice is to taste widely and inexpensively. Try lot of different styles from lots of different places. Based on your discription I would definitely grab an Alsatian Gewurz (Trimbach is a good choice). Also check out wine from the Cotes, like less expensive Bourgogne, the Rhone and Loire as well as German Riesling of various classifications. Don't limit yourself to what you think like now. At twenty-one you're way ahead of the game. Taste, and taste somemore! Heck, I didn't even know that I liked wine until I was in my early 40's.
Sam

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
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Ian Sutton

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Re: Virgin palate

by Ian Sutton » Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:04 am

I'd second the Alsace Gewurztraminer suggestion

regards

Ian
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Dani B

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Re: Virgin palate

by Dani B » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:28 pm

Wow, thank you so much Dave, Bob, Ian, Remo, Andrew y Sam. I'm most enthused that you gave me some bottles to try and find. The Boutari red sounds most interesting (pomegranate) and I've passed by some Trimbach Traminer at a local store here. I'll definately look into the clubs and tastings as well. I had presumed because of my age, I would sort of be slagged off. Thanks for proving me wrong :D

Best regards.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: Virgin palate

by Ian Sutton » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:35 pm

Dani B wrote: I had presumed because of my age, I would sort of be slagged off. Thanks for proving me wrong :D

Best regards.

Quite the opposite - I think most of us drank some pretty awful stuff when we were 21 :oops:
regards
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Howie Hart

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Re: Virgin palate

by Howie Hart » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:53 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Quite the opposite - I think most of us drank some pretty awful stuff when we were 21 :oops:
regards
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Ripple? Boone's Farm Apple? Ahhh.. but by the time I was 23 I had graduated to Mateus and Blue Nun. 8)
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Sam Platt

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Re: Virgin palate

by Sam Platt » Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:43 pm

Howie Hart wrote:Ripple? Boone's Farm Apple? Ahhh.. but by the time I was 23 I had graduated to Mateus and Blue Nun.


I went for the more refined Night Train, and MD 20/20 myself. Those "beverages" put me off wine for the next 15+ years.
Sam

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Thomas

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Re: Virgin palate

by Thomas » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:42 pm

Sam Platt wrote:
Howie Hart wrote:Ripple? Boone's Farm Apple? Ahhh.. but by the time I was 23 I had graduated to Mateus and Blue Nun.


I went for the more refined Night Train, and MD 20/20 myself. Those "beverages" put me off wine for the next 15+ years.


After those "beverages" some of us were lucky to have another 15 years...

Dani,

You've gotten some good advice--can't add much to it, except about domestic Riesling. I agree that most West Coast Rieslings are less than fun, but if you are anywhere near NY State, try Finger Lakes Rieslings--I have a feeling you would like them.

Also, look into Italian whites like Vermentino, Lugana, and maybe Pinot Bianco. Juicy Italian red: Primitivo di Manduria.
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Andrew Shults

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Re: Virgin palate

by Andrew Shults » Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:46 pm

Thomas wrote:Also, look into Italian whites like Vermentino, Lugana, and maybe Pinot Bianco. Juicy Italian red: Primitivo di Manduria.


Vermentino...I should have thought of that. I had the Argiolas 2004 Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna a few months ago, and it was one of the more interesting and unique wines I've had in a while: very aromatic, tastes of tropical fruit with an ocean breeze on the nose. It should be well-stocked at many stores since it is from a major importer (Winebow/Locasio) and received the "magical" 90 points from Wine Advocate.

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