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Help me spend my money!!

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Bruce Hayes

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Help me spend my money!!

by Bruce Hayes » Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:19 pm

Got $250 (Canadian) in wine money for my birthday and now, of course, it is burning a hole in my pocket. Don't really have a problem in finding wine to spend it on: the difficulty is narrowing down the list.

So, would appreciate advice-guidance from fellow Ontario-based wine buyers about what wines recent wines I have overlooked. Red, white, bubbly, it doesn't matter.

All suggestions gratefully accepted, but I reserve the right to make the final decision. :D
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Bill Buitenhuys

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bill Buitenhuys » Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:27 pm

I'm not sure what is available to you, Bruce, but if I were in that situation I'd ask myself "What wines have I been really wanting to get but havent wanted to afford?". I'd go for 1-3 really nice bottles. For me it would be a couple bottles of Giacosa or Conterno barolo. It might be a 1990 Monprivato. What ever you like, go for something that might have been a bit out of reach before. That's my two cents (Canadian). :wink:
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Howie Hart

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Howie Hart » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:03 pm

Bruce - this past Spring I had the pleasure of visiting Flat Rock Winery in Jordan (near St. Catherines) and was very impressed with the wines. They only make Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and everything is in screw caps. If I recall, prices were $15 to $25. Chateau Des Charmes makes some decent wines, but one of my favorites at the NiagaraCOOL Riesling taste-off was their Late Harvest Riesling, which sells for quite a bit less than ice wines.
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Bruce Hayes

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bruce Hayes » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Thanks Howie. As it turns out...the LCBO came out with a couple of Chardonnays from Flat Rock a couple of weeks ago: the "regular" and the "Rusty Shed" chard.

Agree with you on the Chateau des Charmes late harvest Riesling. Have enjoyed a few of them in my time and, as I recall, they went for less than $20 Canadian for a half bottle.
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David Creighton

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by David Creighton » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:14 pm

flat rock is a good winery - in my opinion their nadia's vineyard riesling is as good as any off dry riesling up there - and better tha most. had a bottle last night in fact! for red's, i have really been impressed with inniskillin lately.
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Bruce Hayes

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bruce Hayes » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:26 pm

creightond wrote:for red's, i have really been impressed with inniskillin lately.


Such as what?
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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Mark S » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:27 pm

Hmmm....downpayment on a 2005 1st Growth??? Pay net in 30-days... :wink:
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Bruce Hayes

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bruce Hayes » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:29 pm

Mark S wrote:Hmmm....downpayment on a 2005 1st Growth??? Pay net in 30-days... :wink:


Let's not get silly. We are, after all, dealing with Canadian dollars here!!!!
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Sam Platt

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Sam Platt » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:18 am

Buy a nice vintage Champagne, say a Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, and drink it with some friends. Buy something that you can enjoy now instead of having to delay your gratification for a decade, or more.

Enjoy,
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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David Creighton

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by David Creighton » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:55 am

i started with a couple of white's there. i really liked the '04 pinot grigio - very correct, clean and light in alcohol - just delicious. more serious was the '03 old vines riesling.
i liked all the reds i tasted
'02 cabernet/merlot - complex and maybe a bit fruity now; but should develope
'03 res. cab franc - lovely nose, and not overoaked. tannic, so it needs some time.
'04 pinot noir - this is the no oak version - lovely and rich nose. med body and very attractive flavor. will develope near term.
what i like about these is that they are not 'over-made' and esp. not over oaked. i get a sense of 'genuineness' here for all their wines.
i can't resist a philosophical comment about ontario wines generally. i think that the wineries there will regret their emphasis on ice wine - and i know at least one has already stopped making it altogether. the market for dry table wines is where core consumers reside. you can only sell so much sweet wine to japanese and other tourists and to people who 'want to give a bottle to a friend'. i noticed several wineries there that are still selling even dry white wines from the 2000 vintage; and most are selling reds from the 2002 vintage or earlier. how much backed up dry wine inventory will ice wine sales sustain? and what will happen when dry wine production goes back up after they stop having frost and freeze problems? i wonder if there are other people with this same concern.
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OW Holmes

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by OW Holmes » Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:54 am

I guess we should have tried Inniskillen when we were there in connection with NiagaraCOOL. I tried reds every place we went, and I can honestly say that of the 20 or so wineries we have visited there over the past two years, we have never had a really good red, and some were really quite disgusting. (But then, I have only had one Michigan red I thought was really good.)
We have enjoyed the ice wine from several vineyards, and I for one am glad they are doing icewine. I just love it - or at least the versions that have enough acidity that they aren't too cloying. I hope, of course, that they aren't making a mistake with the icewine, but if you are right, David, I don't see how they get off that treadmill. There are some, Royal DeMaria for example, that ONLY make ice wine. And without any figures to back it up, it looks like a big seller at the checkout cash register.
The best Riesling I have tasted there over the past two years, and this is only of 40 or 50 sampled, was a Vineland semi-dry - and I think it was the newly released 05. It was the only one I have sampled that compared favorably to the best of the FL or Old Mission Peninsula.
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Bruce Hayes

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bruce Hayes » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:14 pm

Thanks for the head's up, Howie and David on the Flat Rock. I just came back from "blowing", uh, I mean, investing my money in a bunch of wine. One of my purchases is the Flat Rock Chardonnay. I look forward to sampling it and posting.

When I came home and showed my wife the label she said that the winery name, Flat Rock, suggested an Australian winery to her.

Go figure.
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TimMc

Re: Help me spend my money!!

by TimMc » Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:37 pm

Bruce Hayes wrote:Got $250 (Canadian) in wine money for my birthday and now, of course, it is burning a hole in my pocket. Don't really have a problem in finding wine to spend it on: the difficulty is narrowing down the list.

So, would appreciate advice-guidance from fellow Ontario-based wine buyers about what wines recent wines I have overlooked. Red, white, bubbly, it doesn't matter.

All suggestions gratefully accepted, but I reserve the right to make the final decision. :D


Is there a Trader Joe's near where you live?


If not, I'd find one close by, if at all possible....it'll give you more wine for your buck.
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Bruce Hayes

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bruce Hayes » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:19 pm

TimMc wrote:Is there a Trader Joe's near where you live?


If not, I'd find one close by, if at all possible....it'll give you more wine for your buck.


There are no Trader Joe's in Canada, where I live. The closest ones are several hours away in New York State.
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Paul Savage

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Paul Savage » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:56 pm

Bruce,

I don't understand what the confusion is about!? With money in one's pocket there is only one direction to turn - red Burgundy!! :D Seriously, there have been a string of good or better vintages lately, and there are still some very good buys, even in grand cru Burgundy. Any Girardin in your area. or Engle or Mongeard-Mugneret? OR, you could buy maybe a half bottle of '05 Latour.... :roll: No, wait, that would cost you MORE! :shock: ...Paul
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Bernard Roth

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bernard Roth » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:30 am

Whenever you need to relieve your splurge impulses, Burgundy is the best way to do it. Because you know you're not going to hit the pinnacle of Burgundy at the under-$50 level. So you might as well get a wine that will really soar (assuming proper age).
Regards,
Bernard Roth
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TimMc

Re: Help me spend my money!!

by TimMc » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:34 pm

Bruce Hayes wrote:
TimMc wrote:Is there a Trader Joe's near where you live?


If not, I'd find one close by, if at all possible....it'll give you more wine for your buck.


There are no Trader Joe's in Canada, where I live. The closest ones are several hours away in New York State.


Might be worth the trip, Bruce.


A lot of good French and Californian wines to be had there...and for a song, in many cases.
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Bruce Hayes

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bruce Hayes » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:38 pm

TimMc wrote:A lot of good French and Californian wines to be had there...and for a song, in many cases.


Actually, I live right on the Ontario-New York border: the only thing separating us is the St. Lawrence River. However, I never go south to buy wine since the return can be painful: provincial sales tax, Goods and Services tax, duties, etc., etc. You end up paying almost as much in costs to bring your purchases home as you did to buy the wine in the first place.
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Howie Hart

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Howie Hart » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:21 pm

Bruce Hayes wrote:Actually, I live right on the Ontario-New York border: the only thing separating us is the St. Lawrence River.

I'm at the other end of Lake Ontario, the other side of the border and separated by the Niagara River. However, the difference is like night and day. I can go to wineries in NOTL, buy lots of wine and bring it back into the USA. I always declare it at Customs and just get waved through. For the amount of duty they would end up collecting, its not worth the paperwork. Buying grape juice for winemaking from a presshouse is even easier as it is considered "groceries" and one can bring back $400 worth per person per visit. But I don't think they'd let me bring back fresh grapes, as they would then be considered an "agricultural product".
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Bob Henrick

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Re: Help me spend my money!!

by Bob Henrick » Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:28 pm

Tim, do you have any idea of taxes on US wines going back into Canada? It's a good way to cut your $$ in half!
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TimMc

Re: Help me spend my money!!

by TimMc » Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:36 pm

Bruce Hayes wrote:
TimMc wrote:A lot of good French and Californian wines to be had there...and for a song, in many cases.


Actually, I live right on the Ontario-New York border: the only thing separating us is the St. Lawrence River. However, I never go south to buy wine since the return can be painful: provincial sales tax, Goods and Services tax, duties, etc., etc. You end up paying almost as much in costs to bring your purchases home as you did to buy the wine in the first place.


Sorry to hear that.


Plan B: You could stay a few days in a nice hotel and pop open a few...er, purely for research purposes, of course. :)

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