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Ed Novak

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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ed Novak » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:53 pm

Wow... this is all great. Let me say this, I have no plans to write off any wine and I couldn't agree more with the sentiments about evolving palates and the such. In the short two years that I've been exploring wines I've been happily surprised more often than not.

My initial comment was to spark this type of lively discussion. With my somewhat blanket statement about Bordeaux and to some degree Pinots, I knew I was setting myself up for some push back. All good. I'll be taking your notes and preparing a shopping list. Maybe a nice hearty winter meal will be the perfect setting to "evaluate" your suggestions. And even if I don't change my mind immediately, what's the down side? I can always revisit this again and again.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Jenise » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:58 pm

Glad to see your healthy attitude, Ed. Actually, I thought the fact that you asked the initial question quite healthy.

Whereabouts do you live, Ed? Maybe we can help match you up with a good merchant.

Also, do you typically drink wine alone (as a cocktail, say) or do you always pair with food? Bordeaux pretty much always rewards being served with food.
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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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Howie Hart » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:59 pm

Ed Novak wrote:...And even if I don't change my mind immediately, what's the down side? I can always revisit this again and again.

After drinking wines for over 35 years, I still don't "get" Syrah, but I keep trying. After all, it's only in the past 2 years that I've actually had a couple of Sauvignon Blancs that I was able to say "Hey - this is really good!"
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Covert » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:09 pm

Ryan Maderak wrote:
Covert wrote:My guess is that Ed will never find a Bordeaux to be great, just by comparing his speak with other people with whom I have had experience and whose oenophilic outcomes I have observed over time.


I'm afraid I don't agree with your logic here Covert. Show me a single wine-lover whose tastes never evolved from their intial preferences, and maybe I'll acknowledge the possiblity that you could conceivably be right. My own beginnings in wine were quite humble, although it is true I was always curious and receptive to new regions and styles. Ed seems to show a healthy vinous curiosity, and he wants to learn. I certainly wouldn't write him off regarding Bordeaux . . . . or any other wine for that matter.


I'm not operating from logic. I will leave it to you left-brainers to do that. I am coming from intuition; and I said it was a guess, which is just a fun thing to do, not a fact or even an opinion. I probably would have guessed you would evolve.

My wife will verify that I loved Classed Growths from the get go. My tastes in wine did not evolve. I admit that when I started drinking wine, as a teenager, for the buzz, I didn't know that Bordeaux even existed. But my wife, with the help of a local wine proprietor, once substituted a glass of good Bordeaux for the plonk I was drinking and I thought I saw God when I tasted it. My second through fifth glasses of Bordeaux after that were First Growths, which formed the last from which I have never deviated. I have evolved in my personal life, though, immeasurably, so I am not adverse to evolution.
Last edited by Covert on Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ed Novak » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Jenise... I'm in Columbus Ohio. For the most part I've been getting my wine thru a wine club and like most of what shows up. But I do enjoy a real person experience, so any suggestions there would be welcomed. I'm not much of a wine sipper. I really prefer my wine with food.

Howie... clearly proof that the old adage applies... that is... if at first... try, try and what the heck.. try again.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ryan M » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Covert wrote:
Ryan Maderak wrote:I did not grok curiosity or receptiveness from Ed's speak.


But he came here and asked the question - as Jenise said, that by itself suggests a healthy degree of curiosity. He has told us that while he is currently perplexed by Bordeaux, he wants to understand it. Whether or not he ever finds it to his liking is less important than the fact that he at least wants to try to understand it. Many beginners would simply conclude they didn't like it and not look back.

Sorry Ed, that we've devolved into arguing about you. I'm really happy to have you and your obviously healthy curiosity here with us! :D
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ian Sutton » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:22 pm

Ryan Maderak wrote:
Covert wrote:Show me a single wine-lover whose tastes never evolved from their intial preferences, and maybe I'll acknowledge the possiblity that you could conceivably be right.

In absolute terms then indeed such a situation is virtually impossible, not least because many of the wines themselves will evolve over that period as winemakers and differing seasons come and go.

My own example posted earlier is a part-contradiction of your assertion - in that the wines that first hooked me still offer interest today. However to those wines, others have been added. Whether my tastes changed, or I just gained a wider experience, I don't know.

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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ed Novak » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:23 pm

Ryan... all good. Gives me an interesting sidetrack for my afternoon and at times a bit of a chuckle. Add a slice of cheesecake and a nice cab... and what more I ask for at 2:30 in the afternoon.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Covert » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:24 pm

Ryan Maderak wrote:
Covert wrote:
Ryan Maderak wrote:I did not grok curiosity or receptiveness from Ed's speak.


But he came here and asked the question - as Jenise said, that by itself suggests a healthy degree of curiosity. He has told us that while he is currently perplexed by Bordeaux, he wants to understand it. Whether or not he ever finds it to his liking is less important than the fact that he at least wants to try to understand it. Many beginners would simply conclude they didn't like it and not look back.

Sorry Ed, that we've devolved into arguing about you. I'm really happy to have you and your obviously healthy curiosity here with us! :D


Shit, I deleted that statement within 30 seconds from the time I posted it because I realized I had made a mistake. but somehow you grabbed it.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ryan M » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:34 pm

Covert wrote:Shit, I deleted that statement within 30 seconds from the time I posted it because I realized I had made a mistake. but somehow you grabbed it.


Oh, sorry Covert - no plot on my part, promise.

Ian Sutton wrote:My own example posted earlier is a part-contradiction of your assertion - in that the wines that first hooked me still offer interest today. However to those wines, others have been added. Whether my tastes changed, or I just gained a wider experience, I don't know.


My intended meaning of 'evolution' in this case is that tastes become broader, not that they leave something behind. So no contradiction at all. In fact, I'll second your sentiment by noting that I many case I like wines from early in wine-drinking life more , because I now understand why I like them.
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Jenise » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:41 pm

Covert wrote:I'm not operating from logic. I will leave it to you left-brainers to do that. I am coming from intuition; and I said it was a guess, which is just a fun thing to do, not a fact or even an opinion. I probably would have guessed you would evolve.


So yes, it was love at first sight for you. Also, that was true for me with a bottle I bought in a grocery store, which was either a Bailly or a Batailley...and then nothing until I moved to Alaska and went to a sitdown tasting where all the wines were 86 thru 90 classed growths, including some Firsts. You'd have thought, knowing me now, that this would have sealed the deal, but no, by then my tastes were too tuned into richer, better, fully oaked CalCabs than I'd been drinking back in the Bailly or Baitailley days, and the comparatively fruitless Bordeauxs didn't appeal to me at all. Fortunately, I believed I was supposed to like them so bought a few anyway, and one of those bottles opened a few months later is what finally lit the fire. And that's why I have hope for Ed.
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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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Rahsaan » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:46 pm

Ed Novak wrote:Add a slice of cheesecake and a nice cab...


This explains a lot!!!
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Kelly Young » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:47 pm

Ed Novak wrote:Ok... I know someone out there will jump all over me for what I'm about stir up, but here goes. I've been in the wine camp now for about 2 years, formally a die hard beer drinker. During these two plus years I've found that with food I can enjoy just about any wine, if paired properly. I'd put Cabs at the top of my list followed closely by almost all Italian wines, Tempranillos and Gernaches. My biggest disappointment to date? Bordeaux. I've tried a number of Bordeauxes... priced usually in the $10 to $20 a bottle range... 2006, 2008, 2009... and in general they all taste a little thin to me. Much like my experience with Pinot Noirs. If I have to make a general comment about both, I'd have to say watery.. thin... Having said all that, seems like in a game of word association, the phrase "great wine" would point towards France for many... and French wine would point you towards Bordeaux. So what am I missing?


Ed, I am a lot like you, though I would still count myself as a very serious beer drinker. I've had an off and on again flirtation with the grape for years but only got "serious" a few years ago myself. As far as Bordeaux, I've not found much joy at the modestly priced level either. I posed a similar question about this very subject a few months back. There were some good suggestions there for things worth seeking out. Just search for my name and "Bordeaux" and you'll hit that topic.

In any case I have discovered plenty, really more than I can handle at the moment, of other wines that I find really exciting and on occasion even reasonably priced. I don't worry myself too much about not getting jazzed on Bordeaux Supérieur or the fact that I can't afford First Growths, hell Fifth Growths are pricey, when there's a whole lot of really great drinking from basically everywhere else that is really great tasting and mind expanding. YMMV.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ian Sutton » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:00 pm

Ryan Maderak wrote:My intended meaning of 'evolution' in this case is that tastes become broader, not that they leave something behind. So no contradiction at all. In fact, I'll second your sentiment by noting that I many case I like wines from early in wine-drinking life more , because I now understand why I like them.

8)
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Covert » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:00 pm

Ryan Maderak wrote:Oh, sorry Covert - no plot on my part, promise.

My intended meaning of 'evolution' in this case is that tastes become broader, not that they leave something behind. So no contradiction at all. In fact, I'll second your sentiment by noting that I many case I like wines from early in wine-drinking life more , because I now understand why I like them.


I am not blaming you; although I know that's how it came off; the expletive was for myself, really, and my ill-thought-out, insensitive, and intolerant comment. I was projecting blame onto Ed for all the good wine I wasted on people who never came to like Bordeaux - I won't even say "evolved" anymore, because that is just my prejudice. A more evolved person than I might eschew obsessing about wine and do something for humanity with his time. I hope Ed just enjoys whatever he enjoys. He seems like a really cool guy.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ryan M » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:14 pm

Covert wrote: I am not blaming you; although I know that's how it came off


I didn't take it that way at all - I was apologizing sincerely for putting you in the situation of having something you wanted expunged end up being preserved anyway.

A more evolved person than I might eschew obsessing about wine and do something for humanity with his time. I hope Ed just enjoys whatever he enjoys. He seems like a really cool guy.


There is real wisdom in that thought Covert. Bravo.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ed Novak » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:16 pm

Covert... no harm done. I knew when I made the post that there were a few comments that would stir the pot. That said, at this point in my wine adventure that's where I'm at so I was looking forward to see what others would say. I"m looking forward to trying some of the suggestions offered here. One thing I didn't mention was that about a year ago I had a glass or two of a Bordeaux paired with a nice venison dish at a local restaurant (combination restaurant and wine merchant). I remember the pairing being very nice. Unfortunately the restaurant has closed so can't go back to find out what the wine was. So I haven't written off Bordeaux, just need feel the magic again. Thanks again.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by AlexR » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:21 pm

Kelly,

You wrote:
"In any case I have discovered plenty, really more than I can handle at the moment, of other wines that I find really exciting and on occasion even reasonably priced. I don't worry myself too much about not getting jazzed on Bordeaux Supérieur or the fact that I can't afford First Growths, hell Fifth Growths are pricey, when there's a whole lot of really great drinking from basically everywhere else that is really great tasting and mind expanding. YMMV."

I just wish you could have the choice I do.
You would see PLENTY of exciting, good value wines.
I'm sorry they don't seem to have them out your way.

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Covert » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:21 pm

Jenise wrote:
Covert wrote:I'm not operating from logic. I will leave it to you left-brainers to do that. I am coming from intuition; and I said it was a guess, which is just a fun thing to do, not a fact or even an opinion. I probably would have guessed you would evolve.


So yes, it was love at first sight for you. Also, that was true for me with a bottle I bought in a grocery store, which was either a Bailly or a Batailley...and then nothing until I moved to Alaska and went to a sitdown tasting where all the wines were 86 thru 90 classed growths, including some Firsts. You'd have thought, knowing me now, that this would have sealed the deal, but no, by then my tastes were too tuned into richer, better, fully oaked CalCabs than I'd been drinking back in the Bailly or Baitailley days, and the comparatively fruitless Bordeauxs didn't appeal to me at all. Fortunately, I believed I was supposed to like them so bought a few anyway, and one of those bottles opened a few months later is what finally lit the fire. And that's why I have hope for Ed.


I just want to say that if I drink a big, fruity Cal cab next to a Bordeaux, I will like the Cal cab better. In the same vein, I would be better off without a Victoria's Secret model in bed with my wife and me. You can't appreciate and intellectualize fine art when bombs are dropping on top of you. Why the Judgment of Paris happened. Power corrupts.

But the spiritual-like high I get from a fine Bordeaux sitting by the fire with some classical music playing softly in the background is way more profound and pleasurable than the exciting taste of a powerful, in-your-face, sweet New World red by itself at another time.

This discussion is really about apples and oranges.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ed Novak » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:26 pm

Covert... point taken. I'm not much of a sipper when it comes to wine, generally preferring it with food. Perhaps that's what I'm missing. I'll tuck that nugget away for the right time. Thanks.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Covert » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:35 pm

Ed Novak wrote:Covert... no harm done. I knew when I made the post that there were a few comments that would stir the pot. That said, at this point in my wine adventure that's where I'm at so I was looking forward to see what others would say. I"m looking forward to trying some of the suggestions offered here. One thing I didn't mention was that about a year ago I had a glass or two of a Bordeaux paired with a nice venison dish at a local restaurant (combination restaurant and wine merchant). I remember the pairing being very nice. Unfortunately the restaurant has closed so can't go back to find out what the wine was. So I haven't written off Bordeaux, just need feel the magic again. Thanks again.


One of my finest memories of wine was when I was eating some venison off of a wood chip grill and my brother's girlfriend plopped a 1989 La Mission Haut Brion down beside me for me to drink alone with my venison while others were gathered in another room. I don't pay attention to point ratings, but in case you are not familiar with that particlar wine, Parker rated it at 100 points. That said, just because you reminded me of it, I buy fine Bordeaux by the case in onesies and twosies of bottles I have never tried before, because every bottle brings a new, surprising and usually wonderful experience. Almost every bottle of Bordeaux is wonderful to a Bordeaux lover.

Because many people consider the appreciation of Bordeaux to be somewhat intellectual, I might recommend reading some books about Bordeaux and the properties. Then try a good bottle from a property you have just read about and see what happens. If you get nothing, my first guess might have been correct. :) I hope I was wrong.

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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Ian Sutton » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:58 pm

Covert wrote:Because many people consider the appreciation of Bordeaux to be somewhat intellectual

By comparison that would make the appreciation of Burgundy downright geeky!
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Brian Gilp » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:46 pm

Ed, I can't help you with finding Bdx in Columbus. However on Polaris Parkway there is a vino 100 which I have found to be a very nice if small store. The focus is wines priced $25 or less. We stop at this store every year when we fly into Columbus on our way to visit family in Mansfield. The selection is varied if not deep and generally all are good QPR. They usually have a few. Bottles open for tastes.

If you have need to go to Dayton I can point you to a great shop.

Lastly, Ohio minimum prices require that you adjust prices other cite here up. I have never figured it out as some wine seem to have higher minimums wrt national retail and others are practically the same as retail.
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Re: Bordeaux - What's the Big Deal

by Sam Platt » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:47 pm

See what you went and done, Ed? You got everybody all riled up in here! That should give you a feeling for the passion shared among the WLDG community.

My approach has been, and remains, to taste everything I can get ahold of to build up something of a database. The larger the database the more I am able to recognize and appreciate good stuff, and despise bad stuff. I suggest tasting as widely as possible. Writing simple notes on what you taste is a good practice to have as well.
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