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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2009
    Location
    Dairyville USA
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    2,979

    Default I don't know anything about wine...except sometimes it's red and sometimes it's white

    So, educate me please.

    I have had once at Olive Garden, a "wine sampler" where the steward brought me something sparkly and white (it was lightish yellowy) that I LOVED. Not champagne, but kind of like sweet champagney less expensive everyday wine.

    I don't like wine as a rule, but everyone here talks about enjoying it with certain foods etc, so I think I've just not had the right wine in the right circumstance.

    I like:

    Whiskey/whisky
    dark beer (not too hoppy or bitter, I prefer a nice porter or stout)
    margaritas
    GOOD tequila (straight, with maybe a little lime)

    do you think there's hope for me?

    My goal is to be able to competently choose a wine to go with whatever I'm serving for a small dinner party (none too fancypants, mostly like having fam over for Easter, what goes with Christmas turkey dinner, etc)

    HELP COTH!

    Thanks in advance for anyone that PMs me if OT day closes
    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2011
    Posts
    1,065

    Default

    I just started a wine thread also but I am in the same boat as you. I know there is red and there is white, sometimes it comes in a box, and I know I prefer it if it's super sweet. Pairing wine with food is a whole other ball game, so I'll be watching your thread to see if I can't learn something too!
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 1999
    Location
    Cypress, near Houston, Texas
    Posts
    8,386

    Default

    Join a local wine tasting club. You will have a blast and learn a lot.

    As for the sweet sparkling white you got at the Olive Garden, it was probably an Asti Spumanti. Once you develop a taste for wine, you will find that wine tooooooo sweet.

    Wish you were in the Houston area. It would be fun to help you learn about them.
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2009
    Location
    Dairyville USA
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    Default

    I think your thread is the one that sparked my courage to start this one lol! It's kind of a spin-off thanks for giving me the courage to post
    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2004
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonesta View Post
    Join a local wine tasting club. You will have a blast and learn a lot.

    As for the sweet sparkling white you got at the Olive Garden, it was probably an Asti Spumanti. Once you develop a taste for wine, you will find that wine tooooooo sweet.

    Wish you were in the Houston area. It would be fun to help you learn about them.
    THIS! Go tasting. It's FUN and a good way to learn. But pace yourself or swish and then use the spit container. Don't DRINK everything you are given till you are done!! Good stuff can creep up on ya and before you know it, you're sick! Take little sips and take home the tasting notes so that you can make an educated selection in the future.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2010
    Posts
    3,499

    Default

    "My goal is to be able to competently choose a wine to go with whatever I'm serving for a small dinner party (none too fancypants, mostly like having fam over for Easter, what goes with Christmas turkey dinner, etc)"


    You can definitely do it. Do you have any friends that are into Wine? My hiking buddy is a wine afficianado and I also have a friend in California who's family owns a vineyard. I learned a lot just from hanging out with them.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    862

    Default

    Oooh, another wine thread. I adore wine. Someone told me recently that pairings are out and people now just drink whatever they like with whatever food. I guess I'm old-school because I just cannot wrap my head around that concept. I definitely enjoy wine more when it works with what I'm eating. So, here are some general pairing ideas for you to consider.

    -White, flaky fish: Pinot Grigio aka Pinot Gris (same thing) or similar light-bodied wine

    -Chicken: most white wines, I have found Pinot Noir can also work

    -Salmon: Pinot Noir or other light-bodied red

    -Red meat: medium to heavy-bodied reds, from Cabernet to Zinfandel, Merlot can work but most Merlot is crap IME

    -Spicy food: slightly sweet aka "off dry" Riesling or Gewurztraminer

    Working at an Italian restaurant, I know a lot about Italian wines, but we'll keep it simple for now. My best advice is to just experiment. You'll find out what you like through trial and error. If you don't like the first bottle you try, don't give up! There's a LOT of variety out there. Have fun
    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2011
    Posts
    1,065

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grataan View Post
    I think your thread is the one that sparked my courage to start this one lol! It's kind of a spin-off thanks for giving me the courage to post
    No problem! I am glad you did. Someone said about going to a wine tasting...how much fun would a COTH wine tasting be? But I am definitely super far from Sonesta in Texas!
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2004
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    The Cave of Caerbannog in summer, Castle Aaaargh in winter
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    Default

    When it comes to choosing, the link below gives you a pretty good start on pairing the right wine with your menu. In the end, though, it would be wise do a little tasting homework in advance and find out what you and your friends might like and not worry about whether it's red or white. Personally I no longer care much what I pair with my fish or my steak---I just drink what I like.

    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/conten...eat-sheet.html

    And like Sonesta said, you'll lose your taste for the sweet ones. They have their place but medium-dry to dry wines will be more appreciated by folks who drink it more frequently. Just ask the staff at your local wine shop---they're happy to help you.

    I like logical people---they provide a nice contrast to the real world.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    990

    Default

    Agree with ViewParadise, go to wine tastings! If you have any local wineries, go and try their wines. You can learn a lot and its a great time! Try everything, whether you think you will like it or not. Again, they have jugs to spit into, so if something isn't to your liking, no one has to know! I usually drink pinot grigios or reislings. I still haven't worked my way up to the reds



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008
    Posts
    3,874

    Default

    Go wine tasting at a vineyard in the winter. Tell them you are there for your Birthday. One of the best educational experiences about wine I had was wine tasting in the winter. No one was there, the workers had all the time in the world and I even got a tour at one place. I learned all about how wines were made, what made their taste and what they traditionally went with.

    The most important thing I learned - drink what you like with what you like! If that is a white wine with red meat, have at it!

    My ex-fiance is a big wine person - he prefers oaky reds and I prefer sweet wines.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    In Trouble with Dad...
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    29,857

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cu.at.x View Post
    Oooh, another wine thread. I adore wine. Someone told me recently that pairings are out and people now just drink whatever they like with whatever food. I guess I'm old-school because I just cannot wrap my head around that concept. I definitely enjoy wine more when it works with what I'm eating. So, here are some general pairing ideas for you to consider.

    -White, flaky fish: Pinot Grigio aka Pinot Gris (same thing) or similar light-bodied wine

    -Chicken: most white wines, I have found Pinot Noir can also work

    -Salmon: Pinot Noir or other light-bodied red

    -Red meat: medium to heavy-bodied reds, from Cabernet to Zinfandel, Merlot can work but most Merlot is crap IME

    -Spicy food: slightly sweet aka "off dry" Riesling or Gewurztraminer

    Working at an Italian restaurant, I know a lot about Italian wines, but we'll keep it simple for now. My best advice is to just experiment. You'll find out what you like through trial and error. If you don't like the first bottle you try, don't give up! There's a LOT of variety out there. Have fun
    that's about it in a nutshell, however, the laywoman might not be able to put 'light-bodied' in context before the first few boxes are consumed.

    currently I drink little white wine.
    it tends to be 'lighter', fresher in taste and fits well with light foods.

    I prefer red wines currently. since the red color comes from the skin of the grapes (I think there is just one variety that is true red, through and through) and the juice has to sit for a while on the skins after the grapes have been crushed, red wines tend to be a bit stronger in taste.
    I like it to red meats and cheese.

    the bubbly at the restaurant was probably a spumante. Asti is the winery brand, spumante means it's a sparkling grape juice, I mean wine , ther is also prosecco, popular in Europe.

    Sweet wines don't usually go with food too well, of course there is personal preference.
    Some of the sweet stuff tastes like grape juice to me. Sometimes it hits he spot. Most of the time I prefer my cheapo Merlot though.

    double ditto on the tasting.
    But have a dedicated driver/cab waiting in the wings. Depending on how it's set up, you will nibble your way through 10 wines or so.

    Also - naturally - you start with the tart (dry, brut, or whatever) varieties, before working your way to the sweet stuff. For the same reason you drink your OJ before you eat your cookie crisp....

    And don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Good people in the business will be eager to educate (and sell)
    and the jerks you don't want to do business with anyhow. ^_^
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    10,895

    Default

    Also, you don't have to spend a lot to get a good wine. So don't panic and grab something off of the top shelf...do a little research first.

    I prefer a cab and like my wine on the drier side. A few labels that I like are Rodney Strong, Liberty School, and Estancia. You can usually find all 3 at a grocery store for between 12-18 bucks.

    I think that a lot of people getting "started" on wine prefer the sweeter whites at first. I remember thinking that red wine tasted like dirt to me back in the day. I wasn't a coffee drinker at that time either. My how things have changed! LOL

    I second/third/fourth doing some wine tastings at a nice restaurant or with a local club.

    Welcome to the dark side!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,049

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    We went on wine tours in Sonoma Valley and later in Fredericksburg, TX. I learner what I liked (Rieslings and moderately sweet wines). It was a good way to try out several, and I want to try more wine tours as I refine what I like.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2007
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,878

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grataan View Post
    So, educate me please.





    I like:

    Whiskey/whisky
    dark beer (not too hoppy or bitter, I prefer a nice porter or stout)
    margaritas
    GOOD tequila (straight, with maybe a little lime)

    do you think there's hope for me?

    My goal is to be able to competently choose a wine to go with whatever I'm serving for a small dinner party (none too fancypants, mostly like having fam over for Easter, what goes with Christmas turkey dinner, etc)

    HELP COTH!

    Thanks in advance for anyone that PMs me if OT day closes
    I also like dark beer and not a big fan of hops. Prefer malt.

    I've learned a fair amount about wine over the years because a lot of it is grown here and there are some real wine snobs. I am mostly an equal-opportunity drinker: whites, reds, the occasional rose. I have my regular go-to wines for my DH and me, and very close friends (AKA "value" wines. We're cheap.) If I'm cooking something special, I go to Trader Joe's and ask for recommendations. Have also asked the wine steward at the local grocery store. Be bold about telling them what you want to spend, because there are a lot of very decent wines at fairly low cost.

    The wine tastings are a lot of fun, but my DH is not all that social. So not really an option for us.

    Wine - it's a whole nother world out there. And yes, the sweet whites will likely fall by the wayside as you learn more about it. Have fun!!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2001
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    1,624

    Default

    We have the same tastes in other alcohols Some good "beginner" wines are Australian Shiraz, California Chardonnay (you might like the "oak-ey" ones if you like whiskey), White Zinfindel (though I personally never liked it), Riesling, Moscato d'Asti, and Prosecco (I think you were likely served that at Olive Garden as it's a sparkling Italian wine). I like a wide variety of wines and still like the sweet stuff--it just depends on my mood/occasion.

    "Wine for Dummies" by McCarthy and Ewing-Mulligan is a humorous, accessible book you might want to pick up. I understand it's the textbook for Cornell U. Hotel School's Intro to Wines course. If you have a smartphone, there are quite a few wine chooser apps available too.
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    3,652

    Default

    I'm no wine lover, but, being born and raised in France I just had to develop a taste for it. Over the years I discovered that white wine, even good ones, give me headaches, so now I drink almost exclusively red wines, except for Muscat or Champagne before a meal, Sauternes with foie gras, and occasionally a good Gewurztraminer with dessert.
    I've also found out that I just can't stand Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Malbec and almost all of the Bordeaux wines. I am much more of a Côtes-du-Rhône ( Grenache, Carignane, Syrah), Bourgogne or Loire red wines. Or a Viognier Blanc, that would do as well

    in my area here in the US, quite a few wine stores have tasting nights. I've never been but it would definitely be a good introduction, provided they actually have GOOD wines offered for tasting!
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2011
    Location
    Co
    Posts
    3,984

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grataan View Post
    So, educate me please.

    I have had once at Olive Garden, a "wine sampler" where the steward brought me something sparkly and white (it was lightish yellowy) that I LOVED. Not champagne, but kind of like sweet champagney less expensive everyday wine.

    I don't like wine as a rule, but everyone here talks about enjoying it with certain foods etc, so I think I've just not had the right wine in the right circumstance.

    I like:

    Whiskey/whisky
    dark beer (not too hoppy or bitter, I prefer a nice porter or stout)
    margaritas
    GOOD tequila (straight, with maybe a little lime)

    do you think there's hope for me?

    My goal is to be able to competently choose a wine to go with whatever I'm serving for a small dinner party (none too fancypants, mostly like having fam over for Easter, what goes with Christmas turkey dinner, etc)

    HELP COTH!

    Thanks in advance for anyone that PMs me if OT day closes
    To begin with, if you do not care for dry wine you will not enjoy it with your dinner no matter how "classic" the paring of wine with food. It will take some time for you to aquire a taste for dry wine and, that said , the way to aquire that taste is to drink it with food that compliments the wine.

    Thankfully there are several wines that are semi sweet, that compliment both ham and turkey. Riesling , Guwerstraminer or a semi sweet rose, are great with ham and you can serve these with turkey as well. While certainly not a classic pairing, a sparkling sweetish spumanti with ham would not ruin it.

    On the other hand one needen't stick with white for turkey. For those who prefer red and dry, a pinot noir goes just fine..

    The only real rule is not to serve a wine with a dish that will clash horribly and make both food and wine taste awful.

    If you are having company it is best to offer a choice of wine , one dry and one semi-sweet and let your guests choose their preference. PM me with specific menus if you'd like and I'll suggest wines that will not clash horribly..



  19. #19
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    Aug. 11, 2008
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    Northeast PA
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    I am also just getting into wines and I like rum and vodka. I can't do red wines.... have tried a bunch and just don't like them.

    My current fav is Moscato - particularly Elmo Pio, it's very smooth and reasonably priced! Also like Seven Daughters Moscato. I am sure my tastes will change, but for right now, I don't care for the aged taste.



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