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Christian

Wine

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There's a tradition in France (and elsewhere?) of buying 'birth-year wines'. These are wines from the year of a child's birth, to be drunk on special occasions throughout his/her life. Since the wine has to survive 5, 10, even 20 years, many use the birth of a child as an occasion (excuse!) to buy some really nice wine. Good idea, I thought.

My daughter Eva was born in 2008. Apart from finding wines that will age, the most obvious criterion is affordability. Also, a number of the serious wine-producing regions around the world had tough seasons that year: Southern Tuscany, Champagne, Burgundy. This may be irrelevant, as I don't know that I can AFFORD much Burgundy or Champagne that will last more than 5 years!

An initial thought was that it's cheaper to find a white that will last 20 years than a red. While I'm not sure if that's true, it gave me some direction. As I was in my last few weeks of living in Europe before moving back to the States. I started off thinking white northern-European stuff: Alsace, Burgundy/Chablis, Loire, Mosel. I don't really know the ageworthy whites from Italy and Spain. So, I plunked down a bunch of cash and started celebrating Eva by buying the following:

2008 Emile Beyer (producer), Riesling, Pfersigberg Grand Cru (vineyard)

2008 Henri Bourgeois (producer), Sancerre d'Antan (appellation)

2008 William Fèvre (producer), Chablis (region), Les Clos Grand Cru (vineyard)

Any of these should last for 10-15 years, probably a lot more for the Riesling and the Chablis. I'd still like to pick up a few reds for the 5-10 year ageing range. Now that I'm back in the New World, I'm thinking of "buying locally". Any suggestions?

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Generally, whites age less well than reds - has to do with the tannins in the reds. Whites my last that long if properly cellared, but they don't do much changing over time as the reds will.

As to new world wines, I would expect a good Calif. Cab or Bordeaux style blend priced > $30 would have good aging potential.

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Ask around at some of the better wine shops. Getting to know a good and honest expert is good general advice anyway. Have you tried Spanish wines? They are quite respected these days and cheaper than California. Furthermore, Port and Sherry is a Spanish hallmark. Also, and here is where advice would be most profitable, look into Argentina and Chile. There is really good stuff coming up from down there that can compare with 2 to 3 times cost for good California stuff.

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Funny that this thread should pop up today. I just got back from my favorite liquor store, which was having its semi-annual 20%-off wine sale. Except for one Malbec that I've never tried, my entire purchase was favorite everyday wines. I spent a grand total of $74 (including tax) on 8 bottles. Yeah, I'm a high roller.

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Paid way less than that on a case of Two Buck Chuck Pinot Grigio. You are a high roller.

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Any recommendations for other styles of sherry -- what to seek out, what to avoid, which bottlers or brands are preferable to others? I spent part of today reading through some wine books, boning up. I'm excited!

No one took me up on this, but I thought I'd follow up with a report on some Sweet Oloroso sherry I bought last Friday and took to the beach with me. I was bracing myself for, as one of my friend's dubbed the stuff, something that tasted like "my grandma's sherry." It was quite delicious, akin to many ports I've had. Not cloying at all. (It got an 87 rating from Wine Spectator, FWIW.)

I'm going to continue buying sherry. I consider myself a fan -- whether or not grandma ever was one.

Edited by Christian

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Generally, whites age less well than reds - has to do with the tannins in the reds. Whites my last that long if properly cellared, but they don't do much changing over time as the reds will.

My understanding is that it all comes down to how the wines are made. A decent Meursault or almost any Montrachet will get better -- much better -- with a decade of aging. The same goes for (moving to the realm of mortal prices) an Alsacian or Pfalz Riesling. This is because those regions have a tradition of and a reputation for making wine that will age. However, if made in the popular style, white wine does tend to loose its freshness rather quickly. The primary difficulty is getting enough acidity without loosing flavor by picking too early. Red wine faces a similar problem, but the tannins play a similar role to the acid of a white, and they're a lot easier to produce in conjunction with ripe grapes.

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It's been a little while since I last bought some sherry. Celebrating a recent work bonus, I satisfied my lingering curiosity and bought this $25 bottle of sweet sherry, which was highly rated at Total Wine. It's worth every penny. I highly recommend it, especially if you're a port fan.

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This thread has a lot of talk about wine, but I'm also a big fan of hard liquor (bourbon especially). Are there any recommendations along those lines that the A&Fers crew might make? Right now, I believe our liquor cabinet is stocked with Vox vodka, Woodford Reserve bourbon, Plymouth gin, Kraken rum, and Corralejo blanco tequila, all of which suits us just fine, though we're always looking for new brands to try.

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That is a great suggestions, Ryan, but might I suggest that the topic deserves its own thread? Call is "liquor," or "hard liquor." Frankly, I'm not sure the distinction. How 'bout "Spirits"? Wouldn't that exclude wine?

I've wanted to stock a liquor cabinet for years. I asked for a bar for my 40th birthday last year, but was not granted that wish. I rarely drink anything "hard," but would love to know more about what others think on the subject of spirits.

Edited by Christian

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That is a great suggestions, Ryan, but might I suggest that the topic deserves its own thread? Call is "liquor," or "hard liquor." Frankly, I'm not sure the distinction. How 'bout "Spirits"? Wouldn't that exclude wine?

I can move my post on over there.

I've wanted to stock a liquor cabinet for years. I asked for a bar for my 40th birthday last year, but was not granted that wish. I rarely drink anything "hard," but would love to know more about what others think on the subject of spirits.

My go-to drink is actually bourbon on the rocks. I love that even more than I love wine. But I think that's a bit stronger than most folks like their drink.

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I thought about starting a joke thread for fortified wines (specifically low-end fortified wines), but thought better of it (I had Wild Irish Rose and Thunderbird once each, which was one more than necessary. Good quote from a friend: "it tastes like yeast and meat. Just want I want in a beverage."

Seriously though, is anyone a fan of port, sherry and the like?

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I thought about starting a joke thread for fortified wines (specifically low-end fortified wines), but thought better of it (I had Wild Irish Rose and Thunderbird once each, which was one more than necessary. Good quote from a friend: "it tastes like yeast and meat. Just want I want in a beverage."

Seriously though, is anyone a fan of port, sherry and the like?

The answer, in part, was in the posts above your latest, which are quoted below.

Last night I bought a bottle of sherry for a local gathering of church guys who get together to enjoy finer beverages. I usually bring port and had wanted to bring brandy this time, but the ABC store closed before I got there and, in Virginia, no ABC store means no liquor. I went to Total Wine and decided to try sherry. I'd taken a class 15 years ago on port and sherry; the port part stuck. I love the stuff. But I found the sherry foul and never gave sherry a second chance ... until last night.

The Dry Oloroso style sherry proved to be a hit with the crowd, and with me, and I'm now ready to explore the world of sherry.

Any recommendations for other styles of sherry -- what to seek out, what to avoid, which bottlers or brands are preferable to others? I spent part of today reading through some wine books, boning up. I'm excited!

Any recommendations for other styles of sherry -- what to seek out, what to avoid, which bottlers or brands are preferable to others? I spent part of today reading through some wine books, boning up. I'm excited!

No one took me up on this, but I thought I'd follow up with a report on some Sweet Oloroso sherry I bought last Friday and took to the beach with me. I was bracing myself for, as one of my friend's dubbed the stuff, something that tasted like "my grandma's sherry." It was quite delicious, akin to many ports I've had. Not cloying at all. (It got an 87 rating from Wine Spectator, FWIW.)

I'm going to continue buying sherry. I consider myself a fan -- whether or not grandma ever was one.

It's been a little while since I last bought some sherry. Celebrating a recent work bonus, I satisfied my lingering curiosity and bought this $25 bottle of sweet sherry, which was highly rated at Total Wine. It's worth every penny. I highly recommend it, especially if you're a port fan.

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Man, I guess it wouldn't hurt for me to actually read through the thread. Sorry, Christian.

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Man, I guess it wouldn't hurt for me to actually read through the thread. Sorry, Christian.

No problem. There's probably discussion of port earlier in the thread, but I didn't go back through it either.

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I recently tried Lillet for the first time, and I think it might become a new staple. It's a French dessert wine. I actually purchased Lillet as part of my attempt to reproduce the "Vesper" recipe popularized by Ian Fleming in CASINO ROYALE, where it's one of the mixers (and boy, is a "Vesper" a punch in the mouth), but it is wholly delightful on its own. I rarely go for dessert wines--they are too sweet for me--but Lillet is cool and crisp. I'd say it's a perfect summer wine. You just have to watch your intake; though the alcohol percentage is higher than with most other wines, the sweetness masks it.

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Cheap wine alert!!

At Trader Joe's. Comic Revolution Blanc - 2010 Central Coast. Very nice for $5.

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