Wine advice for the uncultured boob

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Bob McLaughlin, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,130
    Likes Received:
    3
    Real Name:
    Bob
    Hi,

    Recently one of our neighbors kindly gave us a bottle of wine as a gift. My wife and I are not big drinkers, and even then it's pretty much limited to the occasional beer. We know nothing about wine but are willing to learn. Sure, we could just guzzle it all down in Ikea tumblers but we want to do it right.

    My questions are:
    1. How do I store the wine? Is the refrigerator okay? Or is that bad?
    2. It's red wine, what sort of foods should it be consumed with? Is it best enjoyed by itself?
    3. Are there any decent websites for inexperienced wine drinkers to learn more about wine basics?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    0
    My preferences for red wine: If it is translucent I might put it in the fridge but not likely, semi-dry to dry wine I will not store in the fridge, i.e. it is not translucent it is much darker.

    Seth=L
     
  3. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am a novice but if it is a good cabernet or shiraz (red), it should be stored at room temperature on its side, to keep the cork moist, until it is ready to be served.
    It should be served at room temp, or chill slightly for 30 minutes prior to opening. A red will taste different after being open, or after it "breathes'. Red wine should be consumed within a couple of days or it will go acidic (sour). Reds go well with red meats but there are no hard and fast rules, only snobs who will tell you otherwise.
    White wines should also be stored as the reds but chilled before drinking but not ice cold as beers would be. Whites go with fish or poultry as well as pork but again, enjoy as you see fit.
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    Never order Merlot.

    Always order Pinot Noir.

    --
    H
     
  5. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    2

    I don't drink -- at all -- so I can't answer any of your other questions, but a quick search turned up what looks like a decent place to start:

    http://www.wine.com/aboutwine/
     
  6. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,476
    Likes Received:
    32
    Real Name:
    Marvin
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    Mylan's advice is spot on as far as storage, temp and serving are concerned. Without knowing the actual varietal used in the red, plus label and vintage, we can't tell you what kind of foods it would be good with. My advice, PM Lew Crippen with the type, label and vintage, he's the go to guy on the HTF for wine and food questions.

    In lieu of PM'ing Lew, post the type, label and vintage and the rest of us amateurs will give it a shot.
     
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,792
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Too bad you live in Pittsburg or I'd be able to give you a practical demonstration.

    You can only learn about wine by drinking it. Anything else is generally bogus. How would you describe the difference between milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate to someone who's never tried either? Or the difference between green bell pepers and red bell peppers? Same thing holds true with wine. You need to have some friend have you over to taste various kinds of wine so you have a reference point about the differences.


    Beware of bogus advice like "Merlot sucks"...the greatest red wine in the world is probably Chateau Margaux. It's roughly 2/3 Merlot and 1/3 Cab.
     
  9. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2001
    Messages:
    4,389
    Likes Received:
    0

    "I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!" [​IMG]
     
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,792
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    OK Richard, so if somebody gives you these:

    [​IMG]

    send them over to me because I KNOW you won't like them. [​IMG]
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,792
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    You might actually find a review for your bottle here:

    www.winespectator.com/Wine/Home/

    Edit: rats they charge for most information. I used to get their big book of annual reviews.
     
  12. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    Real Name:
    Joe Kauffman
    The most important thing about storing wine is temperature stability. If the temperature of the room fluctuates greatly, it's bad for the wine. Also, keep it on its side so the cork stays moist. If you plan to store wine for longer than six months, the wine should be stored in a cool, humid, dark location to prevent premature aging.

    Here in Florida, my house gets too warm during the day to store wines at room temperature (it can regularly get above 80 during the day at least 4 months of the year). Combine that with the fact that our wine consumption has disappeared while my wife is pregnant, so I purchased a 2-zone wine cooler. I keep my reds at about 55 deg and the whites at around 40 deg. I pull out reds 30 minutes before serving them so they approach room temperature.

    A wine cooler is overkill if you only have one bottle though. We usually have 20-30 bottles in the house at any given time.
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,792
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Joe's right. One often overlooked place to store wine is in the crawl space under your house. There the temperature will be relatively stable throughout the year.
     
  14. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Which is why I'll NEVER watch that movie [​IMG] Blackstone Merlot rocks!
     
  15. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,084
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    Real Name:
    Joe Kauffman
    We tend to mainly go for the dry reds, although we drank most of those before the Mrs. got pregnant. My wife likes merlot. I'm more partial to a cabernet sauvignon or a shiraz. I quite enjoy the Rosemount Estates label, and it's relatively inexpensive.

    The best taste of wine I've ever had was the Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon 2002. I only had a sip, but I've been trying to get a bottle with no luck.

    The Florida wine industry is picking up. I always keep a few bottles around to get others to try when they come visit. The primary grapes used are the Florida hybrid and the muscadine, though some wineries do import cabernet and merlot grapes. There is a winery here in St. Petersburg that makes wine out of almost any fruit you can think of. I like their Category 5, which is blend of 5 of their wines. A winery near Ft. Myers has a nice variety of grape wines, including one similar to a beaujolais, and they also have a wine made from star fruit.
     
  16. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    If its a bottle of Thunderbird, just throw it out. [​IMG]
     
  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,750
    Likes Received:
    802
    Location:
    Michigan

    Their shiraz is a fine wine for the money, IMO.
     
  18. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 1998
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob ... I suggest you pick up the below book (available at Amazon for $10). It got me started and is written at the right level for a beginner who really wants to learn.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the kind words Jeff—of course we are all curious as to the wine, but aside from that let us also know what type of food you and your wife enjoy. That will help in any suggestions any of us can make.

    By the way, don’t confuse wine appreciation with culture. In South Australia you can sit down at a restaurant with a mixed group and everyone from doctors to linemen will have an informed opinion as to which wines to choose from the list. Of course there, you are living in wine country—the point is that one only needs exposure, not a degree, a fancy job or wealthy background.
     
  20. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1998
    Messages:
    6,388
    Likes Received:
    787
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Johnny Angell
    As for drinking red wines at room temp, I once read that came from the days when there was no central heating in the castle and rooms were much colder than there are now. Maybe that's a myth, but we drink reds directly out of the wine cooler at 60 degrees.

    Room temp, even in a a/c house, is too warm for me. Whites we put in the refrig before drinking.

    While I tend to like reds with heavier foods and whites with lighter foods, I find this to be a very flexible rule.

    Merlot is a terrific wine and for a newcomer to wine, one of the more approachable. If you're thinking of learning more about wine, don't buy anything expensive right away. Get some wine experience under your belt before spending very much on a bottle.
     

Share This Page