thirsty keith
wine we drink & what we think
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Wine Talk: Hey, you talking to me? Things to talk about regarding wine
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Wine Talk: Topics of Conversation

Tell us what do you think?

Wine by the Glass: I love wine. I love wine in a glass. I cannot stand wine in a glass at a restaurant! Why? First it is usually from a bottle that was opened days ago. It is usually over priced. A glass of wine is often priced at the cost of the bottle. On top of it all, it is not even good wine or good wine for the price. Why can't I get a good fresh glass of wine at a restaurant or bar for a reasonable price?

Wine Preservation: I have yet to come across a wine preservation system or technique that works. Pumps, vacuums, gasses, fancy wine bar taps, etc.  The only way to preserve wine from going bad is to drink it the same day it is opened!

Wine Tasting Fees: Overheard in a tasting room. "So would you like to buy a bottle of our wine"? "I can't I just spent all of my money on tasting fees". And before I forget, what I find unacceptable are those wineries that do not refund your tasting fee with a purchase! I will not buy wine from these wineries. And Napa is the worst. Fees of $10-$60! Protest people! Visitors and wine enthusiasts want to try new wines. This allows us to find what wines we like and do not like while developing our tastes and understanding of each winery, wine and region. The fact that wineries think that we will want to purchase wine at every winery or join everyone's wine club is wishful thinking.
If we joined every wine club we would have to open our own storage center. Plus we still couldn't drink all of that wine in our lifetime. Then there is the fact that we do not like all of the wine we taste. So why would we
buy a bottle? Wineries have to remember that they want people to buy their product because they like it and feel it's worth it. The wineries are not the only place to buy wines. You might like a wine that day and buy it a week later at your local wine shop. What is wrong with that? Nothing! But if you drain us of our money in tasting fees, nobody will have any money left over to buy a bottle of your wine!
 
Wine at Tasting Rooms: Many tasting rooms serve wines that have been opened for days. This might be fine for the novice, but not for me. If I am going to make a decision to buy or rate a wine it is seldom if ever going to be from a bottle that is opened a day(s) ago. Of course some wineries say that the
ir wine needs time to open. Hey you know what, keep it. What I am supposed to do, open a bottle a day before I think I need it!
 
Wine Storage at Restaurants: Very few eating establishments store their wine collection at the proper temperature. Just like the saying "the check is in the mail", the reply is usually, "we go through so many bottles of wine they barely sit out for more than a day in this place". Yeah right. I can not tell you how many times I see wines stored above a hot kitchen. Or collecting dust in some obscure space. This is why it is paramount to touch the bottle of wine being presented by the server. If the bottle is warm to the touch, I send it back knowing it was improperly stored. Why take a chance at these prices? Then I order a white wine because I know that at least it has been improperly stored at a cooler temperature and will not have the risk of being cooked by heat!

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Wine Vintage Touting: Hear we go again. 2009 & 2010 two more of the greatest vintages of all time in Bordeaux. You read these articles which make you think that all the wines produced in these years are the greatest ever. I just came back from a 2009- 2010 Bordeaux tasting. Wines in the $15 retail range. They all had one thing in common, great inky color. But the taste was nothing more than a $6 value. Most of these wines were aged for less than a year. It will be a great selling year for them due to all the hype. Just because it's a great vintage doesn't mean everyone produces great wine. And as a friend once told me, don't worry if you miss a great vintage, there will always be another.

Wines that are Hot: Why? Who wants a wine that tastes like rubbing alcohol? I do not. I have tried to taste some wines that were so hot that I could not get passed the heat. My eyes watered and I never took a sip. What a waste of grapes.

Wine Pouring: Have you been to a restaurant where the servers keep topping off your wine? It totally effects the taste of the existing wine in your glass which has been breathing. What about when a new bottle is opened and the servers pours the new wine into you glass with the existing wine from the previous bottle? Just say no.

Wine Stores: I can't tell you how many times I get a bad bottle of older vintages at retail wine shops. I mean how many times have you been in a retail shop and the heat is on, cooking the wines? I am always leery when  shops offer amazing prices on an older vintages. I ask myself, where has this wine been stored for the last ten years? On a loading dock, or trunk of a car perhaps? Always get a return guarantee before you buy.

Wine Service at Restaurants: Seldom do I find restaurant's wine service to be proper. Starting with the improper shaped wine glass. It does not have to be expensive glass, just the proper size and shape will do. Next, leaving white wine in an ice bucket. How cold do you think we should drink our whites? Do you store them in a freezer? The problem is that restaurant pomp and circumstance appeals to the wine novices not the experts. In America we drink our whites way to cold. It masks the true beauty of the wine. Lastly, opening and pouring wine. I shun the restaurants that do not show you the cork and leave it with you. They hide it and whisk it away like it has leprosy. Just as annoying is when after the initial taste pour, almost all restaurants have their staff pour the wine to the brim of the glass. This is to encourage you to drink faster and more so you hopefully ordering more and run up the bill. True wine buffs know that in the proper glass a pour should be shallow, allowing one to swirl it and let the wine open up. I don't know about you but when a server pours the wine like it is water, I order less. I let the over-poured wine in my glass breathe longer, hence drinking it slower and less of it. I would love to go to a dinner at the restaurant owners home, pick out an expensive bottle of wine from their wine cellar and pour it to brim of everyone's wine glass at the dinner table. What do you think their reaction would be? Exactly.

Wine Tasting Program
TK Favorite wines of 2014
2008 Numanthia Termes $18
2012 Ferrari Carano Merlot $27
2012 Lynmar RRV Pinot Noir $45
2012 Truett Hurst Black Sheep Pinot $40
2012 Turett Hurst Rattler Ranch Zinfandel $33
2012 Truett Hurst Dark Horse GPS $40
2012 Mazzocco Zinfandels $19 +
2009 West Winery Crest Cuvee DCV $35
2010 Frank Family Zin $30
2011 Talty Family Dwight Zin $30
2010 Kazmer + Blaise Chardonnay $53
2012 Poseidon Vineyard Chardonnay $25
2010 Sommerstone Cab Sav Napa $120
2009 Etude Cab Sav Napa $85
2010 Jessup Cellars Cab Sav Napa $58
2011 St Clement Oroppas Cab Sav Napa $85
2008 Sherwin Family Cab Sav Napa $90
2010 Swanson Alexis $75
2008 Krupp Stagecoach Veraison Cab Sav Napa $85
2007 Rival Syrah $25
2010 Sylvie Cab Sav Napa $60
2011 Fritz Zinfandel DCV $25