Uber Geek Curveball...

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Uber Geek Curveball...

Postby Don P » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:43 am

Hello Everybody:

With the warm welcome and great responses I received, I decided to go digging in my basement for two bottles of wine that I got a loooong time ago that maybe somebody can offer some insight on.

As some of you may have seen in a related post yesterday, my wife and I had the privilege about 10 years ago to live near the Mosel River valley in SW Germany for about three years. While we were over there, we got some exposure to some great wines, and even more international flair when we haunted the shopping districts of the towns around where we lived.

One time we were at an outdoor bazaar in a town called Cochem (http://www.cochems.com/deutch.html) and I picked up two bottles of wine mainly for nostalgic purposes but am now more interested in what might be inside the bottles themselves.

I have one red and one white. The labels are in Russian and German, with the importer actually having been in East Germany. From what I can tell, both are from Moldavia with the white varietal being "Aligote" and the red being a "Krim". The back labels are in German and from what I can cobble together with my limited German, prattle on about how great the wine tastes. I am skeptical of this because the white's color is almost honey colored and I imagine would hurt my teeth if I drank it, and the red is black as pitch. Guess the Russians need strong stuff like that to make it through the winters.

Has anybody heard of, seen, or tasted anything like these before? Again, I am guessing these may be hard to find because the bottom of the bottle reads, "Made in USSR," and like I said, it was imported by a company in East Germany. One other thing to note is that the front labels have some Russian on them, which I am guessing may be the year (help, anybbody?).

If anybody wants to see more about these, I can take pics of them and post them up. I look forward to any insight anybody has.

Take care.

DP
Donald Poorman
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"I found a bottle of wine in your basement when I was cleaning that said 'Rothschild' and threw it away - nothing from 1957 could still be good." - My Mother-in-Law
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Re: Uber Geek Curveball...

Postby Ian Sutton » Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:27 am

Well the Aligote will be the easiest, though I suspect you've called it correctly.
From my sole reference book on grapes, Aligote is the 2nd grape of Burgundy, and is generally best drunk young, though a few producers make wines that can age. However it gets worse. Eastern European vineyards have vast areas of it planted at typically 3 times the yield.
Unless you want to keep the full bottle as a momento, I'd open it and have a sniff. If you're feeling brave, have a taste (it might be educational if nothing else).

Krim isn't in the book, so you might be best off doing a web search

regards

Ian
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Re: Uber Geek Curveball...

Postby Don P » Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:49 am

Hey Ian:

Thanks for the response. Yes, my fears of this stuff were as bad as you seem to be confirming. Maybe I can use it to clean up some paint that spilled out in my garage :-).

Cheers.

DP
Donald Poorman
Resident Cynic and Wine Enthusiast

"I found a bottle of wine in your basement when I was cleaning that said 'Rothschild' and threw it away - nothing from 1957 could still be good." - My Mother-in-Law
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Re: Uber Geek Curveball...

Postby Bob Ross » Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:08 am

I wonder if the red might be from the Krim area in southern Ukraine, Don. That's been a wine producing area for a number of years. Depending on the vintage, it might actually have been produced in the USSR (pre 1991), or a bit later -- using up old labels is not unknown among wine bottlers.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Uber Geek Curveball...

Postby Bill Hooper » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:21 am

I like Aligote. Some of the better burgundian versions have a bit of oak and will age for two or three years. Verget has always been a solid buy and available in the USA. 90's Aligote from the USSR though? Not likely drinkable.

Nostrovia!
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Re: Uber Geek Curveball...

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:58 am

Don P wrote:If anybody wants to see more about these, I can take pics of them and post them up. I look forward to any insight anybody has.


Sorry I missed this earlier, Don. It looks like you've had good answers already about the variety/region of these wines and their likely (non)-drinkability. Assuming that conditions there were comparable to Yugoslavia under the Eastern Bloc, it's doubtful that the wines were of great quality even when they were young.

I'd love to see label photos, though, just for fun, and some of our geeks might be able to comment more knowledgeably if we can see just what's on them.
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