Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

The monthly Wine Focus discussions are now held in the main Wine Forum (above). The forum remains open as an archive, but please post comments and questions in the Wine Forum.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon May 25, 2009 6:19 pm

Robin
Sorry I missed out this month - in an area I enjoy, yet the cellar contents told a different story. I've borrowed the ideas from 2 months ago, and having looked at Sue's list of past topics, it does seem odd we've not done Merlot and Merlot dominant blends. There should be good numbers in NZ and Europe and North America assuming Sideways hasn't decimated the market. Australian merlot exists but hasn't perhaps had the success of Cabernet Sauvignon. South America also should throw a good few forward to choose from. I guess the key qaundary to answer is just what is Merlot's characteristics in each region and can it shed it's fat and be a great wine (well we know it can, but are the great examples as rare as they feel?). The concern I'd have about Merlot belnds is that (typically with Cabernet Sauvignon) it's difficult to assess the grape, when it's tank mates may have greater influence. I'm not sure I could face drinking too much 100% varietal merlot...

Personally I'd prefer the 'mature' wines from Bdx blends (i.e. wines made from combinations of Merlot/Cabernet S/Cabernet Franc / ...). Mature being flexible, as a more forward blend might be mature inside 3-4 years old, whilst others might take 30 years and still be tight. It shouldn't be difficult to find something mature at retail, but I suspect many of us have a few cellared away already.

Indeed given David B's recent thread on ageing / maturing wines, perhaps something like the mature Bdx blends idea might be timely. Perhaps there's an alternative theme for mature wines?

regards

Ian


- Sangiovese based wines
- wines with cheese, experimenting with combinations
- Classic wine/food pairings ... does the combination work, if so why?
- Mature wine from Bordeaux grapes (always a danger of pricing people out, but probably easy enough to find a mature (non-classed growth) or local blend.
- Southern France (Languedoc/Roussillon/Provence)
- Southern Italy
- Merlot (Life after Miles)
- Branded wine - does it have soul? (For this we're mainly looking at corporates and especially wines blended across sites)
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Robin Garr » Tue May 26, 2009 11:56 am

Interesting thoughts, Ian. When I first read "mature," I thought, umm, we don't want to block out our many participants who don't have cellars or collect wine in a structured way. But as restated, I kind of like the idea.

Merlot and Merlot blends - with a little reference to "bouncing back from Sideways" - might be an excellent plan. It's truly international, and it would certainly incorporate your interest in at least some of the Bordeaux blends, particularly Right Bank.

What say others?


Ian Sutton wrote:Robin
Sorry I missed out this month - in an area I enjoy, yet the cellar contents told a different story. I've borrowed the ideas from 2 months ago, and having looked at Sue's list of past topics, it does seem odd we've not done Merlot and Merlot dominant blends. There should be good numbers in NZ and Europe and North America assuming Sideways hasn't decimated the market. Australian merlot exists but hasn't perhaps had the success of Cabernet Sauvignon. South America also should throw a good few forward to choose from. I guess the key qaundary to answer is just what is Merlot's characteristics in each region and can it shed it's fat and be a great wine (well we know it can, but are the great examples as rare as they feel?). The concern I'd have about Merlot belnds is that (typically with Cabernet Sauvignon) it's difficult to assess the grape, when it's tank mates may have greater influence. I'm not sure I could face drinking too much 100% varietal merlot...

Personally I'd prefer the 'mature' wines from Bdx blends (i.e. wines made from combinations of Merlot/Cabernet S/Cabernet Franc / ...). Mature being flexible, as a more forward blend might be mature inside 3-4 years old, whilst others might take 30 years and still be tight. It shouldn't be difficult to find something mature at retail, but I suspect many of us have a few cellared away already.

Indeed given David B's recent thread on ageing / maturing wines, perhaps something like the mature Bdx blends idea might be timely. Perhaps there's an alternative theme for mature wines?

regards

Ian


- Sangiovese based wines
- wines with cheese, experimenting with combinations
- Classic wine/food pairings ... does the combination work, if so why?
- Mature wine from Bordeaux grapes (always a danger of pricing people out, but probably easy enough to find a mature (non-classed growth) or local blend.
- Southern France (Languedoc/Roussillon/Provence)
- Southern Italy
- Merlot (Life after Miles)
- Branded wine - does it have soul? (For this we're mainly looking at corporates and especially wines blended across sites)
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 16673
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Brian K Miller » Wed May 27, 2009 2:08 pm

I like the idea of merlot-based wines, as I've acquired over the past few years a few Merlots from what I considered, based on limited experience, a "sweet spot" for Merlot (Oak Knoll Avenue at Big Ranch Road, about three miles south of Yountville, CA) I would love to try them to see how they have evolved!. Also a Vignalta Merlot-based wine from the Veneto that Corti swears by!
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
Brian K Miller
Passionate Arboisphile
 
Posts: 6614
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:05 am
Location: Northern California

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Carl Eppig » Wed May 27, 2009 5:55 pm

Hoping that my nemesis from another forum isn't lurking around here, I'll go along with the Merlot recommendation.
Carl Eppig
Our Maine man
 
Posts: 3929
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Middleton, NH, USA

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Ian Sutton » Wed May 27, 2009 6:11 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:Hoping that my nemesis from another forum isn't lurking around here, I'll go along with the Merlot recommendation.

Be worried if half a dozen people step forward and claim to be your nemesis :lol: :wink:
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed May 27, 2009 10:21 pm

I could choke down a Merlot or two.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 21562
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Robert Reynolds » Wed May 27, 2009 11:22 pm

I actually like Merlot in general. I do like to read the TNs on this forum, even if I don't really contribute.
ΜΟΛ'ΩΝ ΛΑΒ'Ε
User avatar
Robert Reynolds
1000th member!
 
Posts: 3700
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:52 am
Location: Sapulpa, OK

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu May 28, 2009 8:09 am

Tim
I think that's a fine suggestion, as there is plenty to choose from there and there appears to be a trend away from bland neutrality, towards whites of interest and complexity - well at least on the Italian side of the med. Also plenty of unpronounceable greek whites that would count as well!

Whilst not a hugely tight focus, it seems an ideal candidate by way of an 'exploration' month, which may also make interesting reading for those that don't post. It's certainly a great idea for breaking us out of our 'safety zones'.

Perhaps one we need a month or two to be able to source wines - as unlike (say) Merlot, chances are there won't be too many already in people's cellars?

I do like the sound of this one. Perhaps we can collate a decent (albeit not comprehensive - that's just impossible) list of grapes (and appellations where grape variety not named). I've got a copy of Clarke/Rand 'Grapes and wines', plus a few other tomes, which I could make a stab at a list?

regards

Ian
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu May 28, 2009 9:04 am

Cautionary note: we have had limited success in Wine Focus when we've had to extensively tweak a theme to find a way to broaden it. There's a lot to explore in Mediterranean white varities, but I think it's breadth is actually its liability. It makes it hard to have discussions that go much farther than "Nice note, wish I could find some."
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 21562
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Tom Troiano » Thu May 28, 2009 10:55 am

Bob,

Although I was participating "here" over ten years ago I've only recently bagan particpating again so take this comment with a huge grain of salt....

If its "open mike" then what's the point of using this "new" forum? You might as well just post in the "regular" wine forum. Am I missing something?
Tom T.
Tom Troiano
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1221
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:22 pm
Location: near Boston, MA. USA

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu May 28, 2009 11:20 am

Tom
The 'Open Mike' is indeed posted in the regular forum and is a little like a 'mini wine focus'. It does require a little running around to gauge/inspire interest, but we've had some great ones in the past (Ch Musar sticks in my brain, but I also recall a significant thread on Malbec). Bob P is a real star on these.

The focus is narrower and often off mainstream. There may be anywhere from two to twenty people joining in, and it's as much about the compare / contrast of wines (and indeed for the introspectives amongst us, our different palate perceptions).

regards

Ian
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Tim York » Fri May 29, 2009 6:37 am

Robin Garr wrote:Merlot and Merlot blends - with a little reference to "bouncing back from Sideways" - might be an excellent plan. It's truly international, and it would certainly incorporate your interest in at least some of the Bordeaux blends, particularly Right Bank.

What say others?




Merlot blends is definitely something that we will have to do sometime. Hopefully, though, we are about to have some summer and the blousey and jammy nature of a lot of Merlot, including much modern Bordeaux, is not what I instinctively reach for on a warm day. I would prefer this as an autumnal theme. (However, If the past two "summers" are repeated, we will have enough cold days where Merlot can be appreciated.)

Have we done pinks in the recent past?
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri May 29, 2009 1:35 pm

Mark Kogos wrote:Ian

Does that mean I have to finally crack the case of '82 Petrus that is at the back of the cellar? Thank the Lord I have a couple of them to get me through the month.

Mark

Mark
Yes, but remember it needs to stand upright for 2 days before opening


... which should give me enough time to make it over there to assist in it's disposal :wink: :mrgreen:

regards

Ian
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri May 29, 2009 8:21 pm

Tim, we had "Open Mike: Rose" last year. Think ready to do something now its summer!!!! I think a white theme, not into merlot reds right now as it warms up. Gamay might pass as we can chill!
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9407
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Mark Kogos » Fri May 29, 2009 11:53 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
Mark Kogos wrote:Ian

Does that mean I have to finally crack the case of '82 Petrus that is at the back of the cellar? Thank the Lord I have a couple of them to get me through the month.

Mark

Mark
Yes, but remember it needs to stand upright for 2 days before opening


... which should give me enough time to make it over there to assist in it's disposal :wink: :mrgreen:

regards

Ian
Some mad man paid $21,000 in the last online auction over here for a magnum of the '82. Just madness.
Miss dhem Saints.
Mark Kogos
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:16 am
Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Tim York » Sat May 30, 2009 4:02 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote: Gamay might pass as we can chill!


Lighter Loire CabFranc, particularly from from sandy soils, is delicious young slightly chilled and, like similar Gamay, perfect for a warm day. That reminds me that one of the best Loire (and other French region) importers is giving a tasting this afternoon. What do I do with my wine probation? :?

Maybe we have the germs of a theme here on "refreshing red wines". Another aspect worth looking at in this context is red wine at different temperatures; I had an exchange of posts with Oswaldo about that a few weeks ago.
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat May 30, 2009 1:14 pm

You may have a good topic here Tim! "Which red to open on a warm summer day?" Think there would be a great response and some excellent suggestions
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9407
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Robin Garr » Sat May 30, 2009 2:20 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:You may have a good topic here Tim! "Which red to open on a warm summer day?" Think there would be a great response and some excellent suggestions

Okay, we're up against it here. This is a good idea. So is Merlot/Merlot blends. I'd like to hold the Mediterranean Whites for a month while we figure out among us how to make it appeal.

Or we could add an asterisk to "Which red* to open on a warm summer day" and add " * or pink"?

What say you all? New month starts Monday, and I'd like to roll out the new topic then.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 16673
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat May 30, 2009 5:03 pm

Yeah, will work great boss!!!
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9407
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby David M. Bueker » Sat May 30, 2009 5:50 pm

The idea of not grabbing something with 15% alcohol in 90 degree weather.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 21562
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Robin Garr » Sat May 30, 2009 6:38 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:The idea of not grabbing something with 15% alcohol in 90 degree weather.

AHHHHH!!! I love it, but having to have it explained to me makes me wonder about using it for publicity outside the forum. There may be other people out there as stupid as I am ...

Maybe something like "stripping down for the heat"? It will still have to be explained, but it will make people look. :shock:
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 16673
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Jenise » Sun May 31, 2009 12:49 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:How about looking at some obscure whites? Have you heard of Formal, Falanghina, Petit Corbu, Moscatel , Sovereign Opal and Clairette de Die?

Good for Open Mikes, Bob. Wine Focus calls for something interesting but available around the world.


I like the merlot idea, but I disagree with your statement above. Or at least, I think you misunderstood: Bob wasn't pitching any of those grapes specifically, I believe, but the lot of them categorically. Everywhere you look in the world, I'm sure, there are unusual whites available, and they're fun to try and talk about. I think it would make a good topic.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 25809
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun May 31, 2009 1:56 pm

If we were to do "Offbeat Whites" in July I'm sure that would work.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 21562
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Subject for next month? Let's hear ideas!

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun May 31, 2009 2:34 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:If we were to do "Offbeat Whites" in July I'm sure that would work.

and indeed we need to work a few things out on it e.g. Are we:
- Choosing wines by exception (e.g. no chardonnay, riesling, semillon, sauvignon blanc, ...) Are Chenin Blanc/viognier/pinot gris/pinot blanc/Trebbiano obscure enough?
- Focusing on the earlier idea of meditteranean grape varieties / whites?
- Also interested in interesting takes on international / common varieties e.g. late harvest chardonnays? Sparkling rieslings
- Are some obscure regions in scope, even if the grape is common - e.g. Chinese Chardonnay?
- something else?

Bearing in mind that we'll all have different perspectives on obscure/offbeat and it needs to avoid being inaccessible to those that fear a faux-pas in not knowing what's obscure or not.

I very much think it's a great idea and if June is going to be hot then July will be a scorcher (you heard it here first 8) ).

regards

Ian
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Next

Return to Wine Focus

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests