Wine buying factors in order of importance

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Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Dave C » Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:55 am

Firstly if a similar thread has been done recently then forget this one.

As a modest buyer of wine the things that help me make a choice - and I'm talking single bottles here - listed below.

Now this will really confirm my 'vin de table' level of consumption but I've taken the risk of posting it so forum members can give their more educated (palette) list of factors.

We're (I'm) not talking here of a special wine for a big dinner party or event - I think then even I'd have the sence to go to an Oddbins or whatever and get advice.

So here are my 10 things I keep in mind:-

1 Red wine which I almost exclusively drink nowadays
2 Price - I am on a budget
3 Past enjoyment of a wine - although I do look for new wines
4 Grape variety - and that usually means a single grape ie. Shiraz
5 Not Oak enhanced - subtle hints of oak is fine
6 Country - currently Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa & US
7 Region or State (ie Napa Valley)
8 Vintage - but talking recent here ie since 2000
9 Strength - perfer 13 - 14%
10 Screw cap - in the 10-20$ range - for more expensive wine cork is fine

Dave C - ducks and runs for cover

EDIT - I should add before anyone suggests it - I DO read the labels and often try a new wine after reading about it.
Last edited by Dave C on Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Carl Eppig » Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:39 am

Don't know why you don't pay attention to Southern France, Middle and Southern Italy, all of Spain, and New Zealand to mention a couple.

Don't know why you include Chile as I haven't found very much there that is exciting.
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Redwinger » Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:51 am

My primary buying criteria is the "buzz" factor. I avoid wine with abv. below 16.56%.
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:51 am

HI, Dave
I have come to learn that I really enjoy wine, but when I want a drink, I will go for the alcohol. When I want a drink with dinner, it will always be a glass of wine. Until the last 5 years had not really paid a great deal of attention to it's pedigree. However, of late I have noticed that, if I were to make a list about choosing wines, it would look a great deal like yours. Like Carl, I agree with all the regions on your list, excepe Chile. Can you share which wine(s) in particular you like from that region. I will give it a try. Thx.
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Ian Sutton » Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:44 am

Carl Eppig wrote:Don't know why you don't pay attention to Southern France, Middle and Southern Italy, all of Spain, and New Zealand to mention a couple.

Don't know why you include Chile as I haven't found very much there that is exciting.

A comment from a UK perspective - at lower price levels Chile offers good reliability (few bad wines) and NZ just doesn't target the VDT level of drinking

Southern Italy is indeed a good recco and there value AND interest to be had if you're lucky.

Southern France sounds like it's really picking up, but I haven't had personal success there yet. I'll keep an open mind though.

... and as for Oddbins, I just wonder for how much longer. Many shops have closed, others have converted to the immensley lame 'Nicolas'. Time will tell, but there may not be an Oddbins in 2-3 years time if the last 2-3 years are any guide.

regards

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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Ian Sutton » Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:52 am

Doesn't seem an unreasonable list to me. I guess there's many factors and each of them can have it's day. Finding good, interesting cheap wine can be a challenge, but occasionally you can get a sub-£5 wine that's stunning, though that's not too likely in the biggest stockers of such wines (the supermarkets). Trips abroad are probably the best way to stumble across such wines.

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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Dave C » Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:02 am

Jo Ann Henderson wrote:HI, Dave
I have come to learn that I really enjoy wine, but when I want a drink, I will go for the alcohol. When I want a drink with dinner, it will always be a glass of wine. Until the last 5 years had not really paid a great deal of attention to it's pedigree. However, of late I have noticed that, if I were to make a list about choosing wines, it would look a great deal like yours. Like Carl, I agree with all the regions on your list, excepe Chile. Can you share which wine(s) in particular you like from that region. I will give it a try. Thx.


Hi Jo Ann

Perhaps I should have included Argentina (EDIT - oh I did) as well as Chile - I suppose it's because I find myself drinking a lot of wines from the southern hemispere.

I do like French wines - but I've found that in my price range they are very indifferent.
I will certainly include French wices when looking for something special Chateau nef du Pape and Nuit St George (spellings?) are two of my favourite choices.

Two wines from South America (not just Chile) I like at the moment are

Tulum Valley Estate 'Shiraz' 2006 (Seleccion Especial) San Juan - Argentina 14.5% - label says 'A full bodied red with classic Shiraz aromas and flavours of chocolate, berries & damsons'

Lindeman's Central Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - Chile 13.5% - label says ' Ripe berry fruit flavours with a balanced soft finish'

Cheers, Dave C
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby MikeH » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:55 am

Ian Sutton wrote:A comment from a UK perspective - at lower price levels Chile offers good reliability (few bad wines) and NZ just doesn't target the VDT level of drinking.......


regards

Ian


Need explanation: what is "VDT?"
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Tim York » Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:45 am

Dave,

With one proviso (see below), I do urge you to look closer at wines from France, Italy and Spain. For my palate they provide wines of unrivalled variety, integrity and personality together with (yes, france particularly) QPR. It is true that most of the best wines are made by small artisan producers and are therefore not found in supermarkets and chains. It is also true that some study and tasting experience is needed to become familiar with appellations, their grape varieties and best growers but I think that the effort is amply repaid.

So now for the proviso. Here in Belgium there are a host of specialised importers and merchants where good French, italian, etc. wines in the EUR 5-15 can be tasted and bought. I am a little out of date with the UK scene but in the 90s there were some excellent equivqlents in London although currently London prices tend to be about 40% higher thqn in belgium (count £1 = EUR 1). I don't know the Manchester scene but there ought to be some similar shops in the metropolis of the North West.
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Dave C » Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:49 am

Tim York wrote:Dave,

With one proviso (see below), I do urge you to look closer at wines from France, Italy and Spain. For my palate they provide wines of unrivalled variety, integrity and personality together with (yes, france particularly) QPR. It is true that most of the best wines are made by small artisan producers and are therefore not found in supermarkets and chains. It is also true that some study and tasting experience is needed to become familiar with appellations, their grape varieties and best growers but I think that the effort is amply repaid.



I will be going back to french wines.

I have been drinking wine for many years but it's mostly been at the low ticket end and I don't think that has helped my exerience with French wines.

I almost reserve 'French wine' to buying a special bottle.

About ten years ago (or more) when I'd buy cheap 'Cote de Rhone' or 'Vin de Pays' about 1 in 4 bottles would go down the drain - or would be spoilt with bits of crumbling cork and I'd be standing over the sink deaftly flicking the bottle to get the floatly bits of cork away.

I then would only buy French wines in a box as unlike other countries France seemed to stick with cork rather than other methods. EDIT - I should say I don't think was a problem with the 'better' wines - just the one's I could afford.

But stirred by joining this forum I'll start checking more French and European wines.

Cheers, Dave C
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Tim York » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:10 pm

Dave,

The point I am trying to make is that French wine can be "everyday" as well as "special".

Take the example of Côtes du Rhône; there are a number of small Domaines which produce excellent generic Côtes du Rhône for around EUR 6-8/bottle; two whose CdRs I regularly drink are Domaine La Réméjeanne and Domaine de l'Oratoire Saint-Martin but there are many others like them. These are much superior to the large volume Côtes du Rhône found in most supermarkets and chains like Oddbins/Nicolas (although Oddbins used to have a line in Jaboulet whose CdR was very decent before the family relinquished ownership).

The independent wine merchants in the UK are amongst the world's shrewdest buyers and I would hope that there are a few in the Manchester area who can point you towards a few delicious QPR Côtes du Rhône and similar bargains from other regions. Failing that the Wine Society used to have a wonderful selection, albeit rather fully priced; I haven't seen their wine list recently as they seem to have cut me off their circulation list because of insufficiently frequent buying.
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Cliff Rosenberg » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:10 pm

I agree with Carl and Tim that France, Italy, and Spain are great places for inexpensive wines--esp. France. But, and it's a big but, I wouldn't look for them in supermarkets. (For large-production wines, you will probably do better from Australia.) If you can find a shop that carries small-production, artisinal wines, probably from the Rhone (esp. Gigondas, Rastau, Cairanne, Suzette, etc.) and Languedoc (Pic St Loup, Corbieres, Minervois, St. Chinian), you will find everyday wines with greater personality and interest. If you like Nuits St. Georges, perhaps look for Santenay, Fixin, and Savigny-les-Beaunes, though these may be just a bit more expensive (around $25 in New York).
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:24 pm

Dave, not a bad list; my mileage varies for every day wines.

1. Red or white, primarily based on what I'm planning to make for dinner. [Janet would say: "Shop in your own cellar, Bob." But, she usually is shopping elsewhere at the time, so we can ignore that injunction -- and often do.]

2. $10 to $25 range, low end for whites, high end for reds.

3. Something I know nothing about -- often based on recco of retailer or something someone here has reccoed.

4. Grape variety - totally irrelevant to me.

5. Light or no oak.

6. Country is irrelevant.

7. Region or state is irrelevant.

8. Vintage generally irrelevant except 2003 in Europe is generally off limits; 2005 in Burgundy is worth a second look.

9. Strength - perfer 13 - 14%, no higher.

10. Screw cap.

I really like to try something totally new to me, and love back stories -- interesting labels, complex back labels, deep discounts in the remainder bins, and -- may the wine gods preserve me -- something from New Jersey. [If a retailer is brave enough to stock one, I'm brave enough to try once again for a winner.]

Regards, Bob
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Dave C » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:42 pm

Tim York wrote:Dave,

The point I am trying to make is that French wine can be "everyday" as well as "special".

The independent wine merchants in the UK are amongst the world's shrewdest buyers and I would hope that there are a few in the Manchester area who can point you towards a few delicious QPR Côtes du Rhône and similar bargains from other regions.


I do buy some wine online but I think I might try Manchester outlets again and maybe Selfridges in the Trafford Centre in the Manchester area which has a large wine section.

Cheers Dave C
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:47 pm

Dave
One merchant who seems to get some good reviews is Leon Stolarski (LSFINEFINES.CO.UK) who specialises in South Of France. Worth trying if you haven't before. (No connection etc.)
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Cliff Rosenberg » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:53 pm

Hi again,

To reply more directly to priorities in picking everyday stuff, I'd say:

1. Price -- used to try to stay under $10, now I tend to average around $15.

2. I generally look for over-performing wines from under-performing regions, or at least less famous ones. I'd rather have the best Fixin than an international superstar like Leroy's basic Bourgogne. It's perhaps not completely rational, but it works for me.

3. White vs red. I have an easier time coming up with variety in whites than reds at this price-point. I don't know why.

4. Anything my favorite retailers recommend -- they know what I like.

5. I gravitate towards, but don't insist on, small-production, naturally made wines.

6. Absent all of the above ... if I'm out of town or in an unfamiliar shop and don't recognize anything, an importer's strip label in the States tells me a lot.
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Re: Wine buying factors in order of importance

Postby Dave C » Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:03 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Dave
One merchant who seems to get some good reviews is Leon Stolarski (LSFINEFINES.CO.UK) who specialises in South Of France. Worth trying if you haven't before. (No connection etc.)
regards
Ian


Ian

Have bookmarked it - and will have a browse around - thanks for the link.

Cheers, Dave C
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