Wine Talk

Snooth User: DC1

Hello All! Need a recommendation. ... for the love of my sanity

Posted by DC1, Dec 25, 2010.

After enjoying one of the most wonderful wines in some time, I.. in my infinite wisdom tossed the bottle in the trash without recording the name/label (it was a Pinot Noir).

So I'm here posting this request hoping that someone can recommend a very (underscore very) dry red wine for me.

I'm first a beer enthusiast, but have absolutely fallen in love with a very very dry red wine that I fear I may never taste again.

Thanks again


Reply by wineguider, Dec 25, 2010.

Can you give us a price range?  $9?  $17?  $35?

Reply by JonDerry, Dec 25, 2010.

One of the better pinot's i've had was the Whitcraft Pinot Noir Aubaine vineyard.  I had the 2006.  The price is a little steep at $50-60, but usually good pinot's come with a premium.

Reply by GregT, Dec 25, 2010.

DC1 - it's a very random request.  There are thousands of Pinot Noirs produced in the world and as a beer drinker, you gotta understand that the question is like someone asking you what's a really really good beer.  How do you even start?

Price is important - Pinot Noir can range in price from under $10 to over $1000, with probably hundreds falling in the $20 - $70 range.  Unless you really love Pinot Noir and that's what you're looking for, I guess I'd try something else. 

Dry isn't that hard - most red wines are dry.  In East Europe - Georgia, etc., they tend to make them sweet, but most "serious" red wines are not sweet. 

What was it you liked so much about that wine?  Was it particularly fruity, was it really acidic, did it smell flowery or was it stinky?  Do you have any idea what country it was from? I'm just guessing, but if it actually said Pinot Noir, I imagine it was probably US, maybe Australia or somewhere in South America.  If so, that's a start because if you remember the country or even better, the region, maybe you'd like other wines from the area or producer.  If you have any kind of a visual description, that's even better.

Otherwise, I'd just start trying some more Pinot Noir.  There's a lot that's pretty bad, but also a lot that's pretty good, so don't give up if the next few you try aren't to your liking - keep going!


Reply by wineguider, Dec 25, 2010.

I thought he was pretty clear about what he liked:  dry, dry, dry. 

I've thought about it, Mr. DC1, and I have something for you.  Marchese Antinori chianti classico riserva.  $30.  Widely available.  So dry, your teeth will fall out.  And a drop-dead sexy texture that is hard to beat.  If you want a "very (underscore very) dry" red wine, it's what's for dinner. 

If you remember anything more about that pinot, let us know.  Until then, have fun!

-Wineguider (

Reply by GregT, Dec 25, 2010.

Wineguider - that's dry and so are many other Chiantis and Italian wines.  But he's not a wine drinker. In the US, people talk dry and drink sweet.  It's very well-known in the business and it's what accounts for the success of Yellow Tail and Two Buck Chuck.  Your rec is dry and maybe that's just the ticket. It's also highly acidic. It's why I asked him what he liked beyond the dry factor.

Reply by hieronim, Dec 26, 2010.

This is something that I too have noticed.  People say dry and sweet and they don't really know what they're talking about.  Pinot Noir is in fact not that dry, and by not that dry I mean not overly tannic. 

Try different Oregon Pinots, since they tend to be a bit more relaxed than their big juicy California cousins. A to Z is a good one. 

Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Dec 27, 2010.

I don't equate dry with tannins, I associate it with lack of sugar.

Reply by DC1, Dec 27, 2010.

Sorry for the delay in responding (decking the halls..).

With respect to price: 9-35 would be great, however I am open to try more expensive bottles if highly recommended.

@ GregT
I apologize for the lack of clarity.  In short, I'm a diabetic that happens to really enjoy dry wines (it works out for me).  The absence of sugar is an absolute plus and I enjoy tannins.  

With respect to ‘taste’ and what seems to be an infinite variety of undertones and complexities.. I’m open.  I simply would like to stay away from ‘milder or light’ flavors.   As stated, I’m a ‘beer guy’: Although the diversity associated with brew is nothing to shake a stick at.. it pales when compared to the world of wine. I’m going to enjoy the slow education.  

You sold me at “So dry, your teeth will fall out”.  I’m on the hunt to pick it up; hoping that my local Wholefoods have it in stock. If not, I will order it by the close of the week and let you know.  Thanks again!

Thank you.   50-60 is up there.  However, I’ll store the recommendation as a must try.  I’ll reach out to you if I pick this up in 2011.


Reply by GregT, Dec 27, 2010.

DC1 - no apologies!!  And no question - the diversity associated with wine is nothing to shake a stick at!  Possibly even greater than wine, who knows?

Surprisingly, "dry" doesn't have a strict definition.  In Germany for ex, it means nine grams of residual sugar per liter, or 0.9% by percentage.  In other words, there's hardly any RS left. Some people claim that sugar is detectable at over 0.5%, but "dry" can be 1.3% too.

And alcohol itself can seem sweet to some people.  Although neither has anything to do directly with dryness, both acidity and tannins accentuate the sense of dryness.  Tannins can be very astringent and drying on their own - chew on a piece of black walnut or taste over-strong tea and your mouth will feel dry.  Acidity is often confused with tannins but that causes you to salivate as if your mouth were dry.  

So if you really like that sensation, you can pretty much assume that most quality reds are going to be dry in the sense of having little RS. But they'll feel exponentially more dry if you have high acidity and / or high tannins.  That suggests Italy.  The Tuscan region was suggested.   You might want to try some Nebbiolo-based wines from the Piedmonte region - a Barbaresco or maybe Gattinara.  Those are somewhat akin to Pinot Noir in their weight on the palate too.

From farther south, if you can find a Sagrantino, you may be happy.  That's one of the most tannic grapes around and it's high in acidity and dry as hell, although heavier than Pinot Noir and the aforementioned grapes. If you find something like  Madonna Alta, for around $40 or so, you'll understand why people put those wines away for a few years before trying them.



Reply by napagirl68, Dec 30, 2010.


I want to chime in here about Pinot Noir, in an effort to try to guide proper suggestions to you.  I am best experienced in CA and Oregon Pinots, so I am going to address those here. Sorry this will be a bit long :-)

First, let's talk about what "dry" means.  I have 5 friends that would call a wine "dry", and the other four would disagree.  Dry, to me, means lacking in residual sugar.  Some use the term for tannic wines, some for perceived acidity.  My point is that "dry" is a difficult term to interpret accurately, because of its wide usage to describe such different tasting experiences.

Now, back to pinot noir.  As with any other wine varietal, there is a plethora of flavors, noses, and colors to describe the same varietal.  But I have found the following to be *generally* true, at least for what I have tasted, personally, so far:  Oregon (Willamette, esp) pinots and Sonoma Coast/Russian River/Sonoma Cty. CA can produce a type of pinot, that  tends to be of a certain style that I personally like.  In the glass, They are a true red, like blood or garnet. There is no PURPLE here.  They also appear almost clear, vs. opaque.  The nose can be earthy and sometimes even "funky" (some use "barnyard" as a descriptor).  I also pick up red fruit on the nose like currants, and perhaps even orange rind.  The flavors tend to be cherry or tart cherry, red currants, and some level of asian spice.  Many more descriptors here as well, but I find those to be the most common that I have tasted.  The alcohol level on these wines tend to be in the 13-14% range.  I have also found that those who love and drink, almost exclusively, big Zins and Syrahs, do NOT like these wines!  My husband is an example, and just today, I had an Oregon Pinot at lunch with a friend... she hated it (she is used to a different style pinot).  The ones that don't like these often think they taste "watery" or "bitter" (my husband's words- he is a ZIN and SYRAH lover).

So the other style I have tasted, that I personally do not care for, is the Santa Barbara and Central CA inland coastal pinots (yes, there are exceptions, but this style is typically very different from the aformentioned for me).  These areas tend to be warmer, even hot in some circumstances, than the previously mentioned styles.  These are BIG pinots, and tend to have higher alcohol (14.5 to even 16%!!) and more residual sugar.  In the glass, they tend to be more purple than red.  On the palate, there is big fruit... lots of berry.. dark fruit vs. red fruit.  Some of these wines may also have up to 25% of another varietal blended in... syrah is a popular blender in some CA pinots.  IMO, this is and ENTIRELY different style of "pinot", so, when you ask for suggestions, it is important to know what style you had that you liked.

So, I will ask you, if you can remember... 

1. color- was it clear and garnet red, or more purple?

2.  nose - was there an "earthy" or "manure" type of smell, along with cherries, red fruit (vs. black or purple fruit)?  Or was it VERY fruity and smelled like rich blackberries... did you also smell big alcohol on the nose? 

3.  taste-  tartness, red currants, cherries, asian type of spice, or was is like cooked blackberries with some pepper (green pepper or black pepper).  Did it taste big and substantial..  or light and crisp?

I think if you can answer these questions, it might help to guide you to a wine that will please you... and bring back memories of that lost bottle!

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