Wine Talk

Snooth User: Really Big Al

Thursday (possibly into and through the weekend too) Wine Discussions

Posted by Really Big Al, Jan 15, 2015.

Due to popular demand (don't ask where that demand came from or you'll spoil my fun), we appear to need some new wine discussion topics.  This topic was only relevant to Thursday as a test case but was subsequently expanded to cover the weekend too.  What ever you bring up in this topic should either occur on a Thursday - Sunday, or it could be a follow-up to something that happened on a Thursday-Sunday.  No fair squeezing in something associated with Mondays. 

To kick things off, how many of you enjoy trying flights of wine before choosing one from the flight as the wine to drink with lunch or dinner?  Not every restaurant offers wine flights of course, but we've had several from restaurants in the Washington DC area.  Below is one from Seasons 52 earlier today.  Normally a three-glass affair, they made a mistake and had to bring me a fourth glass.  Sometimes we luck out.

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Replies

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Reply by EMark, Jan 15, 2015.

I'll play, Al.  I ususally expect wine flights to be offered in "wine bars" with small plates for casual dining (noshing, really) and socializing.  I can't think of a local restaurant (and hopefully you will understand my distinction between a "wine bar" and a "restaurant"}  that offers wine flights.  Now, as I compose this I am recalling that Peggy opted for a flight ot whites with her dinner at a seafood restaurant in Pismo about two years ago.  So, already I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth.  

Regardless, the concept of choosing a wine flight has to hit me on the right day when I'm in the right mood.  I have done it, and it has been fun, but, generally, I like have a bottle and watch it evolve over the evening.  I know that as I drink, my taste buds are becoming intoxicated and, so, the wine gets better as I have more tastes.  However, it is also sometimes interesting to see the changes in my perception as different courses are presented. 

Fun idea for a continuing thread.  I hope it catches on.

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Reply by dvogler, Jan 15, 2015.

On Wednesdays, I usually go to a pub called "The Beagle" with friend who only drinks beer....

Just yanking your chain Al.  I know when you saw the first word, you though, "that arrogant jerk!"

There's a nice wine bar a seven minute walk from my place called "Stage", perhaps because nearby is an old church converted into a community theatre.  Stage has a menu of wines that are available in three ounce tasters.  I usually get three and compare.  I might go tonight.  If so, I'll take some photos and report back.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jan 15, 2015.

EM - I understand what you mean about having the bottle for an evening as your 'taste buds' get intoxicated.  I mostly prefer wine that way because you can be doing it at home and save money to boot.  However, there is nothing preventing you from opening three bottles at home, pouring out three glasses and then using a vacuum pump to seal the bottles up again for the next days tasting.  One thing that I really enjoy is to go back and forth between glasses and try to determine what it is that I like about the favorite one.  Is it more fruit, a longer finish or what?  Hard to do with just a little taste like you get in a winery, so the flights help by offering you more in a single glass.

DV - I hope you ended up at the Stage tonight.  Are you able to pick your set of tasters or are they available only in groups?  Oh, I would never call you an arrogant jerk.  Being part Canadian myself, I understand you cannot help yourself sometimes.  :-)

We have wine  bars here in Virginia and of course in Washington DC.  Even a Whole Foods in Fairlakes VA (about 20 minutes from here) has a nice wine bar upstairs.  They use those dispensing machines and you purchase some amount of money on a card that you then insert into the machine for a precise pour (1 oz, 2 oz, etc.).  I've even seen one of those machines in a restaurant down in the Stafford VA area.  Our favorite wine bar in Washington DC is probably Veritas, which is very close to the Phillips Museum (yes, we are members).  They have several flights and some tasty charcuterie too.  I would post a link to their website but apparently it's been compromised or hacked in some fashion.

 

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Reply by dvogler, Jan 15, 2015.

Ah, well that explains everything Al. 

At Stage they're not flights, but three ounce taster glasses of whatever the heck you want.  You can try all the wine if you want.  I didn't make it as I'm finishing a bathroom renovation for a friend (on the side).  I'll drink tomorrow night and report on Wine Thursday.  :)

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Reply by blues4me, Jan 15, 2015.

I'm new to the site ... grow my own Riesling grapes and bottle a few bottles every year for my own enjoyment.  Is there a every discussion about growing your own grapes here? I think I got the tasting thing down, but still al little shy on growing.   

Thanks  

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Reply by dvogler, Jan 16, 2015.

Blues,

Welcome to the forum!  If you go back to the main forum page, you'll see a place where you can "start a new conversation".  I suggest you try that.  I'm certain you'll have some people who would have things to add, or talk about to you regarding growing grapes.  RexSeven grows grapes in Iowa.

I see you're from near Centralia.   My wife's from Enumclaw, but we live in Victoria BC.  I love Washington wines and always bring several back when we go down to visit.

 

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Reply by outthere, Jan 16, 2015.

I BYO when I dine out so I always get to drink something I enjoy. When presented with having to choose from a BTG selection I generally opt for a beer unless the restaurant has something unique. Like a nice Rosé starter. Spinster Sisters had an Arnot-Roberts Touriga Nacional Rosé BTG one night but that doesn't happen very often around here.

For the most part we eat in which allows us to avoid DUI checkpoints and also enjoy wine with our meal. 

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jan 16, 2015.

Interesting little factoid from last night; we currently have 448 bottles of wine in our wine cellar.  I don't think we are drinking them fast enough, or perhaps they have found a way to reproduce.

 

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Reply by vin0vin0, Jan 16, 2015.

When we do flights, we do flights ;)

At Sonoma Girl and the Fig, we barely had room for the food, oh well sometimes you just have to get your priorities straight.

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Reply by EMark, Jan 16, 2015.

However, there is nothing preventing you from opening three bottles at home, pouring out three glasses and then using a vacuum pump to seal the bottles up again for the next days tasting.

Well, I suppose you have a point, there, Al, but, in all honesty, that does not really appeal to me.  I'll happily read your reports, though. :-)

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jan 16, 2015.

That' a lot of flights to be sure.  Sandra remembers seeing that restaurant but I don't.  We didn't dine there but we'll add it to the list for the next excursion to Napa Valley.

 

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Reply by outthere, Jan 16, 2015.

"However, there is nothing preventing you from opening three bottles at home, pouring out three glasses and then using a vacuum pump to seal the bottles up again for the next days tasting."

"Well, I suppose you have a point, there, Al, but, in all honesty, that does not really appeal to me.  I'll happily read your reports, though. :-)"

That can become problematic as I am still working on the 7 bottles of wine from last Thursday. The Pinots are gone (Dava killed them off tonight) and I am down to three 1/2 bottles of Syrah that have 8 days of air at cellar temp. Good thing they  were all '13s and could handle all that air.

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Reply by outthere, Jan 16, 2015.

"That' a lot of flights to be sure.  Sandra remembers seeing that restaurant but I don't.  We didn't dine there but we'll add it to the list for the next excursion to Napa Valley."

That could be problematic as well since it is in Sonoma not Napa.

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Reply by outthere, Jan 16, 2015.

"Interesting little factoid from last night; we currently have 448 bottles of wine in our wine cellar.  I don't think we are drinking them fast enough, or perhaps they have found a way to reproduce".

What's happening is you are buying wine, cellaring it and then going out to restaurants and buying wine at double and triple retail to drink with your meals. One of these days you will wrap your head around this BYO thingy.

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Reply by dvogler, Jan 17, 2015.

OT,

in Al's defense, I don't think I really matters whether it's in Napa or Sonoma as he'll likely be in both counties.

However, I'm totally behind you about the BYO thingy.  Al's accumulating wine faster than he drinks it.  That is a SIN.  For the life of me I cannot build beyond my 90+/-  bottles.  I drink some and replace some, but those are collectible ones that need a year or two or three. 

But, Al seems to drink plenty of good wine at home too based on his photos!

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 17, 2015.

OH come now! It's not really a cellar until it gets into four figures.

And one, two or three years isn't really collecting or letting them age much. It's just settling bottleshock (or in some cases transitioning into a dumb period)! Two or three decades, depending on the bottles of course, and now we're talking.

Even with BYOBing, it's all good that stocks can still be on the upslope. Come times when they'll be drawn down, never worry...

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jan 17, 2015.

You guys are tough - especially OT.  I know Napa and Sonoma are separate, but they are so close and we of course visit both when we fly out there to visit the wineries.  Our first trip we lodged in Sonoma and the second trip we lodged in Calistoga - that clothing optional place.  Didn't I tell you guys about the massage?

Anyway, we drink wine just about every evening.  The problem is that we keep buying wine like we're trying to build up our wine collection (an effort started about 3 years ago) and belonging to 8 wine clubs is a big factor in that.  We don't need to acquire wine at the pace we've been running and I bet we will cut back once Sandra retires later this year (287 days to go). 

That being said, today we are heading over to Paradise Springs for their 5-year anniversary.  They are offering a free wine tasting and I expect we'll buy a few bottles.  Last night Sandra had me open one of their 2010 Meritage wines that we picked up a year or so ago.  It was quite nice but could have been a bit smoother for my pallet.  Sandra really enjoyed it however.

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Reply by outthere, Jan 17, 2015.

Oh come on, I'm not being tough at all. Just realistic. Sonoma is 1,800 sq/mi in size. That's 30 Washington DC's. Saying when I'm in Napa I'll just hit Sonoma for dinner can be problematic.

The restaurant thing is an easy one for me. With the wealth of dining riches out here there is no reason to drive an hour or more to eat. If you are in Napa you are in Napa, not Sonoma. I know the towns are 45 minutes apart but they are different worlds. Maybe it's just me being a local. I have Michelin starred restaurants within walking distance of my home. That's also true for many parts of Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Why drive if you don't have to?

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Reply by dvogler, Jan 17, 2015.

Why drive?  Fox and I were hammered when we were in Napa (just kidding...)

DM, you're right.  I don't have a cellar, but a collection.  I didn't say I'm aging them.  I don't have Bordeaux!

When I say collecting, I'm talking mostly BC reds that aren't easy to obtain.  Typically you have to be on the winery's list, or go there.  Once in a while, a local shop will get a case of something, so I'll grab a bottle, but often it needs a year or two to soften up.  My buddy Chester had more discipline and he holds them for five or six.  Every wine he's opened has been pretty great.  For me, three years is max.  Now Amarone and Barolo I can sit on.  I've still got some that I bought eight years ago.

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Reply by EMark, Jan 17, 2015.

We don't need to acquire wine at the pace we've been running and I bet we will cut back once. . . . .

I'll take that bet.  I've seen/heard that statement too many times in the past.

;-)

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