Wine Talk

Snooth User: Elavrius

Beginners path

Posted by Elavrius, Dec 3, 2010.

Hello everyone, I'm totally new to the world of wine, and not so long ago I discovered a Wine store in our city (There is not much of them in Estonia, I mean places where you can find some real AOC French or Italian wine) and i bocame interested.

But as I already mentioned, i have no expirience at all, and as long as having a bottle of wine is not enough to fully enjoy it, I would like to ask from You, visiters of this forum, some help and advices regarding how wines that i have should be served. Should it be decanted, how long, with which food it will combine better, how long opened bottle can be kept, and it would be totally great if you also leave some of your expressions about this wine!

Thank You very much!

There goes the first one.

Chateau du Plantier, 2009

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Reply by wineydoc, Dec 3, 2010.

glad you're here!  i'm really new at this, as well, but i'm guessing that something from the Bordeaux region 2009 is probably pretty young and acidic.  the European wines are made to age.  CA wines are released ready to drink, without any further aging.  looks like you've opened & tried it already.  i would suggest storing another bottle for a while, and checking it out again in a few years.  see what you think of it then. 

and, yes, my understanding is that most European reds do best with decanting.  how long can depend on the individual wine, and you'll be best to ask the wine clerk how long to decant it before serving. 

most of the wines can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days after opening.  you never know until you actually try storing it in the fridge.  i've never had the one you've presented, so i can't get any more specific.

Reply by Elavrius, Dec 4, 2010.

Thank you for your answer!

Yep, I already tried it (not alone), rather out of curiosity. I dont usually like dry wines, but this one, even while not served properly had something intersting in it, and after some time in glass it became better in my opinion. Also it was very easy to drink from the start.

Thank you again!

Reply by Elavrius, Dec 4, 2010.

also some information about grape 

49% Merlot / 7% Cabernet Franc / 44% Cabernet Sauvignon

Reply by GregT, Dec 4, 2010.

"the Bordeaux region 2009 is probably pretty young and acidic.  the European wines are made to age.  CA wines are released ready to drink, without any further aging"

Interesting.  Why would they be acidic and will that fade with age? Didn't know that as a rule European wines were made to age.

Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Dec 4, 2010.

Those are both sweeping generalities, which are as often wrong as right.

Reply by WVTIM, Dec 5, 2010.

Some paring advise, remember that you want to compliment flavors.  If the wine has some fruit notes to it, try to think what those fruits would be good with, (barbeque ribs with a zinfandel or pinot grigio with a light fish dish).  Acid content matters too, a light creamy pasta or a dish with garlic would do well with sauvignon blanc.  Never have a big red with fish, the oils in the fish can make the wine taste off.  Good luck on journey through the world of wine.

Reply by Elavrius, Dec 6, 2010.

Thank you for you advices, it helped alot!

And questions, this time about white wine, as i understood, usually it shouldn't be decanted, right?

Will Sauvignon blanc, f.e. Root 1 be a good pair to pasta and fish?

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Dec 6, 2010.


My experience is that SB is OK with fish but probably does not go well with Oily fish eg Tuna or deep sea fish eg Marlin.  I find it matches best with fresh Oysters, prawns served cold and other similar shellfish, also not a bad mix with sashimi - I would however suggest that it depends on the SB, the French ones from Sancere can mix ok with oily and deep sea fish but New Zealand ones are best for shellfish

I do like my local Aussie ones from Adelaide Hills with Oysters natural

Pasta depends on sauce, a french SB will go well with a cream based pasta but most will struggle with a tomato based pasta.

One of my work colleagues came from Estonia and she worked in Adelaide for a couple of years, then she met a Russian with a Phd doing research at Adelaide Uni and is now in London. Pretty good life - Estonia - Adelaide - London!

Reply by rahnjoseph, Dec 6, 2010.

This question is the most favourite question been asked and i love to reply onthese kinds of queries. decanting a wine is something very natural process just touch the bottleneck to the wine glass and pour it.

Reply by GregT, Dec 8, 2010.

elavrius - whether or not to decant a white is an interesting question.  Too bad Stephen's friend didn't stick around to do some research!

Decanting usually isn't done for white wines.  That doesn't mean it's useless.  There are some whites that are amazingly complex and that even become better after a good deal of airing.  A winemaker told me recently that his white would be better the next day after I opened it, and perhaps he was right because it really got better after a few hours. 

For me, that's a wine to decant.  Then sometimes you find these older whites that respond to decanting as well. 

I would think however, that we're talking about a very small number of wines and in general, I'd probably not worry about it. 

Now Sauvignon Blanc is its own set of problems.  First, it's Sauvignon Blanc.  Second, it tastes like Sauvignon Blanc.  Third, it takes up space in your glass that could better be taken up with a nice Syrah. So if you decant that, you run the risk of it picking up even more flavor, and goodness knows that's the last thing you want with Sauvignon Blanc.

More seriously, you can find some that may have a bit of age and who knows that they may not benefit from decanting? The only way to know is to try.


Reply by dmcker, Dec 8, 2010.

I take it you've been drinking too many NZ SBs, Greg....

Reply by GregT, Dec 8, 2010.

I just went down to the cellar to find something to open and damned if I didn't pick up a SB!  How did THAT get in there?  I shuddered, put it back, and decided to go with a Fiano.   Plan was Petite Sirah, but that just didn't seem appealing.

Speaking of NZ though, I do have a bottle of 1998 Matariki Syrah Hawkes Bay.  I bought it because I was kind of interested in NZ Syrah and completely forgot about it.  I thought it was like a 2004 or something and don't know how long I've had it any more but I guess since I bought it ten years ago.  Any exp with those?  It's not something I would have thought to age.

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Dec 9, 2010.


The Hawkes Bay Shiraz are usually pretty good, quite different to Australian Shiraz and have more of a cool climate style to them - as you would expect from NZ

Generally pretty good with age but definitely pull it out and drink it

Let me know who it looks

As to the SB, you should have brought it into the kitchen put it into the fridge and tried a glass with some fresh Oysters, probably not a great drink but you can change it if it is not good and leaving in the cellar means it takes up valuable space

Reply by Elavrius, Dec 11, 2010.

Great advices, thank you everyone)

And another question, what kind of wine can be kept opened? For example if i just want to drink one glass per evening? Also it would be good, if it could be enjoyed solo.

Also, i want to try Chianti, maybe you could give some advices about this wine?

Reply by dmcker, Dec 11, 2010.

Don't keep any wine 'open' if you're not going to be finishing it in that sitting. Many competing re-closing techniques that have been discussed ad nauseum on these boards before (do a search using the box up to the right). But also don't expect any wine to be the same five or six days later, regardless of how you close it back up (and stick it in the fridge)....

Reply by outthere, Dec 11, 2010.

"But also don't expect any wine to be the same five or six days later, regardless of how you close it back up (and stick it in the fridge)...."


Amen to that. If you plan to drink a glass a night buy a 375ml bottle. Then again I have had wines that were better on the third day and even the fourth. That '09 Bdx would surely have been better after a few days. You baby killer ;-)

Reply by dmcker, Dec 11, 2010.

You beat me to it, outthere, when you mentioned the '09.

At least I can tell you have enough fire in the belly, enthusiasim, what have you. In SV back in the day we used to describe that as 'willing to eat your own children'. Maybe some crossover from Wall St.....

Reply by GregT, Dec 11, 2010.

Elavrius - not sure what kind of advice you want on Chianti, but the guy who knows those wines is Greg DP. I think he may have written some articles about those too - check the article section of this site for some general background.

And yes, I'll add my 2 cents to the folks above - most wine shouldn't be kept open for several days.  In all cases it will change; in most cases it will deteriorate.

Get a 1/2 bottle somewhere, fill it with the wine from your fresh bottle as soon as you open it, stopper it, put it in the fridge, and then go back and drink what you have left in the original bottle.  That's not perfect, but it works.

Reply by Elavrius, Dec 12, 2010.

Yeah, sure, i know that wines should not be kept opened (eve if they are actually closed), but what i meant, if there are some that could be kept longer, for example young wines of 2009?

About Chianti o meant these basic things like time of decantation and food that wuill suit this wine, but sure, ill check firstly other articles that are there)

Thank you, it is so nice that you people are helping me so much, ansvering for my quistions, wasting your time, thanks)

Reply by Quentin Heller, Dec 12, 2010.


First, I you issue is to have only one glass of wine a day or two you have several options

1. drink sweet wines such a Sauternes (french), Tokaj (Hungary), etc etc, those will handle (with their cork) on a few days in the fridge

2. Get bag in box, I don"t know if this is very common in Estonia but bag in box generally comes in a 3l format and can be kept for three weeks without any quality loss. but you will be drinking three liters of the same wine which if you want to become wine educated cannot be by itself a unique solution

3.Buy a wine pump, its pretty cheap and it allows 2-3 days storage of a bottle

Regarding decantation: I guess you mean puting the wine in a decanter which in France is not what we call decanting.

Decanting is putting the wine into a decanter and then immediatly back in the bottle. during this process you will thanks to the help of a lighted candle get rid of the precipitations that can be present at the bottom of a bottle. No that many people go to these extremes.

If we talk about pouring a bottle into a decanter then Its difficult to make rules but

- Young tannic wine should be decanted from  1 to 5-6 hours

- Old wines should not be decanted (they are fragiles)

- Only quality white wines should be decanted but stored at a rather cold temperature

What I recommend you to do in any case is to taste at all stages, or sniff you decanter to see what is happing

Regarding wine and food pairing: its a big subject and it is according everyones taste but very basic rules for french wines

red meat: bordeaux reds, languedoc red, rhone valley

Spicy food: alsace gewurztraminer, loire Valley white wines, rhone valley white wines

Cheese: white wine with cheese no red wine, white burgundy is a nice pairing but white Sancerre can also be good with goat cheese

Poultry: Red Burgundy

Pork and dried meats: Beaujolais red wines  or Loire valley red wines)

Dessert: champagne or sweet wine

Have fun







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