Wine Talk

Snooth User: humpdog

"every day" wines

Posted by humpdog, Nov 9, 2011.

this isn't really a complaint, more of an observation.  i am not ashamed to say that i mostly drink "every day" wines.  by the use of this phrase, i mean wines that i buy on a regular basis that fit wihin my personal pocketbook parameters.  on a practical level, this means that i'm just not going to be buying many wines that cost above $30.  why?  because i can't afford 'em!

i recently read a mark oldman book on wine, in which he solicited "what's on my table" commentary from celebrities of all kinds who also love wine.  basically, these famous folk told the author what wines they tended to drink on a regular basis.

just to pick one example at random--geddy lee, the bass player for the band rush, seems to have a real fondness for expensive bordeaux and burgundy.  but you know what?  he's a multimillionaire, so those wines are his "every day" wines, just like borsao tres picos, d'arenberg stump jump red, chateau ste. michelle riesling and la crema chardonnay are a fair sampling of my "every day" wines.

i guess what i'm saying is that it seems to me that 98% of the time we ALL drink every day wines, but one man's every day wine is another man's expensive, once in a lifetime splurge.  thanks for indulging my llittle "rant."

Replies

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Reply by Kate Statton, Nov 9, 2011.

what's the saying? one man's garbage is another man's Chateau d'Yquem

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Reply by JL1103, Nov 9, 2011.

Im a fond believer that its all about what you like. The Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling is very enjoyable. I just finished a bottle on Friday night. Not every expensive wine will be worth the hype. Take Dom P. I don't care for it. I prefer an affordable Italian sparkling. Its like Cigars. Just because some "wine expert" reports a specific vintage to be wonderful, doesn't make it so. Im sipping an $8 bottle of Chateau de Jeanlice Bordeaux and its really starting to open up. I like searching for that awesome wine at an affordable price.

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Reply by gregt, Nov 9, 2011.

Hump - you're correct that what we consider "everyday" might vary.  A while ago I thought spending $8 was about the limit for wine, period.  That moved up to $15, $20, $30, $50 and it's hit $100 or more on occasion.  Partly that's because over the years I made more money and partly it's because the price of wine has gone up over the past 25 - 30 years. There's still $8 wine of course, but it's not the stuff that it used to be. Today it's coming from places like Argentina that weren't really on the scene years ago.

I did learn a few things along the way though.  First, as price goes up, quality is increasingly divorced from the price. So there's a big dif between $8 and $15, and between $15 and $30, but between $70 and $100, not so much and between $100 and $200, maybe even less and upwards of that even less.  I'm not talking about buying something aged and consequently very rare because other factors come into play, I'm talking about release prices.

Second, many people drink wine because they genuinely love it.  And of course tastes vary. Some people  taste widely and enjoy new things while others stick with what they like, whatever that might be. There are many good wines that people bypass because they're quite happy drinking what they like.  Not everyone wants to taste all the different ethnic cuisines and not everyone needs to.

Third, some people drink wine not because they love it but because they think a particular wine bestows some kind of prestige.  You see that all over NYC and I'm sure all over other places too. I don't know that guy and he may have a really sensitive palate.  But he could also be some guy who was told that Bordeaux was supposed to be good and it gives him a kind of style to be slugging it down.  I have no idea and I don't mean to disparage him personally but I encounter those types all the time.

Not really adding much I guess, but you can still be drinking some great stuff.  If you're dropping hundreds on a bottle, you better get something good.  The trick is to find something under $25 that really rocks. And you can.  Those people are the ones I like to hang out with.

FWIW, I've put that Tres Picos into blind tastings with Chateauneuf du Pape costing much much more.  Faced with 12 glasses of wine and not knowing what's in each, you don't have a label to tell you which wine you're supposed to be impressed by.  That Tres Picos holds its own. Last time I was at one of those tastings, there were a few financial and legal guys who can afford anything they feel like buying, as well as a few people in the wine business and one MW.  None of them picked that wine out as the "cheap" one. 

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Reply by spikedc, Nov 10, 2011.

Hump, i'm the same i rarely spend above $30 (£19) but i have tasted some fabulous wines between $11 - $30 especially some of the recommendations from fellow Snoothers. I haven't got the finances to spend much more apart from the odd occasions and then not silly money. I have sampled some great wines between $30 - $100 but these have been at tastings, one that springs to mind that i would consider  splashing out for is the Yalumba 'Octavius' Shiraz around $60 (£40) for me that was something special.

At the moment though i'm enjoying what i'm drinking without breaking the bank.

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Reply by humpdog, Nov 10, 2011.

thank you all for the thoughtful comments.  greg, when the opportunity presents itself, i think blind testings are the way to go.  no one knows what they're drinking or what they're "supposed" to be impressed by.  :)

i also can't help but think that drinking an 89 with good friends and loved ones beats the heck out of that 95 you drank by yourself.

 

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Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Nov 10, 2011.

I'm very happy with the wines I drink, I rarely buy anything over $15, there's a lot of good choices out there in the price range, especially Chilean & Argentine reds and New York State whites, give Cayuga White or Seyval Blanc a try, almost always under $10, Cayuga is usually a bit sweeter (like Riesling but better in my opinion) and Seyval is usually dry (like Pinot Grigio but better). From Chile the Carmeneres and Cabernets are great for under $10, and any Argentina Malbec has been at least good.

 

Check out my reviews , I consider myself a specialist in the under $15 category

 

 

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 14, 2011.

Chris, your own thread, that I posted to directly, was bad enough. But this off-topic spamming is downright obnoxious!

Show some respect for the purposes and readers/users here, and you might actually get some cross-traffic of value at some point. If we judge you are interesting in your discussions, that might happen. But not like this....

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 14, 2011.

Hump, I'm with you to some degree on the Tres Picos, and definitely on some lunches or dinners with the La Crema (when that's the style of chard I'm wanting), but StumpJump and Ch. St. Michelle leave me high and dry, I'm afraid. German (or Alsatian) rieslings in the same price range are much better on my palate, and I prefer more depth, followthrough and, I guess, acid than SJ provides. Even a lowly Chianti is better for me, which I noticed when someone brought both bottles to my home a night I was baking pizzas.

I went through a couple of decades when $100+/bottle was often weekday drinking. For the last half of one, however, my dailies are in the price range you describe since I've decided to budget money in other directions. There's a lot of good stuff out there even in that range, though, so happy hunting, and let us know what else you find that you like in that range.

Was just drinking last night with the creative side of a web-app design partnership based in Melbourne who is up in Tokyo playing in a music festival but also drumming up new business as they expand. He has fallen in lust with Japanese yakitori restaurants and was telling me how during this two weeks he's going to a new place every night, taking advice from anyone he meets on their favorite place in the neighborhood. He doesn't just want to find a place or two he likes and settle there on successive nights, but to continue his adventuring in hopes of finding the next good new. I guess that's how my wine drinking is going now in this price range. Over the past year there are only three or four bottles where I've repurchased the same label. Everything else has been something new....

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 17, 2011.

Well, other than the $100 bottles on a weeknight (or almost any other time), I am with dmcker on a lot of this.  I rarely buy more than a few bottles of anything because, at $8-20, I can take lots of chances.  And I think there are some wines where the low priced wine is about as good as it gets.  In summer heat, vinho verde that costs less than $8 is great, and it just doesn't improve as you spend more.  I buy a liter of Gruner Veltliner from Berger or others for about $14 and doubt that I could spend $75 for the same grape (though I have seen GVs for that) and be happier.  Great Muscadet sur lies is about $9 if you know where to look and hardly more than $15 for stuff as good as I can want.  Excellent Loire Cab Francs can be had for $15-20. Great Picpoul for $12 down the street from me.

Even on California wines, you have bargains.  The Calera Pinot Central Coast is under $20 and rocks.  Joel Gott SB for less than $10, Montevina Barbera (with pizza, oh boy) for $9, and the late lamented Jade Mountain La Provencale and Syrah (under $15, less when they were changing labels and phasing out the Rhone styles)--so many great choices. 

Plus tons of other things to try--and if I don't know if I like the varietal (with hundreds at least of vinifera grape varieties to try), I don't want to spend insane amounts or even large amounts finding out.

There will always be $30+ wines that I buy regularly--mostly Mauritson and Talty Zins--and a few in the $40s (where I think the Cal Cab sweetspot might be right now, until Hall and Chappellet come down a little), but even in elite grapes, I can find syrah (Copain), Cab (distressed wineries in Napa--I'm buying Ardente for $10 right now) and, yes, some Pinot (Amity for $17) for prices that make me smile. To me, a $50 Roar Pinot is still a big treat. 

Let Geddy drink his Bords.  Real wine lovers branch out.  Of course, I don't like Rush to begin with.  Wine is definitely something the masses like us can enjoy in this day and age.  I know for one that GregT has tasted $15 Chianti/Sangio that he enjoyed, because I have seen it!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 17, 2011.

BTW, I do blind tasting all the time for my friends and the ringer cheap bottle (or expensive bottle when the rest are cheap) is a common theme.  Pretty interesting stuff happens.  Sometimes people detect which wine is supposed to be the cheap one but like it better anyway.

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 17, 2011.

I'm pretty well down on CA cab these days, not sure if there is a sweet spot but there are values at every level from $40, from $60, and up.

We'll see if West Paso is much better, if you eliminate Saxum the pricing for the better wineries seems to be in the $25 - $45 range for standard offerings, then $50 - $85 for premium. It's an expensive state to do business in I guess.

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Reply by outthere, Nov 17, 2011.

I agree with Jon when he says sweet spots vary. I went from a $55 PS a couple nights ago (05 Switchback Ridge - Napa) to a $25 version tonight (07 Vina Robles - Paso)  and both have their place. While each is enjoyable the Switchback was miles better than the Vina Robles. Cabs are another story for me because most low dollar cabs are oak/fruit bombs and I don't blink at plopping $75-$100 on a good bottle. Not that that's an every day wine but I don't drink Cab every day. So...

All in all it seems my window is $20-$35 for daily drinkers with the occasional $10 surprise but those are few and far between. Problem is keeping enough in the cellar to keep me away from the more expensive bottles. Oh the horror!

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Reply by Fenderbaum, Nov 19, 2011.

I've been eying that Tres Picos for a while now. After all the chat I think I'll give it a go! I'm also with you on the Stump Jump, humpdog. I remember trying that one a while back and remember really liking it. 


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