My name is Phil. I am a new Chef fresh out of culinary school and IN LOVE with wine. However I don't know very much about wine and I am looking to learn as much as I can. As far as I have discovered so far I am usually a bigger fan of White Wines that are a nice balance of dry, sweet, and what i could describe as crisp tasting. I love Rieslings. I just received a bottle of Marques De Riscal Rioja from 2006 as a Birthday gift and im considering trying to let it age longer but I am unsure how successful it will be and if it would be good. honestly all I know is that it is a red wine. Any opinions? on this or any recommendations for other wines would be great.
- Reply by amour, Jan 28, 2013.
You will learn a great deal here on Snooth!
My suggeston to new wine enthusiasts is always: try your best to get a learned foundation, get a grip on all basic wine knowledge, which takes patience and time!
But, by all means explore and taste! IT DOES HELP IF YOU HAVE A GOOD TASTING MEMORY.
You would only discover the strength of your memory with time.
Because I love France and French wine and gastronomy, I suggest that you get your head around a wine map of France.
This is a life long pleasure; enjoy!
Look throgh the Snooth Forum and you will be amazed at how quickly you can learn a lot!
Our Snooth Mentors, especially Gregory Dal Piaz, and several prolific posters, know a lot and travel around and share their experiences and tasting notes.
Of course, you must read what Jancis Robinson has to tell us on her Purple Pages!
Have you tried the simple, humble White Zinfandel?
Since you, just like me, enjoy Sweet, I suggest Chateau Belingard / Monbazillac 2009, the wines of Sauternes/France, any vintage Sauternes you can get hold of, would taste great, though when kept in the bottle for another 10 years, they will light up!!!!
I also suggest Southern French Whites:
Hugues Beauvignac Picpoul 2011
Montignac Picpoul de Pinet
All are available in America, and reasonably priced, at around $12. per bottle.
The Picpoul Wines are actually quite impressive; typically full of excellent exotic fruit aroma and fresh limey flavour, direct acid focus. (My tasting notes are unique.....or perhaps avante garde....something else!!!)
You may want to start with simple wines which are nothing to write home about,
that way, you would be able to form comparisons when something great hits your young palate!
Hope that I have made a small meaningful contribution to your on-going passion search and wine education!
Cheers! Enjoy the never ending wine journey!
- Reply by jtryka, Jan 28, 2013.
Welcome Phil! I'm the opposite of you, as I am just not very interested in white wines, though if you twist my arm I'll try anything! As a new chef, (congratulations on graduating culinary school by the way), you know the importance of flavor in the dishes you prepare, you should try to think of wine as an extension of what you are cooking. There many fine dishes, but you pair them with a great wine and you have an evening to remember!
And try to taste from a variety of nations and producing regions, and I think you might get some great insights not only into the wines and foods of the regions, but into their cultures, which to me is what makes an artist in the kitchen, one who can show us not just an Italian dish, but what it means to be Sicilian! And as for your Rioja, it's likely drinking very well right now, so why not invite some friends over and enjoy it with some tapas? Sure, you can let it age, but I'm pretty sure it was a gift meant to enjoy!
- Reply by ElizabethCain, Jan 28, 2013.
If you like the crisp sweet whites I would recommend a New Zealand or Australian pinot gris and riesling. I don't drink a lot of white but these are nice!
I enjoy Mendoza malbecs, Spanish tempranillo, and Italian sangiovese.
If you want to explore reds I would give those a try. :)
I hope you like them!
- Reply by gregt, Jan 29, 2013.
Booper - welcome. That wine will probably say Crianza or maybe not even that. Drink it now. It's a nice wine. They're a relatively new producer but they make more classically styled wines and it will give you a basic sense of Rioja, which is Spain's most famous wine region by far. The Cacares wines are usually very safe bets in restaurants because you don't want to experiment when you're paying double or triple what you would at retail and those wines are not bad and you can get them at a fair enough price most of the time. The vintage wasn't all that great, so if you were going to age something from that area you should be looking for 2004, 5, 9, 10, all of which are better bets for the long haul.
As far as aging - if you don't have the facility, don't bother. Most wines don't appreciably improve anyway, and in Spain, at least with the traditional Riojas, they release when ready to drink. So while there aren't any wines that age longer than old-school Rioja, they're also very drinkable young. I'd suggest getting to know older wines before you start trying to age any. Get some friends together and all chip in for a bottle once in a while.
Many many different types of wines to choose from - good luck!
- Reply by Joanneotis, Jan 29, 2013.
Hi I'm Joanne from MA. Complete novice when it comes to wine..joined this sight because I feel l drink the same kinds of wine and want to try new ones but don't know where to begin. Love California Chardonnay such as J Lohr, Kendall Jackson, and Blackstone Merlot...some pinot noirs. I don't necessarily like overly sweet or bitter wines..tend to lean towards smooth and creamy buttery oak flavor!
- Reply by amour, Feb 1, 2013.
Presently, there are very interesting, perhaps even exciting, wine developments in several areas of the wine world: Oregon's Willamette Valley, New Zealand's Central Otago (South Island), and Australia's Mornington Peninsula.
I am also watching humble Portugal and her Douro section, and the huge and much varied Loire Valley in France, and of course, Burgundy in France and especially its passionate small producers, with their magical terroir-driven wines!
- Reply by duncan 906, Feb 2, 2013.
Amour Some of those Burgundies are just exquisite.We had some at Christmas
- Reply by amour, Feb 2, 2013.
Duncan, have you experienced a really good Morey-Saint-Denis?
A wine not that well known, not much talked about; actually soft, delicate, delicious!
- Reply by duncan 906, Feb 3, 2013.
Amour I am afraid not.At Christmas we had a Volnay,a Fixin and a Premier Cru Chambolle-Musigny and all three were lovely and very much up to the big occasion.I shall have to keep my eye out for a Morey Saint Denis
- Reply by amour, Mar 22, 2013.
I endorse Fixin....had some last night!
- Reply by penguinoid, Mar 23, 2013.
I've tried a few nice Fixins whilst in Burgundy, including a very nice Fixin 1er Cru. I'd be lying if I said I remembered the vintage or producer... the perils of buying wine by the glass in a restaurant!
One of the most beautiful wines I ever had, though, was a Volnay -- a '67 Volnay 1er Cru from Remoissenet -- that defies description. A reminder of just how beautiful a good, aged Burgundy can be.
RE Australian rieslings, if you're after sweet wines there are a number of good sweet rieslings from Australia but most that don't state that they're sweet will actually be dry! If you've never tried a good, dry riesling it can be a beautiful wine so worth trying ... but might be a surprise if you were expecting a sweet wine. Clare Valley is one of the top regions for Riesling in Australia.
Pinot gris ... well it depends. Most are in the off-dry Alsace-inspired style, but you get the odd one which is in the dry pinot grigio Italian-inspired style that the winemaker decided to label as pinot gris instead of pinot grigio because ... uh ... confusing people is fun?