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Snooth User: minkycarter

Hello Snooth!

Posted by minkycarter, Apr 23, 2014.

Hi there!

I'm very excited to learn about Snooth learning from all of you.  I have a real love for wine (and cheese!)- food in general.  Reds are my favorite- particularly Cabs, Cab Francs, Malbecs, Tempranillos....I've had to be very choosy when I drink them for a long while now because of migraines.

In the summer I like whites.  I live in Atlanta and it can get pretty hot here- I used to tell people I loved "buttery Chards", but I realized just recently (or maybe my tastes have changed) that I don't really like that flavor.  I've been favoring steel barrelled, crisp "blancs" with flavors of apple, melon, sometimes a little grass and more minerality than before.

I'd really appreciate any recommendations you all may have and am excited about what this forum can teach me on one of my favorite subjects!



Reply by EMark, Apr 23, 2014.

Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Minky.  And congratulations on composing an excellent introductory posting.

Since it is getting to be summer, and and it looks like you are looking for recommendations on white wines, let me go in that direction.  Have you looked at French Chardonnays?  I think you will find the taste profile of white Burgundies better match your evolving palate.  In our household we are big fans of wines from Chablis and Chassagne-Montrachet.  The other idea I have, especially, when you mention the grassy descriptor, is wines made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape.  The nice thing about Sauvignon Blanc is that it is much less expensive than Chardonnay.  So, you can try more wines on any given budget.  In Atlanta, you should be about to find numerous very reasonably-priced examples from California, France (the Loire regions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume) and New Zealand.  

I'm sure you will get more good advice from other contributors.

Oh, and your close sent me to Google to find out what "slainte" means.  Thank you.

Reply by duncan 906, Apr 23, 2014.

welcome to our forum

Reply by minkycarter, Apr 23, 2014.

Thank you!!

Reply by dvogler, Apr 24, 2014.


Perhaps you do this, but a suggestion would be to limit yourself to one (for a while) bottle (not all by yourself!) and take notes on how you feel the next day.  Of course this means trying many wines, but that's a good thing.  You can eliminate ones that give you a headache.  I don't take notes and there are some mornings (after an evening of drinking several wines) where I have a mild headache.  I can narrow it down from experience, but if you're talking might be worth the effort.

Reply by minkycarter, Apr 24, 2014.

DVOGLER, that is a great idea!  I have never thought of trying that.  I thing I'll try that this weekend.  My (very thoughtful and generous) sister-in-law gave me a 2011, Stag's Leap Petite Syrah that I think I'll open.

What will you be drinking this weekend?


Have a good day and a wonderful weekend!



Reply by outthere, Apr 24, 2014.

That Stags Leap PS is painfully young as they age out well beyond 20 years. If you must open it I would suggest doing it justice by opening the bottle a day ahead of time, pouring off a couple ounces into a glass and let the glass and the opened bottle sit in a cool closet or cellar if you have one. The tasting experience for that wine will be greatly improved since right now it will be all tannic with primary black fruit. A headache waiting to happen if you ask me.

Oh, BTW, welcome to the forums Jen!

Reply by minkycarter, Apr 24, 2014.

Oh.....I think I'll wait on that one!  Thank you for the information :)  Can you provide any recommendations for my weekend wine?  I'm open to whites or reds...would like to branch out and try some new things.

I really appreciate the feedback!


Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 24, 2014.

You have a pretty good start on young reds if you like Cab Franc.  I'd also suggest Chianti and Sangiovese based wines in general for "pop 'n' pour" wines.  I personally favor young Sangios with (horror to traditionalists) a little merlot to take some edge off the acids.  Grenache doesn't really want to age, so Rhone blends and many Spanish Garnachas are a good call for early drinking reds.  Zinfandel also, although some of them improve, they are usually good young. 

I agree with Emark that French Chardonnays are a good transition away from buttery Cali chards.  But I think I'd go all the way to Chablis there for that minerally, steely effect.  Lots of white burgundy is actually taken through full malolactic, which is what makes that buttery taste.  Chablis, as a rule, is not as buttery.  Also, Clos la Chance from Cali makes un-wooded Chards that are light on the malo and are often available and not too expensive.  But being in Atlanta, you probably have lots of access to Chablis and good ones can be had under $25, even under $20 on occasion.  Don't get caught up in grand cru Chablis just yet, get the regular stuff and see if you like the style.  (Petit Chablis is from less favored sites, so you want to wait till you know the growers more.)

There's also a ton of great white wine that isn't Chardonnay. It may not get the same shelf space, but it's out there.  Sauv Blanc from Joel Gott is good year in and year out, and then there's the whole divide between New Zealand SB and French (mostly from the Loire, but also from Bordeaux).  Chenin Blanc is often a good deal and it's going to be the antithesis of those creamy chards, all citrus pith, stones, and acid, but aging into wax and honeysuckle. 

Welcome to Snooth, great first post!  Now go enjoy a cool glass of white wine with lunch!

Reply by minkycarter, Apr 24, 2014.

I just bought a case of the Joel Gott Sauv Blanc because I like it so much, and it's a great price point.  I'm very interested to try some of the Chablis and the Chenin Blancs sound great- I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate the recommendations.

I'm always interested in trying new things.  I'm happy I joined- I have access to a whole new world now :)


Have a great day!


Reply by JenniferT, Apr 24, 2014.

Welcome to the forum!

I'm also fairly certain that my tastes and preferences have changed dramatically over the years. I think it's probably fairly common to develop different preferences as you develop your palate with more varied tasting experiences. 

Helpful for me too!  Definitely agree w the recommendation of chablis and chenin blancs.

Going to need to keep an eye out for Clos la Chance Cali chardonnay. I also hadn't been aware that Petit Chablis is generally less favoured and (presumably?) a riskier purchase when made blind.

I've been doing this whole try to learn about wine thing for awhile now. These days I find that I'm just trying to taste as much as I can. This has involved a lot of blind buying. It has kind of been hit or miss, but still educational. Better yet, if you can be lucky enough to frequent stores that pour multiple wines for little $ (or free), this is a great way to taste and discover more about what you like and develop a rapport with the store staff as well. 

Reply by dvogler, Apr 24, 2014.

Another Jen!

Well, you're in good hands.  I was just about to tell you I have a 2010 Stag's Leap PS, and I'm not thinking about it for some time..but OT was there to save that poor infant!  I will be drinking something red!  I think I'll be at some party at my boss' house and he loves BIG California I think I'll let him pour!  I'm trying several British Columbia Syrahs right now..on the hunt for the best one.  I'm a bit of a weirdo because I don't really drink whites.  I'm sure I will, but for now I prefer red.  BIG reds. 

Reply by GregT, Apr 25, 2014.

The nice thing about Sauvignon Blanc is that it is much less expensive than Chardonnay.

Ah Emark! Some are, some aren't. But even if they all were, you still have an insurmountable problem.

You have Sauvignon Blanc!

You gotta do poor Minky some good or he won't come back. Suggest something else! Anything, else!

I feel like we've been down this road before . . .

Anyhow Minky, welcome. These folks really do like to help.

Chenin Blanc is really different from Chardonnay. Basically, Chardonnay has little, if any, personality of its own so it's generally manipulated in some way - left on the lees, barrel-fermented, etc. Alone, it's a lean, tart grape with little flavor. If it's vinified w/out going through malolactic fermentation, it can have notes of green apples and even citrus, when it's more ripe you get honeydew melon and more tropical fruits. It's actually an interesting grape because it takes on the coloring of so many other things so easily. So don't give up on it. There's a lot of crap produced, but also some pretty good stuff that isn't going to break the bank. I'm in agreement on the Chablis idea, although more recently I've been trying a few from CA and I'm not minding them too much.

But there are so many whites. From north Spain, try Albarino - it also comes in several iterations but typically has a very crisp quality and it's rarely put in oak. Verdejo is somewhat similar to Sauvignon Blanc although never as green. Macabeo is produced in several regions and if you can find some, look for some Vinho Verde from Portugal. It often has a bit of a fizzy quality, it's dirt cheap, and it's fine for hot humid summers. Moving over to the Basque region, you can look for some Txakoli, which will also have a slight fizz to it - not like Champagne though! It tends to be a little pricey but you can get some for around $20 or so. There are plenty of other white wines, but those are good for Atlanta summers!

Out of France, Chenin Blanc tends to have notes of straw and grass - not like SB but more like dried grass. But wines from the Loire valley would be great. That's a fairly cool area much of the year but has beautiful summers, but their wines, which are mostly SB, CB, and towards the west, a relative of SB called Melon, tend to be very lean, high in apparent acid, and unoaked.

And then don't forget Italy and Greece. Too many whites to mention now. But yeah, venture beyond Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc by all means.

Good luck!

Reply by JenniferT, Apr 25, 2014.

Another great and educational post, Greg! 

Quick quesiton re your comment on malolactic...I thought it just imparted buttery/cream notes? Does treatment with malolactic tend to produce wines with more riper/tropical notes as well? 


Reply by EMark, Apr 26, 2014.

Well, now we've really scared her away

Minky, GregT is one of the best contributors to the Snooth Forum.  He, like most people here, is extremely intelligent.  He is very knowledgeable and passionate about wine, and, again like most people here, is very excited to spread the wine gospel.  He is incredibly opinionated, like most people everywhere.  He is an excellent writer, unlike most Americans (there is one of my prejudices).  He is able to support his arguments with well researched facts.

Most of his post, above, is opinion.  As is Greg's wont, it is stated with much conviction.  He did mention one fact.  To paraphrase, I agree that you can buy some Chardonnay wines that are less expensive than some Sauvignon Blanc wines.  I'll give you an extreme example, and I'll limit it to domestic brands.  You can probably by Charles Shaw California Chardonnay for less than $3 in Atlanta.  A Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River area of California is going to run you about $30.  So, like Fox News, I'll let you you decide--ten bottles of Charles Shaw Chardonnay or one bottle of Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc.

I am going to mention a (shudder) Chardonnay that I like--Lewis Cellars.  Lewis produces Chardonnay bottlings from both Sonoma and Napa grapes, and they do not allow malolactic fermentation.  So, I find them to be much more lean than many California examples.  Greg, you should be able to find it in San Diego.  Don't seek it out, necessarily, but if you stumble onto it, I would be interested in your opinion.

For what it's worth, I also like the Lewis Sauvignon Blanc


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