Introduce Yourself

Snooth User: LindeMen

Hello Snooth!

Posted by LindeMen, Apr 10, 2015.

Retired and looking to become more acquainted with wine products.  It seems like an vast array of confusion to me.  I only drink dark red wines, and the cheap kinds- as you might be able to tell by my username- but I love wine.  

So let me get my many thoughts together and in some kind of order and I will get back.  Thank you community.

 

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Replies

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Reply by EMark, Apr 11, 2015.

Welcome to the Snooth Forum, LM.  Independent research is the best way to learn about wine--i.e., try as many as you can.  Of course, we would be happy to respond to any questions you may have.

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Reply by LindeMen, Apr 11, 2015.

Thank you EMARK.  I have a few questions but can't seem to access, or figure out how to, post in the Beginner's Corner.  Is that category still open?, or should I just post in the Wine Talk area?

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Reply by EMark, Apr 11, 2015.

Most of us don't pay much attention to the category, LM.  Post your questions under any category.  If you just want to post your questions as a reply here, that will work,, also.

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Reply by LindeMen, Apr 11, 2015.

Cool.....

My first question is about 'flavor'.  The wine I currently use is Bin80 Cabernet - Merlot from Lindeman's and I like it very much.  It is described as having blackberry, plum, strawberry, and licorice flavor.  

I don't taste any of those things.  Is my palate bad?  I just taste like a kind of bitter fruity thingy.  Are those flavors they describe 'actual flavorings' the manufacturer adds in the production process.  How does a grape produce a strawberry and licorice flavor I guess is what I am asking.

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Reply by outthere, Apr 11, 2015.

No Lindeman, they aren't adding those flavors, they come naturally to some wines. Strawberry notes are common with some red wines, I find them in some Pinot Noir, Cabernet  and many aged wines. Licorice/Anise comes up a lot in Cabernet/Merlot blends. Blackberry and plum are common in Zinfandel, Cab blends and many reds that are on the ripe side.

Whether you taste/smell any of these things is irrelevant if you enjoy the wine. Just drink what you enjoy.

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Reply by LindeMen, Apr 11, 2015.

I was having a hard time imagining picking a grape off a vine and finding it tastes like licorice!  So it sounds like a grape, through the manufacturing process, has its untapped flavor revealed by the metamorphosis from grape to wine?  Interesting.  So, would all Cabernet wines have the same flavor listing regardless the manufacturer?   Sorry to sound so concrete, just trying to wrap my head around this a little better.

The other question is:  are all Cabernet - Merlot blends called 'Bordeaux'.  That would be nice to know so when in a restaurant I can ask what type Bordeaux's they have on hand.  

Nice to find a nice wine forum, thanks guys.

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Reply by dvogler, Apr 11, 2015.

Lindy,

If you asked what Bordeaux they have, they'd give you a list of French wine.  You could say Bordeaux "style" blends.  In North America it's more appropriately called "Meritage" (rhymes with Heritage).  If you want to keep it simple, just ask what red blends they have.  Some Cabernet Sauvignon's actually have up to 20% other than Cab Sav in them and they don't have to call it a blend.  The different grapes in a blend each give it a different characteristic.  Petit Verdot for example is very fragrant.  Depending on the percentages, you will get very different flavours.  When you read these words, like "licorice, plum, cedar..." it's often almost things that are reminiscent and not necessarily "actual".  Different people will have different things they'll say they taste or smell.  There's no right or wrong.  As OutThere said, just drink what you enjoy.  Try to think about it though and it might come to you.  Imagine, close your eyes, smell the glass and feel it in your mouth.  Imagine what's in there.  Also, you can take ten different Cabs and they might have some things in common, but they'll be quite different.  If you are sticking to Merlot (which I love), try a different one than Lindeman.  Try a Beringer or a Washington one.  

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Reply by LindeMen, Apr 11, 2015.

Thanks guys, informative stuff for a novice like me.  I have been buying Lindeman's @ Kroger and first started buying just Merlot and one day I saw the Cabernet - Merlot blend so I gave it a try and like it a lot.

That is the only Cab-Merlot blend like that carried by my local Kroger store of any manufacturer, so if they ever run out I am SOL.  I would imagine there are many other companies that make a reasonable priced Cab-Merlot blend that is not too difficult to find no matter where one lives.  

Any suggestions for other brands that make the Cab-Merlot blends where it actually has those two names printed on the bottle label like Lindeman does.    Kroger has only a few of the Lindeman's C-M blend around and I have been buying them almost all up myself.... and I don't think, of know, if it is a high priority for them for reordering, as compared to the boatload of other Lindeman products like straight Merlot, or straight Cabernet they have.   Sorry, this is not an advertisement for Lindeman.

 

Thanks again for the help......

 

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Reply by dvogler, Apr 11, 2015.

LM,

Lindeman's probably makes 20,000 cases of that stuff, so I'd be surprised if there became a shortage!   Is it vintage?  Do they put a year on the label?  How long have you been buying it?  Have you noticed it being pretty well exactly the same from year to year?  I'm guessing it is.  Don't be afraid to move on.  Try something else!  There's got to be something similar. 

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Reply by LindeMen, Apr 11, 2015.

Only been buying it @ Krogers for a few months now.  Have only really been seriously buying wine now for about a few months if what I do can be called "seriously"...LOL. 

There is 2013 on the label and they only have about 4 or 5 more bottles on the shelf down from the several cases they had on hand about a month ago- they had a display set up with the Cab-Merlot offering.  

I suppose I can ask store management to order more Lindemans, but I would like to get adventurous and try a little upgrade in price and from another company.   

Can you give me a few different wine companies to look for locally, that many good stores may carry, that has both names on the label, and sells under $20.00.  I might pay more than 20.00, but now I am paying $10 on sale for $6 per bottle at the grocery store.

Thank you very much.   

 

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Reply by MJET, Apr 11, 2015.

Welcome Lindemen. Try A Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet-Merlot. You can also venture a little towards the Cabernet side and try a Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheers! 

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Reply by Al the First, Apr 11, 2015.

welcome Lindeman, you will find the experts here very helpful most times with a bit of Snark thrown in to keep you on your toes. 

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Reply by dvogler, Apr 11, 2015.

MJet,

I'm impressed.  TWO Washington rec's!  I think Chateau St. Michelle makes a cab/merlot blend too.  Now whether Lindeman can get them is another story.  I live in Victoria BC (not far from Seattle) and my wife is from Seattle so I'm down there a few times a year to visit in-laws.  They have a grocery store called QFC that must be under the Kroger umbrella, as they have a lot of Kroger brand stuff.  They have an excellent wine selection and even a temperature controlled room with NICE stuff.

Lindeman, don't worry about being new to wine.  Just try different things, keep notes and refer to them.  You'll quickly discover things that will surprise you.  Many things will effect your enjoyment.  The food, time of day, people you're sharing with, so don't limit yourself to this Lindeman's cab/merlot.  I will try to send you some real suggestions.  Where are you located?

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Reply by GregT, Apr 12, 2015.

Lindeman, a lot of it depends on what the winemaker wants. If he wants a little licorice in the wine, he goes down to the store and buys a can of Aunt Granny's Down Home Pure and Natural Licorice Flavoring. He throws a cup or two of that into the barrel and voila! Licorice!

Actually that's not what happens and I've never come across your questions before, but they're fair questions. First thing to keep in mind is that all those flavor descriptions don't matter. Some people claim to perceive those things. In some cases they actually do.

As humans have evolved, we've developed sensitivities to certain things and in some cases, we respond differently to the same thing depending on its concentration. For example, some of the same molecules that we pick up as a strawberry aroma are the same ones we find in human feces. In grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, we pick up aromas of grapefruit but at different concentrations, it smells like cat pee. The winemakers don't put cat pee into the wine though.

Many years ago I tasted a wine and I suddenly understood what people meant when they said they picked up notes of graphite. I'd never noticed it before but on that wine, I couldn't think of the flavor and suddenly that came to mind and it was spot on.

Then some flavors seem to occur with certain grapes. Take blueberry. Blueberries themselves are very subtle and they don't have a lot of acidity but once I had a wine and I realized that there was a bit of a blueberry note to it. After that, I could pick that wine out in a blind tasting fairly easily. But there aren't many grapes that produce that note. It's kind of unique to Monastrell, although not every wine made from that grape shows it. My guess is that it's some of the same molecules we find in real blueberries that produce the flavor in the wine.

A lot of Garnacha from Spain and Australia seems to have a bit of a strawberry/raspberry note. But not all of them do. I've only had a couple from CA that have that quality. Partly it's because I think CA still needs to figure out Garnacha.

There's a bell pepper quality that you find in a lot of Merlot, Cab, Malbec, etc. Those grapes are all related and are part of the Carmenet family. They're all parents or siblings or cousins. You also get it in Sauvignon Blanc, which is part of the family. People will sometimes say a particular wine is "typical". But that green pepper quality for example, can be mitigated by lots of sunshine, so the Malbec in Argentina tends not to have that quality, whereas the Malbec from France or CA might. So which is the "typical" profile of the grape? People debate this endlessly, so don't look for any revealed truth. 

And again, don't imagine that you have to pick up any of the aromas and flavors you read about. I'm not sure some of the people who write those things actually experience them. And if you don't, that's OK. Most important is whether you like a wine or not. After that, you can start analyzing what it is that you like or don't like.

 

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Reply by LindeMen, Apr 12, 2015.

Lots of information to pour through, excuse the pun! but thank you all tons.

On the topic of decanting from MW45's thread a couple questions.  

I like the idea of decanting, it kind of makes sense as does the size and shape of the decanting bottle.  My question is once the wine is poured into the decanter do you keep the wine in it until it's finished, or do you transfer it back to the bottle it came from after about a few hours of decanting.   It takes me a couple days to finish a bottle so do I just leave it in the decanter.   The decanters I saw on Youtube did not have a stopper top on them.  Do decanters have tops?

On the subject of decanting which, from my understanding beyond aeration, the exposure to air helps  bring more body to the wine.  Currently when I remove the fake cork from the bottle for the first time I close the bottle back up when finished by using a thing-a-ma-jig my wife bought somewhere.  

It is a rubber stopper with some holes in it I guess and I put this white plastic pump thingy on top of the stopper and pump and pump until it 'clicks' and at that point the air has been removed from the bottle.  If decanting is a good idea why can't I just put the fake cork back into the bottle, or just leave the bottle open for the few days I use it.

I understand that for a dinner party just leave the wine in the decanter, but for single person use what do you guys suggest- 1.  keeping in decanter without lid.....2.   keeping in decanter with lid.......3.  keep in bottle with fake cork.....4.  keep in bottle and pump the air out.....5.   keep in bottle and leave fake cork and rubber stopper in the drawer.

You wine experts probably find us newbies laughable, but these are legit questions of mine if you guys have time.

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Reply by dvogler, Apr 12, 2015.

Lindeman,

I appreciate your self-deprecating demeanor, but no, it's not laughable.  What's laughable are people who come here and try to shamelessly plug their wares and could care less about actually contributing to the discussion or helping people looking for answers or enlightenment.

If it takes you more than a day to finish a bottle, then decant it for an hour or two, pour half back into the bottle and cork it.  Don't leave any in a decanter more than several hours, unless you have prior knowledge that a certain wine really needs that long of a decant.  The decanter has a large base to give the wine maximum surface area exposure to air. 

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Reply by GregT, Apr 13, 2015.

Agreed. The people who post to sell stuff get on my nerves. Like that idiot who revived William's pharaoh thread, which was kind of classic and has now been sullied.

Lindeman - if you don't think you'll finish the bottle, don't decatnt the whole thing. just pour out half and put the rest in the fridge. Do a search for how to keep partial bottles - there's a lot of info. Basically the main thing is to slow reactions and that's done by cold. Ycan even freeze your wine. The vacuum seal isn't particularly useful. Just used the stoppers w/out pumping and you won't be able to tell the dif.

But some wines won't really hold up, even in the fridge. The young wines that will are going to be the big, powerful wines that are likely to cost a few bucks. A $10 -15 Malbec or Zin doesn't really hold up all that well. And if you're talking about plastic cork, I'm assuming that's the price range. So I'd immediately pour it into a 1/2 bottle, stopper that and put it in the fridge. Then enjoy the other half - decant it if you want, but that probably won't be necessary since the wine will have incorporated some air while it was being poured.

A lid on a decanter won't matter at all.

 

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Reply by LindeMen, Apr 13, 2015.

Thanks guys for your insights, I really do appreciate them.  

I think I have enough initial information now to get me started in the right direction with this new journey.  I found the Columbia Crest company and Two Vines and their blends- looks like good stuff...... so I will do some additional searching here locally and see what I can dig up.

Thanks again, and I will keep you guys posted with questions as I venture along.  I have the itch to try an upscale wine just to see the difference, so I have made room in my check book for a 50 dollar entry.

 

Cheers 

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Reply by outthere, Apr 13, 2015.

And so it begins...

I'm going to start a pool. How long before Lindemen signs up for his first mailing list? ;-)

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Reply by dvogler, Apr 13, 2015.

Linde,

I suggest trying a couple of $25 wines instead of randomly choosing a $50.  I think you'd have too many preconceived ideas and expectations.  It's a bit like the anticipation of putting down $1000 on a hand of blackjack.  Exciting for a second, but generally disappointing!  You're admittedly early in your wine journey, so your palate and senses might not know how to deal with something that would be a radical departure from Lindemans.  If you want to stick with cab blend styles for now, try the Truchard cab.  It's actually got cab franc and petit verdot also.  Maybe even try J Lohr cab first, that's probably $19 in the US.  We could probably give you some suggestions if you're really bent on going whole hog with that 50 though!

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