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Snooth User: dianakayloesch

Hello Snooth! I live in Missouri (no, isn't all Koolaid here!)

Posted by dianakayloesch, Jul 30.

I am always interested in learning more about wine and enjoy talking to vintners, sommeliers, and fe

llow winos. 

Replies

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Reply by EMark, Jul 30.

We are very pleased to meet you, Diana.  Tell us what wines you enjoy.  I have say, however, that if you come back with Norton, you'll have to do most of the talking.  Not many outside of Missouri have much (any) experience with that grape.   ;-)

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Reply by dianakayloesch, Jul 30.

There is a winery in Mt Vernon that makes a beautiful St. Vincent, and Seyval Blanc, Montelle makes a delicious Seyval Blanc, and I have even had a good Cab Franc on occasion.  And I do like the Norton, in particular, Bommarito in New Haven.  Also, there's a guy in St. James, Heinrich, who is an old German in overalls and a beret who makes delicious wine but can get a little pouty if you don't have time for a tasting! Lately I'm pursuing rose because it's Summery, Spanish wines (Albarino, Tempranillo) and I am also interested in dry Riesling varietals. My husband I have done several reidal tastings, and picked up the vinum line,  and now I find drinking wine out of a bad glass to be pretty disappointing:(  My husband and I cruise Celebrity and their sommeliers are always extremely knowledgeable, part of what I love about the line.   All in all, I find wine satisfying on so many levels-the people you meet ( hardly an ever an asshole at a winery:), the pleasantness of it all, and of course the taste!  I'm excited to find this website, should be very informative.

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Reply by EMark, Jul 30.

There I was bragging that I knew about Norton, and you go and show me up by mentioning St. Vincent.  That sent me off to the Googlesphere.  Well, now I know.

A "pouty" winemaker?  In my limited experience meeting winemakers, I guess the only one I might put in that category is Mike Caparone.  I think he might have been in a slighty bad mood since we took him away from his vehicle (Lincoln Zephyr) restoration project.  Maybe it's a part of the old world mentality.  Most winemakers, today, know that they are selling every minute, and there is no upside to acting imperious to a customer who is being lubricated (by $15 wine tastes) to open up his wallet.

Rose in the summer is winner winner.  The Snooth legions have made a believer out of me.  I think I've had more roses in the past month than I had in the previous 48.  There is another conversation on this board entitled "Whatcha drinking tonight"  Take a look at that and you can see what a lot of us have been having, lately.  Also, it seems to me that a regular poster by the name of NapaGirl has been doing a pretty comprensive survey of roses, this summer.  I can't seem to find her report, though.  Maybe she'll come in here and point you to it.

On the same page with you Spanish wines.  Good wines at great prices.

I saw your other post on recommendations for Dry Riesling. I wish I was better informed in that area.  I would suggest that you look for something from Alsace.  My experience (limited) is that their wines are bone dry.  Of course Germany produces truly great Riesling wines, but decoding their labels (and I am better than most) is nontrivial.  A German Riesling can be dry, semi-dry (which really means sorta sweet) or sweet.  I'll tell you right now if you don't want sugar, stay away from any German wine that has the word Auslese, Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese on the label.  (On the other hand, sugar content notwithstanding, they are great wines.)  If it says Kabinett or Spatlese, who knows what it is.

I have been on one Celebrity cruise, and it was great.  I usually don't spend much time with sommeliers on cruise ships.  The wine lists are, generally, not that scary, and Mrs. EMark and I both usually know what we want.  I think it is so decadent to order a bottle of wine for each of us with dinner.  :-)

 

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Reply by dianakayloesch, Jul 31.

Thanks for the info, I will definitely check out "whatcha drinking".  As for my pouty winemaker-he just loves wine, loves to talk about it, loves to share it with an appreciative audience, tastings are always worthwhile, although the environment is a little dicey:)  And you really need to give Celebrity a chance as far as the sommeliers and wine selection, it is one of their claims to fame.  Of course a bottle a piece is a pretty good thing too:)

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Reply by EMark, Jul 31.

Well, now I am intrigued by your pouty winemaker.  He sounds very passionate, and it would be great to spend a few hours with him.  Sadly, for me, not great enough to want to travel that far.    :-(

I had no problem with Celebrity, as I said I enjoyed my cruise experience (15-day West Coast of South America, through the Panama Canal to Florida) with them, very much.  (Mrs. EMark had an issue, but 10 years later, she is starting to mellow about that.)  My recollection is that wine orders were placed with a separate waiter--and I don't think he was called a sommelier.  This cruise was in 2004 and the concept of "Anytime Dining" (nomenclature varying depending on the cruise line) had not yet caught on.  So, we had an assigned table and assigned wait staff.  However, the concept of "Specialty Restaurants" was emerging.  We found the specialty restaurant on the ship, learned the protocol and dined there 5 or 6 evenings (abandoning our dining table mates).  Clearly, the wait staff in that restaurant was superior--including the wine service. The wine stewards in the restaurant did wear a tastevin around their necks.  Maybe they were sommeliers. Also, that restaurant had an upgraded wine list.

Now, here is something that I recall about the Celebrity wine list.  One of their top California wine offerings was the Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon.  The price was $225.

Fast forward a few years.  In 2011 we took a 14-day Princess Cruise to Hawaii.  One of their top California wine offerings was the Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon.  The price was $135.

In 2013 we took another Princess Cruise to Hawaii.  They still had the Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon for $135.

Towards the end of 2013 we took a 10-day Alaska Cruise.  They still had the Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, but the price was $155.

In September, we are taking another Alaska Cruise (11 days).  You know that one of the first things that I am going to check on the wine list is the price of that wine.

Yes, I cruise Princess a lot, these days.  Let me explain that.  Princess provides the best service to/from west coast ports.  After a 40-year career in which I spent an awful lot of time in airports and on airplanes, I am inclined to think long and hard before I do that anymore.  It is so cool to have Brian, our regular driver, ring the bell on my door, put our bags in the trunk of his vehicle, drive us to the Port of Los Angeles, where I watch Brian pass the bags over to a porter, hand the porter a tip and proceed onto the ship.  That is SO MUCH BETTER that going to the airport (Brian drives, again), wrestling baggage around to the check-in, being humiliated by cranky TSA people, because I put my wallet in the wrong tray with my shoes, and I forgot to remove the dollar bills in my pocket, sitting at the departure gate watching all the cool frequent flyers who insist on carrying all their worldly possessions with them jockey for position so they can then battle for overhead storage space, then sitting in those cramped seats for the duration.  I'll do it for a one-hour flight to the bay area, but for anything longer I am going to think long and hard about it.

I have to say, though, Diana, there is a lot about the wine mystique that I really don't buy into.  Maybe it's my bad luck, but I have never had a sommelier recommend any wine that could be described as a WOW.  I have the same problem with clerks in wine stores.  So, in both restaurants and in wine stores, I, pretty much, rely on my own wiles.

In all honesty, I get most of my wine guidance right here on the Snooth Forum.  There are some regulars here who seem to do a lot of legwork for me in ferreting out good wines.  The funny thing is that people are very reluctant to come here and say something like "Wow, I paid $50 for this wine and it was really crappy."  OK, there might be a few exceptions to that last statement--no names, the the initials NG68 come to mind.  But people are eager to come here and say "Hey, I just tried this new release, and it is really good."  Now, it's just a matter of me finding it. On that I have a geographic advantage.  It is easy to get wine shipped to your home in California.  So, as often as not, if something is not easy to find in a retail store, I can contact the winery (usually, through their web site) and work with them directly.  I don't know what the laws are in Missouri.  So, I don't know if that can work for you.

I hope my rambling has not put you off.  

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Reply by dianakayloesch, Aug 5.

Not at all.  The rambling that is.   I am surprised by the Caymus, as I think the retail on that bottle is over 100.00, depending on the vintage, so you got a pretty good deal on Princess.  I do think that Celebrity has really committed to providing a quality wine drinking experience, but there are a lot of reasons to choose a cruise line and if I was on the West coast, that would influence my preferences:)  And actually, we are debating between Hawaii and the Mediterranean for our next cruise, so we may give Princess a try.  As for shipping, yes, we can have wine shipped to our home in Missouri, so ordering directly from the wineries is an option, and we currently belong to Laithwaite wine club, which has been a fun way to try new wines.  One I would highly recommend as the most delicious wine I've ever had" is Chateau La Tonnelle, 2010, cab/merlot blend under 20.  Definitely worth looking for.  And I know what you mean, it's hard to admit you paid $50 for something that didn't even taste good.  Overall, I have to agree that price doesn't not necessarily correlate with taste, although I think I will skip the Barefoot Pinot Grigio:)

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Reply by EMark, Aug 6.

Good decision on the Barefoot PG, Diana.

Thanks for the tip on the Tonnelle.  I can't say that I am familiar with it or have ever seen it in a store, but, if I do, I'll keep your comments in mind.


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