Wine Talk

Snooth User: tarheelguice

Need some white wine help.....its a birthday gift for my girlfriend

Posted by tarheelguice, Mar 3, 2010.

I have been looking around for a while, and seeing name after name of white wines, but haven't got a clue of what is good/great/bad/ugly.  I am relatively new on the wine deal, and so is my girfriend.  It's her 21st Birthday, so I thought she'd like some white wine. 

Anyone that has some ideas of white wines in the $20-40 range, please let me know.

 

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Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 4, 2010.

Any idea what your girlfriend likes? Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, Champagne or other sparkling? Sweetish? Dry? To have with food, or on its own?

Because I assume you're located in the States, you say you're both relatively new to wine, and to get the most bang for your buck, I'll suggest first choice some sparkling from California, since bubbles are always festive for special occasions, and second, some riesling from Germany, but will wait to hear about her tastes. Depending on what they might be there are other good choices, too. Do you have time to order online if your local merchant doesn't have what you might want?

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Reply by tarheelguice, Mar 4, 2010.

I do believe she has said something about Zinfandel before, but I could be wrong. I would bet something sweet would be a great way to start, she has a bit of a sweet tooth.  As far as with or without food, I would say either one.  She likes just drinking wine, but she is also a phenomenal cook.

Yes, I am located in the States.  Yes, I do have over a week to get it here, but not sure if its legal to ship alcohol to residents in Georgia(as I have heard that some states have banned such a thing)

Regardless, thank you for the help!

 

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Reply by napagirl68, Mar 4, 2010.

Hmm. without knowing much, I would go for a napa Rombauer Chardonnay.. very buttery, oaky and most beginners AND advanced like this one.  Any vintage (year) of their's is decent. 

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 4, 2010.

And forget about white Zinfandel. Best to get her weaned from that as soon as possible. It's the devil's swill and very bad for both the palate and the soul... ;-)

Here're some California sparkling wines that are mostly around the $20 price point, depending on who you buy them from (and which version you choose):

  • Schramsberg’s 'Mirabelle' bottlings
  • Domaine Chandon
  • J
  • Domaine Carneros
  • Mumm Napa
  • Scharffenberger
  • Gloria Ferrer

Their bruts, whether non-vintage, vintage, reserve or rose are all quite enjoyable, as well as their blancs de blanc (made only from chardonnay).

The rieslings are both sweet and acidic, fruity and brilliantly clear. I personally prefer the German versions to any I've had from any state in the US, and even with the strong Euro they are a great value compared to a lot of domestic wine these days. Look for Kabinett class (or with a little bit of a stretch even Spatlese) riesling from the Rhein, Mosel-Saar-Ruher or Nahe areas.  Perhaps with her liking for sweetish and foodfriendly wines that can also stand on their own, these are something for future sharing... ;-)

Here is a reputable mailorder source for those wines, though I'm not up on the details of shipping to Georgia:

http://www.klwines.com/content.asp?N=4294967012&Ne=37&Nr=OR%28OutofStock%3AN%2CInventory+Location%3ASpecial+Order%29&Ns=QtySoldLast30|1

I particularly like the look, maybe 1/3 of the way down the page, of the

2008 Schäfer-Fröhlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese  

at $32.99.

 

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 4, 2010.

Down towards the end of the same first page is a good-looking Kabinett:

2008 Dr. H. Thanisch (Müller-Burggraef) Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett

 

This is not sweeter than some Kabinetts, and Kabinetts in general are less sweet than the previously-mentioned Spatlese class of wine. I haven't looked at the succeeding pages, but these two are a pretty good start, I would think....

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 4, 2010.

Elsewhere on KLWine's site is this wine, which would be my first recommendation amongst the sparkling options:

 

2006 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine

Above I talk about Schramsberg's Mirabelle bottlings, which are their second label. This bottle is from their first string, though, and at $27.99 fits within your budget.

 

Think I'll stop here. Am getting thirsty talking about these, so am off to search for a bottle to drink while the night is still young....

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 4, 2010.

Some edits of my above post about the Thanisch Kabinett:

  • "This is sweeter than some Kabinetts..."
  • And the price for it was, I believe, $17.99.
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Reply by tarheelguice, Mar 4, 2010.

Haha, will do on nixing the Zinfandel.

These all look like great suggestions. Sadly, KLWines confirmed my suspicion, it cannot ship to my state.  I know of a couple wine shops(not just random liquor stores) around here that stand a chance of having something similair, but we shall see.

Thank You for your help! I'll let you know how it goes.

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Reply by mmrmaid, Mar 4, 2010.

if she likes sweet, why not go for a dessert wine? there;s just something classy and romantic about them...ambrosia...inniskillen makes a fantastic ice wine, and you can't go wrong with a sauternes...

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Reply by kylewolf, Mar 4, 2010.

I recently had this little peice of pie.

Snoqualmie "Nearly Naked" Riesling Organic

http://www.snooth.com/wine/snoqualmie-nearly-naked-riesling-organic-2004/

It is really something quite delicious, mixing enough sweet sugars and slightly honeyed but maintains a slight edge and good rounded spices.  plus, it is very affordable :)

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Reply by spditlow, Mar 4, 2010.

Well since she has a sweet tooth I have a boat load of great wines. My wife and I love to explore the Colorado Wineries and have found there are so many great desert wines to choose from.

Try one of these

Whitewater Hill - Muscat Canelli

Ptarmigan -  Late Harvest Muscat

Mountain Spirit Winery - Apple Ice desert Wine

Williamette Valley - 2009 Tualatin Estate Semi-Sparkling Muscat-Frizzanté

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Reply by amour, Mar 4, 2010.

Why  not  invest  in  her  and  present

1989 PERRIER-JOUET CHAMPAGNE

Think about it seriously!

It is very pleasant with a honeyed brioche  nose.....

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Mar 4, 2010.

I doubt a white zin drinker will get much out of vintage brut champagne, especially one with some age.  I could be wrong, but it seems pretty illogical.

Riesling is where I'd go, or some demi sec bubbles.

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Reply by napagirl68, Mar 5, 2010.

White zin drinkers can easily move into the buttery, oaky california chards (they tend to be big).. that is my experience, at least out here in CA.  It is, at least, a step in the right direction away from white zin.  But I agree with GDD about a beginner/novice appreciating a vintage champagne.  BABY STEPS!!   Try either a Riesling like suggested, or a buttery Napa Chard... again, I recommend Rombauer.  At this point in my progress in tasting/appreciating, I would not pour out a Rombauer, but my tastes have evolved.. it is not my preference now, but I see SOOO many newbies LOVE this wine.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been in a wine bar with people DROOLING over Rombauer.  Again, this is not my personal preference, but I think, a good bet.  AND, us more experienced can tolerate (or even enjoy) it as well.   Please let us know what you pick, and what your friend's opinion is!!

 

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Reply by amour, Mar 5, 2010.

Thinking  outside the box....indeed!

Not illogical!

What  better  time  to  introduce a palate that  has become of age and capacity!

A CHAMPAGNE WITH HER BIRTH YEAR......

a great suggestion......!

May  all  ideas  contend.

With much kind regards,

amour.

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Reply by Terremoto2, Mar 5, 2010.

2008 Cuvaison Carneros Chardonnay  - probably about $20 - very nice stuff for the price - or any of the Cuvaison labeled white.

Cakebread, if you have plenty - of bread that is. - about $40 a bottle.

 

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Reply by Terremoto2, Mar 5, 2010.

Or a Roederer Estate Champaign - $20-30

Or Schramsberg Champaign - same ballpark.

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Reply by diva42nite, Mar 5, 2010.

Risata makes a great Moscato D Asti, great for a beginner, is sweet, but lately is pretty hard to come by.  Been out of stock around me for the last 2 months.  But a great all around wine. 

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Mar 6, 2010.

Diva, I love the M d'A rec!

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Reply by tarheelguice, Mar 7, 2010.

Thank you very much to all of you that have weighed in on which wines to go for. As far as which wine I got her, I ended up calling an audible, and going for variety rather than quality of one particular wine.  So that she can learn about things for herself.  So I talked to a couple store managers, and picked out a couple based on their words, as well as all of yours(they were pretty consistent in what I was hearing).

I first decided to go w/ a Reisling, as many of you have suggested.  It seemed to be something of a sweet tooth kind of wine, and from what I'm told its a great starting point(especially the one particular one I got her). And then second, the Ugni Blanc.  I thought it would be a nice contrast to the Reisling.  This is just believed to be a starting point to get her to learn more and more about finer and a wider variety of wines.

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1048235 <Reisling>

http://www.snooth.com/wine/domaine-tariquet-ugni-blanc--colombard/<Ugni Blanc>

The online prices are a bit cheaper than in store, and unfortunately as stated earlier, in the state of Goergia we can not ship alcohol residentially.  I was also told by wine shop employees that I should get her a Cava (explained to be Champagne, but just from a different region).  I decided against it, for budget's sake, but can anyone confirm that what they were saying to be true?

As far as her opinion of these wines is concerned, I'm afraid I may never know. The relationship has ended.  There are things that each of us need to work on individually.  Despite this ending, I gave her the birthday present anway.

Again, thank you very much to all of you. Thanks to you guys, I do believe I will continue to use this site to learn more about wines for my own self. Please continue to post about other white wines for me(we'll work on my red wine taste later - I really like Cabernet Sauvignon).  I would have to say I am about the same as her, but I also know for a fact that I appreciate Pinot Noir's and Pinot Grigio's as well.

Thank you, and God Bless!

 

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