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Snooth User: DudeDaniel1

what to drink

Posted by DudeDaniel1, Jan 20, 2016.

What is a great wine for a novice palate?

 

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Replies

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jan 20, 2016.

For the novice, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand works for white wine, and a Malbec from Chili works for red wine.  Both can be easily found for under $20 USD.

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Reply by outthere, Jan 20, 2016.

I have never liked Malbec ever. Ask him what he currently enjoys.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jan 20, 2016.

I had to beat you guys to the CA wine suggestions.  Malbec is good and he doesn't know what he enjoys yet, that's why he is asking for suggestions of what to try.  

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Reply by EMark, Jan 20, 2016.

Welcome to the Snooth Forum, DD.  We hope you enjoy your stay and share your wine adventures with us.

I'm not sure I have an answer to your question.  So, I'm just going to ramble, a bit.

Many novices seem to enjoy sweet wines or, at least, wines that seem to transmit fruity flavors to them.  Lately, I see a lot of novices are enjoying Moscato. Since I see Moscato on numerous store shelves, it appears that the producers have also figured this out.

Beyond sweetness and fruitness it seems that most start out with less full-bodied wines.  So, the obvious place to start there is with white wines.  I don't know what kind of retail stores are available in your geography, but Chardonnay from California is, probably, pretty easy to find.  Chardonnay is a wine that can be made in different styles--mostly depending on the amount of oak used in the aging process, but don't get too wrapped around the axle about that.

Another white wine that is easy to find is Sauvignon Blanc.  I find these to be a little more austere than Chardonnay.  I enjoy them, but for different reasons.  In addition to California examples you should be able to find Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand and South America.

Also, consider Rieslings from California, Washington, New York or Germany.  Again, there can be a lot of stylistic differences between Rieslings.   They could be bone dry or they can be very sweet.

There really are no shortcuts.  You have to try a lot of wines to see what you like.  I would say look for some examples at a price with which you are comfortable and try them.  Then come back here, tell us which ones you liked and why you liked them.

If you can provide any more information about your wine experience, we can certainly tune up the above suggestions that I have made.

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Reply by EMark, Jan 20, 2016.

Wow, you two jumped in with  three posts while I was composing mine.

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 20, 2016.

"In addition to California examples you should be able to find Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand and South America."

Wow, let's go with the more obscure and exotic SBs, eh Mark? And can we be more California-centric??  ;-)

Sauvignon Blanc started from France. The Loire River Valley and the Graves and surrounding portions of Bordeaux. Those are generally good SBs, and include the best made anywhere in the world. California followed thanks to Mondavi as much as anybody else. They're more hit and miss. All the while South Africa was quietly growing and vinifying some decent SB (and chenin blanc, also from the Loire in France, also done hit and miss in CA, mostly miss), usually with pretty good value. Then came New Zealand SBs, with storm and fury and smelling way too much like cat piss on a gooseberry bush. Finally the nearly-as-execrable SB from Chile...

Dude-D, Mark's pointers are good, though. There are many varieties of wine out there, and SB is only one of them. Riesling is an easier start for most people, and chardonnay is ubiquitous, and those are only the tip of the whites iceberg. Then come reds (and you'll tend to find more selection, and usually better malbecs from Argentina than Chile, though I prefer the more austere versions from the grape's original home in France, but most starting out find the Argentine versions more approachable). Then come dessert and fortified and other specialty wines. Try as many as you can. Nothing beats drinking, learning, drinking more, learning more.

Tell us what you've liked and not liked and we can give more focused pointers from there.

Mainly, though, enjoy the drinking and the sharing of (hopefully) good wine!

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Reply by EMark, Jan 20, 2016.

Your comments are understandable, DM.  Daniel's profile page indicates that he lives in North Carolina.  I have no idea what kind of stores are available to him, but I figured that he would be able to find California wines pretty easily.  My prejudice for California wines nottwithstanding, I really thought I was making it easy for him by highlighting them.

I really do not know how ubiquitous NZ wines are in NC, but they are on every grocery store shelf here in CA. I also understand your predisposition towards NZ wines, but if somebody tries it and does not like it, then he has learned something.

I also fear that novices, at least those who live in the U.S., are intimidated by French wines.  You and I may be comfortable discussing our appreciation of Pouilly-Fume, but what if Daniel goes looking for it but can only find Pouilly-Fuisse?  Yeah, I know.  Talk about first world problems.  Daniel, if you happen to find either Pouilly-Fume or Pouilly-Fuisse in any of your stores, we encourage you to try it.  Then come back and tell us what you think.

;-)

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Reply by GregT, Jan 21, 2016.

Good suggestions emark, and good points.

Daniel - your question is really broad and consequently it's pretty much impossible to answer unless one makes assumptions, like emark has. OT asked what you like - that's about the best way to get some kind of idea because really, there are thousands of wines out there and simply naming one or two of them is basically the same thing as you just randomly buying something.

OT says he never liked Malbec and for me, I rarely like Sauvignon Blanc so you'd get very different suggestions from us. Then again, I used to sell a lot of Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc and people seemed to like them, or maybe they just didn't know many other wines. Right now I'm drinking a wine that's a blend of Gros Manseng, Lauzet, and Camaralet de Lassaube if that's the type of thing you like. It's perfect for a novice who likes extremely dry but aromatic wines, but there are like five acres of Camaralet de Lassaube in the world so you're unlikely to find it.

So let us know what kinds of wine you like and we can make some more appropriate suggestions.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 22, 2016.

I wouldn't try to recommend wines at all given the scant information we have.  Instead, I would recommend finding a local wine store that offers tastings.  Nothing fancy, I'd look at either a chain that offers them periodically (even BevMo does it now, although I'd steer away since so many of their wines are bottled for them and not really something that will give you transferable knowledge) or a bottle shop that doesn't really cater to collectors and connoisseurs.  It's ridiculous in my opinion to go to tastings of high end Burgundy at Hart Davis Hart if you don't even know if you like Pinot Noir.  Instead, find a place that sells lots of $15-30 bottles and go to one of their tastings (or a few).  Or sign up for a tasting experience through a community college, local recreation organization, school fundraiser (I do these), or something of that sort. 

Get a book like the Wine Lover's Encyclopedia and read about regions or grapes that interest you, buy a few moderately priced wines that seem interesting--no harm buying things on points, you can figure out if you agree with that later--and see what appeals.  You could buy Bila Haut's Roussillon for $15 or so, because Parker says it's genius, and if you don't like it, you learn that a certain style that might appeal to Parker doesn't work for you.  Or you do like it, and you can keep buying that kind of wine.  If you have friends in the same boat, have a dinner and everyone brings a bottle and you compare notes. 

Don't be too cheap--there are good wines at stupid cheap prices, but beginners don't have the best luck there--but don't think you have to buy $30-50 bottles now, until you figure out more about your taste.  If you figure out that nebbiolo is your thing, then move up to Barolo; if it's New Zealand Pinot Noir at $15-25 that hits your pleasure buttons, then venture up to some Premier Cru or lieu-dits Burgundy or Russian River SVD Pinot. 

Come back and share your findings, please!

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Reply by JonDerry, Jan 22, 2016.

Interesting wine Greg, domaine Cauhape by chance? Seems to be one of the only producers growing Camaralet, which from what I understand is a female vine (non-hermaphroditic), making it more difficult to grow. They must be living cheap as the wine sells for $11.99 retail.

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Reply by petexport, Jan 23, 2016.

I'll take Malbeck any time.

 

Pete Vigdor

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Reply by GregT, Jan 23, 2016.

No JD - it's a different domaine. There is very little of the stuff anywhere for exactly the reason you say, and as far as I know it's all in Jurancon and those wines are crazy cheap. Contrast that to something relatively easy to grow like Cab, which consequently commands exponentially higher prices . . .

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jan 23, 2016.

 I wonder if he's coming back to comment?  It's been a couple of days now.

 

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Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Jan 26, 2016.

Malbec to me tastes like soap, I would start with Riesling from Germany, Finger Lakes NY, or Washington State, maybe a California Zinfandel from Lodi, the Josh reds are great for around $15 too especially the Merlot

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Reply by dvogler, Jan 26, 2016.

Joe,

Can you say unequivocally that Malbec tastes like soap to you? All Malbec?  Wow.  That's too bad.

I've had a few wines where I sensed a 'soapy' thing, but I certainly couldn't pin it on a particular variety.

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Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Jan 27, 2016.

White Ivory soap, just about every single one. Kind of like when I hear people say Pinotage tastes like band-aids lol (but I don't get that from Pinotage)

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Reply by GregT, Jan 28, 2016.

DV - it's Malbec from the Loire, from Cahors, from Napa, from Mendoza, from Patagonia, from Barossa, from Lake Balaton, from Walla Walla, and similar places that tastes like soap.

"I wonder if he's coming back to comment?  It's been a couple of days now."

Al - I would say there's almost no chance of a return. Usually it's just a drive by that gets the rest of us talking to each other some more.

But I've been wrong before. You stuck around. I wish more people would.

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Reply by dvogler, Jan 28, 2016.

Greg, I been to soapy places.  Kidding aside, I guess as Mr. Wino points out, people think some wines taste better than others.  JoeB could very well be  tasting soap.  That sucks.  I wonder if he uses Ivory?  Maybe that could be an issue?  Speaking of drive bys. I wonder where the guy who wanted to "Keep it real" went?  Have I been disingenuous?

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 2, 2016.

There's a genetic thing that makes cilantro taste like soap.  Maybe Malbec has some of the same compounds.  Or he's not getting all the soap off his wine glasses.  It happens.  Some people have a similar reaction to green peppers. 

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Reply by joebernardinoATyahoo, Feb 3, 2016.

Well I'm drinking a carmenere now and I do not taste any soap, in the same glasses washed the same way as always. The genetic thing is interesting that certainly could be a possibility

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