Wine Talk

Snooth User: jamessulis

Wine usage philosophy

Posted by jamessulis, Oct 4, 2013.


Typically I wonder if other Snoothers have some of the same traits. When going to my wine rack I tend to pick the least expensive saving the more costly for that special occasion. I have some killer Cabs but tend to pick the under $15 first. I realize that any time is the right time to drink expensive wine but I still drink the least expensive first. I'm finding this hard to break my habit. Perhaps I should only purchase expensive wine.

Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest 


Reply by GregT, Oct 4, 2013.

I think most people probably do something like that. It's OK but just don't forget to make the "special occasion" happen from time to time. Otherwise you end up keeping all those wines for no reason. Sometimes the special occasion is just because you're in a great mood and you have your friends and family around. For me it's less about price than about the wine - I have some that I didn't pay all that much for but they're not things I can really replace. Problem is that you end up accidentally aging wine you never intended to age!

Reply by edwilley3, Oct 4, 2013.

I have one friend who is around 60 now who began collecting around 1980. He recently opened a Chateau Latour '77 that we thought might have gone bye bye. Thankfully we were patient with it - the wine was not dead and actually showed pretty well. But the point is that 10 years ago the cork was in better shape and the wine probably was better due to less oxygen. There was no need to save it that long and it probably did not get better in the last 10 years.

Some of us have started getting together periodically just to drink the good bottles that we'd like to drink but we can't find a situation that justifies the opening of a $350 bottle. Each of us likes really good stuff and is or has been willing to invest in a grand bottle. So when one of us acquires a particularly good wine/vintage from a source OR determines that a cellared wine's time has come, he calls the others and says, "Chateau _____ 19__. Let's do it."  One of us hosts and provides appropriate tasting snacks. We go through 3-4 bottles on a Sunday afternoon. No one gets blitzed. If it's old like the aforementioned Latour, we watch it while it airs to catch it in the drinking window after appropriate aeration. Very adult but still a lot of fun!

Reply by EMark, Oct 5, 2013.

My experience is very similar, Lefty.  Put the age-worthy wines in the vault and put the everyday drinkers underneath the staircase.  Yes, there is a correlation to cost.  I am just a poor boy.  So, I have always been fairly frugal in wine purchases.

I now realize, thought, that there are a lot of wines out there that are going to outlive me.  I find that lately I am drinking better (and more spendy) wines just because it's Tuesday.  

Reply by jamessulis, Oct 5, 2013.

EMARK your post made me snicker




Reply by zufrieden, Oct 5, 2013.

Interesting post.... and a very good one that reveals our natural tendency to collect rather than consume.  Lets face it, we like collecting and admiring our collection - either with friends or just by ourselves; the dreaming is almost as important as the drinking.

But it remains true that, at some point, one must consume or someone else will do it for you after you have shuffled off this mortal coil, to quote a moderately overused text from Hamlet.

As I get older, I try to predict a peak point and drink the wine regardless of price-point.  You need to hedge your bets a bit regarding longevity, illness and bottle integrity.

But we love this tense process all the same, don't we?

Reply by outthere, Oct 5, 2013.

Everyday I am upright and coherent is a special occasion. I only have 6 bottles in my cellar under 15 bucks and they all say Shebang! on the label.

Reply by JonDerry, Oct 6, 2013.

Nice thread Lefty...Zuf you are spot on. I'm a mix between a collector and drinker, though being fairly young I give myself somewhat of a pass. I think it's the in exact science that I love about managing both the pleasure in buying, storing, and consuming. Actually, the storing is the least fun. What gets me is when there might be a bottle of mine I want to drink on a given day, but it's too far to reach it!

Reply by jtryka, Oct 6, 2013.

I had a thread about this a while back and decided to just open a special bottle once a month (in my case it was older wines in my cellar that had been waiting for that "special occasion") and that's really helped my not only to enjoy those older wines, but it's also changed my attitudes about my everyday wine drinking.  Now I still have the less expensive wines, but also have no problems opening a $40 or $50 bottle just because it's a nice Thursday and I'm grilling a steak!  Life is too short, so enjoy what you've been blessed with!

Reply by Tbandcwfjourney, Oct 6, 2013.

This makes me laugh, and realize we are pretty "normal"...  Hubby and I are both up there in years and new to wine, our VAST (haha) wine fridge holds all of 16 bottles.  When we purchased it the thought was we'll never need more than that.  We couldn't have been more wrong!  About half the spaces are taken up by special occasion wines.  In our case we live in wine dry Colorado so I will add not easily acquired wines to the list of special occasion wines.  We often have thoughts of let's buy two bottles not cases, and save one. Apparently collecting is a natural progression.  Time to remodel the basement :-)

Reply by jamessulis, Oct 6, 2013.

Hearing everyone's stories about which wine to drink first is very refreshing (pun).

I have altered my thoughts on drinking the least favorite/expensive first to whatever fits my mood because I have come to realize that after the great ones are gone I now have a perfect excuse to purchase another.

Thanks fellow Snooth Wine Folks

Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest.

Reply by lingprof, Oct 6, 2013.

Great thoughts!  I too have been trending more towards Emark's "because it's Tuesday" strategy.  How nice to give ourselves and our nearest and dearest the gift of splurging with lovely wine.  I've never regretted it.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 6, 2013.

Let's see... tomorrow is my daughter's twelfth birthday, and my folks are coming over, as is my sis.  That's a no-brainer:  Out comes the 1990 Spottswoode that traveled a million miles to get here and finally did thanks to GdP.  I'm holding one bottle back for some of the Snoothers, but one goes down tomorrow. In case it is no good, I've got a Smith Madrone lined up, and then there's a bottle of champagne because, heck, it's a birthday.

But, yeah, I do look at stuff and think, "Daily drinker, must find daily drinker."  And then I don't want to drink that Ramey/Vin de Manies (a fifteen dollar bottle OT should have bought, at least a fifteener on sale)/whatever because it's not quite ready.  So stuff accumulates. 

But I swear, next year, when most of my Brunelli hit the beginning of their drinking window, and my '06 and later cabs that I bought during the calamity of '08 and '09 are starting to come into their own, there will be no holding back.  What's a special enough occasion?  How about drinking with my beautiful and accomplished wife, who appreciates good wine?  How about the babysitter stays for dinner and puts the kids to bed, so we get to talk for a while?  A friend shows up and stays for dinner?  I'm big on delaying gratification, but I've seen enough of how fragile life is to know that you also have to be as happy as you can as often as you can.  And wine is that sunshine in a bottle for me.

Reply by JonDerry, Oct 7, 2013.

Well said Fox...

Reply by shirazloverz, Oct 8, 2013.

 I heartily agree with everyone expressing that life is too short and that each day is a special occasion. I cellar wine with the optimism that I'll live forever, surrounded by friends. But not every day is a wine-drinking day. 

Ideally, we'd all organise our wine collections (at least virtually) by drinking window and consume accordingly. A 30-year old wine is rarely at its best and I'm sure we all want to maximize the opportunity when opening a truly expensive wine. Good on you who make it happen - please don't forget my invite!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 9, 2013.

SL (there, you have a moniker), if you are on the East Coast of the US, you can invite yourself to one of the infrequent and irregular "Drink Greg's Wine" events in NY.  Just watch the Forum.  Also, up here in the Bay Area, OT and I try to do meet-ups.  You might want to snoop around on other sites, too--offlines are a good way to share your good wines with an appreciative crowd and try some  things you might not have thought to purchase twenty five years earlier. 

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 9, 2013.

We're entering the holiday season so planing for an event gets more difficult as the new year approaches but once we're into 2014 we'll have to plan on doing something!

I'm usually pretty good about picking whatever price wise. My big hang-up is knowing people who would enjoy some of the wines I'll open. I'm all of this person would love this so I'll wait and that person will love that so let me put that back. That's where I struggle with what to open, of all things!

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