Wednesday, June 16, 2010

5 questions about Wine

I'm ignorant about everything to varying degrees but particularly about wine. Amy and I (once we have a rough sleep routine figured out) want to be more hospitable. However when it comes to buying wine and then having it on hand I am an ignorant schmuck. Dear reader, I need your basic advice.  (We also live within a bottles throw of a bottle-shop so I'll be able to check regularly for specials once I've discovered the best wine combinations.)

  1. The most drinkable type of red wine?
  2. The most drinkable type of white wine?
  3. If price was no issue, what label is the most reliable, the most consistent?
  4. If price was an issue ($30Aus) what label is the most reliable, the most consistent?
  5. If you were a wine critic and you had one sentence of advice, what would it be:


Joshua said...

1. I personally love Shiraz or Merlot as the most drinkable reds.
2. I can't go past a good Sauvignon Blanc - if you like it sweet though, something like a Moscato is ok (very sweet!)

I don't know enough in the other questions to be particularly helpful, although I have had some particularly nice wines in the Wolf Blass 'Grey label' range, Penfolds 'St Henri' range and Henschke ranges - unsure of the price bracket of these, although given the source I got them from I imagine them to be more in the $50+ range.

Jonathan said...

Bah, my comment just got eaten.

The terse version:
- Wine isn't a requirement of hospitality
- If you want to learn some wine, get something like this :
- Drink various wines and work out what you like - do try to work out what combinations of wine and work well
- Mixed dozens from tend to be decent and not overly expensive
- I am not a shill :P

Luke said...

Thanks Joshua,

Hi Jonathan,

Good advice experiment with various combinations, and I agree wine is only a small part of hospitality.

However, most of my readers are smart and some of them well adjusted so I want to keep the questions open and tap the collective wisdom.

Mikey Lynch said...

Wow! I was just thinking yesterday that I'd like to do some blogging about wine!

1. Merlot.
2. Chardonnay.
3. Price itself is a pretty good guide.
4. Price itself is still a pretty good guide. Something over $12 will be pretty alright.
5. My dad says Guigal Cote Du Rhone is the best affordable red available. Its usually $20-30.

Joshua said...

This came up in one of my feeds, thought it topical:


Jon said...

Speaking as a fellow wine ignoramus, my solution is to provide the food and ask the visitors to supply the wine. That way they feel they are contributing and feel more at home. You can also ask them to wash up afterwards.

Jill said...

By 'most drinkable' I presume you mean most widely acceptable. In that case, I'd suggest Cabernet Sauvingnon or a Cab Sav blend as a red wine standard, and Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio as a white.

I'm reluctant to name a particular brand as consistently reliable at the lower price range - there are a few cheap(er) standouts, but no one maker is going to be best at everything. I'd encourage you to find a good local bottle shop that offers tastings, either as a regular option or as an occasional feature. Wander along, taste a few, see what you like. Or buy the odd bottle that's cheap, enjoy it yourselves and see what you think. Take note, too, of what others serve that you enjoy.

Also - take advantage of the local wineries and do some cellar door tastings (also, go along to the Taste and buy yourself a tasting glass - $5 can buy you a lot of education). Winemakers are passionate about their craft and I find they are always enthusiastic sharers of their knowledge.

Nikki Lynch said...

not that I'm an expert, but just to throw something in the mix:

1.Pinot Noir
2.Sauvignon Blanc (but chardonnay is more middle of the range - acceptable to most)
3 & 4 - Go with Mike on this one...any labels that are consistently awesome wont be cheap...but there are often sales where you can buy a really nice bottle for $15 or so.
5. Buy Sauv Blancs from Malborough NZ and Pinots from Tassie, and just because its French doesnt mean its awesome

Dont ever stress out about getting the right wine for guests....although its loving and hospitable to put effort into what you serve, guests appreciate a chilled host far more than a stressed out gourmet-ninja.

Luke said...

Thanks for the advice people and welcome to the blog Nikki!