Wednesday, November 22, 2006

About cheap wine for the holidays

Holidays call for GCW - Good Cheap Wine.

You know that wine is good for you, a natural substance found in red wine, known as resveratrol, offsets the bad effects of a high-calorie diet in mice and significantly extends their lifespan. And it also makes the occasion sexy, festive and messy.

Gold Medal Wines under $20, or even under $10.

Cheap Wine Reviews:

Top Rated Wines:
Two Buck Chuck Cab: 10/10 $1.99 to $3.49
Twin Fin Pinot: 9/10 $7.99 to $10.99
Little Penguin Merlot: 9/10 $6.99 to $7.99
Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio: 9/10 $5.49 to $6.99

The great debate on two and three buck chuck wines. Mike Steinberger at Slate recommends other cheap wines and suggests you avoid Chuck's plonk. The urban legends about two buck chuck.

The French wines now competing with Yellow Tail.

Best Champagnes under $30.

According to the New York Times there is now a national sommelier shortage. I happen to new a very good trained sommelier with experience who could not get a job in Houston. Of course, she is a woman and Houston has a bunch of nouveau-riche redneck chauvinists running restaurants.

What you need to know about wine glasses. Tall thin ones are flutes for bubbly wines - watch the bubbles man. White and Red glasses are similar but white is smaller and more like a tulip while red is larger and more fishbowl to swish the wine around in to smell the aroma. Both should curve inward at the top to concentrate the odor molecules toward your nose. If it doesn't curve inward you probably have a martini glass, you idiot. Take a few swigs from the bottle while you hunt for the right glass to show you have class.

How Can a Wine and Cheese Party Lower Your Blood Pressure?

How some wine merchants can raise your blood pressure.

How Tony's Wine Warehouse takes advantage of Dallasite's ignorance. Spreading lies and selling closeout wines at super premium prices.
One of the wines included in the Tony's wine class list is the 2001 Foppiano Russian River Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The Tony's "front line price" for this wine is $44.95. That price drops to $29.97 if it is purchased in a mix-and-match case (12 bottles) from the class list. Yet the suggested retail price for this wine is $17.50.

When questioned on pricing, Monzain points to the "group discounts" offered during wine classes. As the last few tastes are splashed and the buzzes drone, the class specials pop up like clover blossoms. A rare wine is introduced: a 2002 Beckmen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. "Don't mention that we poured the Beckmen," Winkler says slyly. "This is a wine that never gets poured in class." He says this wine carries prices ranging from several hundred dollars to $1,200 on restaurant wine lists (restaurant wine list markups are roughly twice retail). But if you make a class purchase, he will slash the bottle price to $59 from Tony's regular price of $89. But hurry. Only three or four cases remain.

Yet the Beckmen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon carries a suggested retail price of $24.99, less than half Tony's "deep-discounted" price. After surveying a few restaurants, we found the Beckmen priced at a low of $39 at Sapristi! Bistro and Wine Bar in Fort Worth to a high of $52 at the Oak Grill in Ojai, California--a far cry from the up to $1,200 Winkler presented.
Quote for the day: If wine is gay than I'm a lesbian.

If I ever get sent to prison I could be the secret brewmaster. More discussion and recipe for home or prison brewing wine. Yet more on setting up a still, you need to be good at this to avoid becoming some one's prison bitch. One secret is a sterile environment to keep wild mold, yeast, and bacteria away.

I had a roommate for awhile in college, Greg Barr, who said that while he was a TA he used the chemistry lab to distill cheap wines into brandy. He used glass tubing and flasks but it was cold enough in East Lansing we could have just set wine outside and knocked off the ice but this is not as efficient and contains more fusel alcohols.

I picked up some Silver Shadow Ridge Merlot today for tomorrow at a fantastic price. Looking at the vintage (2001) some distributor was pushing it out and FoodTown acquired it and had it for $3.77 for a 1.5 liter. They had a lot of Silver Ridge varieties all at that price. We will see how it tastes tomorrow. We have a good OK Chilean wine as back-up.

UPDATE - Shadow Ridge is less well known then the Silver Ridge I thought I purchased. On the restaurant menus it is on it is their least expensive wine and probably has a suggested retail of $6 to $8 a .75 liter bottle. Didn't get to it at Thanksgiving as my Dad also brought some soda pop wine. Looks like cheap swill - we'll see how it tastes sometime soon.

No comments: