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/ Wine Snobbery

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Lurking Dave - on 15 Feb 2018

I just got an email from a vineyard we tasted at a couple of months ago... God their marketing is good, we are about to start harvesting, here is an offer for a selection box, free delivery etc.

Who else has found themselves on the slippery slope of Viticulture...?

LD

 

teh_mark on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

I've recently found myself on the slippery reverse slope of wine snobbery, playing the 'what's the cheapest acceptable red in Super U?' game.

Sorry to lower the tone...

Philip on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

Sounds like a con. Come taste what we made before, now we'll try and sell you what we make in the future. I'd wait and see if it's as good as the previous. I've had some lovely wine from small vineyards which have turned mediocre as they ramp up production.

4
ian caton on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

I went to a vineyard once, in Fleurie, tasted wine from 6 different years. Each really different. All good mind.

Rob Parsons on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to ian caton:

> I went to a vineyard once, in Fleurie, tasted wine from 6 different years. Each really different ...

That's precisely the point (and the interest) about wine: done right, it's an agricultural product, and it should taste different from year to year.

 

felt - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

Got given a St Emilion Grand Cru 2015 the other day. Tasted OK. Looked it up (poor form, perhaps?). Turns out it was £10.99 from Lidl. Very passable, soft as summer sphagnum.

Bob Hughes - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

there's an independent wine shop just down the road from my house run by a really nice bloke. he sets you up at a big table and starts opening bottles for you to try. Then you walk out about two hours later with a load of wine you didn't know you needed. Turns out all the wine he sells you is lovely, even when you're not pissed. 

cb294 - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

This, precisely. However, a good vineyard should make good albeit different wines every year, and you should be able to taste if it was a warm an sunny or a rainy summer.

CB

The New NickB - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to felt:

Ive had that, it’s not bad at all, great at that price.

profitofdoom on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

In my opinion it is easy to get locked/ tempted into commitments with wine (numbers of bottles, delivery dates, long periods of time) that you do not want

I avoid them all like the plague. If I want wine I go to a shop and buy one bottle

Stuart en Écosse - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

I happily reached warp speed years ago.

 

ian caton on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Yes I appreciate that. I was just meaning there is so much nonsense talked about wine, when the differences between years at one vineyard are great, nevermind between vineyards or appellations.

 

Offwidth - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I would maintain there is no such thing as a good value for money Bordeaux under £20 in the UK. I've tasted that Lidl wine and its OK value for a UK purchased wine of its type but everything I normally buy is way better value at several pounds under that price. There are plenty of much better value for money wines at Lidl and better deals in France on St Emilion if thats your thing and your local independant wine shop will explore your tastes and can easily find you wine you will really like at under £11... so why spend £11 on that?  The mid range plonk from the barrel in Barcelona at the Bodega near wher my relatives lived was 1.5 €  a litre and was also better in my view than that particular bottle.  Lidl St Emilion Grand Cru 2015 almost typifies UK wine snobbery. Paying more for a well known name without realising how variable wine with the same name can be as its sort of bargain looking price when you can get much better stuff cheaper elsewhere and even in the same shop.

Post edited at 13:44
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The New NickB - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

I buy quite a lot of wine in France and indeed Barcelona, at a range of price points. You are making huge assumptions, about pretty much everything really.

I’ve had the Lidl St. Emilion, in my opinion, which is completely fabable, but I trust it in terms of identifying wine that I like,  it presented good value, better than other St. Emilion and Bordeaux generally from the same year. Close to stuff I’ve had in France for similar money, which given the tax differential is impressive.

If it’s not for you, don’t drink it.

Unfortunately the merchant I used to go to has closed down, so for the six months of the year that I haven’t got wine sourced on the continent, it’s usually the supermarket. Lidl often have a more interesting selection than most.

1
Offwidth - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I'm sticking to my guns: Lidl is indeed good value for money for wine compared to other UK supermarkets; but that quality of that particular St Emillion for £11 isnt (even if it's far from the worst value for money and probably as good as you will get for St Emilion for the price range). Bordeaux of this type is overpriced for its quality in France and much more so in the UK. Lidl used to do some amazing one-off deals... the best I ever saw was for some Canadian Eiswein: just as lush as the German varieties I've tried at a tiny fraction of the price.

Snobbery is about image over substance and Lidl suffers from that in the UK, just like say the more unfashionable French reds. Unsnobbish buyers drink the best quality they can for their price range, whatever the shop or wine variety

Post edited at 15:40
1
Moley on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

I know little about wine, but over the last 2 years I've progressed from " cheapest plonk" to better wines - better for me being "cost more and hope for the best" - due to my lack of knowledge. Money well spent and I undoubtedly drink less but appreciate it more.

I shop and stock from Lidl, some I win and others not always great, but few disasters. Had a bottle of that eiswine the other week as an experiment (having no idea what it was), lovely kit and my wife adores it, she's opening more tonight as aperetife - if that's the correct term!

FactorXXX - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

Red for beef, white for chicken.
Serve red warm and white cold.
If you have visitors, use proper wine glasses and not the pint glass you normally use to save you from having to continuously top up.

Have I missed anything?

 

Offwidth - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Moley:

The eiswein batch I was talking about is long gone but its good to know the current one is still good. If you like sweet white try some of the Spanish Muscatels.. they can be great value.

What you describe is the best way to go.  Remember what you like and why and talk to people who know more and get tips from them based on those tastes.. don't chase 'names' unless you really love them as you always pay more. For that reason good independant wine shops who let you try wine can cut out many of those mistakes so prove surprisingly good value.

I always found the hit to miss ratio better for Lidl than most supermarkets. However, partly due to the slump in Spanish wine prices I most often UK shop in Majestic as they have a good range of the non Rioja vareties that I like best, often allow tasting and allow hassle free free return if you don't like what you buy if they recommend it. The Matsu El Picaro is my current favourite below £10, a Toro wine, and has been consistently good over the 2015 and 16 batches  

If you really enjoy a cheap wine don't worry about it at all. 

Post edited at 16:39
Offwidth - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

I'd beware of all of that except the use of wine glasses for guests (the shaped glass concentrates smell which is much of taste.. brandy glases and small portions work even better) The conventions you describe are meaningless if you prefer differently and if the white wine is any good a light chill is all you will need at most and some reds can benefit from that as well. A good trick for deflating convention based bullshit merchants is to put a blindfold on them and see if they can tell red from white if warm (a tricker test still if chilled).

Post edited at 16:36
Philip on 16 Feb 2018

Not a joke,  a 50 cl bottle of Blue Nun was on offer in the airport duty free, guess how much (Euros)....

Let's see who gets closest to the right answer.

Offwidth - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Philip:

Price distorted upwards by This Week ;-)

The New NickB - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

That is a long winded and not very endearing way of saying it’s good value for St Emilion, but other wine may offer better value, if that is to your taste. 

winhill - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

Who drinks a 2 year old Grand Cru? Peasants!

Offwidth - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

It may be long winded but it's an important point: who is really that attached to what would be a good French €10 bottle of StE when  you can get similar wines from a different region for €4. Blind tasting is good fun and shows up wine that is overpriced  due to its famous name for what it is.  Could be worse... than StE... like some Champagne (Im speaking as someone who likes most St E and Champagnes).

Offwidth - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to winhill:

Who sells a Grand Cru wine worth cellaring for £11?

Post edited at 17:16
Wanderer100 - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

> and not the pint glass you normally use to save you from having to continuously top up.

A style not unlike my own!!

 

 

The New NickB - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

I think you are quite wrong, blind tasting included, particularly if looking for that style of wine. Talking of sparkling dry wine, I’m not a champagne fan, some of the regional cremant is excellent, we brought some Cremant de Bourgogne back from France and were pleased to find a decent one in the U.K., again at Lidl.

Offwidth - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Get a witnessed event that proves you right and I'll doff my cap and buy you a bottle. Plenty of wine experts have failed this sort of test.

profitofdoom on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Philip:

> Not a joke,  a 50 cl bottle of Blue Nun was on offer in the airport duty free, guess how much (Euros)....

> Let's see who gets closest to the right answer.

4 Euros. No-ne else seems to have guessed does that mean I win?

Philip on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to profitofdoom:

> 4 Euros. No-ne else seems to have guessed does that mean I win?

You win, but the answer was €44 - the brand has been bought, converted to high price Eiswein. The image was clearly not tainted in Germany by the old liebfraumilch product.

profitofdoom on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Philip:

> You win, but the answer was €44 - the brand has been bought, converted to high price Eiswein. The image was clearly not tainted in Germany by the old liebfraumilch product.

Cor thanks and good stuff but sadly 44 Euros is out of my range....

Tom V - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

What is this cellaring.?

paul george - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

In reply to the topic, yes I got involved and bought some land and it took me away from climbing for 20 years. built a 4 acre vineyard, winery, house and sold from on-site shop. I still know sweet FA about wine but can generally select one to go with a meal. Must get along to Lidl one day as it seems to be well regarded here.

Generally I buy selected wines from Waitrose when they are reduced (before they go to full price). Favourite currently is Douro wines and did a bike ride (with tasting) down the valley to Porto last year. If anyones tempted (highly recommended) go from Porto up the valley with the wind behind.

Stone Idle - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

It’s all very simple. Does it contain alcohol? Does it taste ok by the end of the third glass?

Simples. Enjoy.

aln - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> your local independant wine shop

I wish I had one of them. 

Jamie Wakeham - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to aln:

It's with mentioning that St Emilion has its own rather odd classification. Grand Cru is meaningless there; most chateaux within the appellation hold it. Grand Cru Classe is far more significant.

aln - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I'll keep that in mind if I ever have a local wine shop. 

birdie num num - on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

I'm wondering what wine folks on here would recommend to quaff with a vesta curry?

Hat Dude on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to birdie num num:

> I'm wondering what wine folks on here would recommend to quaff with a vesta curry?

Anything you've shoplifted will go well

LeeWood - on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Moley:

> I know little about wine, but over the last 2 years I've progressed from " cheapest plonk" to better wines - better for me being "cost more and hope for the best" - due to my lack of knowledge. Money well spent and I undoubtedly drink less but appreciate it more.

I'm not a connaisseur, but I do know that - wherever it comes from and from whichever kind of grape - if a wine is labelled Organic then it is produced under rules which mean its better for my health and production will be less ruinous to the environment.

And I undoubtedly drink less because they are frankly less palatable on average - but that must be money well spent too and I appreciatee it more from this base of knowledge.

Which treatments exactly are responsible for improvement in taste between non/Organic ? Organic production is now widespread with plenty of expert management. If its merely chemicals which rend better flavor then I'm no longer interested.

1
mrphilipoldham - on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

£3.89 Toro Loco from Aldi. You don’t need anything more!

Bulls Crack - on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

Join the Wine Society and say goodbye to your liver!

 

A co-operative set up in 1874 to dispose of the surplus from the last Great Exhibition  - what's not to like. (and their wines are good)

 

 

Offwidth - on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to Tom V:

It's where you stick some wine in a rack on the wall in the gap behind your 45º woodie in your basement ;-)

Graham T - on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Agreed,  wine society is awesome.  Does help/hinder working less that 15 mins from the cellar showroom.

Haven't had a bad wine from there and the price range has been anything between £5 and £90.

 

Wainers44 - on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

Did a wine tasting in a posh hotel in the afternoon once. Never again. I think we ended up using the crocket set on the snooker table, but my memory after the first few hours is a bit hazy.

3 things learnt.

I can't play snooker

I can't play crocket

All wine is basically the same. The only difference is how fast it gets you blasted.....

ena sharples - on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

f*cked if I know the difference these days-cannot even rely anymore on the old adage that anything with a drawing/picture on the label is rubbish

Baron Weasel - on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to Lurking Dave:

This is one of my favourite wine reviews from a wine snob:

"I initially bought this product way back in November 2012 with the intention of saving it for a special occasion or dinner party. Two hours before my guests arrived I opened the bottle, decanted it into an empty Walls vanilla ice cream tub, and allowed it to breathe - I'm afraid I'm quite the snob when it comes to these sort of things. However, upon tasting it was immediately apparent that this bottle was corked.
Much to my disappointment I only had a bottle of Blue Nun left in my cellar, and as every connoisseur knows; even a classy White such as that simply does not go with a rare Chateau Briande. My guests remained polite, but the atmosphere was noticeably subdued from that point onwards."

https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B002ATI4VG/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_paging_btm_next_9?pageNumber=9

aln - on 20 Feb 2018
In reply to Wainers44:

> I can't play crocket

You can't spell it either...  

 


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