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Go With Your Buds.

March 4th, 2010 3 Comments

“…Don’t worry about all this technical stuff. As a wine drinker — and being a wine drinker is the most important thing — all you have to concern yourself with is whether you like the wine. If you do? Drink it. If you decide you really like it? Drink some more. If you don’t like it? Drink something else.” — Tom Gutting of From The Gutt

Sometimes I think we get caught up in trying to analyze wine instead of just asking ourselves the most important question, “Do I like it?”

Most restaurants these days will let you taste a couple different wines before you commit to ordering a glass.  So don’t hesitate to ask.  Unless you’re in a nice restaurant, 8 out of 10 servers won’t have extensive experience with wine, they just relay which glass pairs well with each dish.  And they certainly don’t know your palate.  If you want an educated opinion ask if there is a sommelier or resident wino (like Ron!).

As Tom says, wine is about you, your taste, and enjoying the experience; the rest is secondary.

All of that being said, what are you all enjoying these days?  Any new delicious finds?  Let us know and comment below.

(Photo by Andrew Flavin 2009)

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  • Margaret

    I tried about 3 different wines at Ruth’s Chris the other night before I decided on a bottle (for the table). We ended up getting the Franciscan Cabernet it was delicious!

  • Laura

    For me its about food, weather, mood and knowledge I pick up. My dad is a Master of Wine (I guess thats liking having a PhD in wine…) and has taught me so much, mainly that price isn’t everything, and if a place serves oyu wine that tastes/smells like vinegar, ask them to open a new bottle asap. Now that its winter in Australia i’m going with lots of Pinot Noir and Shiraz, yum.

  • Ed

    As often the case, you find yourself agonizing over the wine list in fine restaurants, often due to the sticker shock. Normally, wines in restaurants can be 250%-400% of the market price.

    Fortunately, I find that you can really capitalize on that restaurant premium. Case in point, my wife and I recently enjoyed a Croix De Beaucaillou 2005 Saint-Julien (Bordeaux) that was sommelier-recommended. At the restaurant, it was $150. However, we found the same wine at the fine wine section of our local Wegman’s for $37. In other words, a $90 difference between bottle prices in a restaurant ($60 vs $150) actually ended up to only be a $12 difference at the market ($25 vs $37). I’ve learned to always take note of wines I order in restaurants (the camera on my iPhone makes this easy), so that I can capitalize on these expensive restaurant lessons when I hit the market.

    The Croix De Beaucaillou is actually a ‘second wine’ of the Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou (aged in bottle longer, a 1996 can cost you $350 at the restaurant). That’s another tip, ask your sommelier or expert about ‘second wines’, which often have the wonderful characteristics of those Grand Crus without the astronomic prices.

    I really don’t bother with wine ratings, especially when checking out Costco, etc. It seems every wine from Chile these days has a 90+ rating, but I can’t find any that I really like. But you can sure find a horde of Aussie Shiraz’s on the back aisle that go down well for under $10. I agree with you, Mary … go with what tastes good to you!

    Cheers to all!