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The Hunt for Red............................................... ...Wine

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  • The Hunt for Red............................................... ...Wine

    Went to the wine outlet today (well, wine, beer, and the hard stuff); bought a case of Ste. Genevieve Merlot, a variety of cheaper (under $7) reds (the pickings were slight today), and 4 bottles of a more expensive type, Aramis I think the name of the grape (not the company) was, to use, potentially anyhow, as presents.

    One of the ones I picked up today was a red by Red Patrick and as it turned out, it ended up being my take to bed wine today. T'was a pretty decent red "table" wine, even for a domestic, a rare find, I wish I had bought more bottles of it. I must resist temptation to rush back to the outlet and buy a case of it.......AND I AM TEMPTED......especially since the case of a Ste. Genevieve is an acceptable table, if a Merlot.....and it undercuts the Patrick by 66 cents a bottle.

    Part of that temptation....and why it must be to buy another wine rack, one of those 44 bottle jobs. Why, tonight, I was dreaming if I had a third one I could have three partially filled racks, one for my expensive reds (Red Diamond, Bogles, Carmens, Aramis (?), ), one for my table reds (Ste. Genevieve, mix and matches, Gallos, Rex Goliath), and one for my whites. On the last, the whites, I generally only use them for cooking. Most Chardonnays are too mellow for me, they don't have THE BITE I like, and while I love croutons with melted cheese and a white (a cheap fondue), I wake up with a lousy headache after.

    To which I guess I should say which reds I like. Burgundys, Merlot, Cabernet, the harsher kind. I picked up a Rose today, just to have it in the 'cellar', just in case, but I don't think I will be using it myself. It's far, far too weak for me.

    Finally, I am limited to 750 ml bottles. 1.5 l's won't fit into the racks.....and there is no romance in either Gallon jugs or the box. Of course, boxed wine I find weak anyhow though I have dabbled in have a box of white in the fridge. Cheaper, easier to get into a measuring cup.......and lacking in romance. I prefer the bottle.................bottles with corks......for there is more romance in the cork screw than the screw top.

  • #2
    Two tips: temperature and air.

    First, storing wine in a rack that sits on top of the kitchen (etc) counter is only really appropriate if you live in an igloo. Anywhere else and the fluctuation in temperature from day to day (or night) will not do your investments any good. While the typical refrigerator is too cold, it certainly is much more stable and that’s the real issue.

    Red wine wants to be kept cool, but more important it needs to be at a constant temperature. No warming and cooling! The only drawbacks to a too-cold storage are that it will take longer to warm up to drinking temperature (but, see below) and that it won't age as well. But, aging doesn't sound like your problem.

    Second is air. Let it breathe! The heavier and less expensive wines will really benefit from being decanted a couple of hours before serving. If you don’t have a decanter, just open the bottle in the morning and serve it in the evening.

    Next time you have several guests over, open three bottles: one in the morning, a second 2-3 hours before serving, and poured into a pitcher or decanter; and the third when you’re ready to have a sip. Compare the three and I think you’ll be very surprised.

    Generally, this applies only to heavier reads, syrah, cabs, etc. Don’t try it with a pinot noir.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!


    • #3
      Maybe I do need a third rack.....for my whites, half and halved between expensive whites (those Chardonnays with a BITE) (mostly expensive because they are hard to find) and those cheap whites, like the mellow Chardonnays, I use to cook with. Had a brief bit of a struggle to find a cheap white for my bouillabaisse today....came up with a Ste. Genevieve Chardonnay.

      Right now, I wouldn't quite call my wine racks that much of an investment. First, because while I do have some $15 bottles in there, most are under the $7 mark. The $15 ones are Carmens, a wine I fell in love with in the mid 90's, and then couldn't get. When I found a stock, I bought as many as I could at that mark.......only to find out that after years of experimenting afterwards, the taste wasn't that fantastic anymore. Of course, it may have also been that at the time I came across it, I was drinking from Gallo gallon jugs.

      Secondly, though, with my taste buds being bitter oriented, not only do I prefer the harsher reds but really, I can't tell, in appreciation, "swill from great". The only I know that it is gone is to see the break up visually.

      Back to whites to conclude. Perhaps I shouldn't be that oriented to wine cooking to think I need to have 22 bottles or more on hand for it...............but it's the romance of it, doncha' know?

      Edits: the name of that A wine is Anares and it is just coincidence that as I am making my bouillabaisse I happen to be in a green wooly pully.
      Last edited by Tamara; 08 Dec 13,, 20:12.