mostly wine stuff

skibob

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Judging by the SF newspaper wine column, lots and lots of smoke damage, too little rain. So drastically reduced yields or even skipped harvests for some makers. But should still be some good wine.
No significant or widespread smoke damage to 2021 that I am aware of. Harvest is pretty much wrapped up (a little early). Smoke was far away and blowing the other direction from most winegrowing regions. Occasionally "old smoke" would come in and settle into the valleys for a few days, but that isn't likely to result in significant smoke derived flavors and aromas.

General consensus so far is harvest is light but good quality. Was very compressed in time, so the only real challenges came from fatigue and sometimes a lack of tank space.

That said, for 2020, you have to remember that areas affected by smoke left around 30% of their grapes on the vine unpicked. The rest, there are ways to remove the smoky flavors and aromas that are quite effective and completely invisible to someone drinking the wine. It is an added cost and hassle, but the average consumer will almost certainly never taste a wine with apparent "smoke taint".
 

skibob

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I did a long weekend getaway glamping in Paonia last month. I visited 6 wineries while there (2 additional ones didn't allow dogs) and tasted a lot. Storm Cellar was by far my favorite. They do all whites and roses which I love because while I like reds, they don't like me as much. To find a winery really focusing on doing interesting things with whites is nice. I learned today that the Roussanne just won a gold medal in the Governor's Cup Colorado wine competition. Their Rose of St. Vincent won double gold. They also have a rose with the perfect name for a Colorado rose. It's called Alpenglow.

Here's where I stayed which was absolutely lovely. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/38359142?source_impression_id=p3_1630961201_yOsV4LenT+7Lo+zw
Pro tip: If red wine gives you headaches and makes you feel lethargic, it come from histamines produced during fermentation. Histamine production strongly correlates with alcohol. Search out lower alcohol reds--under 14% for sure, if not lower--if you want to drink red. Buy a nice cheap Beaujolais as a first experiment . . .
 

skibob

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+1 although the only time I was there was for a Valentine's Day party in 2015. I took my wife to try to make her feel better about me leaving for an extended, skiing roadtrip to Canada a couple of days later. Last Friday, I spent night at a winery in Rodeo, CA that is on the shore of San Pablo Bay (Northern part of SF Bay). I was not that impressed with most of their wines, but tasting area and where I parked for night had great views and my TV found over 50 channels. I bought two bottles of Petite Sirah as part of the deal for free overnight RV stay is to buy something.

Picture is my spot with Amtrak going by at left. I had no trains overnight and fog over Bay in background also did not move in.
View attachment 142295

On the way there from Bodega Bay and Guerneville, I stopped at Petaluma Grocery Outlet. Besides the Pearl Hart Reserve (mentioned on previous page that we liked enough that we bought 6 more bottles in San Jose and one more in Petaluma), they had 2016 Rock Wall Solano County Papa's Syrah. This was another $55 value for $10. The back of bottle says it's "an homage to the way my awesome Papa loves to make wine...gigantic in flavor." Haven't tried it, but sounds like another big and flavorful wine and is 15.68%". Also for $5.99 I bought 2015 Three Rivers Columbia Valley Merlot based on recommendation of store's wine manager who said it compares to $35-40 Merlots and will stand up to many Cabs. I tried it after my tasting overlooking Bay and liked it and so did my wife the next day when we both got home, from different directions, the next day. View attachment 142286
Most of Solano County is geographically speaking part of Napa Valley. I haven't had the rock wall, but there are bargains to be had out of Solano County vineyards . . .
 

Swede

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Pro tip: If red wine gives you headaches and makes you feel lethargic, it come from histamines produced during fermentation. Histamine production strongly correlates with alcohol. Search out lower alcohol reds--under 14% for sure, if not lower--if you want to drink red. Buy a nice cheap Beaujolais as a first experiment . . .

Great advice! Borgognue also, 13.5%. I think you can find a few Central Coast and Oregon pinots at 13.5% too. Then there are Spätburgunders that quite often stay at 13%. Pretty much head ache safe. Unless you have a 3-4 bottles.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
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Great advice! Borgognue also, 13.5%.
We already know that your idea of "Borgognue" is Rousseau Chambertin. A bottle of that would do a lot more than just reduce the probability of headache. Unfortunately there is not enough money in my healthcare savings account to cover the prescription.
 

Swede

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We already know that your idea of "Borgognue" is Rousseau Chambertin. A bottle of that would do a lot more than just reduce the probability of headache. Unfortunately there is not enough money in my healthcare savings account to cover the prescription.
:roflmao:Thankfully, I didn't have to pay for it. Just drink it. It is certainly above my paygrade, but needless to say--incredible.
 

cantunamunch

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Who wants some Monkeypox?
That said, for 2020, you have to remember that areas affected by smoke left around 30% of their grapes on the vine unpicked. The rest, there are ways to remove the smoky flavors and aromas that are quite effective and completely invisible to someone drinking the wine. It is an added cost and hassle, but the average consumer will almost certainly never taste a wine with apparent "smoke taint".

I wonder if those would carry over in a pot distillation - and, by extension, whether it would be feasible to do a 'Big Smoke' brandy.
 

skibob

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I wonder if those would carry over in a pot distillation - and, by extension, whether it would be feasible to do a 'Big Smoke' brandy.
It doesn't. But you have to appreciate too that the things that constitute smoke taint are not the same smoky aromas you can get from toasting barrels and then aging things in them. It is more "dirty ashtray" rather than "Lagavulin"
 

cantunamunch

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Who wants some Monkeypox?
It doesn't. But you have to appreciate too that the things that constitute smoke taint are not the same smoky aromas you can get from toasting barrels and then aging things in them. It is more "dirty ashtray" rather than "Lagavulin"

I thought as much, though the article @mdf referenced muddied the issue a bit.

Of course, the mention of unfinished fermentation in that article immediately sent my brain to thinking 'oh, what about a port structure'?
 

skibob

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I thought as much, though the article @mdf referenced muddied the issue a bit.

Of course, the mention of unfinished fermentation in that article immediately sent my brain to thinking 'oh, what about a port structure'?
I missed that article before. I'll just quote the relevant lines:

"I’ve interviewed scientists and winemakers, pored over research papers, studied spreadsheets with numbers I didn’t fully understand."
 

coskigirl

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I'm listening to a book about odd/interesting laws related to wine called "Is There Apple Juice in My Wine?" that I thought would be interesting for people in this thread. Coincidentally, it's written by my Outdoor Recreation and Ski Law professor and his wife.

Amazon product
 

skibob

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I'm listening to a book about odd/interesting laws related to wine called "Is There Apple Juice in My Wine?" that I thought would be interesting for people in this thread. Coincidentally, it's written by my Outdoor Recreation and Ski Law professor and his wife.

Amazon product
Alcohol regulation in the US is downright bizarre. Couldn't have come up with a more Rube Goldberg system if somebody had set out to try. And federalism is only part of the problem.
 

Uncle-A

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PXL_20211024_201059340.jpg
We tried this today that was recommended as something good. It was very pleasant not very heavy and went well with some beef.
 

mdf

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Musing on wine-by-email...

Pre-covid, I never signed up for any wine clubs because my wife and I had too much fun trying and buying wine in person.
But during covid, we quit doing that and started to deplete our wine stash (started with over 250 bottles).

So @Tony S turned me on to WTSO (Wines till Sold Out) and soon other email marketing started showing up regularly.
I find the shotgun marketing across segments amusing.

I've had good luck with "Reverse Wine Snob". I hate the subtext that we who take wine seriously are a bunch of pretentious fakes, but they have some great deals. (You have to read between the lines to screen out the "talks dry, drinks sweet" selections, of course. "Smooth tannins" :nono:.) I've bought 3 or 4 things that were very good for about 1/2 the list price on their makers' websites. Bishop's Peak Petite Sirah was a particular winner.

At the other extreme is "wine express". It is telling that the email does not give you the price -- you have to click through to see that. They often have mid-level Napa wines, and once offered Chateau d'Yquem. Really? Sure. $250 a decent price, but pushing that to a mailing list you bought from Reverse Wine Snob? :roflmao: :roflmao:
 

skibob

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Musing on wine-by-email...

Pre-covid, I never signed up for any wine clubs because my wife and I had too much fun trying and buying wine in person.
But during covid, we quit doing that and started to deplete our wine stash (started with over 250 bottles).

So @Tony S turned me on to WTSO (Wines till Sold Out) and soon other email marketing started showing up regularly.
I find the shotgun marketing across segments amusing.

I've had good luck with "Reverse Wine Snob". I hate the subtext that we who take wine seriously are a bunch of pretentious fakes, but they have some great deals. (You have to read between the lines to screen out the "talks dry, drinks sweet" selections, of course. "Smooth tannins" :nono:.) I've bought 3 or 4 things that were very good for about 1/2 the list price on their makers' websites. Bishop's Peak Petite Sirah was a particular winner.

At the other extreme is "wine express". It is telling that the email does not give you the price -- you have to click through to see that. They often have mid-level Napa wines, and once offered Chateau d'Yquem. Really? Sure. $250 a decent price, but pushing that to a mailing list you bought from Reverse Wine Snob? :roflmao: :roflmao:
A good friend of mine is the buyer for Wine Spies. I really don't follow them, but a) his knowledge and palate are unparalleled and b) he has principles. He would never hawk something he didn't believe in.
 
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