Wine Aficionados

A place to share and learn about wines. Share what wines you like to help us all become more versed in our drinking and fine dining.

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Latest Activity: Mar 17

Discussion Forum

Sonoma wines are the BEST!

Started by EyeGuy. Last reply by hartlyn Apr 28, 2011. 7 Replies

My wife and I enjoy wine tasting, and maybe it's a consequence of starting late in life (that Mormon thing, you know), but we've concluded that right here in our beautiful California coast is where…Continue

French Mission: French Wine

Started by toto. Last reply by Heather C Apr 24, 2011. 5 Replies

So, yeah, I'm a French wine snob. Italian, too, but not so much as my love for the French. On Friday night I enjoyed a beautiful glass of Paul Jaboulet Cabernet Sauvignon. Soon, I'll be able to sip a…Continue

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Comment by Oberon on April 28, 2011 at 12:38pm

I never claimed that you did say that.  I just wanted to point out that this is not a hard and fast rule.  Wine is a consumable, everyone's taste is different, you should do what you enjoy, etc. etc. bla bla bla.


As for starting with sweeter wines - I am more adventurous than most when putting new things in my mouth (go on, make a joke, I know you want to) but I just decided to go for broke with wine and it worked well for me.  The first wine I ever tried was some cheap, horrible red that a stranger gave me in a field in Greenwich (we were watching Master and Commander on a giant screen, it was a great time, not least because I was trying alcohol for the first time).  It really was not good wine, and they told me it wasn't but let me try some anyway.  It was too strong and it burned and I coughed a little bit, but there were so many flavors that it was fascinating to drink it anyway, and I loved it.  So, that worked for me, but this is the same guy who acquires taste by brute force (coffee? ginger beer? vodka? licorice? regular beer?  no problem, sit down with way too much of it and don't get up until it's gone; repeat until it tastes good) so consider the source =)

Comment by hartlyn on April 28, 2011 at 11:25am

@Oberon:  We usually pair salmon and turkey with Pinot Noir, since both have strong flavors and stand up well to a red--in fact, salmon stands up better to Pinot Noir than with any white we've tried it with. There are some Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs that go well with turkey--depends upon how oaky-vanilla-y the chardonnay is, but we still prefer a good pinot noir on Thanksgiving.  I never said match the meat--the advice to match the sauce is provided by licensed sommeliers and people writing for publications like Food & Wine magazine, and it's worked well for us.  Just sayin'.

@Shugamuffin: The advice to start sweet and work into the more complex wines is good advice that didn't work for me personally.  I'll have a late-harvest riesling with cheescake or biscotti, never with a meal because it fights the food.

Comment by Shugamuffin on April 28, 2011 at 11:14am
If you're a beginner all wine is going to taste bitter IMHO.  Starting with the sweeter ones might help you to appreciate wine and then you can move into the more dry flavors.  It's worked well for me anyway.
Comment by Oberon on April 28, 2011 at 6:13am
I don't want to contradict hartlyn, but I do want to add that "match the wine with the sauce" (much like "red wine for red meat, white wine for fish") is fine advice at first, but as you grow and develop you should feel free to consider this more of a guideline than an actual rule.
Comment by hartlyn on April 28, 2011 at 5:46am

Hey Ariadne, welcome to the wonderful world of wine! I have made several long posts on pairings here, but the main rule is match the wine with the sauce--red with red, white with white.  Moscato is more like a dessert wine; for me it's like soda without the fizz.  Ick.  American reislings are usually sweeter as well, especially the ones labeled "late-harvest."  


For your spaghetti, you need a slightly drier, lighter red, such as a Primitivo (here in UT the Liante label is pretty good, and reasonably priced), Salice Salentio, or a sangiovese.  Chianti is too dry, even for me.  I won't twist your brain into a pretzel, this being your first experience, but even the ingredients in your sauce will change how the wine will taste with it.


Another beginner-friendly choice is rose (pronounced ro-zay but I don't know how to do accent marks).  It tends to be less tannic, but goes better with red sauce than a white would. 


Regarding cheap wine: Sometimes you get what you pay for--in other words, the $15 bottle may be worth a splurge now and then, rather than buying two bottles of $7 crap just so you can drink more. The other thing about less-expensive wines is that they often contain larger amounts of added sulfites (Google it--I don't have time to explain here).  If this is your first experience drinking, you might want to limit yourself to one glass and be sure you drink water.  Having it with food will slow the absorption rate of the alcohol, but until you know how well your body tolerates this new substance, I'd suggest taking it slow.

hartlyn, resident alchie and confirmed wine snob.


It's a good idea to do your homework if you want to get involved with wine.

Comment by MikeUtah on April 27, 2011 at 8:54pm

I've had Moscato or Reisling with spaghetti.  Works for us anyways.

Comment by Princess Ariadne on April 27, 2011 at 8:52pm

hey i was wondering, what is a good inexpensive wine to go with spaghetti. Also this will be my first time trying wine or alcohol for that matter.


Comment by MikeUtah on April 9, 2011 at 10:43am
We had some awesome white wine in a Barefoot brand Moscato!  Delicious!
Comment by Shugamuffin on March 11, 2011 at 3:09pm
I'm relatively new to the wine scene. I have a few friends who are very learned so they've been helping me.  We even went on a wine tasting trip to Boise.  I really enjoy Ste. Chapelle.  The Soft Red, Soft White, and Soft Rose are quite tasty. I prefer whites because I still like the sweet wines.
Comment by hartlyn on February 26, 2011 at 1:09pm

Michelle, the problem with white Zin is it doesn't go with anything.  Somehow it obtained hipster status (perhaps because it doesn't pair decently with any food?) Can't help you with "green" wine.   Have you tried Google?  


Mary:  It is a lifelong pursuit, but so much fun once you get past the original learning curve.  Not to mention the fun of experimentation. . .;-)


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