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A little less than a happy high
Diversions for a troubled mind.
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transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 19th, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I don't particularly care about bouquets."
next time i'll just give you the daggers and let you stab me in the heart.
i won't say anything else, but that you are missing half the experience...

okay so based on what you are saying, i have 2 recommends:
1) italian. especially Super Tuscans (blends usually including Cab. Sauv. which will get you the body and tannins you want). they're huge, they'll assault your mouth, they are generally rustic with some fruit... think Cali. Cab. done old world style. and for that matter, i'd recommend more Italian varietals. (now, before i continue, note that italy, and spain, are my two wine-knowledge weak points... i don't care for them so i don't learn about them much, but still...)

Italy has over 3,000 grape varietals which is absolutely insane, and why it's hard to really differentiate many Italian wines. however, Italy is currently trying reasonably hard to update their wine image from classic 'table wines' with little unique character, to accentuating what Italy can do right which is rusticity and concentration. Now, Super Tuscans (like their overpriced cousin {in my opinion} the Cali. Cab.) tend to be famously overpriced, but you can find some that are reasonable, and i suspect they'd be right up your alley. here's a good article:
Also, another Italian varietal of note: Barbera d' Alba (i think you'd really dig this). stay away from Chianti and wines considered traditional 'table' wines. one of the most notable Italian wine producers is Antoniori. look for some stuff by him and you may find some more depth-ful Italian wines.

2) now, my friend Justin and i have a saying, "Why would you drink anything else, if you could be drinking French???" i love some new world wines, adore them in fact, but all of the wines that have changed my life have been French. for your palate and taste, I'd recommend red Cotes-du-Rhone. from the south and west of France, Cotes-du-Rhone grows (red) generally, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignan, and then blends them. mmm. these are big, rich, dirty, spicy wines with high alcohol content. they tend to drink a bit 'barnyard-y' and benefit from being open an hour or two before drinking. think Aussie Shiraz rolled in dirt and silt. one producing region in Rhone i think you may specifically like is Chateauneuf-du-Pape. the key to French wine is to look for "AC" or "Appellation d'Origine Controlee" on the label. what that means is that all of the grapes used in the winemaking *have to come from that region* producing consistency and quality of taste. "AC" is the French system for controlling the winemaking method, land, practice, and permissible yield for each region. it's the rules and shows who plays by the rules and who doesn't. M. Chapoutier is a great starting point for Rhone wines. he's a quality producer who can bottle solid examples of the region's fruit and terroir.

for that matter, Italy has their own system "DOGC", so look for that.

if anything i said is confusing *please* ask. it's hard for me to not go overboard and to know what people's base of reference is.

there's always Aussie Shiraz, but i suspect they'd be too forward for you. still, humor me and pick one up.

all of the wines i've mentioned (though i'm less familiar with italian pricing) can be found for between 8 and 20$ per bottle. dunno about euros and pounds and all that. =)

the only thing i ask for is REVIEWS and findings! =)

tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: November 19th, 2004 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
As an explanation of the bouquet thing: about two years ago I randomly lost my sense of smell for about six months (though not my sense of taste - don't know how that worked), and since it's come back, it's been really unreliable - I smell things, but not the same way as everyone else, so I distrust it as a sense. Also, while I'm uneducated but have semi-decent taste in the drinking, I'm uneducated and know shit about the smelling aspect... I also, until this year (living with a Kiwi oenophile) rarely had decent glassware.

But otherwise, I will copy down your recs and see what I can do. The last time I really cared (maybe three years ago) I was all about the Haut-Medocs, and then had about six lousy bottles in a row. I have liked the Chateauneuf-de-Papes that I've randomly tried. And I've had one or two Aussie Shirazs which were great, although it was a while ago and I have no memory of what they actually were.
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