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All about wine...if you're interested


balzaccom

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Some of you may know that I'm involved in the world of wine.  Recently, I taped a series of lectures for Audible, and they are now released.  Here's a link:
https://www.audible.com/pd/History-of-Wine-in-10-Glasses-Audiobook/B08PG5JBN5?qid=1609026085&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=83218cca-c308-412f-bfcf-90198b687a2f&pf_rd_r=XQ04G1ZJGR20298XRHTS

If nothing else, I promise they will be mildly entertaining...and that's not often the case with wine lectures! 

These came out of the course I created for the Great Courses:  https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/the-instant-sommelier-choosing-your-best-wine

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  • 11 months later...
Michael aka Mac

Most of my life  I have been a wine drinker Balzaccom and I have attended numerous wine tasting venues over the years both here and abroad.  Eventually I began to start my own wine cellar  and even have a 1957 Chateau Lafite Rothschild in my collection.

I am not  a beer drinker  with the exception of a few stouts  like Guinnes or Redhook Double Black Stout brewed with Starbucks coffee.

I have an unopened bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label Whiskey that has been ageing/maturing now for over 16 years.

Cheers...

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HI Michael 

Where did you live abroad?  Hope they had some good wines there...

The lectures I've done for Audible and the Great Courses are aimed at giving both context and history to the wines in the market today.  I think you might enjoy them, given you interests. 

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Michael aka Mac

Hey Balzaccom,

I actually have never lived abroad  but I have traveled a few times overseas and to Mexico.  I took a train across Europe and ended up in Switzerland (primary destination of trip).  In total I was in Europe for about a month. I actually did not particularly enjoy any of the wines at their wine tastings, as unlike American imports from Europe, the wines there have a much stronger flavor with spices and additives that my pallet could not appreciate. I think Paul McCartney said it best when he and John Lennon went to France and wanted to try one of their bottles of wine, only to spit it out and respond "this tastes like vinegar" 

They all seemed to leave an unwanted aftertaste, and their spices are not what are in the American version exports.  I think the only one I did enjoy was a German wine maker using a Gewürztraminer grape variety.  Wish they had some Rieslings there for me to taste as I was curious if that would also be palatable to my taste buds.

I have been very fortunate to have tried numerous expensive high end wines and champagnes (Dom) in my life time ranging from $50 a bottle to close to $800 a bottle and have yet to open my 1957 Chateau Lafite Rothschild which is closer to $1500,  as I am saving it for a glorious occasion whatever that may turn out to be.

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Hi Michael.  It's actually illegal to add flavorings or spices to wine in both the US and Europe, unless you clearly identify the product as such--you're not allowed to sell it as "wine."  If you were tasting wines with added spices or additives, then it would have been a local product like mulled wine for the holidays, or Sangria in Spain--which cannot be sold as wine. 

Given the range of growing conditions and grape varieties in Europe, they make wines that have massive range of styles, character, and flavors, from thin and acidic to very rich, ripe and soft.  Same is true of the USA.  Ironically, one of the most difficult regions in which to grow grapes is Champage--because it is so far north and so cold.  That's why that have had to make a very different style of wine there. 

I do want to share a word of warning about your Lafite. Unless it has been stored in perfect conditions, (dark, cool, and quiet) it is in all likelihood well past its prime. Save it for a special occasion, but have a back-up bottle on hand...word to the wise. 

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Michael aka Mac

Forgive me as my pallet is superior to my eloquence and I had used the wrong wording it seems. I noticed a difference in taste from the sulfites and phosphates concentration abroad vs here in US ( i called them additives)  and i considered things like oak chips to be a spice.

I think you left out another important warning for others that may read this thread, that being the angle of which the wine is stored so that the cork is completely touched by the wine so that the cork doesn't dry up.  But yes  the Lafite was stored in that manner and in the proper conditions and being an outdoorsman lol I always have a back-up for everything. Oh and No I am not worried about the Lafite either way,  as I give it a 50/50 chance to either be drank or used as a deglaze for cooking. It will not go to waste one way or another lol.

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I do want to clarify: there is no real difference in the levels of sulfites between wines made in the USA and Europe...there is far more variation between individual wineries than between regions.  And there are no phosphates in wine. 

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