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crashmonitor

The Great Wine Con

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Got to agree that there is a lot of snobbery and basically ''wine experts'' just make it up. There is a snobbery to certain European (especially French) wines, but with medieval wine making techniques, corks that taint the flavour and a climate that isn't able to match the New World for ripening the grapes or alcoholic strength I always go for New World reds.

I can't be persuaded that a ''quality'' Frech wine for over ten quid is better tasting than a cheap £3.99 Tesco pinotage from South Africa . to me it tastes infinitely superior and the rest is Emperors Clothes with wine drinkers scared to disagree with the experts.

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4780590.html

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Got to agree that there is a lot of snobbery and basically ''wine experts'' just make it up. There is a snobbery to certain European (especially French) wines, but with medieval wine making techniques, corks that taint the flavour and a climate that isn't able to match the New World for ripening the grapes or alcoholic strength I always go for New World reds.

I can't be persuaded that a ''quality'' Frech wine for over ten quid is better tasting than a cheap £3.99 Tesco pinotage from South Africa . to me it tastes infinitely superior and the rest is Emperors Clothes with wine drinkers scared to disagree with the experts.

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4780590.html

Hardly ever buy French in this house.

It's mostly Chilean reds and NZ whites. And mostly by the case, not that we're a pair of p*ssheads or anything...

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Got to agree that there is a lot of snobbery and basically ''wine experts'' just make it up. There is a snobbery to certain European (especially French) wines, but with medieval wine making techniques, corks that taint the flavour and a climate that isn't able to match the New World for ripening the grapes or alcoholic strength I always go for New World reds.

I can't be persuaded that a ''quality'' Frech wine for over ten quid is better tasting than a cheap £3.99 Tesco pinotage from South Africa . to me it tastes infinitely superior and the rest is Emperors Clothes with wine drinkers scared to disagree with the experts.

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4780590.html

There's plenty of good, drinkable French wine out there for less than £10 a bottle, or even £5, but as taxes in the UK make up about £2.50 or more a bottle, anything much below £5 retail in the UK is essentially being given away for no profit.

I was in the US last week, and California wine is most definitely not cheaper than French wine, nor better quality. It's all super sweet, overripe and overpriced. American wine is either really cheap, industrially produced alcopops, or ridiculously overpriced at £25 or more a bottle for very average stuff.

BTW, any article about wine that starts with the person saying that they're a non-drinker should maybe be taken with a grain of salt.

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I like French and Spanish, and South American wine! I always have my five a day! Not so keen on the USA or Oz stuff. :huh:

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Spanish for me mostly........

Its the Romans who brought wine making into the rest of Euroland .....and they reckoned that the best grape came from the Catalan

And the occasional Chilean ......

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The USA makes the most unpleasant wine in my view. Some French stuff is excellent if you're prepared to pay upward of )10 - St Emillion is as good as any full bodied red, Cote de Provence rosé always good too. Don't drink white so can't comment on them.

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it's the law of diminishing returns for me in expensive alcohol.

For wine normally there can be a significant taste difference between £5 and £10. £10 to £20 less so and its hard for me to tell the difference much over £20 quid. I do think that I get value going over £10, but certainly not over £30.

Whisky is kind of strange. To me some of the blended stuff tastes a bit better than some of the lower end single malt. I guess that is because the edge is blended out of it. That said cooking scotch like you get in a supermarket at cheap cost with a scottish flag on the front is pretty rank and easily dismissed. Decent single malt ... to me in some ways is not so much smoother than a good blend but has more defining taste and if you can find a taste that you like then that trumps any blend you can find.

Port pretty much the same as wine, had some 40 year old. Don't get me wrong, its ok, but not that much better than 10 year old.

Don't drink much spirits these days. Taste doesn't seem to have suffered though. When i go back to it the memory of whats nice and nasty is still sharp. Still hate vodka after throwing up once on it as a student and never really touched brandy.

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The USA makes the most unpleasant wine in my view. Some French stuff is excellent if you're prepared to pay upward of )10 - St Emillion is as good as any full bodied red, Cote de Provence rosé always good too. Don't drink white so can't comment on them.

Chablis, Mr Blob! About the only white I like, although Champagne is good too! ;)

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it's the law of diminishing returns for me in expensive alcohol.

Yes, not really much point paying more than a tenner a bottle! If you ever drive to France, stock up on good stuff until your suspension sags! ;)

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Expensive is not necessarily better is a concept Aldi are certainly getting to grips with.....

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Chablis, Mr Blob! About the only white I like, although Champagne is good too! ;)

Yes nice reminder Mr. P. - I love champagne but for some reason don't count it as 'wine'!!

Bought a nice bottle of the stuff today, which is nice.

Giving it as a present to someone else later this evening, which is not so nice.

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English champagne e.g. Chapel Down is really good, as good as French champagne in my opinion. English white wine is very variable. English red is a marketing gimmick.

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I love wine(not that I know a great deal about it), and French wine is often brilliant.

Some blatantly inferior offerings are on display in UK supermarkets though. e.g. Muscadet should only be bought from the 'sevre et maine' appellation, but much of what appears on UK supermarket shelves is not from this area and much more likely to be inferior.

French wine is hampered somewhat by a very confusing appellation/VDQS/vin de pays/vin de table heirarchy, and also the fact that the grapes used in a particular wine are often not named. Most folks looking for a sauvignon blanc wouldn't immediately be drawn to a Pouilly-Fumé or Sancerre. The French wines which are branded like New World wines, with the grapes taking prominence, are often inferior as they are generally 'Vin de Pays' rather than 'Appellation controllee', (with the exception of wines from Alsace I think.)

It's a very rewarding minefield to play in.

I like much of the New World stuff, it offers very good value and taste (I like the "Mayu" Chilean offerings at ASDA, haven't found a bad one yet and are well priced).

It's best bought in the country imo. The French system allows very small producers to operate, wine production in NZ/Aus/Chile is a pretty industrial scale operation in many instances these days I think.

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It's not snobbery, it's ignorance! I drink mostly french some good some meh, but it won't be over sugared gloop that tastes like tipsy Ribena.

When I hear people say "I don't like french wine" (as I did at a wedding last week), I don't engage in response as .. you can't educate pork.

Yt?

Imo Its mostly a lack of understanding of the AOC labelling which, unless you buy a book and give up 2 hours of your time you'll never grasp.

)

Sure new world wine can be very good,

NZ, sav blanc - pinot noir

Argentina - Malbec

Chilli - Cab Sac Viognier

You should only drink Chardonnay from Burgundy (or Champagne obviously) don't bother with it unless you think it's too dear ;-)

Try Muscadat sur lie (fresh zingy white), good wine from Alsace, some great stuff from the south - Pay D`Oc

Gigondas (instead of C N D`Pape)

Best place to try French Wine is eeeerrr France.... get on a ferry ffs!

Edit.. PWPU (on a nice Cote Du Rhone as it happens lol

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I don't like cheaper wines where the reds are a bit Ribena-y or white ones that are sour tasting.

There are some Italian wines the local convenience store does for £3 a bottle that are perfectly pleasant to drink.

I think I could spot a very high quality wine but I don't expect spending £7.99 over £5.99 will necessarily get me something better.

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Used to drink more wine; now hardly ever, tired of being disappointed.

Mainly just swipe the odd glass of the wife's whites. Saving her from herself.

On the rare occasions I am buying these days, it will be a £10+ rioja or chianti, anything Aussie from 'McLaren vale', Alsace (fond of gewürztraminer), or a 20 quid punt on a recommended French wine or one that I've already tasted first.

Tesco used to do a wonderful McLaren vale Shiraz years ago from a maker called maglieri which I used to get on offer and with the crate discount for just over 5 per, but I haven't seen that recently.

I also enjoy the house montepulcianio at pizza express. Like to know where they get that.

The best bottle I ever drank? Probably a tossup between a very special 1983 gran reserva Martinez Bujanda rioja given to me on my 40th birthday, and a 1985 Spanish Raimat Reserva bought for a year 2000 party.

But then I'm no connoisseur, as testified by an inexplicable weakness for Greek Retsina.

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Some of the best wine I have ever drunk is also some of the cheapest.

Tassenberg or 'Tassies' to those in the know is one of them

http://winemag.co.za/archive/in-south-africa-few-wine-brands-are-as-established-as-tassenberg/

Tassenberg is the antidote to snobbery in wine. With no attempt made at expressing a sense of place, varietal or even vintage, it strips off the emperor’s new anorak and offers consumers honest fermented fruit of the vine at a reasonable price.

Though the quality can vary hugely. In my student days we would discover a good batch (a vintage even!) and search the shops for bottles with that batch number. A good batch of tassies is equal to the very best you can buy. I have fed it to wine snob friends who refused to believe what it was until I poured them some direct from the bottle in front of their faces. And oh their faces.....

Numerous other end-of-bin cheapo wines I got from discount offies for around 10 rand a bottle far surpass just about anything I have ever bought in a British supermarket.

Lately I was drinking some Tempranillo in Spain for Euro 1.25 a bottle that ran rings round any of the ghastly Australian vinegar you find on the shelves of Tesco.

Conclusion? Cheap as chips wines bought in their region of origin for peanuts often far surpass what you find in a British supermarket, regardless of cost.

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It well cheered me up reading this thread, most wine-drinkers I know are wine-snobs who will knock cheapies and come out with lines like "You can't get a decent bottle of wine for under a tenner". So there are more normal wine drinkers than pretentious ones :)

I don't actually like wine, it tastes like grape juice gone off to me, which I suppose is what it is.

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The year was 1991 - the year Moon Dog was 80.

I paid ~£3.99 for a bin end of Chateau du Pin, vintage 1989 form Oddbins

Took it to a dinner party

Poured 4 glasses

Everyone took a sip, sat back and had an expression of satisfaction.

Everyone said it was the best wine they had drunk (age ranges 25-45)

(that may say everything about our palates and our budgets)

Not seen it for sale since in shops in the UK.

The 2010 vintage got a favourable REVIEW

After the meal we went to Moondog's 80th birthday concert at which he played coconut shells on the stage floor, amongst other instruments - that was also a great experience.

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The year was 1991 - the year Moon Dog was 80.

I paid ~£3.99 for a bin end of Chateau du Pin, vintage 1989 form Oddbins

Took it to a dinner party

Poured 4 glasses

Everyone took a sip, sat back and had an expression of satisfaction.

Everyone said it was the best wine they had drunk (age ranges 25-45)

(that may say everything about our palates and our budgets)

Not seen it for sale since in shops in the UK.

The 2010 vintage got a favourable REVIEW

After the meal we went to Moondog's 80th birthday concert at which he played coconut shells on the stage floor, amongst other instruments - that was also a great experience.

I like the sound of that! ;)

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It well cheered me up reading this thread, most wine-drinkers I know are wine-snobs who will knock cheapies and come out with lines like "You can't get a decent bottle of wine for under a tenner". So there are more normal wine drinkers than pretentious ones :)

I don't actually like wine, it tastes like grape juice gone off to me, which I suppose is what it is.

Yes you can! Sometimes you get a smashing bottle for £6 or so!

If you ever visit, we can have beer, Frank! I believe you like that! ;)

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Morrisons have Lagunilla Rioja Reserva on offer again for £6. They seem to do it every year around Christmas. Very enjoyable & good value.

Sounds good or a nice merlot.....I think the words to look out for on the bottle of French wines are 'appellation controlee' otherwise it could be any blended wine......IMO you can get good boxed wines or good wines at any price, it depends on individual tastes....in a blind tasting I would say most people would not tell the difference between a £5 good bottle of wine or a £15 good wine.....The amount of chemical additives I would say tells more of a difference between something good to drink or something not good to drink......at least if you make it yourself you know what has gone into it, so yes you can make a good bottle of wine for under £1. ;)

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I guess my own reason for favouring the New World is reliability. At the end of the day South Africa, California, South America and Aus have a more conducive climate for ripening grapes than our inclement European climate. The facilities in the New World may be on an industrial scale as opposed to the individual vineyards of France but again predictability comes out of scale, modern equipment and modern winemaking techniques. It just beggars belief that corks are still used for the majority of French production. A lot of argument over the percentage corked, the detractors say 10%, the traditionalists try and place it as low as 1%.

Perhaps contaminated VATs and corked wine all lead to that subtle variation in taste that the traditionalists crave and indeed which their palettes are accustomed to. But I just want something crisp, fruity and reliable and that comes from Tesco with a price tag of £3.99, a cheap merlot, shiraz or pinotage from the New World ( don't tend to go for a budget blend), borne out of bitter experience of buying certain European reds and bitter is the the right word.

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