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Jun 3, 2007 09:13 PM

Suggestions needed: Wines to bring to wine pros

A friend has been sharing very generously from his cellar for brown bag tastings (eg. St. Emilion/Pomerols from the 80s, vintage port from 83, northern Rhone stuff). I'd like to bring a few wines to the brown bag tasting that are within my budget (max 35 or so) but would be interesting for him and others in the group.

Any help would be much appreciated!

I've very limited wine experience, but these are the things I've loved from the last few years. I'm hoping the list will indicate what I might like and you might be able to suggest regions or wine types that I can delve into further (whether that be CA, WA, Italian, German etc). Thanks in advance!

1986 cos d'estournel, st. estephe
1997 Merlot, Pahlmeyer
1982 St. Emillon Premier Grand Cru, Ch. Beau-Sejour Becot
2005 Syrah/Viognier D'Arenberg "The Laughing Magpie", McLaren Vale, AU
unsure of year, a Petite Sirah from La Jota Vineyards on Howell Mountain
unsure of year, merlot from L'Ecole No. 41
2001 Pinot noir, Wither Hills, Marlborough
2005 Pinot gris, Elk Cove, Willamette Valley
2003? Pinot noir, Faile, Napa
2003? Pinot noir, Miura,
2004? Albarino, Don Olegario, Rias Baixas

port or dessert:
1983 Vintage Port, Fonseca
2003 Banyuls (Grenache noir), Les Clos de Paulilles

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  1. The answer depends upon what he and the group are tasting, wpon what they like.

    When you say "max 35 or so" are you talking people or price?!?!? It's been a while since I've seen 1983 Fonseca Vintage Porto at $35 retail, but if you can find it at that price, GRAB IT! That, and I'm sure that any of the first six wines you list would be apreciated by the group . . . .

    5 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      The list StephP provided are wines that have been brought to the brown bag tastings by her friends, so she's hoping to bring something different but along the same lines of what she has tasted previously.

      It sounds as if you like smooth reds that do have some complexity. If you're trying to bring something that members of the group might not be as familiar with, my suggestion is to bring something from the Southern Hemisphere. If you have a local wine shop that's reputable, go there and ask them what they might suggest along the lines of a Malbec.

      1. re: Eugene Park

        Ah. Misread that.

        StephP -- where do you live????

        The best suggestion is that of bubbles4me -- go to a fine wine retailer (if you say where you live, I can probably recommend some) and tell them what you want to do. They will stay within your budget and help you select wines that will appeal to the "experience" of your friend and his group.

        I'm not trying to duck specifics, but -- for example -- it would be rather frustrating for me to make a specific recommendation of a wine that wasn't available where you live.

        1. re: zin1953

          thanks, i'm in sacramento. i've shopped a little bit at corti brothers or costco.

          1. re: StephP

            StephP -- you are in the presence of GENIUS -- ask Darrell Corti . . . there isn't a more knowledgable retailer is the U.S. Seriously.

            Jason Brandt Lewis

            1. re: zin1953

              Jason's words exactly. Genius. Tell Darrell exactly what you're doing and bring your list. Perhaps call or fax first so you can have a few minutes with this magnificent, elegant man with an astounding knowledge of the world's food and wine.

    2. jfood would suggest not getting in a sand box with a winey in an attempt to one-up and given the post jfood does not think you are trying that, so good.

      that being said, jfood would suggest going to a wine store that has a good selection and asking what might be good ot unusual in the $35 range.

      jfood has absolutely no knowledge of wine and this is what he does all the time.

      bring the bottle(s) and tell the host you are hoping to learn more about pairings and these were suggested by the store. jfood had never met a winey who does not LOVE to show off their knowledge, always makes for a happy host(ess).

      1. Since it is summer, I suggest you bring some Rose's. Both the Wine Spectator and the Wine Entusiast have done recent cover pieces covering Rose's. You can find really good Rose's from different countries. There is also a thread on CHOW about Roses.

        By the way...the wines you tasted and liked are incredible wines. Good for you for getting to taste these wines.

        1. I would go to wine shop and ask them to pick out a couple of "wine geek" wines for you. I only say wine geek because I am a full on geek myself! There is a winery in Napa that is making a Dornfelder that would be wicked cool in a blind tasting as it is almost black in the glass and has remarkable extraction. That is made by Huber vineyards. I would also look for a German Pinot Noir or a Arbois, red from Jura. Hope that helps and hope even more that you have a great tasting!

          1. jfood and zin's 2d post make good points (as do some of the others). take your list to a good retailer (may be easier said than done but you could ask for some suggestions in your area by starting a new thread) , discuss what you are doing, etc.