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High-end Wine Discussions

d
dougbo May 22, 2009 03:05 PM

This is my first post. It seems like many of the discussions here focus on wines at the very low end of the price spectrum. I'm wondering if that's a sign of the economy, or is there little interest among this community for higher-end wines? Full disclosure: I run a very small new winery in Napa Valley.

  1. z
    zin1953 May 31, 2009 12:44 PM

    Generally speaking: wrong forum.

    While it is true that there have been discussions here on Chowhound (http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/34) on wines ranging from Charles Shaw (aka Two-Buck Chuck, or 2BC) to Grace Family, or from 5.0-liter box wine to Grands Crus Burgundies, the majority of the focus HERE in on the lower-end of the overall spectrum -- ranging from, say, 2BC to $25-$30 wines.

    In contrast, a site dedicated to just wine -- be it the Speculator's own (http://forums.winespectator.com/6/ubb.x?lid=Forums&lpos=TopNav) or, even more so (!), the Parker boards (http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/i...) -- are populated largely with people more focused on wine, on higher-end wine, and on "mine is bigger than yours" (wine cellars -- what did you think I meant?).

    But the discussion base HERE more accurately reflects the real world -- after all, the majority of people on the planet do not drink wine, just as the majority of people who participate on Chowhound do not participate on the wine board; the majority of people on the planet who do drink wine do not drink $50-100 Napa Valley wines every night, just as the people here on Chowhound do not (in contrast to what a casual reader of Parker's boards might conclude); and so on . . .

    Cheers,
    Jason

    13 Replies
    1. re: zin1953
      carswell May 31, 2009 01:48 PM

      «"mine is bigger than yours" (wine cellars -- what did you think I meant?)»

      Pignus. ;)

      1. re: zin1953
        ibstatguy May 31, 2009 05:04 PM

        thank goodness you're back!

        1. re: zin1953
          j
          jonasblank Jun 2, 2009 12:21 PM

          While people are on this topic maybe I can ask a quick opinion question:

          I'm on the youngish end of wine drinkers still (I think/hope!) and have been taking it more seriously for the past 3-4 years, cellaring a few wines (though by "cellar" I mean, wine fridges in small NY apartments), attending tastings, visiting different wine regions, and generally trying to educate myself. I buy wine in a variety of price ranges, of all different varietals and regions. I'm not interested in trophies, but I'm also not out to find the best $5 bottle at Trader Joe's (compared to most of what I've had from that store, I'd stick with beer).

          I generally come here to ask a few questions and read the posts of the highly knowledgable core group of industry people (yourself and others) who post on here. Considering that this group shares such knowledge and insight for free, it's a pretty incredible resource.

          That said, is there another board someone like me should consider reading, at this point? I clicked through some of Wine Spectator... in the few posts I read it seemed like a lot of what you just described....

          Mostly, though, just want those out there who share their time to know they are appreciated :)

          1. re: jonasblank
            b
            Brad Ballinger Jun 2, 2009 01:10 PM

            Almost all of the wine-intensive discussion boards are going to have an element of fanaticism that is probably more than you are looking for or care for. But they will also have incredible depths of knowledge that might serve you if you simply searched for a certain topic on them (but the more narrow or specific the better).

            Some (not all) of them will also have a traffic level that is mind blowing. For example, eBob will generate hundreds of new posts (posts, not threads) daily making it difficult to "keep pace with." But it is likely the most international.

            I've always liked West Coast Wine Network, although traffic has markedly decreased there over the years. Wine Lovers Discussion Group used to be one I liked, but I haven't been on there in about two years. Nothing against it; just there is only so much one can do.

            1. re: jonasblank
              Bill Hunt Jun 2, 2009 09:24 PM

              Many of us started the same way - mixed cases to experience with a few like-minded friends, a few wines rated highly by someone, some bombs, and some great finds. Those were fun days. My wife still carries on that enthusiasm and often walks in with one of those mixed-cases. We'll spend the week with those, and often find a few that we want to purchase in greater quantity.

              Unfortunately, few, if any, of us can say that we "know all wines, from all regions and representative of all varietals." So, there is always something to learn.

              As for boards, I used to spend time on alt.food.wine (NNTP) some years back. For years, it was fun, but being NNTP, and also in the alt hierarchy, many posts from elsewhere started showing up. Some thought that it would be fun to post tons of off-topic material, and also X-post to a dozen unrelated NG's to draw replies to all of the disparate news groups. Though there were some great people there, and I miss them, it became too much work. Even with good filters, you could find 5000 posts, of which only 20 were from the real "members." Midlife, seen on this thread and many more, used to post there, and may still do so. I'm glad that he also posts here, as he was a prime contributor to AFW some years back. If the Usenet trolls have finally tired, there are some great folk, with vast knowledge there.

              Other sites may be good, but maybe I am less serious now, or maybe I need to drink more, and type less.

              Good luck,

              Hunt

              1. re: Bill Hunt
                ibstatguy Jun 2, 2009 09:47 PM

                Bill - eat and drink more!

                Best,
                Tony

                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  Midlife Jun 2, 2009 10:45 PM

                  Bill,

                  Funny you should bring up afw. I hadn't been there for a few years, for the same reasons you mention, just happened to check it out a few weeks ago. Looks pretty tame compared to then. You'll be glad to hear that it's mostly Dale W, Michael P, st.helier, Nils G. L., cwdjrxyz, Bill S., Anders T., Mark L, James S, and Emery D. posting there. Deja vu.

                  Sadly, not enough time for everything these days.

                  1. re: Midlife
                    Bill Hunt Jun 8, 2009 07:46 PM

                    Thank you for the "trip down memory lane." I miss so many of those folk. Great insight and a wonderful sense of sharing wine knowledge and info.

                    I would love to see these people posting here. This is not meant, in any way, to diminish the contributions on this board, by the regulars, just to say that their unique perspectives would be welcomed - at least by me.

                    Thanks,

                    Hunt

                2. re: jonasblank
                  c
                  crw77 Jun 3, 2009 05:08 PM

                  Jonasblank, here's one:

                  http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/

                  It has an enormous amount of traffic, and a lot of top industry people on it. Having said that, of course you'll still have to filter out the noise. But if you want breaking news in the world of wine, that's where you'll find it.

                  Can you learn much there? Well...

                  Message boards are not great for learning. Yes, there's great information, but as I said, most of what's there is noise, as on any message board. But there are quite a few top notch posters there, importers, retailers, wholesalers, wine writers, and serious collectors.

                  I have given the following advice to many people about how to educate themselves about wine. You can read all you want about it, but to really learn, you need to taste with people who know more than you do. The trick is to find people who really do know more, as opposed to just talking a good game. There are far more wanna-bes than truly knowledgeable people.

                  Good luck, and welcome to the game.

                  1. re: jonasblank
                    z
                    zin1953 Jun 3, 2009 05:26 PM

                    As Brad has already said, "all of the wine-intensive discussion boards are going to have an element of fanaticism . . ." There is no one site that is perfect, no one site that fits all. Then again, some sites are better than others, but that largely depends upon YOU -- what you want, what you are interested in.

                    1. re: zin1953
                      d
                      dinwiddie Jun 4, 2009 01:19 PM

                      As the others have noted, "all of the wine-intensive discussion boards are going to have an element of fanaticism . . ." However, I find that most of them are very willing to honestly answer questions asked by "newbies" without being too nasty. The Parker/Squire's board is huge, and very international, and for many folks, the "snobbiest" but I like vinocellar.com and even the WS boards. There are a lot of boards that are mainly west coast folks, but VC has a lot of folks from the NY/NJ area.

                      1. re: dinwiddie
                        Tir_na_nOg Jun 4, 2009 07:00 PM

                        http://www.wineberserkers.com/

                        1. re: Tir_na_nOg
                          c
                          craig_g Jun 24, 2009 11:53 AM

                          The Parker board is very good, but a number of strong posters have moved some or all of their activity to the wineberserkers site. It's been getting quite a lot of traction.

                3. Midlife May 29, 2009 01:25 PM

                  I don't think it's a matter of interest level so much as that Chow is frequented by a broad cross-section of food-centric people who tend more toward 'moderately' priced wine purchases. More specifically, I'd put the $ at <$20 as opposed to >$30. With the national average somewhere around $6, this becomes partly a question of what people consider 'high-end'

                  You may be familiar with it but, if you're looking for discussions about what a Napa winemaker would consider 'high-end' wine, the Mark Squires bulletin boards on erobertparker.com tend to make my head spin sometimes. The "Wine Talk" board is a general discussion board where the people that post include some very well known names, especially in the California wine world.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Midlife
                    r
                    RicRios May 29, 2009 02:37 PM

                    Definitely Squires board must be high end.
                    Proof: he didn't let me in!

                    1. re: RicRios
                      Midlife May 29, 2009 06:26 PM

                      I've heard of him banning people. Right now there's an attempt at questioning a store about some ERP goings-on as to who paid for certain winery visits (WSJ article, I think) - one major poster appears to have been banned and several topics have been deleted. But 'not letting someone on' at all is something I've never heard of. Any idea what you did to get such treatment?

                      1. re: Midlife
                        r
                        RicRios May 29, 2009 08:05 PM

                        He said my email address didn't show my name.
                        (Apparently, he expected something like John.Doe@aol.com or thereabouts )

                        In fact, I just found Squires' refusal email, dated 07/02/2004. It reads:
                        "Please note that we have a real names policy. Your registration has been disapproved because of your registration under a phony name."

                        Needless to say, I submitted both my real name and my email address (which is true, it doesn't reflect the name, but since when is that mandatory? )

                        Oh boy, I've been so depressed ever since ...

                        1. re: RicRios
                          Midlife May 29, 2009 11:21 PM

                          That's just nuts. I can't swear that everyone on those boards is using their real name, but the names are always full surnames with only some having initials instead of full first names. No idea why they wouldn't accept 'Ric' as a first name. Probably though you should own up to am ending 'k' or an 'h' at least. H--u-m-p-h! But you gotta know that some of the people that post there are really well known figures in the wine world, especially owners and winemakers of a lot of California boutique wineries. BTW- do you have ALL your e-mails going back 5 years? That's impressive.

                          1. re: Midlife
                            Tir_na_nOg May 31, 2009 02:55 AM

                            Squires is Squires! I post there, but there is a new board called Wine Berserkers that was started by some of the banned ebobbers and has really taken off. Wine Spectator also has a fairly active board.

                            1. re: Tir_na_nOg
                              ibstatguy May 31, 2009 10:58 AM

                              the General Discussion Board on CellarTracker is pretty active as well

                  2. Bill Hunt May 26, 2009 09:53 PM

                    Just a personal observation:

                    Most posters here are looking for recs. for "wedding wines" under US$2/btl. Many of the rest are looking for something up to US$4/btl from Trader Joe's. After you throw those out, you have the rest of us. Most are looking for wines that offer a certain level of enjoyment. Some of these wines might be below US$15/btl. Some might well be 30x that price. It's about what the wine gives us back, and can we appreciate that?

                    In this small group, some are "in the trade" at one level, or another. A few were in the trade, and freely give their knowledge from being that close. Some are just consumers, who appreciate and know the differences. A few are writers, who are on the fringe of the "trade."

                    While I love this particular board, I'm not sure that the majority of posts accurately reflect much of anything. Now, I have to say that I only got a B in both semesters of statistics in college, but the sampling is skewed by the openness of the forum.

                    Were I looking to find tastes, trends, etc., I’d filter out 99% of the posts here and focus on that last 1%. Look for anything from Maria Lorraine, Chickstein, Zin1953 [what is Jason’s exact screen name?], Carswell, Midlife, RicRios, and a few more. The rest are looking for that elusive US$4 bottle of ‘70 Ch. Latour. Nothing wrong in that Quixotic search, but not something that one could pin an ad campaign on.

                    CH is great, please do not get me wrong. Still, none of us must pass the Robert Parker, Jr, or the James Laube tasting classes, prior to posting. You will need to spend some time reading the posts, to determine who knows their “stuff,” and who’s looking for the cheapest wine on the market. Not easy, but doable.

                    Good luck,

                    Hunt

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                      ibstatguy May 27, 2009 02:47 PM

                      In looking for other than "professional" reviews, Cellartracker is a great resource in addition to being a great tool for managing one's cellar.

                      1. re: ibstatguy
                        d
                        dinwiddie May 28, 2009 05:25 AM

                        I agree. It allows you to have the collective viewpoint of folks who are "into" wine because they have enough of it to need to have a way to keep track of it.

                        1. re: dinwiddie
                          Cookiefiend May 28, 2009 08:45 AM

                          Exactly - it's all sorts of viewpoints on all sorts of wine.
                          You just have to sort through the tasting notes and see who knows their 'stuff '.

                          It's very interesting to read.

                          1. re: Cookiefiend
                            d
                            dinwiddie Jun 9, 2009 05:53 AM

                            Do you (assuming you use CT) have any "favorite tasters" there?

                            1. re: dinwiddie
                              Cookiefiend Jun 10, 2009 12:41 PM

                              I do use CT, I've marked a few as 'buddies' or 'favorite tasters' ...

                              Kdawg
                              Wineismylife
                              Winefool
                              PaulS

                              As well as a few others... ;-)

                    2. nanette May 26, 2009 02:20 AM

                      I think there are a few of us hanging about here. I wouldn't class myself as high end as I can neither afford or appreciate a 1st growth Bordeaux. While at the same time I typically spend more than $20 a bottle. Call me midrange.

                      Living in the UK, it is a bit disappointing that more of the discussion isn't focused on "old world wine" which tends to cost more. I simply don't have access to most of the American wines discussed here, but I have most of France, Italy, Germany, and Spain at my disposal.

                      22 Replies
                      1. re: nanette
                        d
                        dinwiddie May 26, 2009 06:14 AM

                        nanette,

                        I think that the discussion is more about "New-World" wines because most of us live in the US. The cost of importing wine, whether it be to the US from Europe, or to Europe from the US adds to the price, not to mention the huge increase in cost to us here in the US because of the change in the exchange rates between the dollar and the Euro.

                        That said, I am an upper mid-range wine guy. I seldom buy wines that cost more than about $75, and normally buy wines in the $30-50 range. While I've had the opportunity to taste some "high-end" wines because friends own them, I think that the vast majority of the wine buying public never avails themselves of these wines. There is a distinct subset of wine fans who drink them regularly, but they are a very small subset.

                        1. re: dinwiddie
                          nanette May 26, 2009 09:26 AM

                          dinwiddie,

                          Oh, I get that, it is just a bit of a downer for me! I would like to find some people to talk to about French wine that isn't astronomically expensive, which most of the discussions I've found seem to focuse on.

                          1. re: nanette
                            ibstatguy May 26, 2009 11:42 AM

                            nanette - I think there is plenty of opportunity here to discuss French wines which aren't terribly expensive (a relative term I suppose). Southern Rhones, Chablis, roses, etc., etc.

                            1. re: ibstatguy
                              w
                              wally May 26, 2009 12:41 PM

                              And they are frequently discussed.

                              1. re: ibstatguy
                                r
                                RicRios May 26, 2009 01:05 PM

                                Actually, the list of high QPR from France is getting longer.
                                These are my purchases in the last year or so below $50 from US retailers ( no auctions ). Note some classic appelations now included in the "affordable" tier.

                                2004 Arbois Poulsard Puffeney $24.89
                                2005 Pouilly-Fuissé Château-Fuissé Tête de Cru, Vincent $ 28.09
                                2005 Médoc Rollan de By Cru Burgeois $ 21.60
                                1999 Champagne Feuillatte Blanc des Blancs $38.92
                                2004 Coteaux du Layon Grains Nobles Delesvaux $ 31.38
                                2005 Lirac Rocalière $ 12.34
                                2005 Fronsac Moulin Haut Laroque (Jean-Noël Hervé) $ 24.03
                                2005 St. Emilion Barde Haut (Garcin, Silviane) $ 39.99
                                2005 Cotes de Castillon Clos les Lunelles (Perse) $ 45.00
                                NV Champagne Brut Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top $ 32.42
                                2004 Chassagne Montrachet Les Vergers Clos St. Marc Pillot, Jean Marc $ 54.13
                                2005 Aloxe Corton Les Valozières 1er Cru Potel $ 44.99
                                2005 St Estephe Lafon Rochet $ 45.99
                                2006 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes Maroslavac-Leger $ 49.99
                                2005 Languedoc Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux $ 17.99
                                2005 Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint Loup Grande Cuvée Orliac $24.95
                                2005 Sauternes Suduiraut (350 ml) $39.95
                                2006 Cheverny Close du Tue Boeuf Blanc Brin de Chèvre Puzelat $14.99

                                1. re: RicRios
                                  ibstatguy May 26, 2009 02:21 PM

                                  just had an '03 Michel Gay Aloxe Corton (see one of the what I've been drinking threads)

                                  1. re: ibstatguy
                                    r
                                    RicRios May 26, 2009 02:51 PM

                                    I know.
                                    I was planning to pitch-in for the 500 anniversary, but too busy drinking.
                                    One of these days. Chinese doctor recommends to slow down.

                                    1. re: RicRios
                                      ibstatguy May 26, 2009 03:04 PM

                                      I think it is worthy noting that many champagnes in the Thierry Thiese book are (or were) in the $50 (or less) range...

                                      1. re: RicRios
                                        ibstatguy May 26, 2009 09:48 PM

                                        BTW - thanks for starting that thread!

                                        1. re: RicRios
                                          Bill Hunt May 26, 2009 10:22 PM

                                          RicRios,

                                          What would a "Chinese Doctor" know? Keep drinking and reporting.

                                          Love your posts - even the ones that do not agree with mine. Plenty of "food for thought," on my part.

                                          Hunt

                                  2. re: nanette
                                    c
                                    crw77 May 26, 2009 07:21 PM

                                    75% of the wine consumed in America is from America, but I disagree with dinwiddie about the reason for New World wines being the topic of discussion. It's because you like the stuff, d.

                                    I live in America and drink almost exclusively Old World wines. You can find either in America. I'm open minded, I'll always taste a wine put in front of me, but while I like many American wines, when it's time to pay money for them, they are generally overpriced relative to quality from my standpoint, in comparison to what I can get from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Portugal. And there are many people who don't agree, which is fine, good even. This is a matter of personal taste, to a certain extent.

                                    America leads the world in marketing, however, so, for example, the story that American wine is cheaper than European wine is nonsense, even after the importer layer of distribution and shipping and duties and all that. The difference in quality is most pronounced at the lower price points. And not in America's favor, imho.

                                    Nanette, if you wish to discuss certain wines, fire away.

                                    1. re: crw77
                                      nanette May 28, 2009 01:06 AM

                                      Thanks, crw77. I share our opinions about US wine, as I don't think their presence in the UK could be better put.

                                      Most everything on the shelves here (bar the selections from the many mail order outlets) is not great, and is at the lower end. Lots of Gallo, Blossom Hill, and Echo Falls, with little choice in the middle. The market here is very competitive so it seems that only the big conglomereates have cracked the marker here.

                                      1. re: nanette
                                        Bill Hunt May 28, 2009 09:37 PM

                                        Oh I strongly agree. I'm in the UK at least twice per year. I host board dinners, and would love to share the US wines with these wonderful people, who give of their time. Unfortunately, unless I sneak it in, there is nothing that I have found that is at all representative of the fine wines from the US. Also, the prices for what is available is scary. I always ignore the exchange rate and just pretend that the little £'s are $'s and let AMEX sort it out a month later, but the prices for US plonk is outrageous. OTOH, I can have some very some very nice Euro wines and at fair prices, even if I did calculate the exchange rate.

                                        It just pains me that so many in Europe and the UK will likely never know how good some US wines can be, unless they have the opportunity to travel here. I suppose that it cuts the other way, as many laugh at my paying US$75 for some very nice white Burgs in the States, when they know that they could buy a decent US Chard for <US$30. These folk are not likely to experience the wines of FR, either, though there are some nice examples and they are really fairly priced.

                                        If you don't tell the UK Customs, I will admit to sneaking in some .375's of very nice US Zins for special friends, who really need to see that all US wine is not undrinkable and highly expensive. Also, please do not tell US Customs that those might be Cubans in my briefcase.

                                        Maybe next time that I go through Immigration at LHR, I'll state my "business in the UK," as spreading an appreciation for fine US wines. Or, maybe not...

                                        Hunt

                                    2. re: nanette
                                      Bill Hunt May 26, 2009 10:20 PM

                                      Nanette,

                                      I'm ready to discuss these. Even though I still find London a bit expensive, let's talk about the white Burg offerings at Nicholas". Love having them across the street from the flat, even if they are a chain. I've come to know the folk at "my" location in Mayfair, and appreciate the offerings.

                                      Hunt

                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                        nanette May 28, 2009 12:56 AM

                                        Oh, I'm a Loire lass! I do have a 2002 Meursault languishing in my collection that I need to get around to opening, but I'm waiting for the right occassion.

                                        I've never been to Nicholas as I get most of my wine mail order through the Wine Society, or one of the many smaller merchants. Lately I'm a fan of Les Caves as their shop is quite close and I'm enjoying sampling 'natural' wines.

                                        1. re: nanette
                                          Bill Hunt May 28, 2009 09:41 PM

                                          Have not noticed Les Caves, but when we are out of Mayfair, we're usually in a car heading someplace. Though, we do a bit of trekking about and often head out for the Docklands and up north a bit. I'll need to keep my eyes out for them. However, with Nicholas across the street from the flat, we don't really need to go too far.

                                          Thanks for the recs.

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                            nanette May 29, 2009 12:43 AM

                                            They are now running a French styled natural wine bar just off the strand called Terroirs. Jancis had done a couple write ups. I've not tried it yet, but will report back when I have.

                                            1. re: nanette
                                              Bill Hunt May 29, 2009 08:37 PM

                                              You know, I saw, heard mention of Terroirs, back in April. Wish I could recall the source - maybe one of the local/semi-local publications?

                                              Since they are a nice walk for us, sounds great. Some years back, I picked up a "wine walking-tour" book and started out on their trek. Unfortunately, from the time of publication to my trip (about 18 mos.), most places had either closed, or had gone over to the martini fad of that day. Go with the flo (and the patrons). I was left unimpressed.

                                              Thanks for jogging my memory. Off to Terroirs in October.

                                              Hunt

                                  3. re: nanette
                                    Bill Hunt May 26, 2009 10:17 PM

                                    As I spend a good deal of time in the UK, I first regret that you will likely not sample some of the great US wines. What you will be exposed to will be very expensively priced lower-level wines. OTOH, I can walk across Curzon from my flat, and expose myself to some great white Burgs, that are just not available in the US, regardless of any exchange rate. There are two sides to any "coin." Still, I'm glad to live in the US, even if in a state that does not honor (honour, for those playing along in the UK) reciprocity between states, even ones that share a common boundary.

                                    Hunt

                                    PS Ido bring "samples" of wines like Robert Biale's Black Chicken Zinfandel to my "buds" in the UK.

                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                      nanette May 28, 2009 12:59 AM

                                      I really wish we could get quality US wines here, BBR stocks few, but most of it is Californian. While there's nothing wrong with Californian, I'm a native of Washington and it would be nice to be able to pick up one of the nice Merlots from that part of the world.

                                      Though, as you said, I might miss out on these, but I do get an incredible selection from France and Italy which is more than enough to explore for a beginner like myself.

                                      1. re: nanette
                                        Bill Hunt May 28, 2009 09:45 PM

                                        I find the biggest problem to be the dearth of quality wines from CA, Or or WA. Only the lowest end wines, at the highest prices I can imagine, seem to make their way across the pond. In all of my years, I have never seen a bottle of US wine on anyone's list, that I would even consider drinking. I'm talking Savoy House to Petrus - not one quality US wine. OTOH, I've had some great FR and GR wines, and even a few IT's, as well.

                                        Maybe some day, this trend will reverse and there will be really good US wines at fair prices. Until then, I just have to defend our wines, to people whe have never had good examples and drink good Euro wines. Life could be worse.

                                        Hunt

                                      2. re: Bill Hunt
                                        d
                                        dinwiddie May 28, 2009 05:29 AM

                                        I think the reason is more a matter of production than anything else. As anyone who reads my posts knows, I tend to collect small production wines. Many "high-end" wines are made in small quantities. It just stands to reason that small production (less than 1000 cases) wines are not likely to make if from CA to England, at least not in enough quantity that you will find it on the shelves of the average wine shop. The same thing for a smaller production Meursault being here in the states. Much more likely to be in England. That said, there are plenty of really fantastic wines that are available in both places, but it is always going to be much easier to find CA wines in the US than England, and French wines in England than the US.

                                    2. b
                                      Brad Ballinger May 25, 2009 07:39 AM

                                      In addition to everything written above, the percent of the wine-purchasing population that spends over $50 (arbitrarily-selected definition of "high end") on bottles of wine, with any regularity, is so incredibly small. On top of that, the percentage of those wine buyers that hang out here on Chowhound is way smaller yet.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: Brad Ballinger
                                        ibstatguy May 26, 2009 07:15 AM

                                        it does seem to me that the wine buyers who regularly pay big money for their wine are more likely to be found on the Mark Squires/ebob board. while I post on both, I prefer this board.

                                        1. re: ibstatguy
                                          d
                                          dinwiddie May 26, 2009 08:12 AM

                                          I agree that the ebobers are more likely to be the "high-end" types, but there are a lot of disucssions about good QPRs too. Any winecnetric board will have more discussions about high-end wines than a wine board that is part of what is basicly a food/restaurant discussion forum will. Wine Spectator has boards that attract a lot of folks that are at all ends of the spectrum. I also post on Squire's board as well as the WS boards, but come here to read the posts of folks like Bill Hunt, (zin1953), whiner, T-bird, Pool Boy, etc. who I enjoy and respect for their knowledge. (and a few of whom I know personally.)

                                          1. re: dinwiddie
                                            ibstatguy May 26, 2009 08:54 AM

                                            I agree with everything you've just said. BTW - What has happened to Jason (zin1953); haven't seen any posts from him for a while.

                                            1. re: ibstatguy
                                              Bill Hunt May 26, 2009 10:11 PM

                                              That is a good question. While Jason and I disagreed on some restaurant reviews, I always appreciated his observations and insight. Hey, we can all learn from others. He, and several others, are always points to consider, regardless of personal observations. Jason - please come back. You are missed.

                                              Hunt

                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                z
                                                zin1953 May 31, 2009 12:45 PM

                                                Thanks -- I'm around, but things have been pretty hectic of late . . . I'll be around more often now, though . . . .

                                                Cheers,
                                                Jason

                                                1. re: zin1953
                                                  Bill Hunt May 31, 2009 09:04 PM

                                                  Hope all is well, and look forward to your posts.

                                                  Hunt

                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                    Midlife May 31, 2009 10:16 PM

                                                    Me too Jason.

                                        2. re: Brad Ballinger
                                          Bill Hunt May 26, 2009 10:08 PM

                                          Well stated. In the end, "it depends... "

                                          Hunt

                                        3. r
                                          RicRios May 24, 2009 10:00 PM

                                          Price is just one dimension in the infinite-dimensional world of wine.
                                          And that's the way it's pretty much handled in the discussions in this board, as far as I can recall.

                                          1. m
                                            Maximilien May 23, 2009 06:36 PM

                                            define "high-end".

                                            Without a frame of reference, we cannot participate in the discussion; my definition is probably in synch with most people's definiton of high-end.

                                            There are tons of good to high quality wines at reasonable prices (which is also subjective to each of us), probably most of them are not considered "high-end".

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Maximilien
                                              w
                                              whiner May 23, 2009 07:14 PM

                                              ^^^

                                              Of course, you are correct. The problem is that wine can cost from $2 to $20,000 / bottle and vary so widely in quality. FWIW: When a very large and disperate group of people I know get together for their annual "high end" tasting -- and people are told to bring whatever it means to them, the tendancy is to bring wines that are expected to be excellent and cost between about $65 and $180. I think that roughly makes sense because there, in my mind, is a level above high end. I guess you'd call it "super premium" and then there is a level above THAT... I guess you'd call it "Burgundy" ;-)

                                              1. re: whiner
                                                Bill Hunt May 26, 2009 10:07 PM

                                                Good general guidelines. Yes, there is a level, or two, above that. Think "cult," 1er Cru Bdx, and some of "Burgundy." Are the better? Only the taster can make that determination.

                                                Hunt

                                            2. b
                                              BN1 May 23, 2009 10:21 AM

                                              I think there may be some confusion between the terms "high-end" and "high-price". Often, the point being made is that there are many “high-end” wines available at reasonable prices. Many feel that the prices of Napa wines are approaching the level of absurdity. There are few discussions here that focus only on “high-price”, although it is true that some judge their wine only by this measure.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: BN1
                                                o
                                                olasek May 25, 2009 11:10 AM

                                                If someone doesn't care for California wines that may be the case. For me personally who generally favor California wines I find them priced fairly reasonably (and this Girard's Petite Sirah I was raving about is an excellent example), again, it all depends what is your point of reference, price-point expectations. And I very rarely buy wines in the $50 range.

                                                1. re: olasek
                                                  b
                                                  BN1 May 25, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                  I’m not sure what constitutes a “California wine” as there is such variance between AVAs. I have enjoyed wines from maybe over two dozen in California. I am a big fan of CA Zinfandel and enjoy many the Rhone offerings that are becoming more popular. Living in Northern CA, I am lucky to be able to visit various wine growing areas often. It is my opinion that many Napa Valley wines tend to be overpriced. I have enjoyed Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon costing over $500, but I did not enjoy it more than some aged Nebbiolos from Italy costing $ 80, $50 or less. It’s just my opinion, but I enjoy more Sonoma than Napa wines and find them to have a better QPR (quality/price ratio). I do have personal favorites from Napa, because I am able to shop for value.

                                                2. re: BN1
                                                  Bill Hunt May 26, 2009 10:03 PM

                                                  I see two charts. One is the wine, and it goes thusly:

                                                  Wine
                                                  Good wine
                                                  Fine wine
                                                  Great wine

                                                  Next is the price chart. It nees to be dynamic, as it must slide up and down the scale first mentioned. Great price does not mean "great wine." It must be highly dynamic. It will also reflect personal tastes and personal means. I can afford most wines. That said, I do not purchase "most wines." Many of these, I already have in the cellar. Some of the rest, I will not live long enough to properly enjoy, and have no children to leave the cellar to.

                                                  Though I could afford a vertical of DRC's at a fine-dining restaurant, I'd usually opt for something that paired perfectly with the food, and spend some of the $'s saved on my next meal, or the next after that.

                                                  Hunt

                                                3. s
                                                  sockster May 23, 2009 06:12 AM

                                                  Need a great Amarone- Try Bussola TB Amarone....almost Port like. Let our 98 breathe for six hours before drinking last night....amazing!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: sockster
                                                    w
                                                    whiner May 23, 2009 05:15 PM

                                                    WHOA!

                                                    sockser, for a post that is a bit off topic.... the '98 Bussola TB is one of the greatest modern Amarones. Better than Dal Fornos I've had... better than some Quintarellis I've had. One of my friends has nicknamed me Mr. Bussola after I turned him on to the winery using that wine. So funny you mention it. It is, indeed, a beyond special wine.

                                                  2. w
                                                    whiner May 23, 2009 05:55 AM

                                                    What the other poster said. I've posted on DRC and a horizontal of '59 First Growth Bordeaux... and answered questions about the best sub $15 wines around. It all depends.

                                                    1. goodhealthgourmet May 22, 2009 03:42 PM

                                                      don't know how many threads you've read, but discussions here run the gamut...from 2-Buck Chuck and Franzia in a box to Chateau D'Yquem and Screaming Eagle, and everything in between. it really depends on the nature of the original post.

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