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Oct 17, 2013 06:40 PM

What does a $300 bottle of wine taste like ?

I know this is a vague question.I would like to taste it.But what the hell. Red or white. My bottles I buy are under $ 20.Will also make food.What would you buy ? Live in California bay area.

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  1. It taste just like a $30 bottle of wine, and I'm not trying to be a smart ass.

    9 Replies
      1. re: pinotho


        We are not drinking the same expensive wines. Yes for $30 there are some wines that are as good as $150 plus wines but a Ladera Napa Valley or BV Tapestry is no 1982 Chateau Gruaud Larose purchased three years ago at $250.

        What comparison do you have for us?

        1. re: wineglas1

          Hi wineglas, I was trying to make a point for the original poster. If you are interested in a fun tasting, select 5 wines, invite your favorite tasters over, serve the wines blind, and ask everyone to rank them by price....not by taste, by price. If you so it, let us all know how it turns out. :) P.S. dont beat yourselves up too badly when you are not able to do it.

          1. re: pinotho

            I have done these a number of time and yes blind you get all kind of results. I find very rarely in a group the highest priced/rated wines the event. Many variables in there. I am drinking a closeout wine for $10 2006 Chalone Condor Estate Red that drinks like a $45 wine. Retail was $35 out of the winery. This is more rewarding because it is affordable.

        2. re: pinotho

          It should not - if it's worth the additional (10x) the cost.


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Bill not sure what you are talking about. Of course I would not spend 10x on every bottle purchased and no Larose is not 10x better but no it does not taste like a $30 bottle.

            1. re: wineglas1

              I'm pretty certain Bill was responding to Pinotho and saying that a $300 wine should NOT taste like a $30 wine "if it's worth the extra...... cost".

              1. re: wineglas1

                As Midlife commented, a US $300 bottle of wine (given the same baseline - say Restaurant X) should taste better than a US $30 bottle of a wine from the same Region, an grape.

                Providing that there are no flaws, if it does not, then something is wrong. That could be the taster's preferences, or perhaps a great US $30 bottle vs a poor US $300 bottle.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  Ditto this, plus vintage plays a huge role. As a general rule, always opt for the $50 bottle from a good vintner in a monster year over a $300 bottle from a "legendary" vineyard in a poor year.

                  Can't be over-emphasized IMO.

            1. re: chartreauxx

              I want to have freinds of ours over. Cook dinner .I am a excellent cook. Always wanted to do this. Have fun, spend the money. Talk about it.

              1. re: emglow101

                there are $30 bottles that taste like $300, there are $300 bottles that taste like $30, and of course there are $300 bottles that are worth the price. all depends on what wine it is!

                1. re: chartreauxx

                  $ 300 bottle of wine thats worth the price.That's what I would like.I don't have to spend that.I'm doing this for fun and celebrating.It's a one time deal.Something from California. A red, If that helps. Thinking about making pappardelle with a braised meat. Could be rabbit with porcini.

                  1. re: emglow101

                    The answer is it doesn't taste very good if it's not paired with the right food...

                    If you're doing the rabbit and want to splurge, match it with something appropriate... look for the best Barolo you can find of the 2000, 2001, or 2004 vintage... there are some great bottles for well under your $300 pricepoint... think MATCHING wines, not some arbitrary price level.

                    Enjoy and please report back.

                    1. re: TombstoneShadow

                      Good point.

                      A good Pinot Noir from Burgundy could be a great pairing, but so could a Northern Rhône Syrah. Each can be from US $ 30 to $300, and it will depend on several factors.

                      If I am in doubt (happens all too often), my wife will cook the dish, and then I will head to the cellar, and we will taste, and taste and taste. Sometimes, the wine selected, will be near the lower end, but sometimes, it will be at the upper end. It just depends.

                      When mushrooms are included to a good degree, then PN is my first choice - though Barolo, Rhône Syrah and some great Spanish wines, can be in the mix too. With mushrooms, I usually first think "earthy."



                    2. re: emglow101

                      "$ 300 bottle of wine thats worth the price."

                      That's really, really dependent on your means, my friend.

                      A rabbit with porcini dish would scream for an elegant Pinot, not something easily found in California (and really no Pinot in Cali is going to run you $300, not even the most niche producers).

                      In that price range, if you're really into it, I'd go Burgundy - something like a 2008 Hudelot Noellat Clos de Vougeot. Drinking well, priced really fairly at $120-150, available, and would pair nicely (it's a Grand Cru Burgundy, which means it's in the upper echelon of Burgundy vineyards and HN is a great producer).

                      Or maybe a Faiveley Echezeaux (2006 or 2007 are both drinking well). Another great producer, great Grand Cru vineyard, cheaper (in the $150-200 range).

                      You can turn to Barolo/Barbaresco, too. Conterno pushes out really nice Barolos in the sub-$200 point as does Vietti.

                      Find a really solid wine shop near you, ask for advice, and then check the advice against www.cellartracker.com or post on here for a 2nd opinion. :)

                      1. re: QuakerInBoston

                        This is just a little more information about Conterno Barolo. There are 5 Conterno wineries in Monforte d’Alba, Italy: Aldo Conterno, Diego Conterno, Giacomo Conterno, Paolo Conterno and Conterno Fantino. The previous reference was probably to Giacomo, which has the most acclaim, or Aldo. Emglow101 is really in luck if choosing one of these wines as Rare Wine Co. in Sonoma, CA has one of the most extensive inventories. The vintages range from 1947 to 2005 and the prices go from $129 to $1,525. They have a lot of bottles under $300 from the best years. I have picked up bottles at their Sonoma warehouse to avoid shipping. If you choose one of these wines, I hope you will please report back, as I would be extremely interested.

                        1. re: BN1

                          Oh, my apologies! I was referring, as you guessed, to Giacamo Conterno (in my common usage, I tend to only call it Conterno, but Aldo also makes great wine!).

                          Thanks for the clarification!

                      2. re: emglow101

                        Not $300 but maybe Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon would work. It is a Cabernet-dominant blend and in the $120-$150 range.

                        1. re: JonDough

                          I don't like it with the proposed dish BUT Monte Bello is incredible year after year. One of my favorites.

                          To put this into context: I recently went to a Cult Napa Cab dinner here in Boston. The average bottle was $350 (put on by the distributor). Mostly Cabernet and Cab blends. Some were great but the $150 Monte Bello would stand up to almost all of them (as would Cathy Corison's Kronos in the same price point and many other bottlings).

                          My point is that price really is a poor guide for the most part.

                          1. re: QuakerInBoston

                            <<My point is that price really is a poor guide for the most part.>>

                            Well-stated! I can depend on the dish, and then the personal preferences of the diner.

                            I have had US $ 650 bottles, that were not worth the $, with the dish, but have also had US $ 650 bottles, that almost brought me to my knees with tears of joy.

                            Price is NOT the ultimate determinate factor, regardless of the dish.

                            I try to not get too hung up on costs, and again, try not to get too hung up on "points." I want what goes with my dish(s) the best, regardless of price.


                          2. re: JonDough

                            Ridge Monte Bello is a good suggestion for someone who wants to splurge on an expensive bottle of California red.

                            You can get older vintages direct from the winery so you know they've been stored properly.


                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              I have seen it discounted at Safeway and Bev Mo - maybe $20-$50 off. You could be taking a chance but I haven't had any issues.

                              1. re: JonDough

                                You've seen older vintages of Ridge Monte Bello at Safeway and BevMo?

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston


                                    I am with you. I am not sure that JonDough is talking about the very same wine - if so, then his BevMo is far, far beyond any in the Valley of the Sun.

                                    I have Ridge Monte Bello, going back to about 1985, and none of those have ever been seen at my BevMos, in Phoenix Metro.

                                    I have never seen one at any of my Safeway stores, and I would be wonderfully surprised to see one discounted, even US $ 5.00.

                                    I think a totally different wine, but could well be wrong - if so, then I need to drive to Jon's Safeway, and buy 10 cases!


                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                      Hi Bill,

                                      It is the same wine. I confirmed with a friend that we bought it discounted at BevMo around 2-3 years ago. We both don't remember the exact price but it was under $100 a bottle. I checked both Safeway and BevMo and neither had it today (the Safeway had other Ridge wine).

                                      As a side note, the Safeway in Livermore has what I assume are good deals after a quick search on the internet (I have never purchased any of these wines). For example, 2002 chateau d'yquem for $251.99, '09 Opus One for $198.09, and '09 Insignia for $159.99 if purchased with the Safeway card. There are further discounts if you buy 6, etc.

                                      1. re: JonDough

                                        Interesting. The wine selection definitely varies from one Safeway to another.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                          Agreed. The one on First St. in Livermore has a "cellar".

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            And ALWAYS has! The same was true from Liquor Barn, the precursor of BevMo.

                                            There is less variation between BevMo stores, but they also do vary.

                                          2. re: JonDough

                                            That is amazing. First, Ridge Monte Bello is seldom seen in a big-box (with some exceptions), or grocery store.

                                            Were I you, I would head back to the Safeway, and buy a few cases of that wine.



                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              After Donn Reisen, head of marketing and president of Ridge wine died in 2009, Ridge wine changed their marketing strategies to include box stores like BevMo. I knew Donn personally and he would never sell their wine to places like BevMo and Safeway, he prided himself on the exclusivity of Ridge. Most people never knew of Ridge wine unless they really knew true wine. I could not believe Ridge did that and I am sure Donn would be rolling in his grave if he knew.
                                              I have seen a few varieties of Ridge at BevMo for around $25 but they are not older vintages. I have yet to see it in any of my Safeways...

                                          3. re: Bill Hunt

                                            Bill, I can't speak to the BevMos in AZ, but several locations here in CA do carry "the" Ridge Monte Bello . . .

                                            1. re: zin1953

                                              At US $10 per bottle?

                                              Buy all that you can find!


                          3. I'd agree that you'd better serve your guests to pair the wine selection with what you'll be serving, but........ Just to throw out one specific reply to your specific question........

                            Check around (K&L, Wine Club, wherever) and see if you can find a bother if 2007 Gemstone. This is a Cabernet-dominant blend that should cost somewhere between $120 and $140. In my opinion that's what a $300 wine tastes like. Point being that you don't need to spend $300 to get into the 'exceptional' category. You could also try some Continuum to see what Tim Mondavi's been up to lately. $160 where I work. Or Leviathan. Or even Trivium. Both considerably less.

                            1. Thanks for all your info. I will look in the $150 range.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: emglow101

                                Just my 2c...
                                Have you ever thought about visiting a wine show? Plenty of high end wines you can taste - that $300 bottle might cost you $15 or so to try...

                                Besides pairing with food, your palate has a lot to do with it. Ask the 21 year old who thinks Martini & Rossi Asti Spumanti is the bomb what the $300 wine tastes like. Probably doesn't matter WHICH wine it is, it'll taste like shit.
                                Many people will not appreciate a great wine, no matter what the price.

                                I'm just sayin.

                                1. re: porker

                                  I agree with this. Or try joining a wine tasting group. A $300 bottle split 10 ways makes tasting it very possible (at 2.5 oz per glass, you'll definitely get enough to taste).

                                  I'm trying to not get hung up on that price point. $300 is really, really, really high. We're talking cult wines in the US and better producer Grand Cru Burgundy, better 2nd Growth Bordeaux/Grand Cru Classe, high end Barolo, etc. Sure there are wines above $300 (and $3000) but we're talking the 0.01% here.

                                2. re: emglow101

                                  Well if you have an extra $150 lying around, a Krug NV is a nice opening act.

                                3. I have to agree with those other respondents who have pointed out tha $300 is a lot for a botle of wine-especialy if you are asking what will it taste like. To be honest, I don't know that I've ever had a single botle that cost that much. 35 years ago, I bought a case of Kristal Champagne, at less that $100 a bottle (that was on sale). When my father retired, 20 or 25 years ago, his colleagues bought him 2 grand crus Bordeaux. It's been a while, but my recollection is that he got a Château Lafite and a Château Latour. We drank them at some point, and I guess they were good, if a little musty (not corked, but we probably should have decanted them); still, clearly not a life changing moment.

                                  Again, to repeat some other posts, it may come down to the food you're having, and your individual taste (yes, I know that's a cop out-when someone asks 'what's good", to replu, "well, it depends on what you like", and isn't very helpful. So, I will say that I, at some time in the '80's was dining with my wife in a restaurant in Paris, across from the Comidie Francais: we had boulibaisse, I believe. We had a stony cold Mersault (white Burgundy) with it, that was not cheap (albeit well under $300). It was incredible, the finish was like drinking butter (soft, smooth, lasting). The Mesault region is small, so there isn't a huge amount of it available. But, if I were to pay, say, $200 for a wine, this might be it.

                                  Barolos and Barbarescos, as discussed below (especialy Barolos, IMHO) are also excelent choices, and , in this price range, a comparative bargain.

                                  Good luck-the suggestions about doing some tastings also seem sound to me: you wouldn't buy a car without test driving it, I assume (FWIW, my 1sr car cost less than $300), so take your time. There are lots of good wines out there, and many are available for much less than $300-which might mean you could buy 2 or 3 bottles that would "only" ring in at around $100 per bottle.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: mchametzky

                                    I am a great fan of, and collector of Meursault, I would not think that its characteristics would go well with the OP's dish.

                                    While many of my 1er Cru Meursaults do range up to, and slightly beyond that US $300 limit, I would go for what works with the dish(s).


                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                      If you have a few older vintages of Chateau Meursault, or Comte-Lafon,Les Perrieres l will gladly fly in and cook a meal appropriate to those puppies.

                                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                        heheheh DCM... I was about to suggest I would gladly do the same! :)

                                      2. re: Bill Hunt

                                        What Domaine makes a Meursault that costs $300? Montrachet yes but Meursault?