So, I'm still learning the ins and outs of this whole wine thing but I think it's safe to say that I don't like fruity wines. I've never been a fan of white wine because it's always been too sweet and fruity for me and I don't like fruity red wines either. I had a 2008 Fore Family Pinot tonight that I really didn't like because it was so sweet and fruity. That seemed to have jogged my memory that other wines I haven't liked were also sweet and fruity.

What kind of tasting notes should I focus on if I definitely don't like sweet and fruity wine? Am I right in thinking that I'll enjoy older wines vs newer wines? The fruitiness tends to go away as wine gets older right?
Original Post
Don't write off any styles, red vs. whites, or any varietals until you've tasted more.
I would say...and this is a really broad stroke...you should try some more old world wines before you start jumping into aged wines, which can be a lot trickier and a bit more expensive. Just a thought....
Careful not to confuse sweet and fruity. They often coincide, but not always. Remember that you can't smell sweet. That illusion can carry through to the palate with some fully dry wines. So, like you said, with wines you find obnoxiously fruity that fruit will mellow with age. But, if the wine is also sweet, that sweetness won't go away. Also, if there's any raisinated character in with that fruitiness, it won't fade with age, so it'll become ever more relatively prominent.

A high degree of ripeness can make a wine seem overly fruity. But also, very clean winemaking practices can eliminate various things that can dull the fruit. Other interactions can produce more fruity character.

Generally, I'd say look for less ripe wines to try. Find critics/writers who like what you like, and avoid what James Laube and Robert Parker like.

You can search around for discussion threads for wines you might like, or you could ask specifically. If you point us to a wine store you can order from, we could suggest a few wines from their website. (K&L?)
quote:
Originally posted by Whoopdido:
So, I'm still learning the ins and outs of this whole wine thing but I think it's safe to say that I don't like fruity wines. I've never been a fan of white wine because it's always been too sweet and fruity for me and I don't like fruity red wines either. I had a 2008 Fore Family Pinot tonight that I really didn't like because it was so sweet and fruity. That seemed to have jogged my memory that other wines I haven't liked were also sweet and fruity.

What kind of tasting notes should I focus on if I definitely don't like sweet and fruity wine? Am I right in thinking that I'll enjoy older wines vs newer wines? The fruitiness tends to go away as wine gets older right?

I generally don't go for fruit first in my red wines, either.

Yes, older vs. newer. But even more importantly, old world vs. new world (and "modern" European).

Look for comments like "traditional" and "rustic" (and "old world" and "classic") for wines from France and Italy. Some Spanish producers, too, like Lopez de Heredia and CVNE (both Rioja producers) would also work for you, though much/most of Spain has gone "new world" in its approach to wine making.
What yhn said 'don't confuse fruity with sweet'.

It's a broad generalization, but New World, tend to have more fruit forward wines. But so are some 'Modern' Old World (Europe), especially modern Italian. Warmer climates tend to produce riper grapes that ends up as fruit forward wine. That said, I've tasted some Cali Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir that tastes like it was 'Traditional Old World'.

Wintarelli's advice to look for descriptors that match the style you like is spot on. Generally speaking you may find more that fit that profile from France and Italy, but beware: there are lots of fruit forward wines from there as well, so, it's best to learn to associate the descriptors that accurately describe what you like, and take your time in developing generalized conclusions about regions/grapes, etc.

On the point of sweetness, some of the best wines are sweet, but they are very balanced sweet wines with fruit, and acidity to balance the sweetness. Paired with the right food, and served at the right temperature, they make for incredible experiences. Banana Sweet wines without much fruit, or acidity tend to taste syrupy and cloying Ack
By the way,

Another piece of advice... different importers have different palates. Though rarely cheap, Neal Rosenthal has as incredible rustic palate and his wines from B. Levet in Cote-Rotie to Paolo Bea in Umbria often occupy the cream of the crop when it comes to lesser-known, more rustic producers.
Agree with pretty much everything that's been said.

At this point in your wine career, it might be worth a little palate experiment.

For example, buy a Napa Cab/blend and a French Bordeaux (preferably left bank to keep this as similar as possible). Consider investing somewhere in the $30-$50 range per bottle. Taste both and see what you think. As many have said, sweet and fruit are not the same things. Anything from a good producer should not be "sweet" but more likely than not the Napa Cab will be much more fruit forward than the Bordeaux (which you'll either enjoy or not)

Then, you could consider a "new world" Pinot (maybe stick with Oregon Pinots for this first try) and compare that with a Burgundy (and you could even consider throwing in a Rioja just to spice things up a bit). Again, you shouldn't notice a huge difference in sweetness per se, but the flavor profile, the presence of fruit forward flavors will likely be quite different. And then, once again, you need to let your palate decide.

After a fairly packed 2013 of experimenting much more actively with "old world" and aged new world and old world wines, my palate still leans toward younger new world wines but I'm starting to redefine what "younger" means. A few years ago, younger meant 2-5 years old, and now I'm appreciating the slightly mellowing that comes with a bottle that is aged more in the 5-15 year range

Suffice it to say . . . a lot of variables here and trying many different types of wines is the only way to truly decide where to go next
Thanks everyone. I kinda forgot that I started this thread. I probably should have come back in here and clarified. I think my "problem" has more to do with sweetness than fruitiness. I've enjoyed some wines that definitely had a distinct fruit taste, but weren't too sweet.

I think I'm finding that I'm gravitating towards old world too. I'm starting to pick up more Riojas, Barolos and Brunello di Montalcino. I definitely enjoy Bordeaux as well. I haven't tried much Burgundy though. Many of these wines have been fairly fruity, but not sweet.
quote:
Originally posted by Pinot Envy:
for white wines-- look to Chablis from a respectable producer or a blanc de blanc champagne-- I don't think 'fruity' would be a primary descriptor of either


OMG! A Pinot Envy and an Eric White sighting in the same week!! Can the apocalypse be far behind?

Hope you and Pinto are doing well, PE. It has been a long time. We miss you.

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