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I am new enough to wine that I essentially pick a bottle by throwing a dart Smile When I enjoy the wine, I don't have the knowledge/vocab to express what I liked about it. I think several of my friends are in the same boat, and it's about time to change all this Smile

I am thinking about having a "Wine Learning Party". My thinking would be to gather up a bunch of "pairs" of wine that show off particular characteristics: sweet vs dry, full vs light bodied, fruity vs (uhh...) earthy?, acidic vs (uhhh) not-acidic, high vs low tannins.

Oh, and I was thinking red wines only.

My hope is that by the end, my friends and I can at least have some notion of the charactistics we enjoy. Then we could at least be able to ask "Can you recommend a dry, fruity red with low tannins that would go well w/ my meal?"

Is this a crazy idea? Smile If not, I will need a bunch of help to pick out appropriate wines. I think the challenge will be in showing off the interested characteristic, while leaving the others relatively neutral. Well that and not breaking the bank, but we get a list together I can always ask people to bring specific bottles Smile

Thanks for any input.
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I've done this professionally as a host of elite parties as a guest/host and you need to narrow it to red or white. I did an all Italian at high end jewelery store for their top 25 customers by sales over the last 2 years attended for a private showing/ Holiday event in NY Total blast. Another one I did was French vs. California is Seattle in the Art museum in the evening. I been to just brands like Opus One and Lafite Rothschild and they aren't fun. I would buy a good Shiraz, Barolo, Brunello, Bordeaux, Burgundy(or Pinot Noir), Napa Cabernet. If the wines have ever scored 95 or better, find a decent one in the 92-93's and decant them all for 2 hours. Make sure you read Red Wine for dummies or something similar before attending and circulate the book. You will have a great time. I consult now and am semi-retired at 40 and drink 7+ bottles a week with friends and relatives.
quote:
Originally posted by O1brunello_keeper:
I've done this professionally as a host of elite parties as a guest/host and you need to narrow it to red or white. I did an all Italian at high end jewelery store for their top 25 customers by sales over the last 2 years attended for a private showing/ Holiday event in NY Total blast. Another one I did was French vs. California is Seattle in the Art museum in the evening. I been to just brands like Opus One and Lafite Rothschild and they aren't fun. I would buy a good Shiraz, Barolo, Brunello, Bordeaux, Burgundy(or Pinot Noir), Napa Cabernet. If the wines have ever scored 95 or better, find a decent one in the 92-93's and decant them all for 2 hours. Make sure you read Red Wine for dummies or something similar before attending and circulate the book. You will have a great time. I consult now and am semi-retired at 40 and drink 7+ bottles a week with friends and relatives.


Damn, is your other screen name Thurston Howell III? Those sound like impressive soirees and everything, but I'm guessing that the nuances of all those high-falutin wines would be lost on a pure novice. Just a hunch.
indybob

I didn't mean to hit you with a Thurston Howell bit but I've worked my whole life in marketing and wines been a big part of it. Its not condescending to share an actual anecdote. FYI I wasn't loaded at the time I just had a great travel and expense account.


I guess that when it came time to pick a screen name bob from indy fit. I loaded some cases of brunello (my favorite) so it seemed appropriate. every subscription a new screen name its that simple. If someone tries to help, don't reject based on insecurity, move on.
Last edited by o1brunellokeeper
quote:
Originally posted by O1brunello_keeper:
indybob

I didn't mean to hit you with a Thurston Howell bit but I've worked my whole life in marketing and wines been a big part of it. Its not condescending to share an actual anecdote. FYI I wasn't loaded at the time I just had a great travel and expense account.


I guess that when it came time to pick a screen name bob from indy fit. I loaded some cases of brunello (my favorite) so it seemed appropriate. every subscription a new screen name its that simple. If someone tries to help, don't reject based on insecurity, move on.


Just some good natured new-member hazing. I'm tame compared with several others. You'll see, and enjoy the forums.
My thought is, if you are a novice in as much as you say you are, how will you know what wines to pick to contrast high/low tannin, acidity, residual sugar etc? I do a lot of staff trainings in restaurants and the one seminar that gets the biggest response is one that I call a food/wine harmony demonstation. I take representative elements of food: Fat, Acid, Sugar, Spice (Cheese, Lemon wedges, Pepper, and granulated sugar) and wines that represent the basic elements in wine: Acidity, Residual Sugar, Alcohol, and Tannin (brut champagne, moscato or riesling auslese, zinfandel, and cabernet sauvignon) - then demonstrate how the individual elements in food effect the primary elements of the wine. This is a great learning tool as it will help give people a better understanding of what acid, sugar, tannin, and alcohol "feel" like.

There are a lot of good books out there that give the basics. I'd also encourage using the many online resources available to people today.
Retail wine sales: (more or less)
Chard - 21%
Merlot - 14%
White Zin - 10%? people actually drink this stuff?
Cab - 10%?
Pinot Gris/Grigio - 5%+
Don't make it complicated, rich, fussy, or Gilligan's Island - get everyone to bring what they want, drink it, and talk about it. Later on, you can get on about the finer points - the first step is to start the conversation.

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