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Fine Wine/Liquor Thread

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I was recently gifted the following bottle of wine and I have no idea how to savor it. The taste is too rich for me to pair with most proteins, but it doesn't really compliment cheeses too well for me either (I tried buffalo blue and normal brie). Help?
 
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Would also be nice if someone can translate the Italian for me. Otherwise, general fine wine and liquor thread.

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I'd go with slightly harder cheeses and not super-rich creamies and blues. Perhaps manchegos, fontina d'aosta or others you prefer. I am sure if you have a local gourmet shop you could get some excellent recommendations.  Put a bit of sopressata, olives in marinade, diced or stewed tomatoes with herbs on the side for finger foods with some toasty crostini- yum!

 

I haven't had this particular bottle, but love wines from Apulia, d'Abruzzo's are some of my favorite wines and still offer a reasonable price point (for anyone interested). 

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Oh! Good thread idea.  I have an extensive liquor cabinet, primarily top shelf but nothing too outrageous.  Never got into wine much though.  The only even remotely rare wine I have is a Page Springs Vineyards signed by Maynard James Keenan and Eric Glomski that I'll never drink.

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I encourage you to check out as much Louis Jadot as you can. They have a firm commitment to both price/quality and hold out for good vintages, often skipping years when they can't find what they would like to bottle. If it's a tart/dry apple chard, that should be a great complement to richer summer fare like fish in a buttery sauce, use the acidity to balance the richness. 

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I  tried to translate the first bottle of the topic, if you are still interested, did my best although my english isn't perfect especially regarding oenology terms..

 

With this wine "La Rivera" wants to remember the undeletable trace that Emperor Federico the 2nd (13th century), humanist and expert in falconry, left in the history of Murgia's hills.

"Il falcone" is a austere wine, complex and elegant that expresses the big oenologic potential of the typical varietes of the "doc" (certified origin) zone "Castel del Monte" : 70% Nero di Troia that gifts it with structure, charachter and elegance, and Montepulciano (30%) that gives it is harmony.

Left fermenting in french durmast barrels for at least 12 months and left resting for another year in bottle, it is fit for particularly tasty and rich foods like red meat, hunting preys and seasoned cheese, it can also be left aging with good results.

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How do I into good single malts? Can't really taste what's so special about it. Maybe I'm just drinking it wrong.

 

 

Your probably drinking it wrong, I don't drink whiskey and the like but I would look into proper temperatures for different malts and also how to drink the beverage properly to get the most taste out of it.  Just saying from my experience with Sake (especially sake) and wine.

 

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I haven't tried the Trader Joes Sake yet (not expecting much in comparison to Yaegaki honestly).  

 

However, the Pouilly-Fuisse Chardonnay is quite pleasant with a mellow flavor and great honey undertones especially on the after taste.  In contrast to the strong apple flavor of the Macon Villages Chardonnay it was a nice contrast (though double the price) Tried room temp once, this wine really stands out when chilled however. -$20 USD at Trader Joes

 

I don't feel I'm really qualified to critique the Andron Blanquet since I don't know what to expect from a red wine however the Andron does have a slightly musty taste with a oak undertone.  Was quite pleasant but since it is my first red I really have nothing to compare it against.  Enjoyable non the less.  The Oak undertones really start to stand out if you chill this wine.  I have a horrible tendency to chill all my alcohol so I have to leave this one on the counter and give it another shot at room temp (did before but can't remember what is was like)"  -$20 at trader joes

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Any recommendations for what to get a scotch aficionado for a gift? (They just like high end liquor in general but seem to prefer scotches)

 

Not looking to spend a fortune, probably $100 or less on a bottle.

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Any recommendations for what to get a scotch aficionado for a gift? (They just like high end liquor in general but seem to prefer scotches)

Not looking to spend a fortune, probably $100 or less on a bottle.

Do you know what appelations he likes? There is a big difference between say an islay malt and a highland. Isalys are peaty and Smokey whereas highland malts will taste more like a traditional whiskey. Maclallan and glenlivet are both good highland malts. Bowmore and laphroig are good islay malts that I like. Also as a wine professional I refuse to pay more than $25 for a bottle of wine.

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Do you know what appelations he likes? There is a big difference between say an islay malt and a highland. Isalys are peaty and Smokey whereas highland malts will taste more like a traditional whiskey. Maclallan and glenlivet are both good highland malts. Bowmore and laphroig are good islay malts that I like. Also as a wine professional I refuse to pay more than $25 for a bottle of wine.

 

This stuff is far more complex than I could have imagined as someone who only drinks vodka and one brand of spiced rum, lol. I'll have to go see what he's been enjoying more recently.

 

I also enjoy supporting local business so I thought I'd look into Balcones Distillery for something different of my own to see if I find it enjoyable. The description of their Rumble Cask Reserve sounds very appealing to me.

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Scotch is a big rabbit hole. Much like anything, so long as you remain ignorant of it, the more simple it appears.

You may also wish to ask how the individual takes their drink. I prefer my scotch neat. That link you posted sounds tasty. But to some an undiluted spirit is too strong. If they like ice in their drink it might be too much and they might prefer something else. One of my favorite blended whiskies is red breast it runs about $60 a bottle. But if you want something more tailored I'd get some more information.

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Here's one he really seemed to enjoy. Also he enjoys his scotch neat.

 

http://www.glenfarclas.co.uk/en/pages/69,10-Years-Old.html

 

As for myself, I think I'm going to start my journey with this; http://www.masterofmalt.com/tasting-set/balcones-whisky-tasting-set/ and see what happens.

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I talked to some friends that are into whisky, they directed me to ralfystuff on Youtube. Listened to a bunch of his reviews and what not, including his "three best whiskies for beginners" one. Really enjoyable, lots of knowledge and pleasant to listen to.

 

Old Pulteney 12yo was one of his newbie recommendations so I'll be picking a bottle of that up from Spec's right quick. I also ordered a small spread of samples for later, which were;

 

Rittenhouse Straight Rye

Nikka All Malt

Nikka Whisky From the Barrel

Hibiki 17yo

Balcones Brimstone

Balcones Baby Blue

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Turns out the description of the Brimstone is spot on. It's like you're drinking a campfire. Was the only thing I've had a glass of so far that I just couldn't finish.

 

The ryes and Hibiki were great though.

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I've tried getting in to whisky since I had to give up the #420yoloswag lyfestyle.  I would say that my palate is reasonable enough to be able to enjoy and appreciate the distinction between all the varieties that I've sampled, but I couldn't precisely describe what the exact flavors are that I'm tasting like a true aficionado.  I prefer Islay types.  With that said, I've been enjoying a bottle of Laphroaig 10 year cask strength recently.  It's not subtle at all, but it is amazing.  It seems to be fairly highly rated for a bottle that can be had for $60-$70.       

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I'm looking forward to trying out some Islays once I get moved into my new place. Namely the Ardbeg 10.

 

So far my favorites in order are;

 

Hibiki 17yo - a lot going on here, I'm not sure of what most of it is... but it's pleasant. Light and spicy, super smooth.

Bulleit Rye 

Old Pulteney 12yo

 

I'm not sure what to make of the Nikka all malt and whiskey from the barrel yet. They're good but they seem similar to the Pulteney to my inexperienced senses. The Rittenhouse straight rye seemed like a stronger, more spicy Bulleit Rye with less sweetness to it (and my favorite whiskies so far are all somewhat sweet and spicy). I'll have to dig up my notes I took while sampling them and post them here. I tried to do what Ralfy suggested and just find a couple notes and not go hunting for them.

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I bought a 22 year old speyside from a closed distillery called Littlemill I believe it's called. Very nice Carmel notes on the nose but overall kind of rough. I had a cask strength Glennlivet that was great neat and undiluted. I think my next purchase will be a Talisker or a solid highland malt.

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