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I wish I liked wine January 10, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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‘I wish I liked wine’, I’ve often thought to myself, as I sup on some claret of varying vintage or other, most often recoiling in horror as the sourness hits the appropriate taste bud.

I can safely say that I have only on a few occasions had a glass of wine that I liked and am wondering why this might be.  It is hardly the case, I ponder, that over the 15 odd years of my legal drinking life, I’ve never had the “right” wine ??  Can it ?

I mean, its not as if I know completely nothing about wine – in my former incarnation as a New Yawk Cidy bartender I was told to attend a wine tasting course being run by one of the most prominent Long Island sommelier.  So there I was, along with the other bartenders about to sample the tones of Autumn that the guy was fawning over when I get hauled out (not literally) to come stack boxes.  Seems the course was €100 a head and because I was surely only there for a short while, I wasn’t worth the money.

That’s kind of like what I feel like about wine.  Not worth all the hassle !

So that’s where you kind people come in – I am obviously wrong about the Exlir of the Gods, so let’s educate together !

Tell me a wine to buy (within reason) and what to eat it with and what I should be tasting – I mean do people really pick out tastes of blackberry and elm bark ?  I think I’d like to love wine … so any recommendations greatly received.

My liver will thank you !



1. laurie - January 10, 2008

i can only drink white wine. and of white wines, i can only drink the crisp ones–sauvignon blanc, or pinot grigiots.

the ones from australia are excellent and well-priced.

red wine makes me sick, and white wine made with red grapes (like white burgundies) also make me sick. so i have learned to limit myself.

but be careful if you do develop a taste–it’s stronger than beer. i like wine because i don’t get as full as i do with beer (sadly, the days of downing lager all night long are over for me). but the kick–one glass will do me, two i can manage, three sends me toddling off to bed.

2. laurie - January 10, 2008

ps forget the elm bark and the this and that. keep it simple. believe it or not, i learned to love white wine when i was in dublin. so i know it can be done!

3. Coastal Aussie - January 10, 2008

I don’t know anything about wines, I wish I had a few favourites that I really enjoy. The only good tip I have is to ask at the bottle shop for the bottles without ‘skins’… they are bottles from fancy vinyards, which are usually very expensive, but for some reason they don’t have their proper label on the front and therefore are sold at a much reduced price. Good luck with the experiment, I’ll be reading along with you.

4. Gerry - January 12, 2008

A few pointers:

1. The flavours of various wines on their own can be a bit extreme. Try them with food, rather than just drinking them on their own. There is an old rule of thumb “red wine with red meat, white wine with fish.” There are exceptions to the rule of course, but it’s a good guideline to start with.

2. New World wines are a good place to start. Get to know the major grape varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling in white, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah/Shiraz in red. As you become familiar with them, look for similar wines from Europe.

3. Get to know your local wine merchant. The best wine shop in Waterford is World Wide Wines on the Dunmore Road. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, they won’t talk down to you. If you take their recommendations, make sure to tell them what you did and didn’t like.

4. When you move to New Zealand, take some time to visit some vineyards. The closest to you are those located around Waikato and also around Auckland. The other main wine-growing regions in New Zealand are Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Martinborough on the North Island; and Marlborough, Nelson, Waipara and Central Otago on the South Island.

5. Don’t get too obsessive about it. Take note of what you like and dislike, but also try to work out why you like or dislike a particular wine.


PS – I work in the wine business, so feel free to e-mail me your questions.

5. Rambling Man - January 13, 2008

gosh thanks for the great comment gerry – i’ll take it on board …. theres also a wholesale wine shop in the park road retail park in waterford called wines direct … nice chap in there …

looking forward to sussing out some NZ vintage !


6. His Girl Friday - January 14, 2008

Hi Gerry,
great info, thanks!

I would recommend some wines, but they’re Californian, and Washington state so I’m sure they’d be ridiculously priced out your way. I’ve had some really good Australian Shiraz, great for accompanying the foods from the barbie, but I can’t remember the name (sorry, I know, lots of help there! ;))

7. Ellen - January 15, 2008

Try a Stollenbosh from South Africa. It has a smooth taste. Ask for a wine with hints of chocolate and coffee in the smell. And be prepared to pay about €17 or €18 for it in a proper off licience 😉 Have a nice trip you lucky thing 😉

8. Rambling Man - January 16, 2008

thanks mrs artist

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