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Finding New and Different Wines - How Do You Do It?

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19 hours ago, deangold said:

I saw a couple of really goood bubbles that most folk may not know about:

Spoletino Blend Pét Nat, “Sui Lieviti,” Moretti Omero, Umbria

Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, “Monovitigno,” Fattoria Moretto, Emilia-Romagna, NV

Just out of curiosity, how do you try new and different wines?  Is it just random selection?  Any great wine shop that can steer you towards hidden gems?

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5 hours ago, zgast said:

Just out of curiosity, how do you try new and different wines?  Is it just random selection?  Any great wine shop that can steer you towards hidden gems?

These are wines I am familiar with from the restaurant. I really don't know how civilians find new wines. I hae enough wine in my cellar to not buy a new bottle for ten years or more.

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5 minutes ago, deangold said:

These are wines I am familiar with from the restaurant. I really don't know how civilians find new wines. I hae enough wine in my cellar to not buy a new bottle for ten years or more.

I'm sure this is waaaaay off-topic, but I have had good success with California Wine Merchant. Greg is one of the more knowledgeable people in the trade, and he knows the growers and producers in person. His curated wine club is incredible -- six bottles every other month, and none of them are available in shops or stores. Many of them are from a production run of 100 cases or less. Or do as I do and visit about once a year, drink myself into a stupor, and buy about five mixed cases to ship home.

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27 minutes ago, deangold said:

These are wines I am familiar with from the restaurant. I really don't know how civilians find new wines. I hae enough wine in my cellar to not buy a new bottle for ten years or more.

I have enough wine in my cellar to last through Saturday night - but only because I get home from a trip abroad Saturday afternoon.

The struggle is real.  I just hate buying random cases and not liking 80-90% of what I've just bought.  

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18 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

I'm sure this is waaaaay off-topic, but I have had good success with California Wine Merchant. Greg is one of the more knowledgeable people in the trade, and he knows the growers and producers in person. His curated wine club is incredible -- six bottles every other month, and none of them are available in shops or stores. Many of them are from a production run of 100 cases or less. Or do as I do and visit about once a year, drink myself into a stupor, and buy about five mixed cases to ship home.

Three words: Montgomery County sucks

No wine shipments shall pass (picturing Gandalf standing in front of my door with his staff).  

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On 2/7/2020 at 10:23 AM, zgast said:

Just out of curiosity, how do you try new and different wines?  Is it just random selection?  Any great wine shop that can steer you towards hidden gems?

We've been depending on A. Literri at Union Market for our wine supply. They usually taste a few bottles on the weekends including one higher end one. The wine selection is mostly Italian wines but they have wines from other regions as well, across all price ranges. Max is great and we really trust his opinions. 

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Weygandt's Wine in Cleveland Park has excellent, informative tastings on Saturdays. From time to time they will have visiting wine markers in store. Weygandt's is heavy on European wines: French, Austrian, German, with a smaller selection of Italian and Spanish. Limited supply of US wines. 

Domestique on Florida Ave, near North Capitol, has good wine tastings on Sundays, with a natural wine focus. 

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I second Weygandt's. Their Alsatian selections are second to none.

My advice on developing a relationship with a store is to stick with one person as our sales person to see if the two of you are on the same page. If you go to one person, get a wine three of 4 times, then give them feedback why it was or was not a good choice, then you should either get trust int hem or see the need to move on. Giving your sales person feedback on wines at a tasting is also great. 

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I'm on a hopefully never-ending cycle at Arrowine where I pick up some wines I've ordered, then get 2-3 different bottles of things that seem interesting (or what Doug or Shem tell me I'll enjoy), then I go home, try the 2-3 wines leisurely over a week, and, well, here's what just happened: I did this a week ago, and bought three bottles of Beaujolais I'd never tried - the first two were good; the third was riveting, so I wrote Doug (yesterday) and asked if I could get 2 cases of it (he said yes). When I pick up those (in a week or so), I'll try 2-3 different bottles of things that seem interesting (or what Doug or Shem tell me I'll enjoy), then I go home, try the 2-3 bottles ...

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10 hours ago, eatruneat said:

We've been depending on A. Literri at Union Market for our wine supply. They usually taste a few bottles on the weekends including one higher end one. The wine selection is mostly Italian wines but they have wines from other regions as well, across all price ranges. Max is great and we really trust his opinions. 

That is not a bad choice of late. They have upped their wine game for sure - I scored a couple of bottles there a month or two ago that are more or less impossible to find.

As for trying new things, it helps to connect with someone who has actually tasted the wine, knows your palate and can suggest some options. It means building a relationship with a person at a wine shop and seeing how things evolve. Same goes for buying wine for dinner at restaurants. I loved the guy at the Grill Room when Frank was there, but lost the connection when Frank moved on and I had no idea how to find the wine guy - he was remarkable in zeroing in on what you liked and how to help you expand your envelope just a tad.

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On 2/8/2020 at 10:01 PM, DonRocks said:

I'm on a hopefully never-ending cycle at Arrowine where I pick up some wines I've ordered, then get 2-3 different bottles of things that seem interesting (or what Doug or Shem tell me I'll enjoy), then I go home, try the 2-3 wines leisurely over a week, and, well, here's what just happened: I did this a week ago, and bought three bottles of Beaujolais I'd never tried - the first two were good; the third was riveting, so I wrote Doug (yesterday) and asked if I could get 2 cases of it (he said yes). When I pick up those (in a week or so), I'll try 2-3 different bottles of things that seem interesting (or what Doug or Shem tell me I'll enjoy), then I go home, try the 2-3 bottles ...

I miss Arrowine. Doug had a really good palate.

I currently buy from and frequent Wine Cellars of Annapolis.  The owner Patrick is really good. Every Saturday and many Fridays there are tastings put on by the distributor and/or importer.  As an example this past Saturday Aurilleo from Grapes of Spain was there pouring with a distributor.  I know I like Spanish reds and after tasting 8 wines I did bring home a few bottles.  I tend to go to this tasting frequently as I must pass by the wine store to leave the peninsula i live on.  

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Another Import I like is Franck Agostini.  http://franckssignaturewines.com/

He is a rock star in France and set us up with a few appointments that were great.  Tasting wine with a 7th generation farmer/producer was great.  Though not set up for visitors and tours, we were welcomed with many wines to taste.

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I'm going to give you all a tip on a $25.99 (?) wine that you should run, not walk, and buy (by the case if you can) - it's at Arrowine, and I just bought a fair amount of it, but apparently they have more:

IMG_4596.jpg

Brambly, red fruit (but still medium-full bodied) - very much opposite to a plum-like Morgon or Moulin-a-Vent. Eighty-year-old vines. Certified organic in 2017, going biodynamic as of 2018. This wine is three-years old, so it's just starting to blossom, but it will last another ten years with ease. Let it breathe in a decanter for ten minutes before drinking - it's slightly bitter at first, but that blows off very quickly. Thank me later. :)

Domaine les Capréoles website

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Calvert Woodley has Italian whites on sale. I bought a few to try. Glad to read they will reopen but it will be difficult for them to enforce distancing I think. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 1:07 AM, deangold said:

I second this place. Interesting selection. 

 

On 2/11/2020 at 5:46 PM, MarkS said:

Wine Cellars of Annapolis.  I'm there most winter Saturdays as there is no boating.  http://www.winecellarsofannapolis.com/calendar/632-european-cellars-french-spanish-imports-special-guest-matt-carroll

Good to know. My mother-in-law lives near there now, so I will have to check it out. One of my decent go to places changed hands 3 months ago and the new owners are remodeling and no idea if they will do OK  with selection or not.

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