Wine Wisdom, sil vous plait

Old Jun 11th, 2002, 02:04 PM
martine (from Belgium
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Dear Danna, the pleasure was all mine.
Can you give me any tips for the wine in the US? We are going next month to Florida and people told me that in the US the wine costs a lot. Do we have to order it by glass? And wich wine do you recommend?
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 02:53 PM
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I can answer your question Martina - wine does seem to be overpriced in the US as opposed to Europe, however you can find many very good drinkable wines for between $20-35/bottle (most are likely to be over $25). Not too many places have "house" wines. I love Zinfandels, and some of the best we've had over here include (from California) Kenwood Old Vines Zinfandel, Parducci Old Vines Zinfandel, and Renwood (not a typo that's Renwood) Zinfandel. Ferrai-Carano (again California) has some good red wines from Italian stock. Oregon produces some exceptionally good Pinot Noir (as does California). 1995 and 1997 were really good years for most all the red wines produced on the West Coast (as they were for wine produced in Italy and France). We've had some really good bottles of more recent vintage, too and if there is a wine from a vineyard we've liked before we don't hesitate to order a different vintage. We've enjoyed both red and white wines from Geyser Peak, Dry Creek, Michel-Schlumberger, and Napa Ridge (in particular their Coastal Vines Chardonnay - North Coast). Other good names to look for is Kendall Jackson, Cline, and even Columbia Crest (Rick Steve's did a very funny series of commercials for them last year.) You will find many Italian and French wines on wine lists, and I assume you may have your favorites among those already.
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 02:56 PM
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PS - Martine (sorry about the mis-spelling) you may also find some bargains among wines from Chile and Argentina, and recently Australia has sent us some yummy reds -- Rosemont Shiraz is quite good and dependable.
Old Jun 12th, 2002, 12:04 AM
martine (from belgium)
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Thank you Diane. I see nox wine is idead very expensive in the US. In France you can buy good wine in a bottle for 3 $, and when you let fill your own bottle or jerry can at the barrel it costs only 2 for a "liter"
I would rather drink cola or "rooth bear" (dont know what it is, but it must be a speciality or so in the States)
Old Jun 12th, 2002, 01:26 AM
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Actually, 1995 was not a particularly good year for Oregon PN. 1994 was much better, as was 1998. 1994 was one of the great years for Oregon Pinot Noir and 1995s were a step down in quality.
Re France, house wines can be ordered by "pichet" (in a pitcher) as well as by carafe.
Old Jun 12th, 2002, 05:26 AM
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I am not a wine expert, but a couple of things:

I think you will find the wine expensive. While in Paris last month a very nice waitress at Fish apologized for recommending the most expensive wine: it was 6 Euro for a glass. Here in the US, it seems that restaurants continue to see just how much they can charge for a glass. I have paid $12 per glass for Spanish reds recently in N.C., more in bigger cities. Average wine by the glass runs $5-$7.

You can certainly order by the bottle if you wish. The wine list really depends on the restaurant. Some will have nice bottles starting below $20 ...some will have mediocre stuff in the $30's. Unless you are in a very fine restaurant, "house" wine means the cheapest, worst stuff they could find. When one makes a generalization, one is always wrong, but...I find that if the wine list is fairly long, and has a good selection of wine by the glass, then it means the restaurant has someone working there who cares about wine. If there are limited offerings...order that Coke!

You will probably see lots of Australian Shiraz on American lists, it is often a good value. Berringer Chardonnay is usually good. Pinot gris from Oregon is nice.

I'm not sure exactly what's in Root beer
either. One traditional thing you might see is a Root Beer Float, where a scoop of vanilla ice cream goes on top of the drink. It's a very interesting flavor combo. Normally that would be a snack or dessert, not a drink with your meal.

I hope you have a great trip. I live in South Carolina, so I don't know too much about Florida, but if you have more general questions, I would be happy to answer!
Old Jun 12th, 2002, 09:34 AM
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Thanks Danna.
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