Ask Steve from the Trellis

10 02 2010
View from the Sill ©Tales from the Trellis 2010

Pour from the Sill © Tales From the Trellis, 2010

This area is for any and all questions you have on wine. Anything from what pairs best with dinner tonight, to recommendations for a bottle to bring to a dinner party or help with planning wine choices for your wedding (or any) celebrations (congrats again Ames). This is the place for all that. This section represents the main concept and reason for being for this blog – Tales From the Trellis.

I have fielded questions (in person, phone calls and email) from many of you in the past, so I thought having a place here online would be a great way to centralize and spread the Q&As all around the community. I am also hoping you will all jump in here and comment on these questions and answers as well.

You can also email me directly at steve@talesfromthetrellis.com if it is a more specific request or if you need more detailed info. Since Tales From the Trellis is a wine blog that originates from the New York/New Jersey area, I can also help source the best deals on wine when you are shopping. Send me a note if I can help.

Thanks for your participation and I look forward to helping however I can, as always.

Note: Some people have googled tales of the trellis or Talesofthetrellis or go to the http://www.talesfromthetrellis.com site, but none of those will get you here! I have purchased the domain for talesfromthetrellis.com, but need to port all of this over there! I will let you know when that happens. Thanks!

Steve from the Trellis

© Tales From the Trellis 2010

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18 responses

15 02 2010
Lisa Nielsen

I always have wine questions, but I think it will be hard to find this post. Any chance you can make it a tab on the top of your blog :-)))

15 02 2010
trellis66

Lisa, you can always find “Ask Steve From the Trellis” on the right side under “categories”.

16 02 2010
philostopheles

Question, what wine do you recommend to drink with, when eating not so great a meal? For example you having apple-bees , Friday’s or rollin roster because your pregnant wife has a craving at 2 am. What wine goes with fast food?

16 02 2010
trellis66

Phil, I have been to all but rollin roster, so I can’t speak to their list, but Fridays does have some decent finds. The Mondavi cab or merlot is good for the money for reds (baby back ribs or burger), and the Chateau St. Michelle Riesling works (fish, chicken, fried things). On Sunday and Monday nights, they have a sale, buy any bottle on the list for half off! At Applebees, try the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot for the red and Kendall-Jackson V.R. Chardonnay for the white. BTW, the Blue Moon works if you want a nice beer there!

16 02 2010
trellis66

Phil, I have been thinking about your post and have decided that this is a good one to blow out. I think so many of us have kids and had to end up at a chain like those, or Ruby Tuesdays, pr others, and had to pick from their limited and mostly uninspired wine lists (or beer lists). I am going to make this a real comparison out of this and thanks for the concept!

26 02 2010
Lily Tu-Boranian

Dear Steve,
I only started drinking red wine recently. Until now, I never thought I had the “red wine gene”; you know, the appreciation for it. I don’t have a favorite type (merlot, cab, or pinot) but I know what I like when I drink it! Where is a good place to start?
Thanks and I look forward to your response!

27 02 2010
trellis66

Lily, Great question, thanks. I have seen many friends make the leap from white to red and I typically have given this advice. Try everything! Finding your red may be as simple as finding the flavors in a varietal that you are drawn to. I also started with white wine and only moved to reds years later. What I have offered as advice is to find a red that mimics some white wine characteristics. What whites do you enjoy, Let’s start there. If you enjoy some heavier styles of chardonnay for instance, sure – some merlot with oaky buttery components may be a god starting point. Let me kow what you like in white and I will advise on what reds may be an easy jump off point. Many people are adverse to red wines due to the tannins- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannin – which are present, that they are not used to in white wines. These tannins may leave a tart, dry puckery feeling in your mouth. Some say it gives them headaches and refuse to give it another try (see this great article http://www.beekmanwine.com/prevtopbd.htm). There are many red wines that have “softer” tannins that may lead you to keep trying. I have professed my love for Cambria Pinot Noir, Julias Vineyard which is chock full of cherry, vanilla and cola flavors with very fine and soft tannins. Another good choice is a full, robust merlot from Vina Santa Ema in Chile – which produces excellent quality and great value wines each year. Look for those (or send me your location and I can check into some of the local wine shops there) and write back to lt me know about your white wine choices in the meantime!

Steve from the Trellis.

17 03 2010
Mark

Steve,

So I finally made my first big purchase of wine yesterday. I bought two cases, a mixture of bordeaux’s and a few other types of reds.

I’m looking for the best online way to document them, as well as, the best site that will give me both professional and customer reviews. Any recommendations?

19 03 2010
trellis66

Mark, this is a great question for those that are looking to collect and catalogue their collections, as well as document pro and amature ratings, storage area(s), best drinking years, etc. There are many sites available for this, both free and pay services.

I have used cellertracker.com, winespectator.com, wineenthusiast.com, and scanner software (and hardware) – even some larger wine retailers have services such as this. I also have been looking at http://www.vinfolio.com/ recently and it has a lot to offer.

http://www.grapestories.com/ is the newest iteration of cellartracker by Eric LeVine, and looks to be amazing. Even Jancis Robinson, a legendary wine critic has given it thumbs up. Check here to see: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4698b2c6-175f-11df-87f6-00144feab49a.html
Do try that and let us know how it goes!

3 04 2010
Mindy

What is a decent Merlot or Cabarnet to bring to someones house?

3 04 2010
trellis66

Min, Give me a price range and I will give you a bottle to find. Text me. S

5 04 2010
Mindy

Thanks Steve, the “Evil” cabarnet was a huge hit!!!

8 04 2010
Mark

Hi Steve,

I currently have a wine refrigerator that my parents bought for me as a birthday present a year ago. It is nothing special, something you can find at Home Depot. I was recently researching the differences between wine refrigerators and wine cellar units and came across a lot of negative comments about storing wine for the future in wine fridges (no humidity control could dry out corks).

If I’m beginning to invest time and money into wines to hold onto for years to come do you think a wine refrigerator will be suffice for the short term (5years)? I would hate to start collecting some nice bordeaux’s and find out that b/c of how I stored them before I was able to invest in a larger more sophisticated wine cellar that they have gone to waste.

Thanks,
Mark

8 04 2010
trellis66

Mark, short term cellaring in what you currently have should be fine. I have posted a little about this in my preservation article. You can create humidity by putting a try or cup of water in the bottom of the unit. Also, make sure you purchase a good temp and humidity gauge, that shows you your daily high and lows(I have a few from Oregon Scientific) so you can be sure you are getting enough humidity. 65-70 is fine. If you are serious about the wines you have and wanting to keep them, make sure you get yourself that equipment and keep your eye on it. I go down each night to check. Add more water as it dries out. You have the best questions to date Mark, keep them coming and thanks! Steve from the Trellis. https://talesfromthetrellis.wordpress.com/

9 04 2010
Mark

Thanks for the help Steve! I have plenty of questions to ask and will keep them coming.

9 04 2010
trellis66

Mark, I appreciate it, keep em coming! Enjoy and thanks for participating. Hope that others are learning from these good questions.
Steve from the Trellis
https://talesfromthetrellis.wordpress.com/

6 06 2010
Carol

Hi Steve,
I just bought a Big House Red “Octavin” for $19.99, on sale at the local market. Did I get a good deal?
CW

7 06 2010
trellis66

Carol, yes! Totally. As soon as I found them in the A&P Liquors by me, I picked up a red and a white! Not only is it cool packaging, it hold 4 bottles in a vacuum bag and has a cool spigot! WIne stays fresh up to 30 days, but we won’t have to worry about that here! $19.99 for a single octavin (4 bottles) mean $5 a bottle! Cheers! The white is a fantastic blend of Rhone grapes and totally refreshing with the upcoming weather turning HOT! Thanks for the post!

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