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shivam
03-01-2010, 05:33 PM
Ok, so i'm cooking a wild mushroom risotto today. What would taste better with it, a merlot or a chianti?

Dizzy
03-01-2010, 05:35 PM
I'll say chianti. I think the same rule holds for most other alcohol as it does for wine: the cheaper the price, the more acidic and drunk-prone the drink. Cheap wine is basically battery acid.

shivam
03-01-2010, 05:37 PM
I'm flying blind when it comes to Reds--i only really like whites, and the christmas holidays left me with a bunch of bottles of red. I dont even know what merlot tastes like =(

Rai
03-01-2010, 05:46 PM
I'll say chianti. I think the same rule holds for most other alcohol as it does for wine: the cheaper the price, the more acidic and drunk-prone the drink. Cheap wine is basically battery acid.

This isn't really my experience at all. I've had some excellent $12 merlots and some terrible $30 rieslings. The best way to tell relative quality, in my experience, would be to do some research. Some stores give numerical scores assigned the wines by critics, which seem to be a fairly good indication of quality. Some online research should probably bring up some of those numbers.

There are other rules (Such as having reds with tomato based sauces and a white with anything else), but they seem like guidelines, so I haven't been able to pick up too much.

Dizzy
03-01-2010, 05:48 PM
Yeah, I can't speak for everyone. Personally, I do not enjoy wine.

teekun
03-01-2010, 05:52 PM
This isn't really my experience at all. I've had some excellent $12 merlots and some terrible $30 rieslings. The best way to tell relative quality, in my experience, would be to do some research. Some stores give numerical scores assigned the wines by critics, which seem to be a fairly good indication of quality. Some online research should probably bring up some of those numbers.

There are other rules (Such as having reds with tomato based sauces and a white with anything else), but they seem like guidelines, so I haven't been able to pick up too much.

Merlot isn't my favorite red by any means, but there are certainly some good ones out there. You won't find as much variety and quality overall as you will in something like a Pinot Noir or a Cab Sav, though, because many wine drinkers and wine makers find it a bit pedestrian.


In any case, with a mushroom risotto like that I'd probably be drinking a Pinot, but since that's not one of your options, I'd go with the Chianti.


Red wine is the best wine! Learn your reds, they're awesome.

nunix
03-01-2010, 06:02 PM
I dont even know what merlot tastes like =(

Good! We are not drinking any fucking Merlot!

Belmont
03-01-2010, 06:04 PM
Based upon what I imagine the flavor of the dish will taste like, a Chianti might be the better choice given that mushrooms and wild rice are "earthy flavors". Generally speaking their flavors are much more stark, and it will offer an interesting contrast to the dish and the wine drawing some of the more subtle flavors out. Merlots are typically smoother and not as full-bodied as a Chianti--better suited for dishes that aren't as heavy in their flavor. It really depends on the wine though, because I've tasted expensive Shiraz that has less of a "bite" to it than a $10 Merlot.

Good! We are not drinking any fucking Merlot!

People who don't like reds usually don't mind Merlot so it's kind of an introductory wine. But yeah, fuck Merlot.

Parish
03-01-2010, 06:06 PM
Red wine is the best wine! Learn your reds, they're awesome.
I have to agree. White wine just tastes like grape juice that's gone sour. Red wine tastes like grapes that have transcended to a higher plane of existence.

shivam
03-01-2010, 06:11 PM
You guys need to try the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano. It's sweet and fruity and soo delicious.

teekun
03-01-2010, 06:25 PM
I have to agree. White wine just tastes like grape juice that's gone sour. Red wine tastes like grapes that have transcended to a higher plane of existence.

Yeah, for the most part I agree with this. There are some fantastic Chardonnay's out there though, and some great Reislings as well. You just have to know what you're drinking.

But overall, I'd much rather drink an average red than a good white.

Paul le Fou
03-02-2010, 12:16 AM
I'm def. in the red over white camp. In fact, I think I'll have wine tonight.

I like chiantis, personally, but I'm also not a big enough wine buff to tell types apart from each other, just to notice what tastes a little different from what else I've had. Kind of. So I guess I like the chiantis I've had. Merlot is a good standby, it's more or less your basic red. I've had some really nice Syrah, too.


Also, wine isn't really so magical and inscrutable and mysterious as all it's made out to be. The whole pairing thing is, while not false or anything, overplayed. It's kind of like beer - you CAN go hog wild if you want, but it's not particularly necessary and not doing so doesn't mean you're wrong or bad or anything. So here's my suggestion: have one glass of one, and then one of the other. Maybe wait and eat a bit in between, but drink both and see what you like.

NevznachaY
03-02-2010, 04:24 AM
I like riojas. I had a great squid risotto in Madrid accompanied by one of those.

Ethan
03-02-2010, 05:11 AM
I'm new to wine in general, but I do know that merlot tends to be a very big, fruity, almost "meaty"-tasting wine, and chianti is much crisper and dryer with a lighter mouthfeel and a touch of bitterness. A style that has those same characteristics of chianti but pushed to a further extreme is malbec, which is very dry and tannic. I've also had a couple really good pinot noirs, which have some of those same big-tasting characteristics of merlot but in a much more refined, complex way.

I don't really like merlot at all. If I want a wine to feel that viscous and syrupy, I would prefer an old porto.

White wine be nasty, yo. I think it's just a fumdamental issue of preference. Shivam recommends a white because it is fruity and sweet, and while I can understand why someone would want that, those just aren't traits that I want in my wine. I like a spicier, earthier wine without an upfront sweetness.

Kirin
03-02-2010, 06:29 AM
I, uh... I like dessert wines?

And ice wine, ice wine is awesome, but goddamn it's expensive.

SDMX
03-02-2010, 10:25 AM
Good! We are not drinking any fucking Merlot!

http://www.behindthehype.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/giamatti-paul-photo-paul-giamatti-6227177.jpg

Paul Giamatti is barely able to contain his rage.

dwolfe
03-02-2010, 10:59 AM
Go Tour a Winery

Seriously, guys, you can sample 6-12+ kinds of wine for free (they hope you'll buy a few bottles before you leave). I found out the tannins in chardonay's are just as foul as I thought, as I can't even drink black tea due to them. Whereas my sister in law loves dessert-wine-level sweet wines regardless of flavours otherwise.

Reading about wines is one thing, but you don't want to open every one of those red wine bottles at once to sample, shivam.

The best way to learn what you, personally, like in wines is to try them. If you're in California, take a road trip. Hell, WI and PA both have numerous wineries!

That said, cooking wines =! drinking wines.

Patrick
03-02-2010, 11:13 AM
My cousin got married in a winery overlooking the San Fransisco Bay. It was rad!

I don't know a lot about wines, but I have some friends who are obsessed with the stuff. So I do end up going to a lot of wineries and my roommate and some friends generally have wine on hand. I can tell if a wine is generally good or bad, and I'm alright at describing tastes, but I'm not especially picky about what I drink. I also tend to prefer red over white.

Calorie Mate
03-02-2010, 12:12 PM
I prefer red, but I enjoy both. I'm absolutely awful at remembering names and types and what I like or dislike, though.

The-Bavis
03-02-2010, 12:58 PM
Like red wine, but don't need to be too snobby about it all? I go for the boxed stuff at Target. It's from a reputable winery and the wine snobs at wine.com, et al will give you a stamp of approval for your daily table wine selection. Seriously, they're good.

teekun
03-02-2010, 05:29 PM
Yeah, wine tastings are absolutely the best way to learn about wines. If you live in an area that has multiple wineries in driving distance, make a day of it. Tastings cost hardly anything, and if you do taste something you like, you'll be able to pick up some of it right there.