This past weekend we celebrating my best friends 27th birthday by exploring some of Keuka Lakes Wineries. In college I took a Wines of the World class which made me appreciate red wine A LOT more then I ever did before. I used to completely drink sweet, white or rose wines. These day's I find myself always enjoying a nice Merlot or Cab, while most of my other friends still can't stand how dry red wine can be, and are even nervous to try the sweet reds.
I bought more sweet-ish wines this weekend in Keuka for the simple fact that I NEVER get them for myself, and I did enjoy some of the sweeter wines more then I thought I would. However, at the end of the day my heart is dry and red :D
I'm curious as to what types of wine people drink and why, or if their tastes have changed with their age for any specific reason?
My preferences haven't changed too much. I thought I didn't like wine when I first started drinking it: I was in high school and about to be a short-term exchange student to France. Since I was also going to visit our French relatives, my parents wanted me to be prepared if there was wine at dinner. I think they and I had visions of me trying it for the first time in France, making a horrible face, and thus bringing tiny petty shame on the American family's escutcheon! My parents can't drink red for nitrite migraine reasons, so they started me on the kind of dry whites they liked. Which were not my favorites: I really took training myself to drink it politely.
Then I got to France and every wine I was served was red or rosé, and I loved them! Such a relief.
I'm less mad on rosé than I was then: they just don't seem very complicated, though I still enjoy it especially in summer. But red wine continues to be my favorite, especially merlots, malbecs, and garnachas. My taste in wine is similar to my taste in coffee: dark, full mouth-feel, preferably not too bright, earth and berry notes a plus. I do also drink Pinot Noir because, hi, I live in Northern Oregon ;)
I'm the only one in our household who drinks wine, so I have ended up buying mostly European wine, as I can get a wine I really like for much less money that way! The consistency, particularly in French wines, is very good for buying simple everyday house wine. One of my French relatives explained to me that he would never buy a single-grape wine at home: over the decades (at least) each wine region has figured out exactly which varietals grow well there and what ratio they blend well in. Blending to get the perfect taste profile is a huge part of their vintner craft. I never knew any of that, but it helps explain why I have a very easy time finding consistent, pleasant wines from France once I figured out which regional types I enjoy!
I have barely ever had port, but it's good! I went to one port tasting in my 20's, when I was first learning about wine. It was a flat fee for the flight, and then a bit more if you wanted to taste an extra-old port. We plumped for that too, and I've never regretted it: it was from before the Great Blight, and it could almost make you WEEP, it was so beautifully complicated. Suddenly I had the sense that that Blight was almost like...the destruction of the library at Alexandria! So much richness and effort and beauty, gone.
I jump between, flavor profile and drinkability *hide* I like the english houses, grahams or the like. More consistent withTawny ports, I don't drink much so the game of hunting flavors and my stingy wallet only allow for limited exploring.
I live in one of the coolest places for wine. The Santa Cruz Mountains, Livermore Valley, and the Napa Valley are all within easy traveling distance. Santa Cruz is nice because it's a stone's throw from home and when tasting, you are generally speaking with the winemaker or someone very close to the process. Not always, but often. The region hosts "passport days" which are either tastings at the winery or at gathering places in the area.
I happen to like reds more than whites and can often be found violating the rules of red with meat and white with fish :)
Cabernet, Merlot, Primativo or Zinfandels are my go-to varietals. When I'm shopping for something for dinner, I might choose a blend or even a nice box wine if I'm going camping.
Grahams 20 tawny is a lovely option and can be kept for a while. Smoother than a honda gear box. Dow's is also very nice. The more local houses tend to run away hard from the english type house and are more fruity and less buttery. very different. Some vintage bottles can be amazing but it gets $$ really quick. 10 year for more relaxed drinking and a 20 for the more special savor it moments. Propbably very similar to wine. No box port though, I do have a small flask if needed for camping.
I don't really drink, so not the right person to ask, but check out https://www.winesona.com/ . They do a personal profile for your wine taste. For full disclosure they are one of my clients. Any event, still an awesome product.
Haven't seen a Bully Hill label in a long time. The wine isn't that great, but the story behind it and the vineyard tours used to be great. Walter S. Taylor, an excentric and cool guy that started the vineyard after his family sold Taylor wines to a big company. They sued him for using his name so he changed it to Bully Hill - "they got my name, but they didn't get my goat". Cool old dude. RIP