Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

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SleepKing
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Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by SleepKing »

Dear Bogleheads,

I performed a topic search and have not found anything recent, I believe, on this subject. Hoping to get your input on the following:

1) What is your preferred source(s) for wine rating and buying guides? I am thinking about erobertparker.com, but would like to hear others experience.

2) Any experience and comments on apps and/or crowd-sourced wine reviews, such as Cellar Tracker, Vivino, Delectable, etc...?

3) Last, any advice on apps or system you have developed to catalog and track wine in your cellar? Right now, we have a very manageable collection <20 bottles that are actually worth cellaring, but hope to expand to a few hundred over the next 5 years or so.

Thanks!!
Sleepy
Leeraar
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by Leeraar »

I subscribe to the (free) Reverse Wine Snob newsletter. Nice, because they often include Kirkland (Costco) wines.

A friend has an app on his phone where he can photograph the label and it will get tasting notes and prices. I don't know what it is called.

Take a look at LibraryThing. I use it to catalog books. There must be something similar for wine.

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")
VinhoVerde
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by VinhoVerde »

SleepKing wrote:Dear Bogleheads,

I performed a topic search and have not found anything recent, I believe, on this subject. Hoping to get your input on the following:

1) What is your preferred source(s) for wine rating and buying guides? I am thinking about erobertparker.com, but would like to hear others experience.

2) Any experience and comments on apps and/or crowd-sourced wine reviews, such as Cellar Tracker, Vivino, Delectable, etc...?

3) Last, any advice on apps or system you have developed to catalog and track wine in your cellar? Right now, we have a very manageable collection <20 bottles that are actually worth cellaring, but hope to expand to a few hundred over the next 5 years or so.
Thanks!!
Sleepy
I was a wine retail buyer for decades up until my recent retirement.
(1)-I would recommend erobertparker.com for wine reviews. Some of the other sources are more likely to weigh their reviews toward their own commercial interests.
(2)-I found CellTracker to be the most useful of the three you mentioned.
(3)-I would not use any app to cartalog or track your wine collection. You may decide to cancel your subscription and all the information will be gone. Develop your own spread sheet and back it up with the rest of your data.
VinhoVerde
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dm200
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by dm200 »

I occasionally drink wine, but cannot "distinguish" between the various types, "quality" and/or price.

I see this "inability" as a HUGE benefit, because if I were more "educated" about "fine wine", I would spend a small fortune on it. :beer
btenny
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by btenny »

My niece uses the VinoCell application on her IPhone. It shows a lot of stuff and she in disciplined enough to use it. It shows her what she currently has in her cellar and how it tastes with the label picture and cost. There are pro version wine reviews in the app and her wine review versions if she entered the data. I have not used it so I don't know how it works.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vinocel ... 77043?mt=8

I also read the Reverse Wine Snob sometimes and the Savvy Lush as well. I have not followed them closely. I prefer to go to the actual winery as I live near many of them. So we just go taste the wine and buy what we like. Plus it is standard practice for everyone we know to bring wine for dinner parties and other parties so we are constantly getting to try new labels and assorted new wine types.

http://thesavvylush.com/home/
http://www.reversewinesnob.com/

Good Luck
btenny
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by btenny »

I was wrong. She uses Cellar Tracker. I am asking her questions. I will let you know what she says.
daveatca
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Marvin's rag

Post by daveatca »

I really like the Wine Spectator as it is much more that just ratings.
I just rip pages out and carry them to liquor store.
The magazine is expensive, but we subscribed with useless airline miles.
jdb
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by jdb »

In my opinion best wine app is the owner of your local small wine store, get to know them and ask him or her for suggestions. They have probably forgotten more about wines than you will know. I try to avoid buying wine at grocery stores or big box stores other than Costco. Have found Vivino pretty good for occasional six bottle mail orders of California and Oregon wines. Can't make suggestions for cellaring, I like to drink my selections within couple years, great way to rotate inventory.
sarahjane
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by sarahjane »

I have never been disappointed in a Robert Parker rated wine.

But I filter everything by the following: Price less than $10; Alcohol content at least 13 %. We drink wine w/dinner every night and I've learned from "experts" in Spain and Italy that do likewise what to look for in a decent table wine.
btenny
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by btenny »

I've been told that a lot of European good wine is low alcohol. So why not buy wine with 11-12% alcohol? See below for a good wine that I have in my cellar from Jacuzzi. Dolcetto is 12.5% alcohol. This is a nice California red dinner wine made in the old Italian fashion. I am sure there are others like this. Plus now that I have looked at a few labels of wines I know I find many that are 13% or slightly more.

http://www.jacuzziwines.com/dolcetto

Please advise..
Leeraar
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by Leeraar »

btenny wrote:I've been told that a lot of European good wine is low alcohol. So why not buy wine with 11-12% alcohol? See below for a good wine that I have in my cellar from Jacuzzi. Dolcetto is 12.5% alcohol. This is a nice California red dinner wine made in the old Italian fashion. I am sure there are others like this. Plus now that I have looked at a few labels of wines I know I find many that are 13% or slightly more.

http://www.jacuzziwines.com/dolcetto

Please advise..
The lower alcohol wines do not age as well, but I prefer them for usual occasions.

Thank God we are past the 1980s craze of 16% Zinfandels!

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")
btenny
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by btenny »

I don't know about your 16% zinfandels. But we discovered Old Vine Zinfandels from Amador county in California about 3 years ago. The wine is great and it is 14.7% to 15.5% from what I see on the label. Sobon and Shenandoah are two of the good wineries there. These are little wineries that mostly sell to semi-locals like us plus a few bottles to distributors. We take a day trip and go wine tasting/wine buying down there and have a early dinner before driving home. Good fun. The only issue I have is the wine does not travel long distances well. I can buy the same wine from wine distributor in Arizona and that wine is not as good. Before this we had only tasted Napa zinfandels and those were too intense for our taste. Plus those were expensive. So now we drink the Amador county stuff.

Good Wine and Fun times
VinhoVerde
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by VinhoVerde »

Leeraar wrote:
btenny wrote:I've been told that a lot of European good wine is low alcohol. So why not buy wine with 11-12% alcohol? See below for a good wine that I have in my cellar from Jacuzzi. Dolcetto is 12.5% alcohol. This is a nice California red dinner wine made in the old Italian fashion. I am sure there are others like this. Plus now that I have looked at a few labels of wines I know I find many that are 13% or slightly more.

http://www.jacuzziwines.com/dolcetto

Please advise..
The lower alcohol wines do not age as well, but I prefer them for usual occasions.

Thank God we are past the 1980s craze of 16% Zinfandels!

L.
Low alcohol wines can age very long. For example, German trockenbeerenauslese or beerenauslese Rieslings can live for decades. Yet their alcohol content is usually below 11%. There are many other factors that encourage longevity. Sugar levels, natural acidity, tannins etc are all important factors.
However, I agree with your assessment of 1980s Zins. Too much alcohol for balance. kind of like drinking dry Port!
VinhoVerde
gips
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by gips »

op, are you buying for pleasure, investment or both? if investment, parker is generally more influential than any other source. If pleasure, I'd suggest avoiding parker in favor of john gilman or gallioni.
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rob
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by rob »

I'm going to go against most of the replies.... Just grab some bottles from a smattering of regions and styles. When you find one you like, buy some more from that area. I have had wines high on the various ratings that TO ME were meh yet some way below the best ratings taste great to me. I have long given up on the points/ratings and just like what I like but I always by stuff I have not tried before every time I buy.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
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Toons
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by Toons »

This was my favorite wine in the early years. :happy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciR7Fq2tqJ0
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
Teague
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by Teague »

Toons wrote:This was my favorite wine in the early years. :happy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciR7Fq2tqJ0
Reminds me of the Sanford and Son episode where Fred mixes champagne and Ripple. "Champipple!"
Semper Augustus
VinhoVerde
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by VinhoVerde »

Teague wrote:
Toons wrote:This was my favorite wine in the early years. :happy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciR7Fq2tqJ0
Reminds me of the Sanford and Son episode where Fred mixes champagne and Ripple. "Champipple!"
Now we're talking! This brings back the wines of my youth. Who can forget the wonderful complexity of Blue Nun? The subtle flavor of Mateus Rose? Not to mention the bursting exuberance of Andre Cold Duck. Ah...those were the days!
VinhoVerde
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FreeAtLast
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by FreeAtLast »

Weekend edition of the WSJ usually has a wine column in Section D ("Off Duty"). This weekend features Loire Valley wines; the recommended vinos are priced from $15 to $35.
Illegitimi non carborundum.
desiderium
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by desiderium »

We used a book, "Essential Winetasting" by Michael Schuster to help get a grip on the different wine styles. Tasting across styles and grapes is a good way to learn what characteristics you value in wine. The Wine School column in the NY times also has some good suggestions for comparing wines.

Like everyone else, wine critics have idiosyncratic tastes. For example, Robert Parker's doesn't correspond very well to mine, and eventually you will find critics whose taste is similar to yours. I find Wine Spectator an interesting magazine, if a little full of the glossy good life. They use a fairly rigorous tasting method and taste/describe a vast world of wine.

Tasting wine in an attentive way helps focus your senses and helps you savor and enjoy, IMO.

Also, watch the movie Somm, which is a documentary about some young guys seeking their master sommelier certification. You can get it on Netflix.
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Toons
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by Toons »

Teague wrote:
Toons wrote:This was my favorite wine in the early years. :happy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciR7Fq2tqJ0
Reminds me of the Sanford and Son episode where Fred mixes champagne and Ripple. "Champipple!"[/quote

+3
Superb.
Ironic,,I was watching the Sanford and Son Chapipple episode on youtube :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
btenny
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by btenny »

When I was in college we (my future wife and I) could go out for an evening for $1. Yep 25 cent ripples for my girl friend and 10 cent beers for me. The bar we frequented had a band and no cover charge. We would dance all night. We had a ball. That is when I first discovered she was my gal. She and I were happy just doing cheap stuff like this. Very Bogleheadish even back then.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by JDCarpenter »

rob wrote:I'm going to go against most of the replies.... Just grab some bottles from a smattering of regions and styles. When you find one you like, buy some more from that area. I have had wines high on the various ratings that TO ME were meh yet some way below the best ratings taste great to me. I have long given up on the points/ratings and just like what I like but I always by stuff I have not tried before every time I buy.
This is m/l our experience, but we now know how our taste preferences line up against narratives from the two main vendors from whom we buy (wineaccess and JJBuckley). The Parker numbers are kind of an aside for us, except when we are venturing into new regions/varieties, when we might look more closely at it.

As for storage/tracking.... I built a cellar with 1100-1200 capacity, depending upon how many large formats and splits are on hand. Our "system" consists of tasting one bottle from the case within a month or two of purchase (with some exceptions), then DW writing our (her?) thoughts on the hang tag with date. Thus, "Yum!" to "mehh," with a date as to when to try the next bottle. Also will include description, particularly for Pinots and some Spatleses, as to which food (if any) to pair it with. Other than for the "Drink young and enjoy" wines, DW updates the pertinent hang tag each time.

_____
P.S. my advice to our sons and their S.O.s who are getting into wine: When you find something you really like, don't go exploring the higher price points!
P.S.S. Whatever size cellar you build, you will fill.....
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rob
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by rob »

desiderium wrote:Also, watch the movie Somm, which is a documentary about some young guys seeking their master sommelier certification. You can get it on Netflix.
There is also "somm:Into the bottle" on netflix that is more about the wines & locations and less about the certification process. I watched it the other night and it was interesting.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
lhl12
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by lhl12 »

For tracking what you own, I'm a big fan of CellarTracker. Their website, iPad app, and iPhone app are all quite good.
CWhea1775
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by CWhea1775 »

1+ on Cellar Tracker. To the OP, Cellar Tracker is a community of users who post their own tasting notes, as well as a great inventory and wine cellar management tool. It was started by an ex-Microsoft exec and is a very well designed and user-friendly database. You can produce reports on pretty much anything you want regarding your own cellar, wine consumption, etc. You can also find almost any wine in the world, so long as someone in the community has it or has entered a tasting note on it. There are currently 421,524 users of the site. There is a free version but I pay about $75 a year for the full service with no ads.

I know that the other site you mentioned gives you professional reviews, but I do not know much about anything else, like inventory tools, that come along with your subscription.
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SleepKing
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Re: Wine Buying, Rating, Storage Guides and Apps

Post by SleepKing »

Very informative and entertaining discussion! Thank you all!
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