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What's Your Poison?: Beer, Wine and Spirits

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I mentioned in the new foods thread that I just tried Żubrówka, (apparently called Bison Grass Vodka in the US) a vodka made from rye and infused with bison grass, for the first time and it's was delicious. 

What are your favorite adult beverages? What's the new crazy where you are? Favorite cocktail? Etc.

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Any kind of champagne cocktail. Friday I had a "Bone Shaker" - Ken's Silver Bike, Bombay Sapphire, St-Germaine, Yellow Chartreuse and Prosecco. Very potent. I'll take a French 75 any day!

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I'm a wineaux.  I also love beer.  Not a huge liquor fan, but I had a lovely pomegranate mojito at The Top of The Mark last summer.  The view may have helped my enjoyment of the cocktail.

Just came back from a lovely Christmas evening with family/friends.  I had some wine there, but didn't want to open a bottle when I got home since it was after 10 (although I'm not sure why...), so I'm enjoying a glass of amaretto.  I really must remember that I've got a few bottles of liqueur in the cabinet.

 

L'Chaim!! 

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I started to take an interest in wine after I got out of college. My dad drank wine, inexpensive wine, with dinner every night as did his family growing up. So I figured that getting him some good wine would be the best kinds of gifts for him on birthdays, Father's Day, Christmas and so on. 

Subscribed to the Wine Spectator, read books, drank a lot of wine and eventually settled in on "it's all good, and the fun part is matching it with food and situation on a limited budget."

Beer became much more interesting the last ten years. There is some food matching to do as well, but I just like trying different things. I tend to go with Sam Adams as my go to selection in places where there aren't a lot of choices, and with the beer with "white" in its name when there are a lot of choices. 

And then this year I set out to lose weight so I stopped drinking wine and beer and switched over to scotch, bourbon and gin. For bourbon, I like Angel's Envy and Buffalo Trace. For gin, I like the olives. 

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I don't drink beer very often anymore (it makes me too full), but I enjoy an IPA from time to time -Stone is probably my favorite - or an amber or pale ale.  The only lager I like is Shiner Bock.  I love most red wines (and the occasional pinot grigio on a hot day) and most liquor.  Tequila and I had a falling out a long time ago, but I do still love margarita night from time to time.  Vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, etc. - we all still get along just fine (not all at the same time -- although a Long Island iced tea isn't bad if I want something sweet).  I particularly like Talisker (18 year), but any good single malt scotch will make me happy.  The occasional after-dinner liqueur is nice.

My most-common drinks are usually pretty unadulterated (e.g. bourbon on the rocks), but I love a spicy Bloody Mary (made with Red Eye mix) on weekend mornings.

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I don't like beer at all; can't stand the smell or the taste. I've tried supposedly "better" brands of beer, and for whatever reason, my palate just does not distinguish between various brands and lumps them all into one category: undrinkable. For liquor, I swore off tequila while in grad school, after I had a few tequila-based drinks when I was unknowingly coming down with one of those 24-hour stomach bugs.  The results were intensely unpleasant, and to this day I can't think of tequila without remembering those 24 wretched hours of my life. These days I mostly stick to scotch, generally Glenlivet or Laphroaig; the Laphroaig has a smoky taste so it's kind of like drinking scotch and smoking a cigarette simultaneously (only without the smoke, nicotine, etc.). I'll occasionally drink a rum and coke; was out yesterday and the restaurant served only Pepsi products, so had to adjust my order to a rum and Dr. Pepper, which was actually not bad. For wines, my tastes are pretty pedestrian. I like white zinfandels for something that's fairly light. I also like rieslings. The one wine indulgence I have is for a dessert wine, Far Niente Dolce, which was recommended to me years ago by a colleague who wrote a wine column. It's very rich but great for special occasions. 

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Beer Beer Beer, it makes me want to cheer!

It would be easier for me to list the beers I don't like (Bud, Coors, Mich., Adams) than faves.

My go-to is usually the calorie-councious Miller Lite but prefer a Stella; all 150 calories of an 11.3 oz. can. 

Love trying crafts and especially enjoy an IPA. 

Got a 1 gallon brew kit for Christmas. WooHoo!

Edited by NewDigs

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Beer makes me belch (you're welcome for that visual) but when you're at a ballgame it's a must-have.

I like my spirits neat.  No ice.  No mix.  Must be my inner Celt.

Not overly fond of gin, but it is the subject of one of my very favorite anecdotes about QE2's mother.

Whilst waiting to be served her Gin & Tonic, the Queen Mum could hear two openly gay members of her staff arguing in the hallway outside her sitting room. Impatient at being kept waiting so long the Queen Mother eventually called out "When you two old Queens have finished arguing, this Old Queen wants her Gin."

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12 hours ago, BookWoman56 said:

the Laphroaig has a smoky taste so it's kind of like drinking scotch and smoking a cigarette simultaneously (only without the smoke

It's like drinking a burning tire, especially the cask strength I thought would be a good idea once. 

12 hours ago, BookWoman56 said:

The one wine indulgence I have is for a dessert wine, Far Niente Dolce, which was recommended to me years ago by a colleague who wrote a wine column. It's very rich but great for special occasions. 

As opposed to this, which is like drinking a bowl of perfectly ripe fruit, a bouquet of flowers and a bowl of ice cream. 

Heh. I couldn't have picked two more different drinks if I spent all day thinking about it. You are a complex individual @BookWoman56

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I'm not a beer person, but I am a wine and spirits person. I'm a hobbist baker. About 10 years ago buying extracts was killing me. I found a recipe for making your own vanilla extract and I haven't looked back. I also make my own lemon extract. I used to infuse my own coffee liqueur, but I don't bake with much coffee anymore. It was definitely better than Kalhua. From there, I moved on to making other infusions: buddha's hand and Asian pear vodka, cranberry lime vodka, gin, mango chili tequila, hatch tequila, limoncello, sour cherry vodka, blood orange liqueur, and a bunch of others that I can't remember. I then started making bitters and shrubs. A couple of years ago I began brewing my own kombucha and ginger beer. I stopped for awhile, but am planning on restarting it in January. I was at a store recently and they were doing some tastings of a liquor called Hum. It's hibiscus, cardamom, and rum. I liked it, but I thought the cardamom was too strong and it was too expensive ($45 a bottle). I just made my own and gave it out as presents for Christmas.

I've never managed to infuse anything decent with roses or elderflower. All of my stuff just ended up too vegetal. I just buy that now.

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I like beer (just a name brand lite beer) with pizza.  Other than at family and friends' gatherings, I rarely drink it otherwise.  I'm not a wine gourmet and usually just drink white zinfandel (or maybe a white merlot).  Nothing fancy.  

I haven't had any mixed drinks in a while, but I always liked gin and tonic and have fond memories of Rum Collins (which I haven't had in decades--it was my first 'grown up' drink).  I used to drink the occasional Long Island Iced Tea when they became popular, but stopped after getting totally blasted on one (just one!) during a trip to the French Quarter of N.O.  One drink I despise is a 'Comfort and Cola' (Southern Comfort and Coca-Cola).  I had a boyfriend once who loved that drink.  Yuck!  It was like drinking the sweetest Coke in the world with alcohol added.

I have a weakness for Hpnotiq (that blue stuff).  I sometimes buy a bottle and drink some every once in a while in a tiny cordial glass (liquor out of the fridge and glass from the freezer).  I like the taste of it (in small doses)--cognac, vodka and fruit juice. 

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Has anyone tried sparkling shiraz? It's very popular in Australia, but harder to find in the states. I've tried The Chook and Paringa. I liked The Chook better. I've been told that there are some fantastic ones available, but you have hunt for them in the US.

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My topic!! :-) I'm more of a wine and spirits girl than a beer girl, occasionally I'll have a beer but it's more along the lines of Red Stripe or Mich Ultra - nothing interesting.

My wines tend to change a lot - currently I'm drinking a lot of French and Italian reds, and I've recently found some cabernets that don't give me a headache, unfortunately they're about $100+ a bottle.  I'm also drinking a lot of rose, when I can find it at restaurants. 

Spirits I prefer bourbon iv the rocks our a nice old fashioned. Occasionally a dirty martini. Or aguardiente. I love that stuff!!

Edited by callie lee 29

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5 hours ago, HunterHunted said:

Has anyone tried sparkling shiraz? It's very popular in Australia, but harder to find in the states. I've tried The Chook and Paringa. I liked The Chook better. I've been told that there are some fantastic ones available, but you have hunt for them in the US.

Ooh. Never heard of it! 

But now I must find it.

Was going for a RoseParade prosecco but a red sounds more appropriate.

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20 minutes ago, NewDigs said:

Ooh. Never heard of it! 

But now I must find it.

Was going for a RoseParade prosecco but a red sounds more appropriate.

http://www.eater.com/wine/2016/8/30/12694650/lambrusco-best-sparkling-wine

www.foodandwine.com/blogs/4-great-sparkling-red-wines

Australians apparently drink sparkling shiraz around the holidays. So this is the right season for them.

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I'm a whiskey girl myself. I don't drink beer at all, and I don't really like wine. I can/will drink a Riesling or Moscato if there's no other option but I prefer hard alcohol.

I made homemade Irish Cream over the holidays and it was AMAZING. Smitten Kitchen has the recipe I used and wow wow wow it was good.  

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7 hours ago, Lisin said:

 

I made homemade Irish Cream over the holidays and it was AMAZING. Smitten Kitchen has the recipe I used and wow wow wow it was good.  

I saw that recipe and totally want to try it! Will definitely do it this week.

I like beer, wine, and liquor. My dad and boyfriend are beer snobs so I drink a fair amount of beer. I adore a hoppy IPA but also like most everything from sours to stouts. 

Again, I like most wine the only one I don't like is an oaky chardonnay.  The rose and zins are my two favorites.

Gin is my favorite alcohol followed closely by whisky/bourbon, scotch, sipping tequila, and than vodka but again there isn't one I don't like. I also like different digestifs of all sorts. One of my favorite things to do when I travel is find the local go to drink and if I like it bring some home.

Edited by biakbiak
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10 minutes ago, biakbiak said:

saw that recipe and totally want to try it! Will definitely do it this week.

Oh yay! You'll like it! And, what's fun is you control how much whiskey goes in, so if it's too thick/sweet just add more! 

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Drinking a Moët and Chandon tonight.

I like the way good champagne goes so well with potato chips. I was at Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma earlier this year and when the tour was over they brought us chips as we sampled some of their stuff on the porch overlooking the vineyards. (Yes, that was exactly as cool as it sounds.)

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33 minutes ago, JTMacc99 said:

Drinking a Moët and Chandon tonight.

I like the way good champagne goes so well with potato chips. I was at Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma earlier this year and when the tour was over they brought us chips as we sampled some of their stuff on the porch overlooking the vineyards. (Yes, that was exactly as cool as it sounds.)

We always do potato chips and caviar on New Years Eve with champagne. We are doing a sparkling rose with our dinner and have a variety of cava, prosseco and champagne.

Edited by biakbiak
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24 minutes ago, JTMacc99 said:

Drinking a Moët and Chandon tonight.

I like the way good champagne goes so well with potato chips. I was at Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma earlier this year and when the tour was over they brought us chips as we sampled some of their stuff on the porch overlooking the vineyards. (Yes, that was exactly as cool as it sounds.)

I am enjoying a Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee Brut 2002.  I don't have chips, but I do have Blue Diamond Almonds (which are like crack to me!)

Happy New Year everyone!

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On Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 9:27 PM, biakbiak said:

We always do potato chips and caviar on New Years Eve with champagne. We are doing a sparkling rose with our dinner and have a variety of cava, prosseco and champagne.

I just ran across this ridiculous wine and cereal pairing guide. Right before Christmas, I was at the liquor store buying some wine and the woman behind me was buying tons of that premixed eggnog with alcohol. I asked if she was having a party. She said that her family eats all of their cereal with the stuff during the holidays.

http://winefolly.com/update/cereal-and-wine-pairing-throw-down/

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Oh my God. That's great. There were two things that I LOVED during the process of learning about wine. The first was the language wine experts used to describe the flavors in the short little write ups:  For example: "Rich, with a spicy nose, this offers flavors of fig, dried apricot, mango and ginger. Complex and elegant, delivering concentrated creme brulee and tropical fruit notes that linger on the vibrant and buttery finish. Drink now. " Seriously, don't you want to try that wine now? (Until you find out it's $50 a bottle that is.)

The second one was learning about how food and wine go together.  So my second favorite thing in that article was how badly a dry red zinfandel paired with Choco Chimps cereal. Hee! No way!  

And this is my favorite:

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

The Port wine paired the best with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The cinnamon in the cereal combined with the caramel and dark berry flavors in the wine creating an interesting, almost chocolaty-like texture. Because there’s so much sugar on the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it’s definitely one to consider for dessert wines.

Damn, now I kind of want to try it. Not with the $50 bottle of Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port from above, but with something less extravagant. 

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I drink pretty much everything.  My go to cocktails are Moscow Mules and Mojitos, my go to wine is something sparkling, and my go to beer is either German/Czech lager/pilsner style or a Belgian style ale.

No thanks on the IPA craziness-too many are overly hoppy and bitter.  I prefer a yeastier beer, which is why I'm a lager girl, but I love how many craft breweries are really pushing out new Belgian style and inspired options.  

For cocktails, I'm definitely not a bourbon girl, but I'm learning to appreciate classic cocktails like the Manhattan and Old Fashioned, especially as a classy dinner cocktail that you sip and savor slowly.  It's hard to get used to!  I generally prefer a more refreshing cocktail, with either champagne or club soda.  One of my favorites is St. Germain with champagne and club soda.  Delicious, light, refreshing!  A good Pimms cups in the summer is another thing I look forward to every year.  I ADORE a good Bloody Mary and am kind of angry at my 20 something self for thinking tomato juice is gross, because I missed all those years of deliciousness.  I even drink virgin Bloody Marys on planes sometimes because I love the flavor.  I love them especially at brunch when it's taking forever to get seated and you're getting hangry-the Bloody Mary gives you a nice little snack to tide you over!  

Wine.  I will pretty much drink everything, but my favorites are California Cabernets & Chardonnays-not as oaky and bitter as their French counterparts, Italian reds-either chianti or something with a sangiovese blend; French champagne-they are the masters, and French rose.  I do love sparkling more than other wines, so I also adore cava and prosecco, etc.  When I cook, I generally use sauvignon blanc or chardonnay for whites, and a Cote du Rhone for red.  However, I think Australian wines SUCK (sorry, Australia), and my friends all know they're not allowed to bring Yellow Tail to a gathering at my house.  Also, I have had some really delightful, refreshing versions of moscato wines, but for the most part, they are all cloyingly sweet.

There were a few posts about sparkling reds-love them!  I visited the Chandon winery in Napa and fell in love with their sparkling red, it was divine!  But then I could never find sparkling red ANYWHERE, and I was overcome with joy to find several varieties this past holiday season that were quite good!  I think that's definitely the next trend!

JTMacc99, have you seen a lot of restaurants are doing cereal flavored cocktails now?  They flavor cream or milk with the cereal and then add liquor.  It's GRREEEEEAAAAT!  Recipes & Restaurants Serving Up Cereal Cocktails!

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2 hours ago, larapu2000 said:

I'm definitely not a bourbon girl, but I'm learning to appreciate classic cocktails like the Manhattan

So my favorite Manhattan came from a TV Show with Andrea Immer (now Andrea Robinson) almost 20 years ago. It's equal parts bourbon and cream sherry with a dash of bitters.  

And no, I had not seen any cereal flavored cocktails! That sounds like a hangover waiting to happen.

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19 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

So my favorite Manhattan came from a TV Show with Andrea Immer (now Andrea Robinson) almost 20 years ago. It's equal parts bourbon and cream sherry with a dash of bitters.  

That sounds excellent. Too bad it's only 12:45 PM...

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1 minute ago, Lisin said:

That sounds excellent. Too bad it's only 12:45 PM...

It's after noon - do it!! 

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1 hour ago, ebk57 said:

It's after noon - do it!! 

And it's a Saturday.   The 5pm rule doesn't apply on weekends.

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11 minutes ago, JTMacc99 said:

It's 5:00 somewhere. 

If it had been before noon, this would have been my reply.  There's rarely a good reason not to have that cocktail!

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52 minutes ago, ariel said:

And it's a Saturday.   The 5pm rule doesn't apply on weekends.

 

38 minutes ago, JTMacc99 said:

It's 5:00 somewhere. 

 

26 minutes ago, ebk57 said:

If it had been before noon, this would have been my reply.  There's rarely a good reason not to have that cocktail!

You all make great points... maybe I'll head to the store for sherry and bitters (always have the bourbon on hand!).

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I like beer, all beer except IPA.  I participate in two beer focused Meet-Ups (mostly to meet people) but I couldn't differentiate between most beers. Same thing with wine. When I go wine tasting it is just a classier way to say lets drink wine and get fucked up. Wine gets me really drunk really fast. I dig a well crafted Mule (Moscow or Irish) and a bloody Mary, hold the Tabasco.

Check this scale out. I heard it's amazing!

http://a.co/i41cWyF

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I like wheat beers (and shanty's, Traveler's anyone?)

I'm not a fan of white wine, but red - pass it here: the drier the better. I also make a mean batch of gluhwein.

Don't like "colored" spirits by themselves, but recently have been liking whiskey based cocktails. If I shoot - I shoot tequila. If I don't want to think too long about what I want I just get vodka soda (sometimes flavored vodka)

Also this summer I discovered Truly sparkling water. It's not sweet, it has bubbles and it's booze. Kinda like flavored vodka soda. that has been my summer drink. Grapefruit please.

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On 12/26/2016 at 9:50 PM, NewDigs said:

Beer Beer Beer, it makes me want to cheer!

I just was thinking about beer.

As I mentioned above, I gave up most beer and wine drinking last year while I was losing weight.  Now that I've been where I want to be since the end of August, and don't count calories, I seem to have lost my interest in beer as a drink in my home.  (Probably because I know how much it was a part of the lifestyle that kept me overweight.)  I bought a four pack of Dogfish Head a couple months ago.  Two are still in my fridge.  

Beer is still my go to drink when I'm out like at a happy hour or when I go see Dave Attell at a club next month. But I think I'm done with having it in the house. (I feel like I should have a memorial ceremony or something.)

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1 hour ago, JTMacc99 said:

I think I'm done with having it in the house.

Nah, just let it get moved to the back of a fridge shelf.  When you are grilling again, you may find yourself thinking "You know what would be good right now?" or if a friend stops by to hang out....

I don't drink anymore - almost 10 years now - but I still need to have some alcohol in my house.  I keep some beer on hand that my nephew likes so when he comes to visit it is there if he wants it, I keep a bottle of tequila in the fridge and I usually have a decent bottle of wine about (although I recently realized I have no idea where my cork screw is).

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I have corkscrews in several locations. I think I have one in my car.  Over the years I seemed to pick them up here and there. Some came from my Dad thinking, "Hey! Look at this corkscrew that came with the wine I ordered." Some came from wineries.  Some were just cool.  So I'm never going to have that disastrous problem. Because having a bottle of wine with no corkscrew is like having a hamburger and fries and discovering you are out of ketchup.  

1 hour ago, DeLurker said:

Nah, just let it get moved to the back of a fridge shelf.  When you are grilling again, you may find yourself thinking "You know what would be good right now?" or if a friend stops by to hang out....

Fair enough. I will have a couple in the fridge just in case I really want one, but I'm thinking I'm pretty much done with just cracking one open while I'm watching TV, so there's no reason to have beer around.  I still have plenty of wine and other booze.  And I have no friends that stop by to hang out, so we're in the clear on that one.  In the event my house becomes a place people actually visit again, I will stock up.

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10 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

I bought a four pack of Dogfish Head a couple months ago.  Two are still in my fridge.  

 

These?

 

IMG_0472.JPG

 

Yum!

High test. 9+% abv.

Absolutely agree with @DeLurker. Give them a back-of the-fridge chance. Could be a treat or a splurge or a welcome offer.

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I know this is more of a kitchen gadget question, but I wondered if anyone had tried the isoda or drinkmate carbonation machines. They are supposed to be the only carbonation machines that can carbonate alcohol safely and easily. They can be used to revive flat beer or sparkling wine.

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On 1/17/2017 at 3:02 PM, JTMacc99 said:

I will have a couple in the fridge just in case I really want one, but I'm thinking I'm pretty much done with just cracking one open while I'm watching TV, so there's no reason to have beer around.  

Quoting myself because tonight the must use ingredient on a show I'm watching is beer. Looking at the really good beers on the show made me have a huge craving for a beer, which I am now drinking. Mmm... beer. 

Only two in the fridge now. Need to get another 4 or 6 pack just in case. 

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Since Gin has become my booze of choice, and because it can actually vary greatly from maker to maker, I've been making my way through various brands previously untried by me.  Drinking a Half Moon Orchard bottle now. It's made right here in the Hudson Valley with apples. It is apparently well thought of from what I read online. I think it's okay. Definitely different. Prior bottle was Bulldog, which comes in a cool bottle and I thought was really good for your basic martini.  I've got my eye out for Beefeater 24, which is supposed to be excellent. 

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Reading the preferences, I feel quite pedestrian. I like oaky chardonnays and cabernets. I prefer California wines because it's my home. I had an amazing Barbera from Oak Farms in Lodi, but you have to buy it at the winery. I adore Toasted Head chardonnay, buttery and toasty and inexpensive. I was feeling adventurous and tried a Vinho Blanco (?) from Portugal, and it was just awful (drank it anyway). 

Anyway, for those of you spending $50 and $100 on a bottle of wine, I submit the following:

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/drink/2011/11/why_you_should_be_drinking_cheap_wine.html

http://www.reversewinesnob.com/

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@ennui Thanks for those clickable links. I'm lucky to have a local wine store that has a large selection of cheap-ish wines. Most @$10 but they are well selected. He has a air tight system that samples out tastes in ounces so you can usually try what you'd like to buy before spending the dosh. It is a credit card system. You can buy a card for $5 (you can get it for any amount but it begins at $5) and try five different wines (lol, it's a tasting as occasionally he'll put out some little pairings). He's knowledgeable and will order anything and states that if you can find any of his wines at a cheaper price then you will get a refund of the difference (you need proof). I've also gotten a good bottle of French Cotes du Rhone at Trader Joe's for a little over 3 dollars. Good wine doesn't have to break the budget. 

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