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Food & Wine Ground >> Wine question, starting a wine cellar?


8/19/08 7:29 AM
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droc
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I live just outside Paris, and after 7 years here and beginning a family it looks like I'm here for the foreseeable future. So, given the geographical advantage that I have, I wanna start a cave à vins.

It will be for personal use, not looking to start a business or anything just want to have a decent selection of wines for speciall occasions and all that. So I guess I need to learn the basics.

I have a cellar where I can make space, I know I'll have to check the temperature (and probably humidity) but what else do I need to know?

I have loads of questions,  probably some simple and others more complicated, so I thought maybe some of you would know of online resources that would help me to learn the basics or maybe be able to recommend particular chateaux or cuvee that are reasonably priced right now but will improve with age.

Thanks

DROC
8/19/08 11:37 AM
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MikeZev
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 if you are looking to spend under 5k or so for the setup alone (withouthout wine) I'd reccomend a large, high quality wine fridge. they control temp and humidity very well with litttle to no maintenance.

here is a site with some pre-fab cellar components: www.wineenthusiast.com/wine-cellar-design.asp

there is also a section there for coolers
8/19/08 8:30 PM
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guy1
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MikeZev -  if you are looking to spend under 5k or so for the setup alone (withouthout wine) I'd reccomend a large, high quality wine fridge. they control temp and humidity very well with litttle to no maintenance.

here is a site with some pre-fab cellar components: www.wineenthusiast.com/wine-cellar-design.asp

there is also a section there for coolers

 Agreed, this might take a lot of the hassel out of the equation.  EuroCave is a very good brand.  I also might recommend scouting out a few good wine shopes and starting some relationships with some of the people that work there.  Not only can they really help you in starting your collection btu I am sure they could aid you in any number of other ways.  Though depending on who they are blowjobs might be out ot the question.
8/20/08 1:58 AM
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droc
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 Thanks guys, I'll look into a wine fridge.

There are markets all over Paris where you always get punters either selling their own wines or wines from little known producers from around France. There's also the "foire aux vins" every year where producers from all over France and the world come along for a big expo and you can buy wines cheaper than anywhere else.

DROC
8/20/08 9:43 AM
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MikeZev
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 EuroCave is actually a French brand. look them up, you can prolly get thier stuff cheaper there than here.
8/21/08 2:24 AM
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droc
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 Thanks Mike, I'll look 'em up.

DROC
8/21/08 8:29 AM
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GaryG
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F & W ground has some very knowledgable posters (see above)but another resource is http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/

Do a word search at wine advocate or just post your questions. Wine advocate may give you you some different perspectives, plus they'll be jealous that you're living in France.
8/21/08 4:52 PM
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droc
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 Thanks Gary, I'll check them out

DROC
9/5/08 10:27 AM
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droc
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I don't have that much room in my basement, it's full of baby clothes and other shit that the missus wants to keep even though I'm not having any more fucking kids. And there's a part of the gas water heater or something in there too, so I think it might fuck with the temperature and humidity.

Anyway, we're thinking of moving a little closer to Paris and we wanna buy a house (renting right now) so I think I'll just buy a "Cave à vin" for about 40 - 50 bottles for now and make sure I have a basement when we move.

The good news is, the "Foire aux vins" starts here next week. About a month where all of the supermarkets/hypermarkets do great specials on various wines, so I'll get my collection started.

I picked up a food and wine mag this morning where they had some recommendations for the "foire aux vins", here's a list of a few of the wines I'm gonna pick up.  I figure to start, half a dozen bottles to be kept 5 years or more, half a dozen that need less than 5 years, and a dozen or so that can be drank now or in the next year and work from there.

Saint Emilion Grand Cru - Chateau Montlisse 2005, 15 Euro. According to the magazine 5 or 6 years of aging will allow it to refine it's bouquet.

Médoc Cru bourgeois - Chateau Haut-Maurac 2005, 9.50 Euro. Mag says can be drank now or kept. So I figure I'll put it among the ones to be kept 2 - 3 years

Montbazillac Chateau Poulvere Exception 2005, 9.50 Euro. Keep it 2 - 3 years

Let me know what you think.

DROC

9/5/08 10:29 AM
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MikeZev
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 i think wine if pretty friggin cheap in france! I'm jealous!
9/5/08 11:01 AM
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droc
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Of course it is dude, it's France LOL. Especially at this time of year though, the foire aux vins is everybody's opportunity to get decent wine pretty cheap. There's actually quite a few decent drink now bottles for less than 5 Euros

DROC

9/5/08 12:28 PM
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MikeZev
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 awesome
9/12/08 12:13 AM
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the venerable dr wu
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sure do miss those amazing -5 euro bordeaux's
9/12/08 5:36 AM
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droc
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 LOL, they're not all amazing, but you can get a decent one if you look 

DROC
9/12/08 9:31 AM
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MikeZev
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 so what did you end up getting??
9/14/08 4:03 AM
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droc
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 I've only just started, cuz the foire aux vins starts different dates in different stores. Here's what I've got from FranPrix.

3x Aufil des vignes. A wine from Anjou Domaine des grandes vignes. 4 Euro each.
It was awarded the Grand Prix d'Excellence by the "Oenologues de France" n 2007

2x L'Oratore Saing Maurice 2005, Riesling. 5 Euro each.

1x Domaine du Grand Fief Muscadet 2006. 3.45 Euro
Selected by the Hachette wine guide.

Then I went to sign myself and my stepson up for judo at the "Forum des Associations" (A sort of open day for all of the sports and social clubs in the town). There was a little wine producer called les comptoirs de la Loire there. I tasted a fantastic Bourgogne Pinot Noir and a white called "Coteaux de Layon recoltes tardives" which was very sweet but would be great with Foie Gras. They said that it was their pride and joy.. They didn't have any bottles of the Pinot Noir left, and for delivery I had to buy 6 bottles. So I got

3x Pinot Noir.15 Euro each
2 x Coteaux du Layon. 12.50 each

The dude then recommended another that's the same grape as the Pinot Noir but a different earth apparently and said that it's like the Pinot Noir but more compact and with more character. I think it's called Mansanning or something like that, I can't read the writing on the invoice LOL

1X Mansannig. 25 Euro
I didn't really wanna put more than 20 into any one bottle, but the Pinot Noir was so good that I really wanted to get a bottle of this.

I'll let you know when I go to the other stores to get more. I expect to put 200+ Euros into it immediately and add to the collection gradually after that with a couple of bottles a month.

DROC
11/23/08 11:44 AM
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Buddhadev
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Droc,

Aren't you supposed to sign your posts with "If ya SMELLLLL what droc be distillin'" ? ;-)
11/24/08 5:22 AM
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droc
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 LOL I haven't done that one in a long time Buddhadev, it was fun being "The Drunk One" for a while, but I got bored of it a few years ago.

DROC
3/5/09 7:00 AM
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droc
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So I had got off to a good start and built up a small collection of various wines, about 2/3 red and 1/3 white about 25 decent bottles in all. Then Christmas came and I brought a dozen of them home for drinking with my dad and brothers. Since then we've been averaging about a bottle a month and I ended up down to about 3 bottles... Bad! I even drank some of the bottles that I wanted to keep for a while so decide that I needed to take action.

The Salon de l'agriculture was last week, so I picked up some really nice Cahors, Saint Emilion a few Sauternes  (my missus doesn't drink red) and a couple of South African Pinotage, Shiraz and Chardonnays. about 16 bottles in all. I love the Salon de l'agriculture because you get to taste everything before you buy, whether it's wine, cheese, charcuterie or whatever. I spent the guts of 300 Euros in total including a kilo of really nice ham, a little cheese, some Cep flavored Olive Oil, dinner for two (Italian, pretty good) and 1 or 2 other things.

Then I went to pick something up at Cora (a local Hypermarché) and found that they were doing a spring edition of the Foire aux Vins. I don't think any of the other supermarkets do this. I picked up " Bourgognes (A Cotes de Beaune, a Pinot Noir and I can't remember what else) and a Cotes du Rhone, plus a couple of Saumur and a couple of Anjou whites. They averaged between 5 and 8 Euros each.

My "cave" is back up to nearly 30 bottles, I have intentionally bought a load of drink now bottles so that I don't go raiding my "Vins de garde" again. If I get time this weekend I'm gonna sort them out and make a full list of the contents.

This is fun.

DROC
3/5/09 10:38 AM
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MikeZev
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the best part is completely ruining the collection and saying "oh man i had a blablabla but i popped it last christmas when i was bombed with my brother and father, oh well!"
3/5/09 11:03 AM
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droc
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 That is pretty cool, it's usually worth it

DROC
3/7/09 8:27 AM
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junon
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you have any Bulgarian wines?

specifically Bessa Valley wines.
3/9/09 9:40 AM
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droc
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 No, I specifically stuck to French up till now because I live in France. I just picked up the S. African ones because I tasted them and they were pretty good.

DROC
3/15/09 4:55 AM
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junon
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ive only just started getting into wine and admittedly i was California/US wine gung ho but the best so far has been French.
3/17/09 9:55 AM
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droc
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Junon, the best is French. They have 3 centuries more experience than the "new world" wines and it generally shows.

That does NOT mean that other wines are crap, there are some great wines from other countries, but most of the best wines are French.

DROC

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