Best red wines?

Vicki__ILDecember 31, 2002

Can anyone here give me advice on what brands of red wine are the best - not dry. Also, are you supposed to chill red wine? I think I read someplace where it's supposed to be served at room temperature.


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Red wines are to be served at about 65 degrees....if that's the temperature of your room, go for it. If not....20 minutes or so in the refrgerator.
As for a good red wine that's not dry....I can't think of any.
Both merlot and shiraz are "softer" than say a burgundy or a chianti....but the good ones aren't sweet. If you are also looking for inexpensive ( and who isn't) try one of the merlots from Chile.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 1, 2003 at 10:25AM
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It depends on what kind of taste you're looking for. Italian wines tend to be earthy, and you can find very good Italian wines at a reasonable price. French wines are more flowery in taste - I get headaches from these, but lots of people enjoy them. You will need to spend a bit more money for a good French wine. American wines tend to the earthy side as well, but often have additives such as food coloring. I don't like to support such practices so I don't buy them. There are many more countries, and sub-categories of wine. If you're really interested, it may be intelligent to buy a book on the subject.

We have a wine cellar which is set to a fairly cool temp - but normal 'table' wines we keep upstairs in the kitchen. We drink at least a bottle a day, and it goes fast. Cheers!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2003 at 9:43AM
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Michelle, I hope that's just a nasty rumor circulating in Europe.

Vicki, if you want to ease your way into drier (and better) wines, you might start with red zinfandel. There are lots of good ones from California on the market. Lang's 1997 is a favorite of mine, although that vintage may be getting hard to find. The zins tend to be rather fruity and flavorful, and the alcohol content varies widely. (This is noted on the label as a percentage.) I enjoyed a 1995 TKC recently that was up around 16%. It produced quite a buzz...


    Bookmark   January 13, 2003 at 9:35PM
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I'm sure that you won't find any sort of slightly decent American wine with food coloring added....perhaps Mad-Dog 20 20...or Strawberry Hill......but even a cheap red table wine won't have food coloring.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 14, 2003 at 12:44AM
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Do you have a Trader Joes in your area? Their Charles Snow Merlot and Cabernet is only $1.99 a bottle and quite good. Don't know how they do it for the price. Otherwise I would strongly recommend the Clou du Bois or Rodney
Strong Cabs for about $15.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2003 at 9:28PM
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okay, I'm open enough to consider that a Swiss newspaper would print all out lies about the American wine industry, perhaps you both are right. But I remain sceptical after reading articles like this:

    Bookmark   January 18, 2003 at 5:39AM
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There are "pink wines".....and there are descent wines....AND there are very good wines!
Don't you know of poor quality wnes in Switzerland?...I am sure there are some!
There seems to be a "thing" with American wine drinkers.....mostly people who have recently become acquainted with the concept of "wine"....and "white zin"...a slightly sweet wine made from an amorphous blend of grapes and a very pretty color....fills the bill!
Please be assured that there are many superb California good or better than French or German wines......
But....don't say "rose"....or "white zin"...
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 19, 2003 at 9:04PM
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Hi Linda

I totally agree that many American wines TASTE good, but that the methods used to make them taste that way are questionable sometimes. But of course, I wouldn't say no to a 10 year Mondavi :-)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2003 at 3:33AM
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The are some great wines coming out of Australia lately. My favorite currently is a Shiraz made by Yellowtail. I have been quite impressed with the quality and price of the yellowtail brand. You can recognize it by the Kangaroo on the bottle!!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2003 at 4:13PM
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Amazingly...I opened a bottle of Yellowtail chardonnay this week...I needed some cooking wine ( don't normally like chardonnay much) and it was cheap, then didn't need t for the other day opened and drank a glass. Very nice.....very cheap...I'll definitly buy that again.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 8, 2003 at 6:07PM
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Linda C...
Make sure that you give the other flavors of Yellowtail a try. I keep a bottle of the Shiraz and Merlot handy for drinking and cooking. Possibly the best "cheap" wine I know of.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2003 at 10:35PM
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Thanks...I will.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 18, 2003 at 12:25PM
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Wolf Blass Red Label is wonderful........


    Bookmark   March 17, 2003 at 6:16PM
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anything that stays down is good.

also, any of our fine michigan muscatels.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 11:42PM
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In defense of California wine; I remember seeing plenty of lizards and squirrels being processed through the grape crusher, but I did not see any food coloring being added.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 2:44AM
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Charles Shaw, AKA Two Buck Chuck has a really decent Cabernet. If you are fond of Merlots they have a decent one of those as well. We drink them, cook with them, and just plain enjoy them all summer long with BBQ's and friends. It is much more fun for me to open a dozen bottles of ole Chuck than it is to open a couple of bottles of "Good Stuff." My favorite is a good bottle of Cab from Kenwood. Absolutely delicious!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 1:12PM
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Another vote for the Yellowtail varieties. All that we've tried have been very good (especially for the price!)


    Bookmark   December 18, 2003 at 6:19AM
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Brad, I like Yellowtail Shiraz too. Haven't tried the Chardonnay.

Bought Charles Shaw --- merlot, cabernet, and chardonnay earlier this year when we were traveling ... no TJ's here. Wasn't impressed with any of them, but if you like them you might want to try La Boca varieties ... a step up IMO.

Here is a link that might be useful: La Boca

    Bookmark   December 21, 2003 at 9:45PM
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any red that's not dry is pretty much a dessert wine- a muscatel, or sweeter- and I mean sweet, like manechewitz sweet...

I'm more of a sweet white (reisling) person myself, but YellowTail DOES make good wines...

my favorites red is a shiraz, but a friend turned me on to two merlots that I think are very good- Kendall-Jackson, and Fezter (both in the 15-20$ range)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2004 at 1:43PM
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I agree with Yellowtail Shiraz. Recently I have been tasting a lot of Pinot Noir - most of it comes from Oregon and is quite tasty.

For a sweeter wine, I love Beringers White Zinfandel.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2004 at 2:58PM
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Quite a few Australian Shiraz' are offering superb value and easy drinkability, imo. Yellowtail is great, I also like the very inexpensive Jacob's Creek (occationally available at my local Costco for $35/6 bottles) and the slightly more pricey Penfolds.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2004 at 3:57AM
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For my part, I am partial to California Zinfandels (NOT NOT NOT "white zinfandel," please) and Washington state and Oregon Pinot Noirs, but I have been buying quite a bit from Australia lately. I am not overly fond of the Yellowtail wines, and I have tried them all, but I love any of the reds from Jackeroo for cheap Aussies, and it's hard to beat a Penfold's or Rosemount Shiraz if you are willing to pay more.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 7:13PM
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If you like sweet red wine Oliver soft red wine is pretty good at a reasonable price.

I tried Esser Cabernet (california) today.. It wasn't very good.. Too dry!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:11PM
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I too have enjoyed the Yellowtail Label. Another good Aussie Lable for Reds is The Little Penguine. It is very similar to Yellowtail in style and drinkablity. I came across a great site,,166022_166960,00.html

It was really infomative for breaking down the flavours for the different black grape varieties. You might want to check it out because the discriptions might help you to narrow down the flavor that you are looking, for so that you can experiment confidently on your own.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 12:58PM
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Turning Leaf - Pinot Noir. I don't care for reds, but this is good.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 5:28PM
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