questionsplease help me choose a wine!

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You didn't give a price range, but today's Wine.woot offering is interesting. They are a bit high in price (30 bucks each), but seem to be pretty well recieved.

http://wine.woot.com/offers/rutherford-hill-mixed-red-3#read-more

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Finally, a perfect question for me! :D

Today's W.W. would be excellent. Really good buy, great AVA (Rutherford), ready to enjoy. It's two bottles, though.

Without a price range, I'll shoot some readily available wines in various price ranges. Keep in mind, these aren't necessarily the best wines in the range, but I'm recommending them because you should be able to find them wherever you are and they are generally crowd pleasers.

$10-$20: 7 Deadly Zins

$20-$30: Sterling Cab or Meritage

$30-$40: Stag's Leap Cab

$40+: Cathy Corison Cab

Let me know if you want more or different.

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Hmm. The opposite of "sweet" (in Wine-speak) is "dry" or "tanic" - and most good red wines are, in fact, dry. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Red Zinfandel are examples of dry reds. Pinot Noir is a "medium dry" red with fruity tones, while Port and Lambrusco are usually considered to be "sweet" wines.

As for price: Wine is one of those peculiar items where price and quality do not necessarily match up. You should be able to find a very good quality red from $10 - $30. Find a store with a knowledgeable employee, and tell him/her what you are looking for and your price range. They should be able to show you several selections that rate at least a 90 on a hundred point scale

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@adadavis: eek! Sorry; I'm going to get pedantic here. Tannic and sweet are not mutually exclusive. Your example of Port is a perfect example of this. Port can be a tannic monster. And every wine including Merlot, CS, etc. can be made completely dry or with varying levels of sweetness. And Pinot Noir isn't medium dry any more than any other wine is. PN is made, generally, completely dry. And it isn't always fruity. In fact, it can be one of the most funky wines made. Sweetness in wine isn't an all or nothing thing. As for the price/quality ratio, it's pretty fair to assume that a more expensive wine will be better than a cheaper one. Always? Of course not, but generally, yes. Your range of $10-$30 and implying anything in that range will be of equal quality is pretty inaccurate.

Understanding that I used generalizations myself, using generalizations with regard to wine, especially about varietal/style is pretty dangerous.

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@kylemittskus: Yes, of course I was over-generalizing, since I didn't think the OP was looking for a complete education in wine. I did not think I was implying that all wines within a price range were comparable. If it reads that way, it wasn't meant to. That's why I suggest getting help from someone at the store and looking for a wine rating scale on the individual bottles. I know from experience that any wine can have good and bad years, so even recommending a particular brand is "iffy" because a certain year can be "off" and not worth the price. And I decided to not even mention how old/ what year the wine was bottled, because the OP didn't know whether it was for immediate use or for keeping. And I have found $12 bottles of wine with a 97 rating from Spectator next to a $40 bottle that rated a 79. Price is not a good indicator of quality.

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@adadavis: points are an even worse indicator.

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Sounds like I need to give a little more info...I think I'm looking in the $10-30 range, also, this wine would be for immediate use, as the receiver does not store wine. Hope this helps.

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@kylemittskus: Thanks for the suggestions.

Can anyone second any of those?

@adadavis: what is this Spectator that you speak of? Is this some sort of wine rating?

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@oo7slice: For an explanation of wine ratings, click the hyperlink in my first post. Suggest a California (Napa Valley is consistently good) Merlot or Cabernet that is already aged and ready to drink. Any good wine store should be able to point you to a selection with good ratings.

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@oo7slice: Any of those should be good. 7 Deadly Zins gets a lot of good reviews. It's real red zinfandel--not that pink stuff (which, I admit, I also drink).

Also, if there's a reliable wine store near you, you can pick their brain for something appropriate.

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Another vote here for 7 Deadly Zins.

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From what I gather you're looking for, 7 Deadly Zins would fit the bill perfectly. And it's easily found for < $15.

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@oo7slice: They are talking about the Wine Speculator, or um I meant, Wine Spectator Magazine that discuses and rates a large variety of wines...

Marvin has made a lot of money publishing his magazine(s)... He purchased the Malt Advocate and changed the format and renamed it Whiskey Advocate...

7 deadly Zins is good stuff...

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Thanks everyone! I'm going with 7 Deadly Zins. Thanks for making this easy...I surely would have messed it up if left to my own knowledge (or lack thereof).