questionswhat is a reliable site to find ratings of…

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buy something you like. otherwise you're throwing money away on a label that will act as nothing more than a fashion accessory on your counter/winerack.

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I don't know what I like yet, which is why I want to make sure when I'm trying X variety of wine that I'm not either wasting my money or warping my impression of the variety by not buying from a good source.

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@texanfromin: Join Cellar Tracker.

http://www.cellartracker.com/intro.asp

Many of the people who are most knowledgeable on Wine dot Woot belong there, also. You will find a nice set of community ratings for a particular wine. I consider CT to be one of the most useful things I found while hanging out there (which I don't much do, any more).

I'd also suggest that wine is an acquired taste. If it's new to you, you may discover you don't like any of it. You may also find that you like things now, while you are young, that you will not care for, at all, as your palate improves. If there are wine tastings available in your area (perhaps at a local grocer's, if you live in one of the more enlightened states), then you can try things that way.

I take it your parents don't drink wine, or that you haven't had any particular exposure to it, within your family. What state are you in?

[Edit] When Cesare posts links for the wine dot woot offering, they're usually CT links.

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@texanfromin: Wineries vary on quality, on style, and even by season or type of grape. Now that I re-read your question, and see you are asking for ratings of wineries, I suggest to you that you want more to have ratings of particular wines, instead.

There was a very nice deal for Kent Rasmussen Petite Sirah which I found pleasant.

http://wine.woot.com/Blog/ViewEntry.aspx?Id=16363

KR is pretty consistent as to quality. Still, there are things they might offer that I wouldn't buy (I'm not sure what; just being theoretical). There's a large contingent of folks on wine dot woot that are Wellington fans. I find the wines pleasant enough, but am not sure of the adulation awarded for them (although I bought a VERY nice Zinfandel a while back).

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@shrdlu is right about cellartracker. They have no ax to grind and your scores and notes make that place what it is. There is not one person, like Robert Parker, telling you what is good and what is not. You get a consensus from the entire community.

As member #259 (lou briccant), I was a very early adpoter and believer in the need for a tool like this for wine drinkers. I have a bunch of tasting notes there. If you look at my notes, I sometimes put a note as to the wines Quality/Price Ratio (QPR). If I don't, then most likely it's a bottle that was not bargain priced. Most of the wines I had were higher-end, but I think you'll find by gleaning my notes who makes some really good bargain wines (though that can shange form vintage to vintage). I also did some free-lance writing for some wineries, mostly in California, but also Washington, Oregon, Spain, Chile and Argentina.

Ran out of space~

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One that I and many people I know always were impressed with was Novy Family Wines. They are owned by the family that also owns Siduri Wines, but have a MUCH be QPR. Unfortunately, thanks to liver issues, I can no longer drink and have sold off my cellar

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Supposed to say "MUCH better QPR". Sorry, I didn't catch the typo in time.

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This is an answer from a non-snob with a Craigslist-sourced wine fridge (Fridge, not thermoelectric cooler, vibrations be damned!) full of Woot wine.

Just try stuff. Anything. Go to the grocery store once you hit 21, and grab a bottle of wine. Good target price is probably no lower than $8.00 (though this should be a soft rule) and no higher than you feel like spending. Wine can't be rated by price.

The most important lesson in the wine tasting class I took in college (free electives are great) was that the only rating that truly matters for a wine is your own. If you like it, it doesn't matter if it is a $5.99 bottle from Costco (They have a Riesling and a Gerwurtztraminer around there, I like them both) and if you don't like it, who cares what Wine Spectator (or the rest of the world) thinks.

Unless the wine is corked, you are never wasting your money. (Unless you buy something you know you dislike...) The only way to find out if a wine is "good" or not is to try it.

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@apfrehm: Thanks!

Unfortunately I'm on a very anti-alcohol campus, so I'll have to rely on my wine course book. I appreciate the input.

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@shrdlu: Thank you for the suggestions!

My parents drink some wine, but my aunt is more of the wine snob of the family.

Fortunately my girlfriend's dad knows his wine, so I do have some guidance.

I'm in Arizona, so unfortunately I can't buy wine.woot unless I'm visiting my parents.

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@texanfromin: The other thing I would recommend is a joining a good wine forum, one that does not have an ax to grind or sponsors/advertisers to please. A couple of the good one that I once belonged to have fallen by the wayside, but here's one of the forst one I ever joined:

http://www.vinocellar.com/wine-forums.aspx

Although I haven't posted there in a long time, there are a bunch of good people with a lot of knowledge there. Just spend some time lurking there, and when the moment is right for you, jump in. One thing about wino's is that they are always willing to give you their 2 cents.

Also, I have some wine related material you may be interested in, so send me a PM if you want and we can talk about it. :)