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Lew Bundles

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Wine consumption is big business...I've been in the alcohol business for almost 30 years and the wine end of it for quite awhile now...A lot of it is crazy and BS, but I'll give you a quick and as uncomplicated rundown as I can..A lot of times people are intimidated by the subject and are afraid/embarrassed to ask someone....I wont recommend any brand names, but I'll let you know what:
the most popular types of wine are:
where they come from:
what to serve them with:
and some trendy areas/types:

A couple of key points to remember before we get started...Mostly all grape pulp is white...The skin color determines whether a grape is "red" or "white"...

France and Italy have a tendency to categorize their wines from the region that the grape grows in(appellation) while most other parts of the world identify their wines by the type of grape(varietal)...Therefore: we will talk about appellations(areas)  later in this post... 


CHARDONNAY- At this point, the most popularly consumed grape in the world for wine is chardonnay...
While it is grown all over the world, California chardonnay is a real safe, quality bet...Try to find a chardonnay from Napa or Sonoma Valley...When stored in oak barrels, it will have a real "oakey, creamy, buttery taste...When it is stored in stainless steel, it will taste lighter and crisper...

PINOT GRIGIO- Becoming the new entry level wine for starters..It is a full bodied, dry(not sweet), crisp wine...Italy, especially, Northen regions(Friulli) make a great Pinot Grigio...

SAUVIGNON BLANC- Crisp and citrussy in taste, with an accent of grapefruit or gooseberry taste to it...Zingy...The best sauvignon blanc grows south of the equator with South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina all producing excellent ones...


PINOT NOIR-This is a light red grape which doctors and researchers claim to have the best cholesterol lowering agents of all red wines...It is smooth and velvety...The best Pinot Noir comes from France or in the U.S., in Oregon(especially the Russian River Valley)...Upstate New York has some excellent pinot noir's...

MERLOT-Merlot is a popular red medium bodied, dry red wine...It used to be used as a blending grape to round out and keep the price down on the more expensive grapes...It has been praised and slammed by both critics and fans...The Springsteen of wines...Some people love it, while others consider it to be junk...See the movie "Sideways" to exemplify this point...

CABERNET SAUVIGNON: Hearty, full bodied, dry wine...All areas of the world grow "cab" but great classic cabernets come from California and France...


Now...Some other grapes/types to make you look cool or trendy...

REISLING...(Slightly sweet...Germany is the way to go...Washington state has some good ones)...

PROSECCO...Sparling wine(Similar to Champagne(region)...Italian Prosecco...Winner...Trendy

CHENIN BLANC...A sweeter wine...Grab a South African...


MOSCATO...A very sweet white wine...

ZINFANDEL...Has raisin and jammy features...Full bodied...(GO CALIFORNIAN)...

SYRAH(also known as Shiraz in parts of the world)..A spicier red wine...Go Austrailian

MALBEC...VERY TRENDY...A touch sweeter than Zin...Very Fruity...Grab one from Chile, Argentina, Australia or New Zealand...

If you really want some conversation starters...
Grab some PINOTAGE which is a hybrid grape made from Pinot Noir and Cinsault...SOUTH AFRICAN

AGORGITIKO-A smokey, red dry from the Nemea region of Greece...

Dont forget the European area wines...Italian CHIANTI...CHIANTI is the region...Sangiovese is the grape...Dry...Look for a Chianti from the CHIANTI CLASSICO region of Italy...Reserva means that it has been aged in oak barrels for a year...

CHABLIS...Classic white from this French region...Made with chardonnay as its predominate grape...

BORDEAUX...French region that blends merlot,cab,cab franc,pinot noir and cab verdot into their blends...

BURGUNDY...Fist fights break out with Burgundy region supporters claiming that their red blends are better than the red blends from Bordeaux...

Wine Food Pairings:

Chardonnay...Grilled chicken, salmon, shell fish, cream sauces...

Pinot Grigio...Chicken, Turkey, Salads, Fish

Sauvignon Blanc...White or light fish...Cheeses

RED-Pinot Noir-Goes with heartier white meats such as Turkey,Chicken or light red meats...

Merlot...Red dishes such as pasta with red sauce, pizza and grilled red meats...

Zinfandel...Same types of dishes as merlot plus duck and capon

Cabernet Sauvignon...Heavy red meats...Smoked and BBQed foods, steak...

Syrah...Spicy pizza and herbed sauces, red meats

As a bottom line...Choose an attractive label, in your price range, with the food that you are serving...Try to stay away from the "famous" named wines...Nothing wrong with them, but snobbery exists...No Yellow Tail, Barefoot,etc.

ALSO...Stay away from White Zinfandel and Lambrusco ...Considered strictly for beginners...Good wines but the "snob" thing again...

Top 5 Wine Countries Exporting wine to U.S.

Dont leave out the hot, trendy countries...New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Portugal 

Have fun and dont worry about it...Any questions...PM me or post them here...I'm sure there are many things that I've written here that people will object, complain or correct me on...That's okay...The only thing that we all agree on here is Raspberries music...

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I don't know if I should admit this but when it comes to wine, I've always loved a red wine with a sweet taste attached to it. Wine coolers,


although they are a cheaper version of wine, they are most affordable. Not to also mention, I do love them much better!.....What can


I say?.....I guess I'm not a "snobby", picky fussy type of girl! I just love a simpler, cheaper, sweeter type of wine.... :)....Thanks for your post


Lew. I found it rather informative and a interesting read too!




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Cheryl.......A little off topic BUT.......France.....I've never been there. Lucky you!.......I hope you enjoy your visit there AND drink


some nice wine too!........... :)........Good luck and have a safe trip.




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Cheryl.......A little off topic BUT.......France.....I've never been there. Lucky you!.......I hope you enjoy your visit there AND drink


some nice wine too!........... :)........Good luck and have a safe trip.





Oh, Nancy, I wish I were going! It's my daughter who's going — she's going with an archaeology class to spend most of June in a dig on a Renaissance site. She's spending a few days in Paris before going to the site, and the town she's staying in is absolutely breathtaking.

It's a fantastic opportunity, and I'm thrilled the planets were aligned to allow her to do it.


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Wow, Cheryl, THAT is so cool!......I also apologise though,  because I thought that girl was you. None the less, THAT is a wonderful opportunity


I think anyone would sure love!... :)...Best wishes and travels to your daughter and warm regards to you.




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Very Interesting

Personally, I hate red wine, I love moscato, and the cheap fruity wines like Arbor Mist, I have half a bottle of white zinfandel exotic fruit blend in the fridge right now. :) I also like wine coolers, and beer..I'm a cheap date ;)


Note to self...finish that bottle of wine tonight

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I have a few favorites,

I love Stag's Leap Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Jordan - and J wines are a also top of my list.


At a girls night in someone brought a bottle of Cupcake Chardonnay

I avoided it because of the name, until a friend insisted I have a glass. I do not like sweet wines and I assumed it would be sickly-sweet.


I really liked it !

It was crisp, well balanced and bright with a little hint of oak.... I was pleasantly suprised!

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Most French wines will be great.  Because your daughter is in France, everything will taste wonderful, even the vine ordinaire!!  (My husband is French.) :)  I prefer red and dry wines myself.  


Stag's Leap is an excellent brand, and was the first Northern California wine to compete and win over the "big boy" French wines.


Going to a wine tasting on June 20 for an Italian wine series and will let y'all know what I find in my tasting travels. 


Just fyi, one of the new innovations for those of us not lucky enough to travel to France or live in the little sister city category like New Orleans, there are classes on blending wines to make your own versions.  Something I'd certainly like to try. 



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I love white wines....and drink chardonnay mostly....although, I recently bought a case of red wine from Scaggs Vineyards in Napa (Boz and Dominique Scaggs)...WOW, not only can the man sing...but the wine is excellent!  Thinking I need to try a few more reds.....so thanks for the suggestions, my red wine drinking pals !  :D

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Cheryl, pinot noir is always a good place to start in French wines...Guigal Winery makes wonderful wines, especially their Cotes de Rhone(Rhone is the region) ...It is special because it includes more higher grade syrah than other Rhone wines...Also, Gerard Bertrand was the winemaker of the year in Europe last year...Great wines at a reasonable price...

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Having been in the grocery biz for 45 years, I've had a fair amount of exposure to wine.  I don't drink it.  Honestly, can't tell the difference between a $5 bottle and a $50 bottle.  I could fake being a wine connoisseur- sniff, swirl, look at the legs...great wine (not)!


One time in the 80's, a former Safeway store turned into a Liquor Barn and I helped an ex-store manager set it up.  It was a fun experience.  My current store has a huge wine selection- 2 entire aisles in a 35,000 square foot store.  We sell a lot of wine.


I get a kick out of the labels and names- a lot of the time most of the money is put into the marketing and not the making of the wine.  '7 Deadly Zins', 'Zinfatuation', 'Marilyn Merlot'- to name a few.

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You know...I was gonna say in regard to "blending" our own wines, I'm sure most of us at one time blended a couple of Boone's Farm flavors from time to time.  :lol:


Santa Margherita Pino Grigio is about the only white wine I can tolerate, so it's my fav. 

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Thanks for the tips, Cayenne and Lew. Next question: Will it be possible to bring a bottle back for Mom? (You didn't think I was asking for HER sake, did you? ;) )

And Shelley, I LOVE Boone's Farm. I like my wine sweet, like Kool-Aid.

It always comes back to Kool-Aid,


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I would think if your girl finds something she likes for you she could take the name(s) down & find out if the wine can be shipped.  If you get the name of the wine(s), you could contact the local wine supplier/specialty grocery to ask if they have the wine or if they may be able to it order for you.  This is something I've done myself.


As some say in N.O., yeah, you right, Cheryl!!  I drank that Kool-Aid, but it was about 45 years ago.  ;)

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NE Ohio wines, yes! Several yrs ago when I was back visiting family, I went to a wine tasting at a little winery, if I remember correctly, on Middle Bass Island, Put-in-Bay. The wines there were quite refreshing. Plus it was fun riding the ferry over. Anyone from NE Ohio remember the the big tin plane that used to fly over to Put-in-Bay? The Grey Goose!

Sorry Lew, I got off the topic. Pinot Noir is my favorite!,

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Roses are red,
I don´t think I´m smoking doobies:

Wine talk is the aphrodisiac!..

..between Lew and all the newbies.


I (James) preferred Boones Farm,
 I know, I´m kinda corny.

But the world is now right:

For the newbies Lew is horny.

Hark!!..Lew should do his wine talk,

In Israel, Korea and The Sudan.

If Lew can tame the newbies,
We should sic him on ole  Pu-tán.


Behold, the great men of peace frat has expanded,

As all prestigious groups must do.

Jesus of Nazareth, Abe Lincoln, Ghandi,

Lew Bundles belongs there too.


And good job Newbies!

Your nemesis Lew,  you have tamed.

But you will not be successful when applying,

To that thing called The Harem of James.


So I (James) must start my day,

For me life rolls at a hectic pace.

But then again, I´m James:
Commissioned to make the world a better place.


James, 2014

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"Behold, the great men of peace frat has expanded,

 As all must groups must do.

 Jesus of Nazareth, (???) Abe Lincoln, Ghandi,

 Lew Bundles belongs there too."



I think THE JAMES was on "Maude" with Bea Arthur,  because I think this applies to James ---



.... that's GOT to be James, with a drink in his hand, looking slightly dazed and confused..... :P

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