New Wine Collector Here: Need Advice - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
Jokers Lounge Share you daily funnies, keep it clean.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,365
New Wine Collector Here: Need Advice

We live in a house that was built in 1910 and thus incorporates a cellar just outside our basement door where home-canned goods, etc. used to be stored. We cleaned it out, but my wife described it as "dank and nasty" so for the past couple of years I've used it to store all my fishing gear in one place.

One day, I was struck by a couple of thoughts. I hear people talking about "appreciating" and drinking wine all the time. Recognizing what I might be missing out on (I'm a beer guy) I realized that the cellar would be the perfect place to store a collection of fine wines for enjoyment at appropriate times.

So, I got out the Skilsaw and the jigsaw and crafted a rack out of 2x4's that will hold over 100 bottles of wine on their sides, as I understand that's how they're supposed to be stored.

I got my collection started with two bottles, but I'm hoping there might be some wine enthusiasts (maybe some of you guys from California?) that might be able to steer me the right way in completing my collection so I can throw open the doors to the cellar and have visitors stare in awe at my classic and varied collection.

I started with these two "nouveau-vintage" wines, both originating from Modesto, California.


The Thunderbird boasts on the label that it is "The American Classic" so thought it would be an impressive addition to my cellar. The label also describes it as "Citrus Wine With Natural Flavors And Caramel Color." I've found its "bouquet" to be "robust," "citrusty" and "lively." These are terms I picked up from a Wikipedia article on wine-tasting.

The Night Train Express is also billed as boasting "Citrus Wine And Natural Flavors."

It has a volatile, charming bouquet and is red instead of white like the Thunderbird. Jake Blues, in the film classic The Blues Brothers, referred to Night Train as, "a mean wine."

As far as the labels go, I would have to give the edge to the striking graphics of the Night Train Express. I think it bears a direct correlation to the product as the morning after I enjoyed a bottle, I felt like I'd been hit by the very train depicted on the front of the bottle.

The Thunderbird label has kind of a Germanic, Art-Deco look to it and probably appeals more to artistic types than true wine afficionados.

Alcohol content for both wines is a demure 17.5% I was surprised to not find a cork under the metal cap: both incorporate a screw-on type cap.

At the time of purchase, I hadn't done my research and failed to pick up a "palate cleanser." I think people usually use some kind of crackers. I found that Jalapeno Cheet-O's worked very well, thoroughly ridding the palate of remnants of the red Night Train before switching over to the Thunderbird.

During the tasting, both wines were served over ice, as the label on the Thunderbird suggests "Serve Cold" and the label on the Night Train Express advises "Serve Very Cold."

These wines were a little pricey. I've had some older gentlemen at the prison where I work tell me the optimum way to "stretch" both these wines is to combine them half and half with a grape-flavored drink mix such as Kool-Aid. This results in a beverage called a "Shake 'Em Up."

Being from rural Missouri and having no real contact with those who truly appreciate fine wines like Night Train and Thunderbird, if anybody has any advice on where I should go next in completing my collection, please let me know. It seems like there are hundreds of wines out there and in order to complete an impressive collection, I'm going to have to start looking beyond cool labels and alcohol content when choosing wines in the future.

I've noted that not very many gas stations carry wine, but a lot of pharmacies and grocery stores do. I'm kind of afraid to buy wine in a liquor store because I feel that when I'm walking out with my selection, the knowledgeable clerk might be laughing behind my back, thinking, "What a fool! I can't believe he thinks that's a good wine!"

The clerks at grocery stores and pharmacies are a lot less judgmental. When I purchased the Night Train at CVS, the clerk gave me a knowing wink, cradled the bottle like it was a baby, carefully slipped it into its protective paper bag covering, handed it to me and said, "Don't leave this laying in the parking lot out back." I appreciated her sarcastic wit: she almost made it seem like I might actually do such a thing.

planalp is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 01:00 PM
2nd Gear
NH Thumper's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ashland, NH
Posts: 285
Everything you need to know about your "fine" wines should be found here:
NH Thumper is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 03:37 PM
Lockjaw's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Benicia, CA
Posts: 6,750
Boones. It's all about Boones.

And I always like the kiwi/lime mad dog 20/20. That was my morning drink of choice when I was 19.

"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
Lockjaw is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 03:41 PM
2nd Gear
SD_Charlie's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 138
What an awesome thread. Not what I expected at all.
During the tasting, both wines were served over ice, as the label on the Thunderbird suggests "Serve Cold" and the label on the Night Train Express advises "Serve Very Cold."
- Priceless,...
SD_Charlie is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 06:18 PM
klr4evr's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Fort Sask , Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,501
Send a message via Skype™ to klr4evr
I would suggest that you start making your own. I wish I had that kind of space for my home brews.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

<--- Please fill in the 'Location' on your personal profile page. User CP/Edit Your Details

This information makes it much easier for other members to answer/comment on your posts.
klr4evr is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 09:57 PM
2nd Gear
Snakeboy66's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: I live in Sean Francisco
Posts: 365
RE: New Wine Collector....

Good Evening Neophytes!

May I suggest a wonderfully fruity 2011 Strawberry Hill or perhaps a rare 2010 Cisco (Malt). Both would compliment your budding collection. The nice thing about the current collection is that the temperature fluctuation will not adversly effect the aging of the wines. I hear that Sutter Home is producing a delicious 2010 White Zinfandel which can be purchased by the six pack at Costco.

I was really excited to hear about the creation of a private wine cellar as that is something I have been longing to do myself. It took me a few seconds to catch on.


Life is a ride that should be thouroughly enjoyed. ATGATT!

2007 KLR 650
Renthal Bars, Happy Trails Racks, SW Motech Crash Bars, Center Stand, Bash Plate, Yana Shinka HID headlight, Rigid LED Spots, Leo Vince X-3 Pipe, 20mm Ammo Can panniers, Cryca Brush Bars, GPS Ram Mount, Truck Air Horn, LED Brake Light Bar, Tool Tube, Done the "Do", Winner 2012 Mark B (4) Bolt award..

Last edited by Snakeboy66; 01-16-2012 at 09:13 PM.
Snakeboy66 is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 10:00 PM
3rd Gear
SteelB12's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NOVA
Posts: 562
Luckily boxed wine doesn't need to be on its side, and its stacks neatly

2003 Bandit 1200S
2009 KLR 650

74 Honda CB360
SteelB12 is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 10:26 PM
4th Gear
SLO-KLR's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paso Robles, CA.
Posts: 1,333
Ya gotta add some Mogan David 20/20 to that fine collection!
SLO-KLR is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 12-01-2011, 07:10 AM
Lifetime Member
flash's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Texas
Posts: 1,534
Send a message via Yahoo to flash

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

flash is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 12-03-2011, 07:44 AM
5th Gear
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,700
I'm not a fancy California whine guy, but I know what I like..

LJ mentioned Boones Farm.. Tis the nectar of the Gods!!

Just remember, the bottle's harder than what's inside..

Country Quencher... Strawberry Hill... The list goes on and on!!!

Before opening...

After a half bottle..

Last edited by Paper; 12-03-2011 at 07:47 AM.
Paper is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Napa/Sonoma Valley Wine Thing XxHazexX3 Southwest Riders 11 09-19-2011 05:00 PM
Fall color ride Wine country Mark B (4) Travel Log & Trip Reports 6 03-23-2011 08:29 PM
I need an advice gaurrinuouraf The Off Topic Lounge 8 01-01-2010 09:17 PM
Fall color ride Wine country Mark B (4) Upcoming Tech Days & Group Rides 38 11-21-2009 04:03 PM
Wine country ride Mark B (4) Southwest Riders 33 09-10-2008 11:21 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome