Vintage Red

Does anyone know their wine? It would be greatly appreciated?

A friend of mine returned from France with a bottle of Ronsier red wine. Do you know anything about this namebrand. There isn't a date marked on the bottle. How can I determine the age without opening it?

Also, I have been considering a wine collection. What do you suggest is a good wine to start with? AND is it cheaper to order a wine from overseas than it is to buy it for $50-$700 in a restaurant or store?

Any information is appreciated!
RONCIER, not Ronsier.

Roncier is a value winery, rather than a snob-appeal winery. Their most popular wine appears to be Roncier Rouge, and I can't find anyone who doesn't speak well of it.

Only "vintage" wines will have dates on them. Rouge is a non-vintage wine, and your wine, if it isn't Rouge, is non-vintage as well. Don't worry about the year. While vintage red wines often gain character as they age, non-vintage red wines are balanced to be drinkable *now*.

There are several reasons to start a wine collection. One is that you always have some wine handy. Another is that if they drop the bomb, you can go down in your cellar and get soused while waiting to die of radiation poisoning. A third is to have something impressive to show off to your friends and business associates. A fourth reason is for speculation - because you think an inexpensive wine today will be a horribly expensive wine in ten or twenty years.

If you are building a wine collection for any of the first three reasons, you should buy wines you enjoy drinking, and buy no more than you expect to drink in a couple of years, because wines turn into vinegar if kept too long. Nobody else can tell you what to buy, because they don't know what you like to drink.

If you're buying wines as a speculator, you know what wines you think are good investments. Remember that you will have a difficult time selling those appreciated wines - you're most likely going to "cash in" on your investment with a corkscrew, which means it's really not an "investment" at all.

It can be cheaper to buy wines by the case lot. Buying from the importer is certainly easier than trying to buy directly from the winery, because you will have both federal and state alcohol regulations as well as customs regulations to deal with. If you don't know what you're doing, buying from the winery could end up costing you far more.

On the other hand, it could be quite fun, learning how to do all that, and it certainly would give you conversation fodder when you have guests sharing that wine!

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