Some Wines From My Mid-Twenties Birthday Dinner

Celebrated my mid-twenties birthday and figured I finally make a Berserker account and join the community! My deep interest in wine is quite new so bare with me with the tasting notes.

Started off with a white Rhone blend from California from Bonny Doon paired with a serrano ham wrapped in basil leaves, melon, and topped with a barrel aged black current balsamic vinegar.

The 2017 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Blanc, was rich in body while having the acidity to be refreshing. If I were to describe this wine with one word I would use “salt”… not the most appetizing term, but this really reminded me of saline with notes of peach and with the richness similar to a village-level white burgundy.

Forgot to snap a picture during the dinner, so I found this one I took when I got the bottle

I have really come to enjoy red Rioja with the acidity, age on release (especially grand reserva’s) and American oak (when not too heavy). I keep seeing the tastings done with Lopez De Heredia from other members and figured that I should really try this traditional and highly regarded producer. As such I opened a bottle of 2010 Lopez De Heredia vina Tondonia Reserva. This bottle was paired with a homemade steak stroganoff and fresh egg pasta I made from scratch.

At first there was very little on the nose even after 30 mins of a decant, maybe just a whiff of dried cheery and some oak. I then double decanted the wine and waited another 2 hours, the bouquet was bigger but still not extremely noticeable. After the decant and the waiting, the mouth feel was high acid, grippy tannins, and a long finish. The palate (which I thought was more developed relative to the aroma) consisted of dried cherries, dry rose petals, with a hint of oak and a lot of structure. As I am writing this, I wonder if I just opened the bottle way too early and it was just extremely closed? I read several cellar tracker notes and it seems that I experienced something completely different. Hopefully the remaining bottles I have will be better after a decade or two… However, the big structure of the wine and high acid did go well with the rich stroganoff.

For dessert, I decided to try a young sauternes (first time for a young one). In the past I was lucky to taste some aged sauternes and was not exactly sure what I would be expecting when they are young… I have now come to realize that I really love sauternes both young and aged!

The 2017 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes was wonderful with cheese cake. The nose was complex (almost too much for me to decipher), with notes of orange peels, orange marmalade, and even faint aromas of apricots. The palate was very similar to the nose with extreme power but finesse at the very long finish with great acidity to balance out the sweetness. When trying to compare the old Sauternes to this young bottle, I feel that the older ones definitely have more apricot and honey notes.

Overall, I thought this was a great night with good food, company, and of course wine!



Welcome, thanks for such a nice report. I’m so impressed when younger folks have progressed this far in their appreciation of wine and food at such a young age :wine_glass:


Cheers! Happy birthday!

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Welcome to the Board, Alexander, and thanks for the fine tasting notes…When I was your age, I was just moving on from beer to Bartles & James wine coolers!..You are starting off well


Welcome and happy birthday


Just tried the 2010 LdH a few nights ago and got heavy vanilla on the nose, sadly only had about an hour to drink. At the end of the hour some red fruit started coming out. I’m thinking these need a solid 5-10, but closer to the 10 and a local retailer I trust gave 10 as his drinking window.

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Thank you! This makes me feel better! I was getting a bit nervous when I opened it, but it just sounds like it needs time. I also got a couple bottles of the LDH Bosconia and I have yet to try that wine. I have heard the Bosconia can be opened earlier than the Tondonia but I don’t have first hand experience.

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Bosconia is my go-to in general, I like it’s profile more. Haven’t had the 2010 yet, still waiting on bottles.


Welcome! Glad to see you join. I think I joined up here in my mid-20s and it’s been a wonderful blessing. Stick around, voice your opinion, read a lot, take recommendations, and don’t be afraid to PM folks. I’ve been exposed to some wonderful wines through this group, and if you’re active and hit a few events, it’s nearly impossible not to make some real friends on here. The people are fantastic. You’ll find a few who will seemingly always rub you the wrong way, but for the most part, this is a sensational group of wine lovers. And lovers of all sorts of other things, whether watches, art, architecture, the perfect cuban sandwich, HIFI equipment, books, and all that jazz (literally).

Stick around, be active, have fun, and be yourself. It’s a great site.

(also, everyone posting on this thread is great, but Alan and Anton are special dudes (no offense to anyone else, I just don’t know you as well). Always worth reading what they have to say).

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Welcome and thanks for the notes! :cheers: :berserker:

One of the downsides of being new to the game is most of the wines you drink will be too young (unless you have the means to buy lots of older wines at auction, which I did not when I was mid-20s). But one still can learn a lot drinking young wines - including which wines you like when they’re young! And hopefully you’ll get to know some older winos here and there who may open some older bottles for you at dinners and other get-togethers - winos tend to be a generous lot, especially with those who are just starting out and eager to learn. Enjoy!


no such thing as a bad night with this combo!

I agree with the other notes, Rioja really needs some bottle age for me even after release. I think the '10 Tondonias will be great, but in 10 more years. everyone talks about the fact that Bordeaux, Barolo, Riesling, age forever, but Rioja needs to be on that list!

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