Friday, December 31, 2010

What I'm having for New Year's Eve...

Tonight's menu? "Surf and Turf" with king crab legs (RIP Captain Phil!) and steak; on the wine front, I picked up a lovely Blanc de Noirs from Gruet yesterday at Total Wine & More. All Pinot Noir, so it may have a bit of a blush color, but will be a nice 'middle of the road' option for both items. (In all reality, I'll probably end up popping a nice aged bottle of 'something red' as well). Regardless, God Bless you and have a great evening--best wishes for 2011!

(Gruet is a great label from New Mexico, click here for more info. Cheers!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wine and Freakonomics

Not sure if you've read the book Freakonomics but this is a funny twist on wine pricing and how high prices may or may not relate to quality. What really 'got me' was the fact that 'experts' who tasted the same wine (blindly, and more than once) had given wildly differing scores! Very interesting point of view. I find it funny to hear how one gentleman purchases wine (most expensive looking label, but under $15 a bottle--that would rule out most 'critter wines' that look silly!). Click HERE for the article. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another HR 5034 Rant

Another article against HR 5034. More money going to Congress, big surprise there! Let's make this go away, shall we? Contact YOUR Congressman and say NO, this won't do...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is my champagne still good?

Your questions answered! Read this article to learn about 200 year old champagne STILL being yummy after all those years! CAVEAT: this wine was "stored" properly--contents under pressure, with a constant temperature and not affected by light or humidity. Your results could vary ; ) See you in 200 years, eh? Cheers, Bo

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another warehouse club 'find'

Found another cheapie... online you can find Marques de Riscal Tempranillo for just under $10 (not that you can ship to GA but I digress--see my comments on HR5034 while you're at it) but locally I found it for $6.99 at BJ's Wholesale Club. Not a bad wine at all; great price and good quality. If you belong to BJ's, give it a shot! If you don't, you can typically get a temporary shopping pass (unlike the other clubs you can just walk into BJ's--they don't ask for a membership card until you check out). Enjoy your weekend! Bo

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fun with Wine!

Enjoy this widely circulated email funny!

A Real Man
A real man is a woman's best friend. He will never stand her up and never let her down. He will reassure her when she feels insecure and comfort her after a bad day. He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do; to live without fear and forget regret. He will enable her to express her deepest emotions and give in to her most intimate desires. He will make sure she always feels as though she's the most beautiful woman in the room and will enable her to be the most confident, sexy, seductive, and invincible. . . . . . . . .

No wait... sorry... I'm thinking of wine. It's wine that does all that...... Never mind.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The A-list (+ one!)

I love wine (DUH) and you know I love a good deal (also DUH). Today I offer three wines that start with the letter "A" (oh great, now I hear the voice of Grover in my head...). In an earlier blog posting I talked about finding a great deal on a yummy wine called Aconga. The blend is 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2009 evidently scored 85 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine. The best thing? With your Kroger Plus card, the price is only $3.99 (though it's only $3.88 at the Mcfarland/Hwy.9 Kroger in Alpharetta)! One thing to note, however, there seems to be a limited supply of this wine so you better stock up quickly!

My second A-wine is actually called A by Acacia. Like many other producers, Acacia has several different product lines. Their single-vineyard products are their finest (and most expensive), but you can find the more reasonably priced "A" line in stores and restaurants. Their Pinot is great (around $20) but I love the A by Acacia "Red Blend" (much lower-priced, at around $10 to 12) as it is a Syrah based wine. You won't find it everywhere but it is worth looking for (or trying at restaurants).

My 3rd (and favorite of the 3!) A-list wine is called Apothic Red. I also blogged about this one previously (as did Gil Kulers with the AJC) and I can't get enough of it! Excellent fruit, but not a full-on, in-your-face 'fruit bomb'. Apothic LOVES spicy foods and is widely available ($8.73 at Sam's, around $8.50 at Tower and even Kroger had it for under $9 a few weeks ago!). Syrah and Zin? YUM!

Bonus wine--a week or two ago I was in the Alpharetta Costco, wandering through the wine aisle. A nice blend caught my eye--a bordeaux blend with 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc and the final 33% Merlot. As the price was $15, I thought what the heck, I'll buy it (really, you had me at 33% cab franc). You may have read this old blog post about friends in the wine biz (and my 'heroes'), so you know how happy I was when I saw the names on the back of the bottle--Highway 12 Vineyards was co-founded by the guy who gave me my first job in the wine industry, Paul Giusto. Check out their website and try the wine--the winemaker is Michael Sebastiani (bet you've heard that last name before?) who I also worked with at Viansa ages ago. Kudos to them; the wine was awesome as well! Cheers!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A new inexpensive fave-Apothic Red

As you know, I am always a fan of a fun blend at a good price--especially if it has something to do with Zin or Syrah! How about one that has zin, syrah AND merlot? It's funny, I had read about this wine AFTER buying it, but BEFORE drinking it. Well, finally had it the night before last and it ROCKS! Gil Kulers is totally on the money-two thumbs up--way up! Check it out online using this link. Cheers, Bo

(by the way--Gil's article said $14; I found it at Sam's Club for $8.73!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More on HR 5034

Read this article NOW and contact your local congressman NOW... The article makes it clear WHY this bill is a bad idea for YOUR Freedom of Choice!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Glorious Grenache!

Read this article to learn more about another one of my favorite wines. As you know I LOVE zinfandel, but GSM's or any other Grenache/Syrah blend is also a typical choice. Why? The ones I find tend to be less than $10 and you can also find pretty decent quality for that price. Cotes du Rhone may be a bit higher (around $15) but many Australian examples run less. "Garnacha" from Spain are also around $10 (give "Garnacha de Fuego" (Garnacha of Fire, baby!) a chance--complete with flames on the label)--great 'food' wines as well. Read the article for a more educated explanation (but higher priced examples) and run to your local wine shop (or even your grocery, believe it of not) to find some fun stuff! Cheers, Bo

Friday, August 20, 2010

More on CARE

This law should NOT pass! Write your Congressman today! See this article to understand what I'm talking about. Another article hits the same issue from a different angle. Contact your Congressional representative TODAY and say NO to this act!

Great offer at Total Wine & More through Sept. 11

While I love Total Wine & More I am always annoyed that they don't offer discounts on mixed cases (i.e. you do get a discount on a case of a single wine, but not on a 'mix' of wines). Well, I just got an email today that you can mix a 6-pack of wines and get 10% off! They have many fun wines for you to try (recent faves include the "Kitchen Sink" red blend for around $9 and Grand Pacific Red "Heritage Blend" (petite verdot, sangiovese and cabernet franc) for around $8). SO get out there and get shopping! I am betting this is a test for them to see if it will bump sales; let's show them that it's time to do this more often! Mix away!

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's all in the GLASS

Most of my emails focus on what is IN your glass, but this one will focus on the not so obvious--the glass itself. I have long been a Riedel wine glass fan and have glassware to match many of our favorite wine varietals. If you go to Riedel's website, you will see they have hundreds of choices at many different price points. The 4 types we have are the "Wine" series (glass, machine made, avg. retail would be around $10) the "Vinum" series (lead crystal, machine made, average retail of around $20) the "O" series (stemless, glass, probably $20 or so for 2?) and finally the "Sommelier" series, which are hand-blown lead crystal and can cost over $80 each! What's the big deal? PLENTY!
As noted in the past, we have only 5 primary taste 'senses' (salty, bitter, sweet, sour and "umami", which can loosely be translated as 'protein'). While we're not as proficient as Spike the wonderdog at smelling, we humans can pick up over 10,000 nuances of smell. Again you ask, what does that matter? To truly enjoy the wine (and specific attributes of a particular varietal) a wine glass can 'make or break' a wine. Take your favorite red wine (or a white wine that's not too cold) and put it in a drinking glass, a cheap wine glass, one of those silly Waterford crystal wine glasses you got for a wedding gift (pretty, but useless) and take a sip from each. If your last glass happened to be a nice stem (Riedel is nice, but try Cost Plus World Market for some inexpensive clones) you will be blown away at the difference! If you have different shaped wine glasses, take it a step forward-a cabernet glass is usually upright and tapered, a pinot noir glass is more rounded with a big bowl. If you tried the cabernet in both glasses you may be surprised how much better it is in the true cabernet glass versus the big bowled pinot. All I can say is TRY IT and you will be amazed! Go for the proper shape and no heavy 'rim' around the glass (think of that rim as a 'speed bump' messing up the flavors).
Final shot-what is the achilles heel of this entire exercise? How clean is that glass? If you store glasses in a cabinet, top down or over a stove, you will not get the full effect of the wine. Make sure to rinse the glasses prior to drinking them as you will smell less of the wine but more of where it was stored, such as the 'wood' of the cabinet (or grease if over the stove). Try smelling the empty glass 1st or put a bit of wine in the glass--you may see what I mean. Then rinse it out and try again and you will smell the wine, not the cabinet! Too much soap residue can ruin your wine experience as well. Cheers!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Again, I'm not the only one.

This article talks about Cheap Wines and how that is becoming the new norm in wine shops. At the end of the day, there ARE a ton of 'good' wines for inexpensive prices. Stick around; I'll share what I find for ya! Cheers, Bo

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good and Cheap!

Can't come up with a better subject line than that... As you have no doubt noticed, I am not afraid to try a cheap wine. Caveat: I do tend to stay away from cutesy, hyped or 'overly marketed' wines, like "Critter" wines (wines that have a cute animal on the label to get stupid people to buy the wine based on the label alone). And have also noted that I don't always buy wines in the grocery unless I know it's a good price (typically on a wine I already know). So here's an end-cap with a Malbec blend at Kroger, marked down to $3.99 from $8.99 (got to love that Kroger Plus Card!). I think to myself, "Why not?" Well, it is actually pretty yummy! The wine label didn't look cheap and silly and it came from Mendoza in Argentina so its 'particulars' were solid, so for $3.99 it appeared to be a great deal. The wine is called Aconga and is an 80% Malbec 20% Cabernet blend. It drinks pretty well for a 2009, which I would have thought too young. If your local Kroger has this wine (at this price) I'd recommend buying several bottles--perfect BBQ or grilling wine (an easy-drinker as well). Cheers! Bo

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another tale from the darkside...

Okay, I have a confession, actually a couple of confessions. I bought an animal wine. Yep, a bottle of wine with a small animal on the label; designed to be chosen by a consumer who may or may not know about wine (but they think it's cute and buy it). The other confession? I bought wine at Wal-Mart. Yes, THE Wal-Mart. Let me explain...!

So I'm in my local Super Wal-Mart looking for a few simple items for our garage sale--Julia wanted to sell lemonade so I picked up a jar with a spigot, some ice and lemonade mix. Let me tell you, it's hard to find the *&%$ lemonade mix at our Super Wal-Mart--I even ran into a friend who was likewise looking for drink mix! Regardless, in my search for lemonade I buzzed down the wine aisle (quelle surprise?) as I'm apt to do, and found some familiar/common brands (no, I didn't expect a 'deep' selection and no, I didn't find it).

What I did find was a wine for around $5 that I figured 'what the heck' and bought. You ready for it? Lucky Duck Malbec--it didn't even have a vintage on it (guess that would have cost more?). I enjoy Malbecs from Argentina and the price was right and to be honest, I thought it was quite yummy! SO, if you're looking for an inexpensive red wine (and you're at Wal-Mart!) give it a shot! Look for the yellow duck on the label and consider yourself the lucky (and thrifty) one! Cheers, Bo

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy 4th! Here's the perfect wine: ZINFANDEL

Our uniquely American grape, Zinfandel is in the news; this article hits on several EXCELLENT examples of my favorite grape. My only gripe? No Ravenswood mentioned :) (for that matter, no Rosenblum either).

If you are in a 'splurge' mode, see if you can find a Neyers Zin (Tofanelli, yum!) Nalle (look for the fruit flies on the label) or Frank Biale's "Black Chicken" (kind of rare). Otherwise, head to Total Wine & More for Shenandoah Zinfandel (CA, not VA) for $8.99 (88 points Wine Enthusiast; producer is Paul Sobon--good stuff); Ravenswood's inexpensive line "Vintners Blend" for $6.27 (in contrast to $10 at the grocery!), Bogle Zin for $8 or look for Renwood Zin, which ranges from $10 for their 'value' blend to almost $50 for the 'Grandpere'.

So Happy Birthday USA, enjoy some wonderful Zinfandel with your cookout!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SHAME ON YOU: GA Representatives John Barrow, Paul Broun, John Gingrey, David Scott and Lynn Westmoreland

Take a glance at this article on HR 5034. This bill is going to take wine consumption back to the dark ages of Prohibition! Write your Congressman! Likewise, check out this site and find out more about this horror-show.

As for Georgia residents, time to go on the attack! If you are in the following districts, you need to yell at your representative NOW. As for John Barrow (D-12th), Paul Broun (R-10), John Gingrey (R-11), David Scott (D-13) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-3): SHAME ON YOU. I plan to research your contributors and I can almost guarantee that the big distributors have given them a lot of money. Meanwhile, I still can't get Ridge wine shipped directly to me due to overzealous restrictions on the State level--if HR 5034 passes, I will NEVER get the specialty wines I used to get from them. BOO!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

What to drink in the Summer heat!

Okay, it is HOT in Atlanta right now (especially with a broken A/C unit--it was 84 degrees upstairs when we went to bed last night!). I doubt you're sitting at your desk contemplating what wine to drink in this heat (or maybe you are?), but as long as it's cold and white, you have a ton of choices! Chardonnay? Well, that's not my first choice. For heat, I want a wine that needs to be really cold and chardonnay is better out of the ice bucket and warming up a bit (if it's super cold, you miss most of the flavors--try letting it warm slightly to experience its' true nuances). For 90+ degree heat you may want to go for more 'crisp' wines like Sauvignon Blanc (look for examples from New Zealand, Marlborough to be exact) or a Pinot Grigio (think Ecco Domani for less than $10 or other Italians). Other choices? For slightly sweet bubbly, remain in Italy and seek out a Prosecco for under $15. Still seeking 'sweet'? How about a nice Riesling from Germany or Washington State? Finally, if you want to try something really daring look for a Vinho Verde from Portugal (the name means Green Wine and is light and crisp) or "think pink" and seek out a nice Rosé (look to France or Spain for common examples).

If you're like me and love your reds (and love summer grilling) look to Zinfandel, Syrah or Côtes du Rhône (which typically include Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre). Similar "grill worthy" wines are Tempranillo (commonly from Rioja) from Spain and Shiraz (same as Syrah) from Australia. All that I mentioned can likewise be found in the $10 range or even up to the $30+ range for single-vineyard Zins or specialty producers. The other main reason for the recommended reds above is the fact that most can be enjoyed while cooking (i.e. solo, not only 'with' the food, unlike some wines that tend to be better with food vs. sipping). That reminds me of the silly slogan "I love cooking with wine--I sometimes even put it in the food!" Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Trading Down

Trading down is a common term in the real estate business. The typical example relates to 'empty nesters' who no longer need a huge home after the kids move out, or as it relates to our current economy, where people are downsizing their homes (and lifestyles) to save money. When money is tight, people change their habits and consume less/borrow less (I sure wish our government would figure that out, but I digress!). This trend is no different in the wine business. Retailers say that the over $20 market is dead and restaurants are selling less by the bottle versus by the glass (which ironically is a higher markup than by the bottle). Either way, this is a shift in consumption habits and it can create some opportunities for bargains! For example, many restaurants are offering half-price (or other similar discounts) bottle sales on special nights. Wine shops are using closeouts to move older products. Even California vineyards are using '2nd labels' like France's Bordeaux region (e.g. Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Carruades du Lafite) or selling off some of their production to people like Cameron Hughes that I talk about all the time (even the Wall Street Journal talks about his wines, not just what you can find today at Sam's Club). There are still bargains to be found--even for 'name-brands'. A recent AJC delivery included flyers from Sherlocks (Chateauneuf du Pape for under $25?) and Bullock's (Ravenswood Vintner's Zin for under $7) and last week I found several fun deals (as always) from Total Wine and More. Other local retailers such as Pearson's and Tower send email deals so be on the lookout for specials. Just remember that trading down in price shouldn't mean you have to trade down in quality! Ask for suggestions at your local retailer; most have great staff members to help! Keep an eye on my wine blog as I put tips on there from time to time (and I plan a post called "The $10 Connoisseur" listing some fun wines for $10 and under (thanks for the idea, John!). Cheers, Bo

Friday, May 14, 2010

More about Carmenère

About 98% of the world's Carmenère is produced in Chile and you can find many bargains of this yummy Bordeaux-blending varietal. However, this article focuses on how a "humble" (in quotes as it costs around $80 compared to many sub-$10 examples) Carmenère won an exclusive tasting in NYC. How exclusive? Try beating Opus One, Château Lafite-Rothschild or Stag's Leap SLV for an example? My message is to seek out something different than a garden-variety Cabernet for dinner this weekend--try something new and fun like a Carmenère and you may be surprised! Cheers, Bo

(Bonus article: info on Malbecs here!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

More on Direct Wine shipping

While THIS ARTICLE is about Michigan laws, the concept is the same. Contact your Congressman today and stop this silly new law!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oh goodie! Another good find at Sam's

It should be NO surprise to learn that I am a zinfandel lover. For those of you who are new to wine, I am not talking about pink zinfandel, but the beautiful rich red zinfandel, friend to spicy foods and bbq alike! I had to run to Sam's Club to pick up some items and saw that they have an old friend for sale at a fair price of $7.98--Rosenblum Vintner's Cuvee. Similar concept as Ravenswood's Vintner's Zin, but less production. If YOU are a zin lover you will already know that I just mentioned 2 of the 3 R's--the most famous zin producers are Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. All three make other wines, but their single-vineyard products are incredible! Sure, I'd love a Biale "Black Chicken" or a Neyer's zin, but a) they are hard to find and b) pretty pricey but then again most of the single vineyard products from the 3 R's are up there as well. How about agreeing that all are great but the 3 R's are pretty much bulletproof? For $8, I am looking forward to seeing how good this 'lot' of Vintner's Cuvee is! See you again soon, Bo

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You get what you pay for...

I always wondered what "Aldi" grocery stores were all about, so after having lunch at the re-opened "Havana" sandwich shop (best Cuban Sandwich I've ever had!), Susie and I gave it a shot. Other than finding some no-name lip-balm on the cheap (3 sticks for $1.50, compared to Nivea's $5 per!) and some Devil's Food Cake cookies (yum!) we picked up 2 bottles on the cheap, a Malbec from Argentina for $3.99 and a Crianza (aged in oak for a set time period) Tempranillo/Cab blend from Spain for $5.99. We haven't had the Crianza yet, so the jury's out, but the Malbec turned out to be pretty good, though the first 'fruit bomb' nose was initially a turnoff (but as it opened it was quite nice). No silly 'animal' labels or catchy names, just a varietal I like at a fair price. Caveat--I am a red-wine drinker and finding decent quality for a low price can be a difficult thing to find. For example, it is quite difficult to find a good, cheap Pinot Noir (a true oxymoron!). You CAN find some for around $14-18 (which unfortunately IS cheap for Pinot) such as La Crema or "A" by Acacia, but I recently had a Lindeman's "Bin" series Pinot for under $7 that was pretty tasty. Again, this is not even close to a fine French Burgundy (well, maybe the 1980's jug 'burgundy') but a decent, drinkable Pinot. I normally shy away from Cabernets and Merlots that are super cheap as they tend to be fruit bombs and not really 'varietal specific'. Again, for the price, what do you expect? I have had some success with Australian Shiraz (and blends) such as Rosemount's Shiraz/Cab blend and if you look around you can even find some inexpensive Rhône blends (such as Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz) Mourvedre).&n bsp; As always, it's all in the hunt! For under $10 what's the true risk? Be honest-when is the last time you had to dump out a freshly opened bottle of wine? Another trick at the grocery is to look at the 'gap' in sale prices at Kroger. If a wine is a dollar off, for example, I normally pass. As noted recently, I was 'rewarded' when I bought a Mumm Cuvée Napa rosé when it was marked down to around $14 from $24. If you have a clue what the price point of a wine 'should' be you can sniff out some bargains! Email me your wine 'finds' so I can share them!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Celebrations with bubbly-packaging!

We had a gathering at our partners' home in Moultrie, GA and enjoyed some yummy Veuve Clicquot champagne. We purchased it a few months ago and had it in the refrigerator at work just waiting to celebrate something. Well, an out of town 'break' was just the ticket and we took the wine with us! It was wrapped in a lovely orange neoprene 'huggy' that kept it nice and chilly for a few hours. We popped it in the fridge upon arrival but it was good to know that it remained cold for most of the voyage. Several producers have released their wines in unique packaging designed to keep the wine cool. I know Moet recently had a their base champagne released in a metal canister that served the same purpose. Why all the fuss? That can be followed up with this question: What hurts wine greatly? Temperatures! I've noted how leaving a wine in a hot car can pretty much ruin it (unless you like 'hot' wine like hot tea--or vinegar if you leave it in there longer!). With that being said, if your wine temperature rises or lowers over time, it should be okay (unless as noted you reach extremes, either too cold or too hot). A nice wine cellar is great, but as long as your wine is in a 'cool' dark place it should be fine. That lovely rack over your fridge? Not the best place, FYI. That rack in your dining room that receives full sun for most of the day? Ditto. If you don't have much space, take a wine case, turn it on its' side and leave it in a closet. Voila! A wine-cellar for 'our times'.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Illegal Wine Shipments?

One topic that drives me crazy is the fact that we can order ____ (fill in the blank with ANY product you can think of, PC's, food items, pet meds, fruit, etc.) and have it shipped to our home with just a click of a mouse or a phone call. What about WINE? NO. While our laws have been loosened slightly there are still barriers to receiving wine as noted. Read this article. It focuses on Indiana, but the facts are similar here in Georgia (I wonder if there is a 'follow the money' website for GA contributions to legislators? I know that the Alcoholic Beverage Committee receives thousands from the distributors as they want to limit our choices--to THEIR products. Anyway, that's my rant of the day....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Money talks... or does it?

Remember all the fuss about the 'cult wines' like Screaming Eagle? I can't quote true dollar figures but it seems like several years ago each bottle was worth several thousand dollars (worth? the proper word is 'cost'). I honestly believe they cost over $10,000 for each bottle, so at 4 glasses, it's $2,500 per glass, or at 24.5 ounces per bottle, that's $408 per ounce. OUCH. I read about some researchers at Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology who asked people to try some wines marked with prices from $5, $10, $35, 445 and $90. Care to guess the results? Yep, the $90 wine was 'the best'. In fact, (since they were scientist types) brain scans confirmed that when these people tried the expensive wine their "pleasure" sector of their brains lit up; when they tried the cheaper wines, the pleasure readings were lower. What can we conclude from this? Their expectation (based on price) was that a higher priced wine equated to a higher quality wine. That can be the same with any 'luxury' product that can be seen as a commodity such as a car--a Yugo can get you from point A to point B just like a Rolls Royce (okay, bad choice as the Yugo may or may not run) or a Timex tells time just as well as a Rolex (i.e. they all perform the same function. What is the punchline to this study? The $90 wine was the SAME as the $10 wine; the $45 wine was the SAME as the $5 wine. Who knew??? While I'd rather drive (or ride) in that Rolls vs. the Yugo for many other factors than just the price, remember to focus on the quality of the wine, not merely the price (or the silly label--check out this blog posting from AJC writer Gil Kulers on "Critter Wines" for some fun). Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2010

BoKnowsVino, but does Sarah Palin??

I caught this reference in a random email and had to click through to this article. It seems that Sarah Palin is going to speak at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America's convention in Las Vegas. What the? How could someone who preaches 'free choice' and/or 'open markets' speak to such a "controlling" group? You can read the article to fill in the blanks a bit more, but suffice it to say that Wholesalers as a rule are NOT truly looking out for the individual wine consumer's best interests. They do NOT like direct wine shipments to consumers and spend a ton of money buying politicians (I mean 'lobbying', sorry) in order to ensure that it is not easy for you to call a vineyard and order a random case to be shipped to your home. While Georgia's laws were relaxed a few years ago, we are still highly restricted as it relates to direct shipping. Nothing against Sarah, but I rank Wholesalers up there with Nancy Pelosi (actually, just under Pelosi) and I hope she gives them a piece of her mind, you betcha and all...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Going light = going green

I've blogged about this previously; looks like we're finally 'in production'. Lighter bottles = lower shipping costs. I'm interested to see if this makes it to our shores--I assume it will. It's funny-many wine producers have chosen 'pretty' bottles (and/or really 'substantial' or heavy bottles) to show off how cool or 'special' their wine is. Well, as always, it's not the bottle. It's not the label. It's the JUICE inside that matters!

I'm not the only one...

See, I keep saying "Think Pink" and remind you to drink 'sparkles' for any occasion--I'm glad to know I'm not the only one! Read this article and learn about some yummy Valentine's day ideas. See my previous post about my New Year's choice as another option. Cheers!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sparkle Plenty!

I actually took my own advice when planning for New Year's eve. I found myself at Total Wine & More in Alpharetta with an 'old friend' in my hand when I was approached by a helper in the Champagne/Sparkling wine section. While the Perrier Jouët Brut I carried was a great 'go-to' selection (around $35), I decided to see what one of their staff members recommended. We looked at several different options in the same price point and ended up looking solely at rosé champagne. She pointed out one specific bottle that she loved, which was a 90+ point champagne that I hadn't tried before. What the heck, the PJ went back on the shelf and we had something new for New Year's eve. As suggested, the wine was a definite winner and my impression of Total Wine remains positive! Give Champagne Montaudon Grande Rosé a shot; you'll be pleased! And while I'm at it, don't forget that champagne (or Sparkling Wine from CA, Spain, etc.) is ALWAYS a great choice and NOT just for celebrations alone!. Cheers!