July 16, 2008

Drunken Horse Wine Holder

horseholder.jpgKitchy doesn't quite cover this little gem. I want to hate it--but a little part of me smiles inside when I see it because it is exactly the sort of thing my grandfather would have proudly displayed on his bar, among the collectible antique car, covered wagon and train shaped bottles of Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. Not sure if he would have used it as a wine holder, but I'm sure he would have used it to hold a bottle of something.

Via Fosfor

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Snoqualmie Nearly Naked Gewürztraminer 2006

06_NearlyNaked_Gewurz_Label.jpgVARIETAL: Gewurztraminer
REGION: Columbia Valley, Washington
PRICE: $12

From the folks at Snoqualmie, their 'Nearly Naked' designation indicates that minimal non-organic production methods are used--in other words, the grapes are organic (though not certified) and as much as possible, they've tried to let the grapes do all the work. And, as many certified organic wines die on your palate before they've fully evolved, I think they have made the right decision. This wine is both delicate and unctuous. A lovely orange blossom bouquet is punctuated with shots of fragrant spice. In true Gewurz style, the floral and spice notes are layered with juicy fruit viscosity that clings to your taste buds, bursting with ripe stone fruit flavors. A refreshingly crisp mineral finish adds polish and dimension. We took this when invited to dinner with some friends--they prepared a sumptuous Indian dinner for us and the Nearly Naked Gewurztraminer was the perfect complement to every dish.

I found mine at Whole Foods, but they have a retail distribution page on their site that is fairly up-to-date. Snoqualmie Winery

Read More in: White Wine | Wine Tasting Notes

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July 7, 2008

Silverado Miller Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2006

silveradoSBlabel.jpgVARIETAL(S): Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
REGION: Napa Valley, California
PRICE: $15
Lovely, light and oh-so-summery, this sauvignon blanc shines. It is a pale golden yellow with bright citrus scents accentuated by a palate that is soft, yet crisp with ripe melon and golden apple flavors. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, stand by for the palate cleansing citrus and a clean stony finish. It s so easy to drink I found myself slurping a little. Great on its own, but even more lovely with light seafood fare.

I probably wouldn't pay full price for it, but luckily I found mine on sale at a local market. If you can't find it locally, you can find it here: Silverado Sauvignon Blanc

Read More in: White Wine | Wine Tasting Notes

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June 26, 2008

Have Wine Will Travel - Gallo's New Wine Purse

While it is certainly a novel idea, I'm not sure the wine handbag (or wine in a box that looks like a handbag) is the wave of the future. A little too kitchy for my taste--though I am a rose fanatic--and I'm sure I would not settle on White Grenache as my rose of choice. A resounding, YIKES! But check it out for yourselves:

gallo_handbag_2.jpgThis package won best design and packaging prize at the 2008 Drink Business awards, for its clutch-style handbag box. Now perhaps I am just not the right kind of woman, but I found the strapline "White Grenache - loved by women almost as much as they love their handbags", a tad condescending. "Appealing directly to the rosé wine consumer" - does the love of rosé equal a love of handbags? Apparently so; according to Tesco, where it is being sold, the package has been "incredibly successful". Posted on TheDieline by Natasha Chetiyawardana

Read More in: General News | Rose Wine

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June 24, 2008

Crazy Like a Fox - KitFox Vineyards (Part 1 of 3)

KF_Logo_PRINT.jpgMaybe I should say, "crazy for the fox." I have four new wines to bring you, but I don't want to hit you all at once so I'm going to split them into pairs. I really want you to remember these wines and relish them as much as I have relished tasting them. So when you have a minute, check out KitFox Vineyards. They're a small California property but it is remarkably evident, they have big heart.

The Vogel family have been farming the land for four generations (nuts before wine) and have the unique distinction of being the sole producers in the upstart Salado Creek AVA. And they seem to possess the requisite passion for growing the grapes as well as turning them into wine -- stunning wine, but more on that later.

SPRING---SUMMER-FOXY-WHITE-.jpgI'll be honest, I was a little nervous -- I really wanted to like the wines because I like their story. I'm a sucker for a strong family business. Add to that the classic and upscale bottle styling and a cheeky marketing campaign and I'm drawn in before the first glass is poured. So what happens if the wines are mediocre? It happens. I've seen it before. Great packaging, great story, okay wine. As I hinted above, that is not the case here. They sent me four wines to try and I followed up with a little light reading and the best part of this gig, lots of tasting. Tune in for Part 2.

Read More in: Wine Recommendations | Winery Reviews

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June 23, 2008

Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera 2006

fontafredbarbera.jpgVARIETAL: Barbera
REGION: Piedmont, Italy
PRICE: $10

This is as super-smooth an Italian as I've ever encountered--and that includes a few close encounters while vacationing in northern Italy one summer. Ripe, round plum and berry notes accentuated with a subtle nudge of black pepper and spice. It is a natural match for tuscan pot roast, but I like it with thin crust pizza as well. This is a great find for lovers of Italian (wines, of course) and a beautiful value-priced Barbera. I found it at Costco for $10 but you can also find it here: Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera.

p.s. If you're into ratings, this baby made the Wine Spectator Top 100 2007 and was given a whopping 90 points.

Read More in: Red Wine | Wine Tasting Notes

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June 20, 2008

Days of Wine and Roses - A Movie for Wine Lovers?


Days of Wine and Roses is one film not to watch if you are melancholic by nature, as this tale of middle-class alcoholism rings very true. Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick are the besotted couple who find that life is not always fun when viewed through rosé-colored glasses.

Here's our take - it's Summer and a nice old movie mixed with a little wine could be just the thing for tonight.

At Days of Wine and Roses

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June 18, 2008

Extremely Ridiculous Extreme Wine Video

A friend sent me this clip from YouTube and I am compelled to share.
Juvenile, yes. But pretty funny.

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June 17, 2008

Vinum Cellars Rose - It's Okay! 2006

vinumrose.jpgVARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
REGION: Napa, California
PRICE: $11

In general, I dig what the folks at Vinum Cellars have going on. Slightly irreverant brand personality, but backed up by solid fruit and stellar winemaking. The resulting wines are what we're all about: lovingly crafted and easy on the pocketbook. That said, I don't LOVE the 2006 Rose. It is bright and crisp with decent berry notes and hint of watermelon. But it is not as layered as previous vintages that I so relished summers past. It is perfectly fine, certainly OKAY, just not as great as I remember and even a little hot on the finish. I picked mine up at World Market, but if you don't have one near you, it is also available on

Read More in: Cabernet Sauvignon | Rose Wine | Wine Tasting Notes

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June 7, 2008

Great Wine Gifts for Dad

Now is the time to thank Dad for all of his of love and support--and for some, perhaps a thank you for imparting his years of wine wisdom. Here are some of our picks to help you do just that.

Our picks from Amazon:
31X880jTFZL._SL500_AA280_.jpgMetrokane Wine Pourer with Stopper $5
Serve wine with a touch of elegance. The Velvet wine pourer pours smoothly without drips and the stopper seals wine air-tight. Both pieces have an easy-grip velvet finish.

worldwineatlas.jpgThe World Atlas of Wine $32
Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson once again combine their unrivalled talents to enhance this masterpiece of wine knowledge. 48 extra pages, including 17 new color illustrations, 20 new maps, and double page spreads and full-page photos in the atlas section for maximum visual impact. It's an essential addition to every wine lover's or professional's library.

osteropener.jpgOster Electric Wine Opener $22
At the touch of a button, the Oster Wine Opener easily opens up to 30 bottles on a single charge. The stylish and ergonomically designed soft-grip handle will fit into the palm of your hand for a firm grip. Also includes a foil cutter to remove wine seals and a recharging base for convenience.

vacuvinopener.jpgVacu Vin WineMaster Corkscrew $45
Throw out those old corkscrews and replace them with this revolutionary one. Using it is simple. Place the Corkscrew over the top of the bottle; the built-in bottle grip will hold the bottle tightly. With both hands, gently move the handles up and down; the specially-coated spiral will easily insert into the cork and then extract it. Includes a foil cutter and a 2-year guarantee.

From Wine Enthusiast :
21344.jpgGearshift Bottle Stopper $15
Win the race against oxidation with this "5-speed" stopper! The rubber seal around the stainless steel gearshift with cherry wood knob ensures a tight fit on your wine bottle---and a fast way to lock in freshness. The ideal gift for the wine-loving car buff!

19320.jpgPersonal Wine Curator Wine Cellar Software $25
Indispensable to managing your wine cellar, this wine cellar software catalogs your collection with impressive details. You're able to categorize your wines up to 500 sub-regions. You're alerted when your cellared wines have reached maturity and match each wine to over 7,500 food pairing suggestions.

Thumbnail image for clefduvin2.jpgClef du Vin Pocket Wine Tasting Tool $130
Mature young wine instantly. When dipped into wine, the patented metal alloy on the tip replicates the aging process, softening the tannins in young wines and improving their taste.

And great gifts from Wine Messenger:

gift_3.jpgGift of Wine Boxed Sets
icon$39 - $275
Quick, easy and always appreciated, high quality wine gifts have been a Wine Messenger trademark for over a decade. Perfect for the holidays and great year-round! Giving a gift is quick and easy, simply: Select from among our range of premade gift sets; or Select your own wines and gift box them at checkout.

clubs_banner_03.jpgWine of the Month Subscription
icon$27 - $79 per month
A wonderful way to explore the world of boutique wines. Every month our Tasting Panel selects their two favorite bottles. Available in three price categories: Silver, Gold and Platinum. You are guaranteed great selections.

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