Category — Spit or Swallow Newsletters
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January 3, 2010 View comments
December 1, 2009 View comments
December 1, 2009 View comments
We have seen all of the gadgets being sold which allow you to put in the details from wine list item and find someone’s spin on how good it is as compared to the menu price. It is also handy at the store where you buy your wine.
Saying that, the hardest thing is the selection process. In a retail situation the charming labels are made to entice you into buying someone’s wine based upon the cuteness of the label and neither on the contents nor the price. It is much more straight forward in a restaurant situation, if you have the courage to take out your gadget and process a few wine selections while being stared at by the sommelier!
However, lately, with more frequency, many magazines, newspapers and web blasts get in your face with recommended wines under $20. Why? Because the entire universe has shunted high priced wines and are looking for good to great wines at an affordable price.
A couple of other things are happening. The high end wineries and wholesale houses have a ton of stuff to get rid of so in many cases the high end wine prices are being discounted. Soon, according to many published reports, you will be seeing bottle discounts and retailers are already receiving case lot deals that “gift” another case product when you buy so many at the wholesale price. Second labels are flying off of the shelves at most wineries. Again, many of the star producers wish not to “wal-mart” their product, so the keep their price high on the prized label while bottling the same or almost the same juice into a second label that has a much lower retail price.
Saying all of that, the gadgets do not add to your experience when buying wine. Recently on my car seat were no fewer than eight different articles or notes about wines someone thought were a great a steal and under $20. I was prepared to visit one of the bigger wine shops and see if they carried any of these bottles. The task seemed so intimidating that they sat there for a couple of weeks. Hell, I said to myself, I could do better than these morsels of paper. The result is available to you and it is simple called the winefestnews.com Shopping Guide.
It is a pretty basic downloadable Excel spreadsheet that allows you to list the wines you wish to see and buy if available in your locality. It lists the wines by variety like the way most wine shops display their wares. Since most wine shops also have wines by foreign regions, a second spreadsheet entitled “Shopping Guide – Foreign” is also available.
Being in Excel format you can download it and make all of the changes to fit your needs. I now keep a “save as” for each upcoming month and add wines to it until I get the urge to wine shop. The source doc is saved to a clip board (clever idea!) so I have the backup at the store when I am asked a question that perhaps is not typed on the spreadsheet.
Take the clipboard and a pen to the store of choice and shop. Please remember the clipboard is not included in this FREE offer!
Click Below for your FREE
A Ton of Wine
Just when you want to feel bad for all of those winery owners, out comes someone to demystify the industry. In Sonoma County, CA, for 2007, the average price of a ton of cabernet sauvignon was $2,238. A ton of grapes make about 700 bottles of wine. Let’s see how the math works. Divide 700 into $2,238 and you get a raw cost of the wine at $3.20 a bottle. Most red grape tonnage was in the same range as the cab and poor merlot was significantly cheaper at $1,452 per ton. So the next time you wonder how all of the really, really nice chateau style tasting rooms are paid for – think of YOU…… BTY, price per ton for Chardonnay averaged $1,870 or about $2.67 per bottle. I’m no CPA (or maybe I am!) but when you pay a retail price of $40 to $75 for a good bottle of wine I think someone is making a pretty penny on us.
Oh, and just so you know. You know how everyone in California cries at the cost of good to great land for growing grapes? Well, one acre of vineyard yields somewhere between 2 to 4 and 10 tons of grapes. That’s between 1,400 bottles to a whopping 7,000 bottles of wine for that acre of farm vineyard. I’d bet those guys in Iowa would like to get that price for their finished product! So, if you are looking at a great retirement idea, buy an acre of a great vineyard, sell the grapes as wine to a select group called a wine club and at the very low end, if these numbers are to believed, you can yield 1,400 bottles x $50 per bottle or $70,000 an acre. And, guess what? The land is still there and the vines are too. So your estate can sell it to the next taker. And if you are in the vineyard business and are reading this, stay calm. We all know that there is a ton (no pun intended) of other costs in producing a bottle of wine besides the grape. But just how much more can there be after the raw material is produced????
Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival
The last weekend of August was exceedingly hot in Bodega, CA; therefore, this was certainly a hot event. Most wine festivals come in various shapes and sizes. This makes them all unique and enjoyable with a sybarite feel for life. They are all rewarding because they enrich the mind and the soul. Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival was just that.
Janet Ceil and Michael Ecton, a couple of local artists in the area decided fifteen years ago that the area needed a seafood festival and have continued to expand the offerings and all for great charitable causes. This year was no different and the proceeds were targeted for the Stewards of the Coast & Redwoods and the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department. Good for both of these charities because from the looks of things, record crowds were turning out for this very inexpensive festival. On a critical side this can hardly be put into a “wine festival” grouping. It was more like a carnival without the rides. Yes, everything was there as advertised but the food booths were very much in a street fair setting and the art exhibitors were a hardy bunch but not quite on the marquee level. The tastings were held in one large tent and the $15 price was an add-on to the $12 admission price for the festival. It entitled you to a glass and tokens which were for the various pours. It seemed like most of the wine and beer vendors did not really get into the collection of the tokens, so you pretty much had free range throughout the tasting tent. Looks like the wineries served in shifts so if you did not plan to stay for most of the day, your selection of wineries was limited. Enough, but not the targeted, advertised vineyards in number. BR Cohn got my attention as one of the better known and better wines, especially their Pinot Noir. Kudos to Dane Cellars’ Chenin Blanc and Crane Brothers’ Rose. Both outstanding. One more thing. Forgive me wineries, but if you are given ice and bus pans to cool down the whites, why on earth would you NOT but the reds in there also?????? My VinTemp read most red offerings at significant temps above 75 degrees and it was only late morning. What happens later in the day when the temp gets even warmer? Go to www.nomorewarmwines.com for your FREE coasters to use when someone pours you a warm wine! The bottom line is that if you are going to be in the area (or live nearby) this is a fun and family oriented adventure. If the weather is going to be as hot as it was in 2009, make sure to take a hat and sunscreen. Besides the tent for wine/beer, there were sparse areas to get out of the sun.
Yorkville Wine Festival in August 2009
This is the second year we attended this wine festival up Rt 128 north of Sonoma. This easy drive shows all of the character that hilly wine county has to offer and is only two hours north of San Francisco. The best way to describe this festival is to say it is part family picnic and part wine tasting. It has live music, silent auction, and numerous vineyards pouring some incredible wine and, of course, apps and desserts surrounding the main course of a whole hog, lamb on the grill and dozens of sides. This area is known for more and more organic produced wines and the Yorkville label is always at the house from a random visit some years back. Having the Alexander Valley on one side and the Anderson Valley does not hurt and the wines show the character of the Yorkville Highlands AVA. Other delightful wines were the wines of Route 128 winery, especially the delightful Rue Rose. Very refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. Bink Wines’ merlot also got our attention with its earthiness coexisting with a little spice. And the winner this year goes to the Meyer Family Cellars Mendocino Country Syrah. What a perfect match with the succulent spit-roasted pork and thanks for the hospitality of having this festival at your property! One sad comment is the heat in the red wines. The days in this area are always warm to hot in August and sad to say the wineries are the ones doing the pouring and make NO attempt to keep their red pouring to a manageable temperature. I know that none of them drink a cab or pinot when it is 80 degrees but for some reason they sure will pour it for the public to sample. Shame on them! The same way they keep the whites chilled can be used for the reds. Rotate a bottle keeping the next one chilled while having an open one sitting out does not seem like a real problem. Many families are in attendance, so if you are around next year, plan to buy some tickets and make some new friends. It’s real easy to go at this short, one day festival. RU Syrious for winefestnews.com
If you consider the 2,800+ wineries in CA alone and let’s say they make about 5 wines apiece and they have about 5 years of releases, does this mean that your sommelier has, just for California, knowledge of 28,000 different and various bottles of wine? Be nice to those folks who really can distinguish the differences!
Joke of the Month – Returns
A man approached a beautiful blonde at a bar drinking a glass of wine. “I’d like to call you,” he said. “What’s your number?”
“It’s in the phone book,” she answered.
“But I don’t know your name,” he said.
“That’s in the phone book too,” she replied!!!! (Those funny blondes…..)
WINE TASTING ROOM OF THE MONTH MUMM NAPA VALLEY
Mumm’s is located on the more scenic and serene Silverado Trail which runs parallel to Napa’s main drag, (Highway 29), near the eastern edge of the valley. It’s between the Oakville and Rutherford Crossroads and can be easily accessed by either one. In 1979, the legendary French Champagne House of G. H Mumm began a search for the ideal sparkling wine terrior in America. That task was assigned to Guy Devaux who already had over forty years experience in Champagne. For four years, he researched locations; eventually choosing this area of the Napa Valley. In 1986, the winery itself was completed. Guy continued to oversee the winery until shortly before his death in 1995 and their top of the line sparkling wine (DVX) honors his memory. Today, Champagne born master wine maker Ludovic Dervin and Vice -President of Winemaking and Operations, Rob McNeil continue Devaux’s quest for excellence.
The Mumm Napa tasting room has been selected as one of America’s “Best” by the Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It’s open daily from 10-5. Once there you can choose between a glass enclosed salon or, weather permitting, an outdoor patio both of which overlook their vineyards. Each provides an incredible backdrop for sampling their fabulous array of delicious sparkling wines. In February of 2009, they also opened their newly expanded “Oak Terrace” where in addition to their normal (very reasonably priced) “tasting”, you can arrange a two-hour wine and food pairing featuring their older ”library” wines and seasonal local delicacies. Complimentary tours of the winery are also available. While there, be sure to allow ample time to, at least, stroll through their fine art gallery. The theme changes periodically but currently features the works of Ansel Adams. (The “Rock and Roll” exhibit they had a few years ago is still my personal favorite). Before your visit also check their website for special offers and discount coupons both for tastings (on site) and purchases (to go) at their gift shop. Make sure to include a flute of their latest collaboration “Santana” produced with the aid of musical legend Carlos Santana in your “tasting” selections.
Mumm’s Napa is a wonderfully “sparkling” place to begin or end your day in the valley and should not be missed!!!!
Mumm Napa 8445 Silverado Trail Rutherford, CA. 707-967-7700 www.mummnapa.com
Upcoming Wine Festivals
If the festival is in color it means that we visited it in the past or are planning on attending this year’s festival. You can always see our blog about last year’s festival when we were in attendance as a comment on this year’s listing on our website.
This upcoming weekend, the first weekend of October has wine festivals at Epcot in Orlando; Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic; Monterey, CA; Okanagan, BC; Greater LA, CA; Sonoma County, CA and of course, Oktoberfest wines down in Germany. So if your travels drop you in one of these destinations or if you live close by, do drop in for a great, fun filled weekend. Check out the details at our web site for all of the details and a link to the wine festival.
For the weekend of Oct 9 – 11, try not to miss this wine festival: New York City Wine & Food Festival
BTW – Epcot continues their wine fest for the entire month!
The next weekend, Oct 10 – 18 brings us Foliage Food & Wine Festival in Blue Hill, ME Harvest Wine Weekend in Paso Robles Wine Country, CA Martha’s Vineyard food & Wine Festival in Edgartown, MA Bear River Fall Colours Harvest Winery Tour in Nova Scotia For the 4th weekend of Oct, the 23rd – 25th try to attend Crave Arizona in Scottsdale, AZ Pinot on the River up in the Russian River Valley, CA Kohler Food & Wine Experience in Kohler, WI (think fall colors!) Wine in the Pines Keystone in beautiful Keystone, CO Finally, the 5th weekend of Oct, the 30th to Nov 1st (and Halloween too!) Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival in Hong Kong, China Vintners’ Holiday begins up in Yosemite Natl Park, The Ahwahnee, CA
September 30, 2009 View comments
It’s CRUSH Time
Not only has the Governor of CA declared Sept as California Wine Month, but the vineyards are proving it on their own. Wish you could have been in the car this past weekend and see the abundant clusters of red and white grapes throughout the Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino countries of North Central CA. Netting on many of the vines. This means that harvest is coming near. The netting is to ward off the birds who try for early samplings of the grapes but only after they ripen and become sweet (smart birds!) Some vines have already been picked but from listening, this is generally grapes going into sparkling wines.
Reading the wine press like we must, you are now seeing more and more fine wine getting dumped into second labels so the price points on the famous labels stay close to prior years’ selling price but there is just too much to bottle. So, take a chance on many of those bottles under $25 and especially a price point of $10 to $12 per bottle. What’s the worse you can do? The bottle represents a price almost below what a glass of medium prices wines by the glass would be at a nice bar/restaurant, so if it is NOT up to your standards, cook with it.
Save some money and look to join a wine club. You can sign up at the winery’s web site and soon we’ll have a listing of those at our web site. Caveat! Take a look at their prices and compare to a local wine store. Most of the wineries offer a discount of 20% or so, but watch those shipping charges. Go to your favorite retailer and compare. Saying that, guess what will make you happy about joining a wine club? Many of them offer select wines only to club members and not the distribution network. Most allow you to discontinue anytime without penalty and offer special deals during the year.
If you live in a hot weather state like we do, all of them suspend shipments during the summer months unless you beg them and sign a waiver in blood that says it is not their fault if the wine is delivered by UPS and it’s fried! So beware.
Just so you know more than the next wine snob, here are some facts that are just mine-blowing. Last year CA shipped more cases of wine than the year previous. Nearly 240 MILLION cases were shipped and about 6 out of every 10 glasses drank in the USA comes from CA. WOW. Let’s see 240,000,000 x $10 (average price per bottle sold by the winery to everyone (our guesstimate for this article) means that the revenue is $28,800,000,000. Yep, that’s billion. A number that only Washington DC uses freely. So when you see those opulent tasting rooms in CA and wonder where the money comes from to build palatial mansions just for the public to be in awe, thank yourself and that wine slugging partner…..
TASTE OF THE NATION
July 30, 2009
Over 12 million children in American are at risk of suffering from malnutrition. That is approximately one out of every six. On any given night over 350,000 of them will go to bed hungry. That is shameful in the world’s wealthiest country and an absolute travesty considering the billions of dollars we donate to foreign charities. “Share Our Strength” (“Strength.org”) is a nationwide organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the United States. They sponsor and promote a wide variety of fund raising efforts including bake sales, restaurant dine-outs, gourmet dinners, and their very popular “Taste of the Nation” Series of food and wine extravaganzas held in various cities across the country.
On July 30th, I attended one of these, The Taste of Miami, held at the Ritz Carlton Resort on Key Biscayne. There, Celebrity Chef Allen Susser (continuing his successful 20-year reign as honorary chairman) brought together an incredible array of over 40 of Miami’s top restaurants, catering companies and confectioners. The incredible food ranged from sushi to sweets with everything in between. A few of my favorites were: Chef Allen’s seared scallop on short rib hash, escargot Provencal from Au Pied De Cochon, Smith & Wollensky’s beef tenderloin, cornmeal crusted oysters from Bulldog Barbeque Bizcaya’s braised short ribs on cheesy grits, charred pork belly from the Fountain Bleu. The Grill on the Alley’s prime rib sandwich, chocolate chip lollipops from Cookies by Shar and We Take the Cake’s rum and key lime frosted cupcakes.
Although mainly a culinary event, there was also a large enough assortment of wine there (compliments of Southern Wine & Spirits) to pair nicely with the food. Some that I particularly enjoyed were the Gloria Ferrer’s Blanc Noir Sparking Wine, Moreau & Fils Chablis, Pommery’s Champagne, Ferrarri-Cerano’s Tre Terre Chardonnay and Siena red (Sangiovese) blend and Vougeot Clos due Prieure, an absolutely extraordinary white burgundy.
In addition to the monies raised from ticket sales, Share our Strength also benefitted from the proceeds of both a very spirited live auction and an extensive silent one. Incredible trips to the Caribbean and the Champagne region of France highlighted the live auction while the silent featured large format bottles of wine, gourmet foods, luggage and sports memorabilia.
All and all… The Taste of the Nation/Miami was a wonderfully enjoyable evening helping what has to be one of the most deserving charities around! Contributed by LAT, aka Jimmy Olson, Jr.
Wine Tasting Room of the month.
B.R. Cohn Winery
Located right on highway 12 in the Sonoma Valley (between the city of Sonoma and Santa Rosa) B.R. Cohn epitomizes the old adage about “wine, women, and song…” It was founded in 1984 by Bruce Cohn, long time manager of the Doobie Brothers and a driving force in the west coast music industry. They focus on ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon but also produce Merlot, Pinot Noir, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Port.
Their tasting room is located in an expanded early American style house; which had originally been a Wells Fargo stagecoach stop. It’s open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. (Tours are available by appointment only!) The interior is dominated by a magnificent “L” shaped mahogany bar and presided over by a group of attractive, friendly wine devotees. Outside, there’s a patio and picnic area with stunning views of the Olive Hill Estate Vineyard (from which they produce our personal favorite of their “cabs). They also make and sell world-class olive oils and flavored vinegars at the winery.
Scattered around the grounds are wonderfully eclectic pieces of sculpture created by Patrick Amoit and inspired by Bruce’s vintage car collection. Behind the tasting room there’s a four thousand seat amphitheater built for musical events; the proceeds of which generally benefit children’s charities and youth organizations. Two of the most popular are the “Charity Car Classic” held in July and the “Fall Music Festival” which takes place in early October. Both have featured such standout music performers as the Doobie Brothers (themselves), Huey Lewis and the News, Willie Nelson, Three Dog Nite, Los Lobos and Taj Mahal (just 2 name a few) and coming in early October, Journey and the Doobies entertain over the weekend in the 23rd annual BR Cohn Charity Event. Yea to Bruce….
If you attend one of their special events, you’ll be blown away by the highly charged yet still laid back party atmosphere. But even if you can’t attend one of the “fests”, be sure to stop by just to try the wines. You won’t be disappointed with them either!
B.R. Cohn Winery
15000 Sonoma Hwy
Glen Ellen, Ca
800-330-4064 ext. 124
Upcoming Wine Festivals
If the festival is in color it means we visited it in the past
or are planning on attending this year’s festival!
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
Sonoma, CA Labor Day Weekend (we participated last year, what a hoot!)
Harvest Wine Festival
Las Cruces, NM Labor Day Weekend
Budapest Intl Wine Fest
Budapest, Hungary early Sept (use those ff miles NOW!)
Shores of Erie Intl Wine Fest
Ontario, CDN mid-Sept
Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival
N Lake Tahoe, CA mid-Sept
Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest
Rhinebeck, NY mid-Sept (see ya there!!!)
Grapevine, TX mid-Sept
Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival
Santa Clara, CA mid-Sept
Maryland Wine Festival
Westminster, MD mid-Sept
Wine in the Vines
Canning, Nova Scotia mid-Sept
Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival
Newport, RI mid-Sept
EPCOT Intl Food & Wine Festival
Mickey Land, FL late-Sept for a month or more!
Miami Intl Wine Fair
Miami, FL late-Sept
American Food & Wine Festival
Los Angeles, CA late-Sept
Monterey Wine Festival
Monterey, CA early-Oct
Okanagan Fall Wine Festival
Okanagan, BC, CDN early-Oct
These are some, but not all of the festivals at our site. We tease you that no matter where you live or where you want to travel; there is always a wine festival to attend. Do so and get hooked like we are with wine festivals…..
There were 2,843 wineries operating in some fashion in CA in 2008, up from 2,687 in 2007 or a about a 6% increase. And I thought I visited them all…….got to go back!
Joke of the Month
How come when I drink Pinot Noir it always comes out looking like Pinot Gris?
September 19, 2009 View comments
Watch for the Trend
If you can’t keep up with the wine industry, just keep up with reading our monthly Spit or Swallow. It seems like more and more wine bar/restaurants are starting to produce their own wines from juice trucked into their facility.
Back in 2005 a place in San Fran stole the limelight and started their own winery, called CrushPad. Now a couple of handful of others has sprung up. NYC has City Winery. Heck, even down here in Naples, Fl we have a new flea market, Big Cypress Market Place with their own winery.
Yes, they all buy the juice and make the wines at their establishments. Combine this with many insider articles that are bemoaning the stagnant market in high priced California wines and the flood doors will be opening soon. My insider tip would be visit a site like winepress.us and see if anything is happening in your area. Maybe you could be making your own wine in the near future.
Still looking for a great bottle of wine at an affordable price? Well, look no more. Several outstanding web sites have sprung up to offer superb wine purchasing opportunities. From winetilsoldout.com; the wineliquidator.com and winewoot.com you should be able to steal some classy wines. Not just end of the batch runs. From what we’ve seen they normally post only one wine at the site until sold out. Mark downs average 50% or more. Yes, names like Roederer, Caymus and Silver Oak have made their way to these type of sites. Shipping is sometimes FREE when you buy multiple bottles.
Varieties vs. Varietals
Great article we ran across from Kent Benson (firstname.lastname@example.org) about using the term varietals and varieties interchangeable. His solid comments are a hoot. He preaches about the overuse of HOV, Human Overuse of Varietal. So true.
So if you are still wondering about the difference in the words, it is pretty simple to remember. Grapes come in varieties. Wine may be a varietal when it is made predominantly from one type of grape. Thus, it gets it name from the name of the grape; like “Chardonnay.” So there…….
Central Coast Wine Classic
It is difficult to think that other wine festivals could top this classic. Most importantly, this classis is also classy. Attend next year and see why we are enamored the Central Coast Wine Festival. It was their 25th year and it shows. It runs smooth and everyone seems to be having the time of their life.
Our rating is a 4.8 only because we are never give a perfect 5.0, but this festival is real close. Why? Well the fellow who spearheads this is Archie McLaren; not only a real dynamo, but fun and appears laid back at the same time. He must have more elves than Santa in the background to make this weekend special.
Than take the vinagora. Shell Beach, California and the very impressive Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa. The folks working the west side of the barrel tasting tent adjacent to the hotel kept saying that they could not turn around, the view was that spectacular and it was! Nothing but Pacific Ocean. Nearly fifty wineries were pouring on Thursday afternoon. The handful we fell in love with were Anglim, Cass, JK, Jada, Orchid Hill, Stephen Ross and Windward. Not a bad wine in the house but these were just a little better on our palate.
The gala dinner at Hearst Castle on Thursday once again blew the socks off of the attendees. Not only is it the setting but the enormous effort to make this one of the finest charity wine dinners anywhere clearly showcases this event.
Friday symposiums were informative and upscale. The local wine makers/owners were casual, funny but still shared education tidbits along with their wines making the sessions very informative. If you ever get a chance, stop and talk to Jim Clendenen from Au Bon Climat. He’s one hell of a grand cru type of person!
My Friday night wine dinner, through the combined efforts of Windward and L’Aventure wineries, was a culinary delightful. The talents of Chef Jeffrey Scott beamed through with superb food pared with some of vineyards’ best bottlings.
Saturday’s auction luncheon at The Avila Beach Golf Resort was a fantastic venue. Wine everywhere, great silent auction lots along with a plethora of interesting and artsy live auction items. The over the top auction items were the hand painted wine barrels gifted for this charity event by some very renowned and talented artists. Be on your best behavior if you attend next year. The tall, good looking and SPOUSE of the guru of this festival, Archie McLaren, wondering around the auction taking pics is really the bon vivant of this affair, none other than Carissa Chappellet (and yes, the last name should ring a bell!)
Overall, this festival has something for everyone. Great location with great wines. This festival will attest to just how many interesting and lovely wines are being produced in the Central Coast. Plan now for next year’s festival. Check out a map and see why this festival allows a great way to visit both the Paso Robles and Santa Barbara wine areas.
Total tons of grapes processed for wine in 2008 was just over 4.3 million tons. Leading state was, of course, CA with about 93.5% of this production, followed by WA with 3.5%. Bet you can’t guess 5th place! PA with 13,200 tons……
PMS may stand for many things; like, Psychotic Mood Shift or Pardon My Sobbing or Pissy Mood Syndrome but it came to our attention recently that the best one for us men to remember = PMS – Pour More Syrah……djb :~))
Upcoming Wine Festivals
If the festival is in color it means we visited it in the past or are planning on attending this year’s festival!
Okanagan, BC, CDN
San Francisco, CA early Aug (we’re attending!)
Columbus Wine Festival
Columbus, OH early Aug
Vintage Ohio Wine Festival
Kirkland, OH early Aug
Stellenbosch Wine Festival – Early Aug, long flight, hurry
Stellenbosch, So Africa
Atlantic City Food
and Wine Festival
Atlantic City, NJ early Aug
Southern Food & Wine Festival at Gaylord Opryland
Nashville, TN early Aug
Auction of Washington Wines
Woodville, WA early Aug
Grapes to Glass
Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA mid Aug
Wine in the Pines
Sunccadia, WA mid Aug
Simply di Vine
Beverly Hills, CA mid Aug
Swiss Wine Festival
Vevay, IN late Aug
Yorkville, CA late Aug
Soweto Wine Festival
Johannesburg, So Africa early Sept
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
Nadur 7th Delicata
Classic Wine Festival
Nadur, Malta early Sept
Harvest Wine Festival
Las Cruces, NM early Sept
Budapest Intl Wine Festival
Budapest, Hungary – maybe see ya there!!!
So, as you can see, no matter where you live or where you want to travel in this great USA or the world, you can attend a wine festival. Make reservations NOW! 7 states from coast to coast plus 3 countries!
Click Below for your Internet Special Compliments of Pelican Cove Resort & Marina – Islamorada, FL
Are you as tired as I am with bars and restaurants serving any wine that is too warm to drink?
Tell them what you really want…
No More Warm Wine!
Click Below to Get your FREE Coasters
July 31, 2009 View comments
July 6, 2009 View comments
Spit or Swallow ~ May 2009
Sponsored by WineFestNews.com Written by R.U. Syrious email@example.com
An Idea Who’s Time Has Come
The wine industry is taking it on the chin and restaurants are already begging for business. To at least hold the tide, many fine restaurants have dropped their corkage charge. For those that are new to drinking wine, a corkage fee is way a restaurant tries to punish a customer for bringing in their own wine; thus carving into the gross profit the establishment is making by scandalously overcharging for a bottle of wine (or worse, a glass of wine.)
If all else fails, a great new site offers this information. Go to GoBYO and see for yourself. Enjoy it while you can.
WINE PRICE DROPPING
It has been reported that the dollar amount of wine sales in the USA has dropped for the first time in a long time. Consumption has not gone down as much, which means that you and I are drinking more affordable wines. With the average cost of a bottle of wine produced to be about $1.50 according to a recent study (not figuring in the land cost!) affordable wine should not be difficult to find. Continue to look for our “second label” blog and $10 wine blog. Both coming soon.
7.5 million US wine drinkers consume 80% of the wine bottles sold. Or another way of saying this is that 7% of the wine drinkers drink 80% of the wine sold. So if we collectively said NO MORE WARM WINE do you think the restaurants will listen????
Talk with you soon…….off to taste Champagne and report on this experience………R U Serious……..yes, I am……
Winery tasting room of the month
Grgich Hills Estate Winery
“Grigich” as it is most commonly known is located right on highway 29 in Rutherford. CA; the heart of the Napa Valley. It was founded in 1977 when Miljenko (Mike) Grgich partnered with the Hills Brothers coffee family. Prior to that Mike had gained international acclaim when (as the wine maker at Chateau Montelena) his 1973 chardonnay was chosen over all the fabled white burgundies of France as the “finest white wine in the world” at the now famous Paris Tasting Competition of 1976. In 2008, Mike celebrated his 50th harvest in the Napa Valley and was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame.
In addition to a world class chardonnay, the winery also produces a crisp Fume Blanc, spicy Zinfandel, complex Cabernet Sauvignon, lush Merlot and a very limited production dessert wine called “Violetta”. It’s named for Mike’s daughter, Violet, who now along with his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, oversee the wine making and run the “day to day” operations. They now own all their own vineyards and label each wine as “Estate Grown” thus guaranteeing a steady supply of fruit and consistently high quality.Their tasting room has been called one of the “most personable” ones in the Napa Valley and really consists of two separate facilities. At the larger of the two, for a nominal charge you can sample five of their current releases. Or, for a higher fee, you can enter their plush “wine library” and taste three of their special selection top end wines. The facility is open everyday except for major holidays from 9:30 to 4:30. Barrel tastings are held every Friday except during harvest; but then, visitors can “stomp” grapes (if they’d like). The Napa Valley Wine Train also makes a stop at Grgich and passengers are treated to a special tour and tasting.
TAKE A CHANCE?
Let us know when you will open so we can be on hand for the grand opening!!!!!
Joke of the Month
An alcoholic is someone that you don’t like that drinks as much as you do…Dylan Thomas and yours truly
The Best Commission/
Discount Travel Agency in America
COMING SOON WINEFESTS
L’Ete du Vin in
Okanagan Spring Wine Festival
Pinot Noir Festival
Paso Robles Wine Festival
ZinFest in Wine & Food Experience Wine FestivalLodi
(see our blog from last year!!)
Austin Wine Festival
Taste of PA Wine & Music Festival
Upcoming June WineFests
Auction Napa Valley (the granddaddy of all WineFests!!!)
Walk Through the Vineyard – CA
Food & Wine Classic in
(tix still available, we think!)
Stowe Wine & Food Classic
Wine Country Celebration
Telluride Wine Festival
Kapalua Wine & Food Festival
Pinot Day in SFOWashington Food & Wine Festival ValleyAspen Balloon & Wine Festival
FOREIGN WINE FESTIVALS
We need help in this area. Please email us any info you spot on a true wine festival happening anywhere in the world. Even if it has happened recently we can still get on their mailing list for their future dates. Nice way to sip wine while on a bigger holiday.
North, East and West all delightful destinations during June to find a great winefest and be on holiday all at the same time……enjoy!
May 6, 2009 View comments
|April 2009 • Sponsored by • Written by R.U. Syrious|
Lots of discussion lately about 2 nd labels and why not. With the cost of the good stuff not coming down in price as fast as the housing and stock market, many of us need a less expensive outlet for our wonderful habit of enjoying wine. Check out “Good to Know” category on our www.winefestnews.com website in the next couple of weeks for a beginner’s list and please help us add to it . We’ll ask you to start rating these offering soon once we have our ” Under $10″ blog working as well.
Spring is Here so Summer is NOT far off!
Time to start planning a little wine tasting party . Invite three couples or six friends over for a BLIND wine tasting. Tell each couple to bring two bottles of exactly the same wine. One for the blind tasting and the other to enjoy after the official judging. My rule would be to limit each bottle to a price range (like $10 to $15 retail) and for sure, only one varietal . I know you may have someone invited who only likes Chardonnay but isn’t it time to open their palette to other variety of wine? Place small brown bags around the wines to be tasted and secure with a rubber band. Mark the bag with a number so each invitee can make their own notes about each. Make sure to serve the wine at their proper temp. Each pour should be one ounce or so. Forget the spit bucket. They are disgusting in a close environment. Rate each bottle on our 3G scale. Garbage, Good or Great. If you care to, give each G a 1 to 5 scale, 5 being the best. So a 5 Good would be just behind a 1 Great.
Fun way to experiment at a low cost. When finished, award a gold ribbon to the best of the tasting and another color to the next closest. Un- screw/cork the unopened bottles and sit back with some cheese and crackers and have at it. What a good way to increase your personal knowledge of a wine varietal and have fun at the same time. Send us your pics and blog about the party and we’ll post it at our winefestnews.com site.
Jennifer Elias’ Six S’s of Wine Tasting
See, Sniff, Sip, Spit (maybe) Side by Side (Compare two wines) and Scribble (Make notes!!)
Crystal Cruise Line Wine & Food Cruises
If you haven’t had the pleasure to cruising with Crystal , you should. Rated one of the finest cruise lines it will dissolve all of your apprehension about a cruise. This year, with a soft cruise market, the prices are at rock bottom.
They just announced their Wine & Food Theme Cruises for 2009. This is like a wine festival over a longer period of time. They have seven such cruises starting on May 1 st and ending in December aboard either the Symphony or Serenity.
A sure magical trip aboard with top chefs, wine experts and mixologists in cooking demos, hands-on training, tasting sessions and special menus.
Call Crystal at 800-446-6620, your own travel agent or our partner’s FREE travel club at
Where We’ve Been
What fond memories about attending the Charleston Food + Wine Festival. We said it in the comments on this event at our web site, but we’ll say it again, ” If you think the travel writers are right about Charleston being one of the BEST cities to visit, try it during their Food + Wine fest. It makes it for a double memorable visit.” Read more at winefestnews.com past wine festivals for March, 2009.
Joke of the Month
My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods.
We’ve discovered that when I’m in a good mood, it turns green. When I’m in a bad mood, it leaves a big red mark on his forehead.
Maybe next time he’ll buy me a diamond!!!
Upcoming Festivals & Things to Check Out
In order starting April 1 st
Taste of Vail
Taste Washington Seattle
Pebble Beach Food & Wine
Blue Ridge Food & Wine Festival
Florida Winefest & Auction in Sarasota
And in May, 2009
L’Ete du Vin in Nashville
Okanagan Spring Wine Festival
Nantucket Wine Festival
Pinot Noir Festival
Paso Robles Wine Festival
ZinFest in Lodi
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience
(see our blog from last year!!)
Austin Wine Festival
Taste of PA Wine & Music Festival
So if you want or need a GREAT reason to get out of town, then try one of these festivals happening over the next couple of months. Locations are all over the USA and some are inexpensive and some you’ll nned to use your credit card for admission, but ALL worth it .
See you there…
April 1, 2009 View comments
Don’t Know About the Economy,
A change for the better has come our way. Now when you visit our site and wish to view future wine festivals, just click on All, Eastern or Western WineFests. New feature is our calendar that allows your search to start with the month you wish to view. So instead of starting with festivals starting this week to ad infinitum, your choice is to start with a time frame you know that you want to get out and kick up heels at a wine festival. Hope you enjoy this as much as we have enjoyed adding this new feature.
South Beach Wine & Food Fest
5 Thumbs! Kudos to the South Beach Wine & Food Fest held this month. Either our in-house journalist had way too much of the grape or this event just continues to lead the way. Read more about it so you can plan now to attend next year’s festival at our comment section under the event; now in our “Past Wine Festivals” section.
Washington D C
2 Thumbs! Notice the height of the word WINE and that of the word food. Why? That was out take on this President’s Day weekend festival. A great sampling of wines, for sure. Lacking was the food portion. However, if you are within a reasonable drive to our nation’s capital or wish to spend a fun long weekend there, jump into this festival. Just make sure you have something on your tummy before going and be ready to jump across the street to the Elephant & Castle Pub & Restaurant to soak up some of that alcohol. And, if attending, remember to make dinner reservations if in town during Valentine’s Day, like it was this year. See more under our comments for this festival as well as some pics and video.
Where We’ll Be Visiting
Of course, we will be attending our own local find festival, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest this year being held at Miromar Lakes in Estero, FL (between Naples & Ft Myers.) Since this is near our office, stop by and we’ll sample some of the grape!
Suggestion of the Month
Get writing at our “comments” section for any wine festival you either have attended in the past or are planning to during this upcoming year. Others, including us here at winefestnews.com want to know your opinions.
So write your ROAR — Rave Or/And Rant about a festival NOW……
Upcoming Festivals & Things to Check Out
Couldn’t help but notice an ad in the NYTimes for the Compass Lobster Festival. Not really a real festival but this restaurant if offering a 3lb Grilled Whole Lobster from ME for $39. Makes you want to jump on a plane and fly up to the Big Apple. 212-875-8600. Yes, it is okay to make your own 1 or 2 person festival over dinner of lobster and WINE…….
Pigs & Pinot in Heraldsburg on Fri/Sat, Mar 20-21 at Charlie Palmer’s seems like an ideal setting and pairing for the likes of Emeril and ME!!! www.hotelhealdsburg.com/pp.php
Traveling late in March/early April? Try the Taste of Vail, if not sold out or the Spring Wine & Jazz Fest in lonely Las Vegas. Of course, we have set our sites on the Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival in mid-April.
Joke of the Month
New Age Cowboy was driving throught Montana when he sites a sign in front of a local bar that reads
Happy Hour Special - Lobster Tail and Wine
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March 2, 2009 View comments
The new year, the new Presidency and our new optimism are key points as we get started in 2009. But the real important thing is YOU. How will you fair this year?
Here at winefestnews.com we are just as certain as our Doctors about diet and exercise. But without some fun in your life, your life may be reduced to a model nursing home patient. That was one of the major reasons for building this website. Sure it is still a work in progress, but this is the ONLY site where you can find a thumbnail sketch of upcoming wine festivals.
And getting back to fun part, what is more fun than a well orchestrated wine festival? Wine festivals have great food, a great location and great wine. All this with the opportunity to meet/greet new folks who share your passion for that one thing………wine.
So, here’s to the New Year. May all of your toasts come true and may we revel in good times by attending wine festivals. Please remember that our site is like navigating word press, the most popular blogging software. So, when you see an event that you have a pre/post opinion of, please sign in and make your comment for others to view. Most of you are not new to blogging, so let your voice be heard by others who share the same verve that you have in wine and wine festivals.
After months of tramping through the “web design” mine field with clown shoes on, I must say we are close to having the site operate in the manner which it was mentally intended too. You will see some minor changes as we move forward, but nothing radical.
Those of you in the wine festival business, feel free to insert updated information in the comment field instead of sending it to us. Much faster! Please keep it to a Cleft note version cause we don’t mind them getting to your site for the entire scoop.
Okay, upcoming wine festivals that you may wish to plan for:
Washington DC Intl Wine & Food Fest, Sat-Sun, Feb 14-15. Over Valentine & President’s weekend. Say hi to US if you attend AND you should!!
South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami Beach, FL, Thur-Sun, Feb 19 – 22. Now a grand-daddy of wine festivals! AND go outside with a bathing suit on. If you are too chicken, hurry and sign up for this festival in South Florida where the temperature is sure to be bathing suit weather. And yes, we will see you at this one too!
And if SOBE is too far, think about the San Antonio Wine Festival or the Monterey Wine Auction & Gala, both this same weekend.
And our little treat to end this newsletter and seen right before the new year in the Conde Nast Portfolio magazine, Dec issue:
Should auld investments be forgot
And hedged against the yen,
Should auld deposits be defunct
And never seen again,
For auld lang syne, my dear,
Default lang syne,
We’ll stuff the mattress full of cash,
For the sake of auld lang syne.
OR: End Corruption. Or at least let me participate in it……..
See ya next month………………R U Syrious, Editor
January 15, 2009 No Comments
Happy Holidays – 2008
As we approach the end of our first year we wish you all a better new year than many folks had in 2008. Our goal is to keep you all informed as to as many upcoming wine festivals as possible.
We give you our own spin about the event, either on our Google calendar which is easy to narrow down by dates or our three “WineFest Events” categories. Our categories FINALLY list future festivals with the nearest date first to the one the furthest in the future last.
During 2008 we were able to load in almost 100 festivals and already have entered over 75 for 2009. Another feature we hope you like is that we are only a portal and allow you to jump over to the actual festival site to order tickets, ask questions or obtain more details.
In 2009 we will be adding a “blog” entitled Frugal Wine Fanatic. It will pass along low priced wines worth finding, buying and trying. We are signed up for a gazillion newsletters in the wine field and wish to pass along AND get comments from our WineFestivites about frugal, cheap, inexpensive wines. It is my personal belief that wines priced over, say $50, should be outstanding but the real deal is to find those gems that will not break your bank (especially in these times) and YOU find delightful. My thought is to keep the retail cost below $20 and most offerings will be lower. Why, cause I keep paying for house pours in the $12 – $14 range and most of the time I think “If I would have stopped at the store I could have bought an entire bottle that tastes just as good.”
Look for our Frugal Wine Fanatic hitting your email sometime in 2009 and please do comment. Everyone’s taste buds are a little different but I really enjoy average folks reviews verses the professionals.
New Year’s Wish List
#1 – That some Pinot Noir or other red wine maker introduces (steals) the Coors beer idea of the BLUE label. You know, if it’s COOL enough to drink the label is blue. That should shut up those joints that serve WARM WINE.
Things to Watch for 2009
In a major reversal the airlines learn that by charging for each piece of checked luggage that the inside of the planes have become inundated with carryons. So what to do? They will start to offer $10 off if you check your bags thus avoiding fights for those overhead bins……
Upcoming Festivals and Things
Not on our site, but if you’re going to be in New York between Jan 6 and Jan 14 you may have an interesting opportunity to tour The Food Network studios. Cost $20. So if interested call 646-336-3736 and remember, Emeril doesn’t work there anymore……
Coming in mid-January, 2009
Festivals in Carefree, AZ, Cayman Island Cookout, Niagara Icewine Fest.
Russian River in Healdsburg hosts their Winter Wonderland also.
The last two weeks of January you can take in the Mendocino Crab & Wine Days, Treasure Coast Wine Festival (Vero Beach, FL) or the Boston Wine Experience.
Ski and be a WineFestivite at the Bon Appétit Culinary & Wine Focus in Beaver Creek or the Zin Fest in SFO.
If you don’t have your tickets for our local, but internationally acclaimed Naples Winter Wine Festival, you better call NOW………
December 15, 2008 No Comments
This is the Dawning of the Age of Beaujolais
Get ready for tomorrow, that one day a year that everyone should rush out to enjoy a glass or bottle of Beaujolais. Sure this early fruit will not make memorable wine, but being a WineFestivite, this date is one that you must acknowledge.
So hop over to any good French restaurant or wine bar and participate in this annual event. If you are fortunate (or unfortunate as the case may be) to be in Dallas in the next few days, attend the Beaujolais Wine Festival’s 25th anniversary celebration at The Dallas World Trade Center on Friday, the 21st starting at 7pm. Cheap admission and billed as the world’s largest for this type of event. See also http://www.wineintro.com/types/beaujolaisnouveau.html
So if all of this fuss over Beaujolais is coming on too fast for you, plan on having a real fun Thanksgiving by attending a Thanksgiving wine party. Look at Williamette Valley, OR or (or is that – or squared?) Yakima Valley, WA for some fun times over the ThanksHoliday.
Thanks for your patience cause we think that our web site has finished it’s metamorphosis (love that word!) and is running the way we envisioned it in July when we hired someone to make it better. The only problem is that some of the events were LOST and we are attempting, as quickly as possible, to re-load the information on future events. Check back often, tell your wine friends about us and sit back and pick and choose where you wish to spend those precious dollars at upcoming wine festivals.
Upcoming Wine Festivals
The hugely successful, Naples Winter Wine Fest, is coming Feb 6-8 right here in beautiful Naples. Always a sold out venue and pricey, but worth every nickel and ALL of the net proceeds is donated to children charities. Go to www.napleswinefestival.com We will even sponsor a special open house at our home office during this event. Time, date and other details later…..
Or how about joining in the Victorian Christmas Wine Dinner on Dec 13th, just outside of Albany, NY in Hadley. Go to www.albany.com/event/8794
Maybe joining in with the celebration at Woodlands Resort & Inn in (another squared) Charleston would be your cup of New Year Eve celebration. Check out http://www.woodlandsinn.com/calendar.cfm
Now, a little humor for the month…….
A man in Naples calls his son in San Diego the day before
Thanksgiving and says, ‘I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell
you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery
‘Pop, what are you talking about?’ the son screams.
‘We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,’ the father says.
‘We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you
call your sister in Denver and tell her.’
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. ‘Like
heck they’re getting divorced,’ she shouts, ‘I’ll take care of this,’
She calls Naples immediately, and screams at her father, ‘You
are NOT getting divorced. Do not do a single thing until I get there.
I am calling my brother back, and we will both be there tomorrow. Until
then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?’ and hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. ‘Okay,’ he says,
‘they’re coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way.’
November 15, 2008 1 Comment
The Battleground Begins – No More Warm Wine
Promise, this is the last segment (3 of 3 if you care to read them all) about WARM WINE. Since we launched our tirade about retail establishments serving warm wine, mostly red, of course, we have gotten a lot of sympathy from those in the trade.
Seems like the wine reps continue to ask the retailer to do something about the temp of the red wines they serve, especially by the glass, but alas, nothing is done.
Well, we have two things to assist us getting this unpleasant trend changed. First and foremost, we have developed our own coasters which you will see below. It says it all. We are happy to pass along a few of them to each and every one of you as long as our quantity lasts. Just go to www.nomorewarmwine.com and sign up to receive a few in the snail mail or email us at this site. Doesn’t matter which one, you’ll get the reward of TELLING that bar that they are serving reds to WARM. Maybe they will start taking the hint and doing something about it. However, if they don’t, somehow I think our final suggestion will get their attention.
This will work real well if you have something like a VinTemp temp gauge, but fake it if you don’t. When the bartender or server brings your wine (either white or red) and it is served to you WARM, have them take it back. Remind them that you consider your wine like most folks consider their steak. If it is not to your liking, send it back. It they cannot accommodate you on the second pouring, take your business elsewhere until they understand that it is costing them business.
Remember, at a premium price of $14 for a six ounce pour, you are acknowledging that you are willing to spend money on something that is costing YOU $300 a gallon. Bitch, as you should if it does NOT meet your expectations. Ice buckets, chilling a bottle or glass in ice, quickly rinsing the wine like a martini and/or refrigeration will do wonders. It is bad enough that just recently the temp of a white wine served at an open air restaurant was the proper temp (almost) when it came to the table but checking the temp on the last two ounces about 20 minutes later raised the temp by 17 degrees. Well it’s Florida, you know!
OUTSTANDING WINE FESTIVALS COMING UP
Long Range – South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Feb 19-22 in Miami Beach, what a great time to enjoy our weather and hospitality
Pinot Days in Chicago on Nov 14-15th – Do your Christmas shopping on Michigan Ave early – great city and great time of year for Chi-town……..
Stone Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival just outside of Sarasota at Long Boat Key with some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet, the Klaubers on Nov 13-16th
Say hi to us at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival on Nov 12-16th
And, as if you need a plan to go to Vegas, try out the Odyssey Lifestyle on Nov 16-19 and say hi to my money……..
And thanks to friends of LAT’s, the great humor piece for this month……..
IMPORTANT HEALTH ADVICE
Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
Do you suffer from shyness?
Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Chardonnay can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you’re ready and willing to do just about anything.
You will notice the benefits of Chardonnay almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.
Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Chardonnay.
Chardonnay may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Chardonnay. However, women who wouldn’t mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.
Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to think you can sing.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.
Now Just Imagine What You Could Achieve With a Good Dry Red!!!
Till next time, love life, it’s really the only thing we have….R U Syrious
October 10, 2008 No Comments
www.winefestnews.com • September 2008 • firstname.lastname@example.org
One More Piece of the Puzzle
Before we get to our one more piece of the puzzle, please take the time to look over our re-constructed web site at www.winefestnews.com. We realized a couple of months ago that the second web designed software would not hold up to what we believe will be our future web traffic. So we had to bite the bullet and almost tear the entire site down and start over. If you peeked during this time, you may not have liked what you saw, but give us a chance and look again.
Saying that, you may have missed our August 2008 newsletter entitled NO MORE WARM WINE. You may want to read it so this makes a little more sense. In the limited time we have had to research our passionate topic of bars and restaurants pouring warm reds, we have discovered a universal litany from bartenders, MODs and even owners; we don’t have the space or money to invest in cooling red wine.
Well then, jump in the lake, I say! Bricktop’s Restaurant in Naples, FL, is a newer upscale chain founded by a former principal of the Houston’s chain. I think they have four east coast units now. They serve ALL wines by the glass from their below counter refrigeration units. Sure, they get patrons who complain that their red wine is cold, but they understand that it will come up to the proper 60-65 degree serving temperature more likely than my recent red wine pour at The Keg. It was served at a disgusting 80 degrees (thanks to my VinTemp infrared wine thermometer device. www.shop2cart.net/go/winefestnews) When I complained to the waitstaff and the MOD about the warm wine, he calmly explained that ALL of their bottled wine in sitting in a storage unit that is set at 60 degrees. Well, thank you very much. Can you stick it back in there until it gets back to 60 degrees?
No relief is what I got. So here is the gest of this newsletter. I have finished my research. Coffee and tea are meant to be served HOT. All other liquids taste better if served cool. Try this sometime. Pour tap water from a southern state; take a long sip of coke or pepsi straight from the shelf at your local grocery store; or, heaven forbid drink milk, juice or WHITE WINE that is around 80 degrees and tell me that I am crazy. Tastes like drek! A 6 ounce house pour of a upscale Pinot Noir that costs $14 by the glass translates to about $300 a gallon. We all bitched at $4 a gallon gas, so why isn’t everybody bitching about WARM $300 a gallon wine???????????
Here is my spin on a solution. Tell that bar manager that you would like to be a regular customer and you like your wine about 60 degrees when poured. Ask them to keep your favorite “wine by the glass” in an unopened bottle in a cooler and when you come in you will be happy to drink a couple of glasses from that chilled bottle. If you and your friends do NOT finish it, what’s the problem? He just puts it next to the other reds sitting up in the 80 degree air for the next pigeon that comes along.
They also make a chiller that will bring down the temp of a bottle quickly and this would do nicely also. But I can see the bar/restaurant saying that it costs money to buy and counter top to store. Pity. So, if I am stupid enough to pay $300 a gallon for a glass of wine, I think I’ll take my business where they have an enomatic system or like the forward thinking BrickTops….. R U Syrious
September 18, 2008 No Comments
Are you as tired as I am with bars and restaurants serving red wine that is too warm to drink? I sometimes feel that many folks drink white wine because they know that it will come chilled and therefore represent what the experts feel is the close to the correct temperature to maximum the wine taste.
If you are receiving a host of wine accessory catalogs you will notice that the industry is catching up on this issue. Two temperature tools that I have tested are a wine clip thermometer to put on a bottle that gives the internal temperature and the other is a VinTemp. It shots an infrared beam and extracts the temperature of the liquid in the corked or uncorked container.
When I got around to testing the wine clip, I found a minor flaw with the instrument. It has a range of temperatures from a low of around 40 to an upper range in the high 70s and my first bottle was warmer than the highest temperature, therefore it would not register anything! Well I suppose that the company is right, NO wine should be brought to the table that is SO warm that their gauge would NOT react. But in FL as well as any open air restaurant in the summer much wine would fail the ideal temp test if the bottle storage is sitting right on the bar top or in the open window sill. The wine clip looks and feels like a woman’s bracelet, so a little bulky without carrying a purse. A smaller device that does not having the limited temp range of the wine clip and is the VinTemp.
I’ve seen this as a keychain, a pen or the one I tested which is like a stubby ball point pen. Just shoot the glass or bottle and the temp is displayed in F or C. It has a printed gauge showing the range of acceptable temperatures for various types of wines. Very handy! Why? Even moron bartenders will acknowledge that a red wine being poured at 80 degrees is TOO warm for the patron!
That leaves the establishment to figure out how to rectify the problem. One way I have found is to have the entire wine bottle chilled in the ice bin or cooler (which is what they should be doing!) Another way is to have them pour the wine into a small wine carafe and then dunk that vessel into a large iced water glass for a couple of minutes. With the VinTemp you can check the temp frequently until you are satisfied with the temp!
However, we know this will be cumbersome for the establishment but it will solve YOUR problem of pouring warm wine at your home. Chill those reds! 60 to 65 degrees is an acceptable range, not 75 to 80 degrees.
Finally, I really want you and me to push ALL establishments that serve wine to keep those wines within proper serving temperatures. Look at our Good to Know and find the simple little sign that I encourage you to put on the bar reminding the bar/restaurant to start treating the warm wine issue seriously and do something about it. A small version is:
W A R M
M O R E
Now, all of you WineFestivites go forth and proclaim, NO MORE WARM WINE!
P.S. There are several good articles addressing the issue of warm red wines and the effect on your taste buds. Just Google “warm wine tasting” or some such combination to find them. Additionally, WineFestNews would accept other products to test and let you know you know how we feel about them, so send them along. We’re not shy about freebies!
Wine Joke of the Month:
Did you hear that CA vintners that primarily produce Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic? It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night. The new wine will be marketed as……..
Start planning for these upcoming events:
Check out the Atlantic City Food & Wine Fest in mid-October if you want to visit somewhere with gambling too!
How about Paso Robles Harvest Wine Tour being held on Oct 17-19, good for those that wish to visit, sort-of, southern California.
Or jump on board the Monterey Wine Fest, the one that got me hooked years ago, since the auction always has the best BIG bottles for bidding on! Fun event held on the 16th of October. You just gotta go to the opening evening event at the aquarium. One of a kind!!
Till next month, so long from R U Syrious.
P.S. Our re-tooled web page is taking more time than we anticipated, so just be patience and check back often. Promise it will be what we really did promise not to long ago,/p>
P.S.S. Blogs from our attending Steamboat, Grape to Glass, Bordeaux barging and Yorkville Highlands fests now or shortly up at our site. Remember to make your own comments on any festival we list and you have attended. Everyone wants to know what you think!
September 5, 2008 No Comments