Thursday, March 12, 2009


I found an online community for wine enthusiasts that I really like which lets you create a virtual cellar of the wine you own for free. Snooth, it's fantastic! If you choose to, you can search for the wines you own and see the associated tasting notes, recommended "drink by" dates, price, and the opinions of others who have experienced the wine.

You can follow your favorite wineries announcements and of course, sign up for a plethora of email subscriptions according to your interests. Another thing I like about the site is that recommendations of wines to try will be suggested based upon the wines you rate. has a welcoming interface, it's friendly and approachable. I will look forward to using it as the source I go to for cataloging my favorites.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Aerators are fun - and now handy

I'm not much into decanting wine, the container is a hassle to pour from and don't get me started on having to clean the thing. The only value that I see in a decanting vessel is that they are less likely to fall over than a bottle of wine when placed upon the carpet in front of the tv... where I normally find myself enjoying a bottle.

I think there is now an alternative to the decanting hassle in the new gadget called the Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator. It's a handheld tool that when used improves the drinking experience. I did a few blind tastings using the Vinturi and not -- and the biggest difference I can make out is that when aerated the taste is less tannic. I used the aerator with a '06 Tapiz malbec, '99 Jessup Cellars Carneros merlot, '06 Cosentino tempranillo - among others and can say that results are similar in each case. The pours using the Vinturi opened up the bouquets and took the initial edge from the recently opened bottles.

One of the downsides of the Vinturi Wine Aerator is it can be messy if wine is poured too quickly into it. So I recommend filling the aerator slowly until it reaches the top lip and then let the wine ease out -- your glass may not be as full as a normal pour, but so what... you'll find that you may just enjoy the wine for a longer period of time with the smaller pours.

You can find the aerator at,, and eBay for $30 or so.

Let me know what you think about it!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wine Rack Needed

It's time for me to upgrade my pseudo wine cellar located beneath my worn-once party dresses in my small apartment's closet. I've given some thought about what I DON'T want for a wine rack: I don't want a something requiring power; something that I have to drill into a wall; something that I have to make space for on my kitchen counter; or anything rod-iron.

Ideally, this "rack" would also function as an entertainment center and cost less than $300. Am I nuts? Does this type of thing exist -- I've searched all of the usual places: Ikea,,, etc. Nothing yet... if you have any ideas - I'm interested.

Here's a pic of what I'm thinking (without the $1400 price tag).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pick a region and explore

Here's a tip, one to help you get familiar with the varieties of wine there is to choose from: start with just one region in the world and explore the wineries and grapes of that region. For example, pick the California Central Coast region or wherever appeals to you. Visit your local BevMo and scan the red or white aisle and pick a few wines from that region. I like reds, so I'd pick a merlot, a cab, a pinot, and a zin. Over the next weeks, pop open a bottle and write down or remember what you liked best. If you really preferred one type of grape over the others - then venture outside the region. See if it sticks. Maybe you've found something special OR maybe you'll find you like that type of grape no matter the region.

Here's a good one from the Central Coast: Eberle Cabernet.

Next thing you know you'll be shopping for airfares on and on your way to taste in person at your preferred region.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Where not to bother with wine

OK! I took one for the team. I went to lunch the other day at the Olive Garden - love the Toscana soup and salad for $5.95. While reading the menu I checked out the wine offering. There weren't any wines that caught my eye - however, this blog was fresh in my mind. I decided to conduct some research and gave the house red wine a try. It's a label that the restaurant manages, allegedly to compliment the Italian food they serve.

The waitress pulled out the cork with her hand by twisting the cork upward. She filled my glass to the tippy top so she could kill the bottle. Heh. And with that - any glimmer of hope that I might have had desolved. I lifted the glass carefully to my mouth. There was no way for me to smell the wine without spilling on myself. I took a sip, swallowed and wished I could get my $4.95 back. The wine was not pleasant. It was a .3 on the 5 point scale. It was flat, bitter, with an after taste like vinegar. And this is why it's not a surprise that wine doesn't taste good to many people. Choosing wine at a place like the Olive Garden is not recommended. It's a novelty for the restaurant. Their business is all-you-can eat pasta and mediocre sauce. Not wine. Save yourself the money - and wait til happy hour for your daily glass of wine. Don't drink at the Olive Garden.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

About the blogger

I don’t profess to be a wine expert. I’m an everyday wine enthusiast. I like the 2 buck chuck (sometimes) and I love so many more types of wine.

I was having dinner with a friend in New York, where a waiter embarrassed her over the way she went about tasting a bottle of wine at the table that it occurred to me how uncomfortable it can be to taste a bottle of wine. My friend just wanted the waiter to pour the wine and be on his way, but in her haste to sip the wine and nod that things were fine, the waiter presumed we didn’t know much about wine and made an off the cuff remark, “next time you should keep the wine glass on the table when you swirl.” My friend didn’t go through the typical ritual of tasting wine – and the waiter supposed we were out of our league. I was annoyed. So I decided that I would share with the Internet what I know (it’s not a whole lot, but it’s enough to give you the power to feel comfortable choosing wine at a restaurant or in a grocery store when there’s a sale.) I’ll share with you my top picks – hopefully, there is a BevMo in your neighborhood – I’ll refer to it a lot.