Too Much Wine Too Little Time

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NY Giants Super Bowl 2012


Getting ready to select a couple of bottles of wine to celebrate our New York Giants during the Super Bowl tomorrow. You better believe that we will be opening a few cellar aged beauties to celebrate this landmark season. Going in as underdogs and taking the Wild Card into the playoffs all the way to the big game. I think more bottles of wine were consumed this season than any other, both in celebration and in misery as it wasn’t always pretty! Definitely excited to watch the Giants fend off the Patriots once again while enjoying some of my favorite wines!!!! Sure hope we can open a real special celebratory bottle if they win….maybe a Schramsberg Reserve would suit the occasion! GO GIANTS!

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Napa Valley Visit 2011

Next Saturday begins another Napa Valley visit, a trip and experience I never grow tired of! The ever changing valley and the wines it brings to life always provide a new and refreshing experience. The visit will be our tenth one and along the way we have grown in our view and knowledge of California wines, made friends and built relationships with some great wineries. I know that with every visit there is so much we have yet to see and each trip becomes unique. As always our goal is to search out the “just under the radar wineries” that don’t get all the press, and there is no shortage of these great places in the valley. We will also return to Sonoma this year after a two year layoff. This excites me as I love the difference between the hustle and bustle of Napa and the country style of Sonoma, not to mention fantastic wine the area is known for. Yes, I am looking forward to another great trip, sure to come back with some stories to write about and new wines I have discovered to add to my cellar collection. It is always so much fun to open one of those bottles later on and relive the memories of a great vacation where you discovered a winery for the first time. Cheers!

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WTSO Wine Bargains


Well, here I am today waiting anxiously for the next wine for sale to appear on WTSO AKA Wines Till Sold Out.  For those of you that don’t know the official website is www.tillsoldout.com and today is “The Big Marathon”.   Yes, it is, the big marathon featuring a new wine every fifteen minutes or until when you ask?  Till sold out…. Of course!  Part of me wants to tell the world about this great, simple, no frills, easy to use site and the other part wants to spread a nasty rumor about them in order to free up more of the wines for myself.   I already have trouble purchasing some of the fantastic values they offer.  Today for example, a Two Hands Napa Valley Cabernet appeared with a very low price of 39.99 with free shipping on any two or more bottles.  I apparently have a very slow computer or something as no sooner did I add 2 bottles to my shopping cart, the deal disappeared.  Do not be disillusioned though, I have purchased before with great success and two days later there was my wine, free shipping and all.

Excuse me for a minute while I check the latest great deal.   Oh, a Brookdale Cabernet 2007 Napa Valley.  Best web price available yesterday was $50.00 (shipping included in price) and WTSO is selling for $24.79 with free shipping on 3 or more bottles.  So, that is how it works, they give you a wine including any ratings issued by Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, or any other reviewer they have information on. A history of the winery, number of cases produced, tasting notes, and all the tidbits of information you might find useful when purchasing a wine.  They provide you # of bottles required to purchase in order to qualify for free shipping, their purchase price along with yesterdays best web price including shipping.  They gather this information via Google and other web sources (Btw, don’t log on looking for the Brookdale deal, it is gone already) to provide you a comparison to ensure the deal you are getting is real.  Pretty neat, huh?

WTSO’s website accurately states, fine wine, great prices, one wine at a time.  Wines everyday at 30% to 70% off is the slogan.  While I have touched on how it works, and mentioned the marathon today where a new wine is posted every fifteen minutes unless it sells out, in which case a new one is posted immediately, I have yet to explain a normal WTSO wine day.  Beginning at 12:01 am a new wine is posted, always one at a time and that wine stays until sold out and then a new bargain is posted.  Sometimes it is 7 minutes and it is sold out and sometimes 7 hours.  Another great feature is the WTSO app for the IPhone and the Droid.  I have it installed on my phone and get updates whenever a new wine is posted…I know, very cool; now I never miss a wine as I am notified as I would be if I got a new email or text message.

In closing while I have mixed emotions about sharing these great bargains, I hope you take advantage as I have.  No one can really say how long these types of deals will last, but this site and others of its type are a great way for both the winery owners and the consumers to take advantage of the sagging economy.  Let’s face it we can all use the discount and the winery can choose to unload some inventory surplus to make room for new vintages all without lowering the original prices.  Sort of a back door approach that is a win-win for all of us!

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Happy New Year

Wishing all of our vistors a very happy, healthy and successful New Year! May 2011 bring all of your wine wishes true! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

happy new year

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Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving! A special thanks to the men and women who protect our freedom, and can’t be home with family today. We pray for their safe return!

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2010 NFL Sunday Begins

Giants

Today kicks off the official start of the Sunday NFL Football season. I am happy to say that my team, the New York Giants began with a big win 31-18 over the Carolina Panthers. Carolina was the very same team that beat us 41-9 to end the season last year, revenge is so sweet. It is early and this is just one win out of a long 16 game season. Nice to kick it off with a resounding win though!  Wine and food have always been a big part of game day for us, both at home and while tailgating at the stadium. I am looking forward to another season of game day parties. The good food and wine will flow as always! GO GIANTS!!!!!

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Winding Down Summer

fall 02

With another summer sliding to a close I sit here thinking about the coming months. I have much to be excited about. Labor Day weekend is just around the corner and we always have a big picnic for family and friends, this year’s event will be extra special with my niece from Wisconsin visiting. Labor Day weekend here in North America also ushers in the start of September and the beginning of autumn; our Fall Season, which starts on September 21st. If you keep up with our writings, you know that next to summer, fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the weather, cool crisp air, the smells, colors and just being able to sit outside by my fireplace and enjoy it without all the heat and humidity. This is a time when as the chores of summer end, I can relax and reflect back over the past year thinking about all that has transpired. And this year has been a good one starting with a visit to Napa Valley back in March along with some great friends. We then travelled out to Wisconsin in May for the graduation of my nephew from high school, and my niece from college, along with my oldest son and his wife. What a great time both trips were! Then there was the time I spent with my granddaughter who was just a year old in June, watching her grow and change with each passing week. Yes, I would say it has been a great year, and it is not yet over. The excitement is building for another visit we have planned to Napa Valley in October. Our first visit to the valley in the fall, with the 2010 harvest winding down along with the crowds, and I can’t wait.  Yes, I am looking forward to the fall as I always do. This season should leave me with some great memories to carry through those long winter months until spring begins anew.     Fall 01

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Winter Games

Stuck in the house?  Looking for something to do?  I was just thinking recently about things to do in the winter months that are different, yet fun.  A neat idea popped into my head relating to wine.  I decided that when I watched the movie Sideways, I felt as though I had to drink Pinot Noir (definitely not Merlot) as that is the wine to drink in that movie.  I recall the next time I decided to watch I made sure I cracked a nice Pinot before hitting play on the DVD player.  At first I thought I could do that again as I haven’t watched Sideways in a while, but then I remembered that I also own the movie Bottle Shock.  As you know Bottle Shock is the story of how California wines made their mark in the famous Paris tastings and one California Chardonnay took top place.  That famous wine was the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay.  At the time that the Chardonnay took first place in Paris, the wine maker for Chateau Montelena was Mike Grgich; currently owner of his own label for over 30 years; Grgich Hills Estate.  The movie does reveal much about Mike Grgich or his identity, but you can easily research details about the Paris tasting and Mike Grgich. My idea is to purchase a bottle of the infamous Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as well as a bottle of Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay.  My own little personal Paris tasting…the wine vs. the winemaker!  Of course, it is not the infamous 1973 Chardonnay, but I think it will be fun to see how the wine that won evolved current day as well as how the winemaker has evolved.  Pick up the DVD Bottle Shock as well as a bottle of each Chardonnay and have your own Paris tasting too!  Stop back and see who I decided is my winner.

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Welcome 2010

img_0152Another year is passed and a new one has just begun. As much as I love the Christmas season the changing of the calendar year does very little for me. I enjoyed dinner with my family New Years Eve and again on New Year’s Day. It was great and I am always up for a good time and happy for the time spent with my kids, their wives and of course, the newest generation, my granddaughter. But really moving from one year to the next is just another day in my mind. Yes, there are some yearend tasks to perform such as tax preparation and making sure all of the prior year paperwork is in order, changing calendars and so on. There are also many who will make big New Year’s resolutions vowing to be different and all of that, but how often do they really keep those promises? As I look back and reflect on the past year I realize there were good things that happened in my life and also some not so good, all things considered though I am better off than many of those less fortunate. 2009 was not financially strong with the bad economy, but the highlight for me was the birth of my first Grandchild, a beautiful little girl who without a doubt has changed my life for the better! The point in all this is that I pretty much know that 2010 will be much like other years of my life with some good and some bad and I always hope the good outweighs the bad and pray that there are no earth shattering events. When I allow myself to look ahead on the New Year I can look forward to some good things already. It seems that the economy is starting to take a step in the right direction, hopefully some of the troops will make it home and there are no more terror attacks. Those are my global thoughts, but on a personal level we have a Napa Valley trip we are planning in March with a group of friends for my wife’s 40th birthday that I am looking forward to. A visit to the valley in the first quarter of 2010 is certainly something to toast in the New Year, so maybe this year will be a bit different since it is my first time to Napa in March! Maybe it isn’t just another day for me after all. Happy New Year, may you all realize your dreams and goals in 2010 and as always, enjoy a glass or two!

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Sediment in Wine

Have you ever taken a sip of a really outstanding wine that you have thoroughly enjoyed and get a mouthful of sediment? I call them bugs because that is what it reminds me of, but they aren’t really bugs, they are Tartaric Crystals which form over time and are actually not harmful at all. It is just so strange to drink a solid when you are expecting a liquid. It does make you want to spit the wine out; which is just instinct when you think something strange is happening and you are about to swallow a foreign object. I don’t know exactly what causes the crystals to form and have never really researched it much; however, I am no longer grossed out by it. I am starting to find the crystals somewhat fascinating in a strange way as far as the shape they take on. Imagine drinking a really good wine and you are down to the last sip you want to savor and poof, your wine is suddenly crunchy…yuck! That is the part that upsets me, I really wanted that last sip and don’t want to swallow the bugs! I have seen a pattern in some older wines and of course unfiltered wines that tend to have more crystals than other wines and in those cases I make sure to strain the wine so I capture the bugs in my imaginary net (strainer). The fact of the matter is sediment is a natural occurrence in some wines, and generally in the ones that are made for aging. While sediment can be pretty unpleasant to drink it will not harm you. Carefully pouring wine from a bottle can capture the sediment in the rim of the wine bottle prior to the neck or using a strainer and decanter can also capture the sediment. It is just another part of the learning experience for me; sediment is a natural part of wine and should not ruin the experience.
Check out the link below to purchase a wine sediment strainer of your own: