Posts Tagged ‘WTSO’

Mother’s Day Escapades – 2022 Edition

May 16, 2022 Leave a comment

Sometimes, the best plan is to have no plans.

When it comes to holidays, I usually start sweating it long in advance. What wine is worthy of a celebration? What should I open to match up the holiday? What will everyone enjoy? This chain of thought usually is followed by a long process of opening wine cabinet doors and pulling shelves back and forth. Yes, I might have a loose idea of what should be available, but I still don’t remember where which wine is, so I have to really search for it. It’s a process, and more often than not I even manage to annoy myself with the “wine selection paralysis” of my own making.

Mother’s Day last Sunday was nothing like the usual. There were only 5 of us. My wife drinks very little wine as of late (or any alcohol for that matter), my mother-in-law prefers tequila, and my kids don’t like wine, so I didn’t have much to worry about in terms of the wine program. Also as spring is settling in here in Connecticut, there were lots to do outside – cleaning, building new raised beds, preparing for the soil and mulch delivery which were taking place the next day.

Coming back into the house after a few hours of work outside I realized that I’m craving a glass of white wine. The first bottle which grabbed my attention was unpretentious 2020 Domaine René Malleron La Vauvelle Sancerre. Sancerre is a rare guest in the house, as it is usually a more expensive version of Sauvignon Blanc than the others, and for my personal preferences, I find that I like a generic Loire Sauvignon more than a typical Sancerre. I’m not even sure how I got this bottle, I’m assuming it was something I found through a WTSO offer.

Never mind this “not liking of Sancerre” – this bottle was superb. Fresh, floral, and a touch grassy on the nose, it delivered exactly the same profile on the palate – bright, elegant, round, crisp, clean, thirst-quenching, and delicious.

I was thinking about opening the bottle of Syrah for dinner. While looking for a particular bottle to open, I came across this 2004 Vaucher Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin. Of course, this is Burgundy and not a Syrah, but there is nothing wrong with celebrating with Burgundian Pinot Noir instead of Californian or Washington Syrah, especially considering that I was looking at this bottle for a while.

This happened to be another successful choice for a few reasons – it was at its peak, probably about to start the journey down. While it tasted good at the moment, it was also a timely decision as I’m not sure it would be still enjoyable a few years down the road. The wine had smoked plums and cherries on the nose, and more of the same darker fruit profile on the palate, introducing the notes of dried fruit, but still having enough freshness to be enjoyed. The wine also well complemented the burgers, which were our main dish. Those were good burgers – Peter Luger burgers from our local Darien Butcher Shop (DBS for short), and good burgers are well worthy of a good glass of wine.

As a surprise, my daughter requested a Mimosa while dinner was in the making. I don’t have a lot of bubbles in the house, so at the moment I didn’t have any Prosecco or a Cava which would be my preferred choice for this purpose. I opened a bottle of one of my favorite everyday Champagne – NV André Chemin Brut Tradition Champagne, which is made with 100% Pinot Noir. While the girls enjoyed their Mimosas, I was happy to have a few glasses of this delicious wine – a perfect combination of freshly toasted bread and yeasty notes, crisp, refreshing, and satisfying.

Here it is, a full account of a celebration in the wine terms. It was definitely unusual for this household to drink only French wines, and also classic French wines – Burgundy, Champagne, and Sancerre – in one sitting. Interestingly enough I believe all three wines were procured through WTSO, which is simply a fun fact I would like to mention.

Father’s Day is coming in about a month – it might be the time to start worrying about my wine choices…

Weekly Tasting with Wines Til Sold Out – The Wines

February 17, 2018 3 comments

A few weeks ago I wrote about the new feature from the unimitable Wines Til Sold Out – a Weekly Tasting. Every week, there is a new set of 4 wines available for you with all the extra fun information – history, stories, pairing recommendations and more – like your personal sommelier visits the house for a fun and entertaining evening. I didn’t have a chance to taste the wines as I was living for a business trip, so I only introduced the concept – now it is time to talk about the wines.

The set which I got was really right up my alley – I love all of the lesser known grapes and appellations.

White grape Furmint is a star – but only in Hungary, and mostly in the world-famous dessert wines called Tokaji. Dry Furmint is difficult to produce, as most of the plantings are very susceptible to the noble rot due to the climatic conditions.

Another white grape, Picpoul de Pinet, is only growing in France, and it is quite rare even in that same France. Zweigelt is not necessarily rare, but definitely a lesser known grape from Austria, capable of delivering superbly playful wines. And Mencía is currently in the search of an identity, which usually makes it fun to taste – you never know what you will find.

For what it worth, here are my notes:

2014 Patricius Tokaj Furmint (12% ABV)
C: light golden
N: touch of petrol and honeysuckle, guava, medium intensity
P: more petrol, lemon zest, nice green undertones, almonds, pear, excellent minerality, good acidity
V: 8, very playful with nice complexity.

2016 Charisse Picpoul de Pinet Blanc AOP (12.5% ABV)
C: straw pale, green undertones.
N: Apple, perfume, white peach, jasmine flowers.
P: restrained, touch of herbal notes, good minerality, pomelo, crisp acidity
V: 8-/8, very nice, food-friendly, will complement a wide range of dishes.

2015 Pfaffl Zweigelt vom Haus Niederösterreich Qualitätswein aus Österreich (12.5% ABV)
C: dark garnet, almost black
N: eucalyptus, blackberries, forest underbrush
P: clear black pepper backbone, more blackberries, touch of sapidity. Unusual
V: 8-, needs time to open ( was much better on the 2nd and 3rd days).

2015 Vega del Cúa Tinto Mencía Bierzo DO (13.5% ABV)
C: dark garnet
N: tobacco and barnyard, both are very pronounced.
P: sweet cherries, hint of tobacco. Very unusual profile as the fruit is initially perceived as sweet, and then it quickly subsides without acidity kicking in. Very short finish.
V: 7, not my favorite – but it might need more time…. 7+ second day, more of an 8- after 5 days (using air pump to preserve the wine). A lot more integrated after 5 days, showing nice pepper notes and much longer finish.

Here you are, my friends. Furmint was definitely a favorite, but I truly can’t complain about this set of wines – this was definitely a fun tasting. Kudos to Wines Til Sold Out for bringing up yet another great service for the wine lovers. Get your weekly tasting set today, invite your friends over, and go have some fun! Cheers!


New Ways To Buy Wine From Wines ‘Til Sold Out

August 19, 2017 4 comments

Wine is an expensive passion, we all know that. Of course, passions and hobbies are generally expensive, and if someone’s passion is Swiss watches or sports cars, that is a totally different level of expense. Nevertheless, if you like to have a good glass of wine every day, your wine budget allocation will quickly add up to some scary amounts.

I don’t remember when I discovered Wines ‘Til Sold Out, commonly referred to as WTSO – at least 8 years ago, or possibly even longer – but it was really an eye-opening experience. When I saw the wines offered at 30%, 50% or even 70% off, with free shipping, my first thought was “is that even real”? First, second, tens orders proved that all is for real – the wines, the prices, the shipping, the service  – all were there, and the space in my cellar started to diminish at a rapid pace – but this is not a subject of today’s post.

Wines ‘Til Sold Out is a fine specimen of what is called a “flash-sale” website – the product (in this case, wine) is offered for sale at a greatly reduced price, until it will be sold out (sometimes in minutes), with a free shipping if you meet minimum required purchase quantities. In case of Wines ‘Til Sold Out, such sales are typically announced through an email, a tweet or an app on the smartphones, and you typically need to react quickly if you want to get it – sometimes you don’t even have time to research the wine online, as by the time you are done, there will be nothing left to buy. And what I really appreciate about Wines ‘Til Sold Out is that their typical offering will keep you under $100 for the total order – I’ve seen a few exceptions, but those are very, very rare.

In addition to having wines offered for the “flash sale”, Wines ‘Til Sold Out also runs a series of so-called Marathons. I’ve seen WTSO experiment a bit with the format of those, but a Marathon is typically a whole day event (starting at 9 AM Eastern and lasting until midnight), where the new wines are offered every 15 minutes or faster (if current offer sells out), all wines at a very good price and sometimes even without minimum quantities to buy (you can read more about WTSO marathons here).

Both regular format and marathons are a great way to get good wines at amazing prices. But everything in this world has two sides, isn’t it? So what is the issue, you ask? Simple. Quite often, the wines are moving simply too fast. I had been in the situations where by the time I decide to buy the wine, it is all gone. Marathons are the worst – I had been clicking like a mad man to get to the “confirm order” button, and by the time I press this button, the sad message would appear to inform me that the wine is no longer available.

If you ever been in a similar situation, I have a good news for you. Wines ‘Til Sold Out recently introduced the new way to buy the wine – Bonus Offers. Once you would come to the Wines ‘Til Sold Out web site, look for the “Bonus Offers” in the top menu – when you will click it, you will be presented with the offering of up to 9 different wines – you can buy any or all, no minimums to get free shipping. The wines will be always grouped by a certain theme – one time it can be wines from Napa Valley, another time it can be Cabernet Sauvignon around the world – there is always an opportunity to be pleasantly surprised.

The new set of Bonus Offers wines will be typically announced via email, and it will last until the wines will be sold out or there will be a time to offer new selection. It is entirely possible that new wines will be added to the current Bonus Offer to replace sold out ones, but this will not be communicated via email, so you pretty much have no choice but to visit the web site and check the Bonus Offers page from time to time. Yesterday, the Bonus Offers page looked like this:

and today Bonus Offer already looks differently – but what else do you expect when the wines are simply getting sold out?

There you have it, my friends. Same great wines at great prices, now with the opportunity to sweat less and simply get what you wnat when you want it. In the world of wine, I’m always happy to drink to that. Cheers!


Enjoy Your Summer A Little Bit More – With Rosé from WTSO

July 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Is summer the best time of the year? Well, I love all seasons, but with the right weather, summer might be the most enjoyable. Can we enjoy it “better”? Of course – with a glass of Rosé in your hand.

There is something special about the Rosé. We eat with our eyes first, and we drink that way too. If you think about color of the white wine, you get the range from literally a clear water to a dark gold – white wine is fun to look at, but the color of it doesn’t provoke much thought, unless you are in a blind tasting setting. Similar story with the reds – the color goes from the bright ruby to literally black, but again, the color doesn’t bring that much of the visual pleasure.

Rosé is a totally different game. The shades of pink go from the onion peel to salmon to copper to electric pink, and just a visual effect of the bottle of Rosé is appealing and uplifting, it says “the world looks a little bit better now, isn’t it”? We don’t always carry around those pink-colored glasses which improve our life’s outlook, but the bottles of Rosé can have the same effect. Who is with me? Yep, go pour yourself another glass.

So we agreed that Rosé itself can make our summer better. Can we further improve that? Of course! With the help of Wines ‘Til Sold Out, commonly known as WTSO. WTSO provides tremendous service to all of the wine lovers – it finds great wines at amazing prices – and passes savings to all of us. To make our summer even better than it is, WTSO is offering a special Côtes de Provence Rosé 4-pack collection, which you can find here.

I had an opportunity to taste these wines and here are my impressions:

2016 Famille Négrel Diamant de Provence Côtes de Provence (12.5% ABV)
C: pale, very pale pink
N: minerality, gunflint, ocean breeze
P: beautiful fresh profile, touch of underripe strawberries, crisp acidity, nice salinity, excellent balance. Appears very light, but very present in the glass.
V: 8, very nice, perfectly enjoyable, and guaranteed to remove at least 5 degrees off the thermometer.

2016 Château Garamache Côtes de Provence (12% ABV)
C: light salmon pink
N: muted, touch of green leaves
P: savory, good lemony acidity, but missing on the overall package. Acidic finish, needs more fruit.
V: 7-, should be good with food – salad comes to mind.

2016 Château Gassier Ormilles Côtes de Provence (13% ABV)
C: beautiful pink color, rose gold
N: onion peel, strawberries, medium intensity, inviting
P: ripe strawberries with touch of honey, a bit of perceived sweetness, perfect balance, delicious.
V: 8/8+, quintessential Provence. When I think “Provence”, this is a taste profile I expect

2016 Domaine du Garde Temps Tourbillon Vielles Vignes Côtes-de-Provence (12.5% ABV, 50% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah)
C: bright salmon pink
N: onion peel and savory strawberries
P: fresh, crisp, tart strawberries, beautiful palate cleanser, excellent balance.
V: 8, nicely present wine, good weight in the mouth, excellent for summer and not only. Needs about 20 minutes to breath.

Enjoy your summer and drink Rosé! Cheers!

Following Wines Til Sold Out – Anything Goes Marathon, September 2015

September 23, 2015 3 comments

WTSO logo 2012It was a while since I posted one of these, but when I saw the announcement for the Wine Til Sold Out “Anything Goes” marathon, somehow I felt inclined to collect the data and create this post. As nobody has time to constantly watch all the wines been offered, the table below presents all (I hope) wines which were included in the marathon, so you can ponder at your own leisure – sorry, that might lead to some regrets too, but I can’t help you with that.

The fact that I didn’t do this in a while shows in the quality of data below, unfortunately – quite a bit of information is missing. I had to recreate the script, and the computer went to sleep right in a middle of a data collection and I lost it all on the wake up. But I hope you will still find it useful as limited as it is. You can see below the prices, the ratings and at what time the wines were offered and for how long they lasted.

Without further ado, here is the table with all the wines offered during marathon (including super-beauty double Barolo package offered right after). If you took part in the marathon, I’m curious to know what you got. And if you missed some wines – well, you can rant in that comments space below. Happy Wine Wednesday and cheers!

Here is the guide to the rating abbreviations (this list is ever inclusive – not all of them are used below): WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, ST – Steven Tanzer, WE – Wine Enthusiast, WRO –  Wine Review Online, W&S – Wine and Spirits, JS – James Suckling, RP – Robert Parker, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, D – Decanter Magazine, rating goes in stars ( 5 stars is max), JH – James Halliday, TRR – The Rhone Report, BH – Burghound, IWR – International Wine Report, TLC – The Library Collection, PR – Pinot Report, TWN – The Wine News, LM – Luca Maroni, Sn –

Time Wine Rating MSRP Price %off
12:00a Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano 2005/2007 2-Pack WA95, ST95 $520.00 $199.99 62%
11:45p Sullivan Vineyards Rutherford Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon JHN93 $70.00 $29.99 57%
11:29p Podere la Regola ‘La Regola’ Super Tuscan IGT Red Blend 2008 WA93 $46.00 $22.99 50%
11:13p Achaval-Ferrer ‘Finca Mirador’ Mendoza Malbec 2008 WA96, 93WS $150.00 $59.99 60%
11:00p Col d’Orcia ‘Il Veltro’ Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008 $50.00 $23.99 52%
10:44p Clarendon Hills ‘Liandra Vineyard’ Clarendon Syrah 2007 JH95 $85.00 $33.99 60%
10:35p Casalvento ‘Janus’ Toscana 2011 Half Bottle (375.00ml) JS93 $60.00 $19.99 67%
10:20p Giacomo Borgogno et Figli Barolo Riserva DOCG 2004 Special Edition JS93 $110.00 $39.99 64%
10:06p Chateau Luchey-Halde Pessac-Leognan Red Blend 2009 IWR92+ $95.00 $29.99 68%
9:50p Philippe LeClerc Gevrey-Chambertin Les Champeaux 1er Cru 2011 JHN92 $120.00 $49.99 58%
9:36p Champagne Tendil & Lombardi Cuvee Rose NV WS90 $69.00 $29.99 57%
9:30p Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard 2011 WS93 $75.00 $39.99 47%
9:15p Eagles Trace Winery Estate Grown Napa Valley Merlot 2007 $45.00 $22.99 49%
9:00p Barolo 2009 Single Vineyard Cru Ciabot Berton Roggeri WRO94, JS93 $90.00 $32.99 63%
8:45p Marques del Puerto Bentus Reserva 2005 WE92 $60.00 $19.99 67%
8:36p Rancho Zabaco Monte ‘Toreador’ 2010 Rosso Vineyard Sonoma Valley Zinfandel WA93 $60.00 $26.99 55%
8:23p La Esquina Torrontes 2014 $22.00 $9.99 55%
8:09p Corte Campagnola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Gli Archi 2004 WE92 $54.99 $29.99 45%
8:00p Krutz Family Cellars Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2011 $74.00 $39.99 47%
7:49p Lisini 2009 Brunello di Montalcino 93 rating and 53% IWR93, WS91 $78.00 $36.99 53%
7:34p Sancerre 2013 ‘Les 7 Hommes ‘ 100% Sauvignon Blanc By Cherrier Pere & Fils IWR90+ $39.00 $17.99 54%
7:26p Quinta Seara d’Ordens Vintage Port 2011 WE92 $90.00 $37.99 58%
7:16p Colle Lungo Campo Cerchi Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 $50.00 $24.99 50%
7:04p Domaine du Grand Tinel Chateauneuf du Pape 2012 WS91, WA91 $60.00 $26.99 55%
6:52p Robert Young Estate Winery ‘Red Winery Road’ Chardonnay 2013 $35.00 $17.99 49%
6:41p Piper Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rose Sauvage NV WRO93, WS92 $69.99 $39.99 43%
6:31p Tempranillo ‘Valnuevo’ Toro 2006 Bodegas y Vinedos Tardencuba WA93+ $70.00 $39.99 43%
6:23p Eagles Trace Wines ‘Latitude 38’ Estate Grown Napa Valley Red Blend 2011 $85.00 $34.99 59%
6:12p Gaston and Pierre Ravaut Aloxe-Corton Vieilles Vignes 2009 Cote de Beaune WS90 $70.00 $35.99 49%
5:58p Citille di Sopra ‘Poggio Ronconi’ Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 JS97 $95.00 $46.99 51%
5:50p Encantado Rutherford 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $50.00 $22.99 54%
5:38p Ernest Meurgey-Perron Meursault Premier Cru White Burgundy 2013 JHN92 $100.00 $39.99 60%
5:24p Champagne Philippe Prie Cuvee Archange NV WS92 $95.00 $34.99 63%
5:15p Mendoza Vineyards Gran Reserva Malbec 2011 WA92 $60.00 $19.99 67%
4:58p Fontanafredda ‘Varej’ Barbera Piedmont DOC 2013 $17.99 $9.99 44%
4:48p Champagne Henri Abele Rose NV WS91 $55.00 $27.99 49%
4:42p Long Meadow Ranch Rutherford 2013 Reserve Red Blend JHN93 $100.00 $29.99 70%
4:36p Antolini ‘Moropio’ Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010 WE93 $79.00 $27.99 65%
4:22p Domaine Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Prestige 2011 WS93, WA93 $80.00 $39.99 50%
4:16p Sojourn Cellars ‘Campbell Ranch Vineyard’ Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 PR94 $45.00 $39.99 11%
4:08p Fattoria Scopone Brunello di Montalcino ‘Olivare’ DOCG 2010 JS95 $80.00 $36.99 54%
3:56p Super Tuscan ‘Marchesale’ Terre del Marchesato Toscana IGT 2007 WE94 $80.00 $33.99 58%
3:44p Ribera del Duero 2009 ‘Antonio Izquierdo’ Vendimia Seleccionada Bodegas Izquiredo WA93 $120.00 $45.99 62%
3:28p Keating Wines ‘Buchignani Vineyard’ Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012 WE91 $35.00 $19.99 43%
3:14p Burgess Cellars ‘Library Release’ Napa Valley 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon $150.00 $89.99 40%
3:11p Antonin Rodet Macon-Ige ‘Le Chaillou’ Chardonnay 2011 JHN91 $35.00 $14.99 57%
2:55p Domaine Louis Cheze Cuvee ‘Anges’ Saint-Joseph AOC Syrah 2007 WS93 $75.00 $29.99 60%
2:42p Sullivan Vineyards Rutherford Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon JHN93 $70.00 $29.99 57%
2:29p Bodegas Bioenos Gorys Crespiello 2010 91 rating and 72% WA91 $100.00 $27.99 72%
2:18p Fontanafredda ‘Lazzarito’ Vigna La Delizia Barolo DOCG 1999 WA92 $170.00 $49.99 71%
2:08p Guillaume Baptiste ‘L’Evidence’ 2014   Pouilly-Fume JHN91+ $35.00 $15.99 54%
1:58p Pannier Egerie Champagne 2002 WE92 $100.00 $39.99 60%
1:52p Casalvento Vineyards and Winery Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2010 94 47%
1:46p C. Donatiello Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012 92 56%
1:34p Eagles Trace ‘Latitude 38’ Estate Grown Napa Valley Red Blend 2009 51%
1:26p Chateau Moulin de la Rose Saint-Julien 2008 WE92 59%
1:16p Clarendon Hills ‘Blewitt Springs’ Clarendon Grenache 2007 93 46%
1:08p Valentina Cubi ‘Morar’ 2008 Amarone della Valpolicella 93 59%
1:01p Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2012 94 43%
12:50p Tenimenti Soprani Barolo DOCG 2010 56%
12:37p Jamieson Ranch Vineyards ‘Reata’ 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 92 56%
12:24p Buoncristiani Family Winery ‘O.P.C.’ Napa Valley 2010 Proprietary Red Blend 92 40%
12:16p Loacker Corte Pavone Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008 93 59%
12:09p H. Blin Champagne Brut NV 91 59%
11:50a Maroon Winery Spring Mountain District Reserve 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon 50%
11:39a Prosecco Bosco dei Cirmioli Veneto NV 50%
11:24a Lisini 2009 Brunello di Montalcino 93 53%
11:16a Vintage Port Wine and Soul ‘Pintas’ 2011 96 38%
11:07a Gran Reserva Rioja 2001 Bodegas Lar de Paula Gran Baroja 90 47%
11:02a Encantado 2012 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 62%
10:55a Joseph Mellot Vigne de la Demoiselle Sancerre Rose 2014 44%
10:47a Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco DOCG 2005 50%
10:41a Pinot Noir Premier Cru Beaune Perrieres 2007 Maison Louis Latour 90 57%
10:26a Champagne Veuve Doussot Brut Rose NV 100% Pinot Noir 90 63%
10:17a Robert Stemmler Winery Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir 2011 91 55%
10:08a Groth Vineyards and Winery Reserve 2010   Cabernet Sauvignon 94 36%
9:53a Barolo DOCG Cascina Adelaide ‘Fossati’ 2008 WS93 $125.00 $39.99 68%
9:44a Domaine Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Prestige 2008 93 63%
9:34a Sancerre 100% Sauvignon Blanc   Vieilles Vignes 2012 Domaine Raimbault 91 62%
9:29a Cru du Rhone Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2011 Domaine du Grand Montmirail 91 64%
9:22a Casa Brancaia ‘Ilatraia’ 2009 Maremma Toscana IGT 94 56%
9:15a Beaulieu Vineyard ‘Tapestry’ Napa Valley Reserve Red Blend 2011 54%
9:00a Piper-Heidsieck Vintage Brut 2006 92 33%


Wednesday’s Meritage – Critic on Criticism, #MWWC19 Reminder, Wine and Food Festivals Abound, Allegrini Wine Dinner and more

September 9, 2015 9 comments

Meritage Time!

First, I want to bring to your attention an interesting article by none less than Jancis Robinson, who wrote a very interesting piece called “Jancis Robinson on wine experts versus amateurs“, recently published in Financial Times. In the article, she is talking about the challenges professional wine critics face in today’s world, where literally everyone have an opinion about wines, and not afraid to share it. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

Next up – a Monthly Wine Writing Challenge Number 19 (#MWWC19) reminder – there is less than a week left in the current challenge (last day is September 14th), and if I’m not mistaken, there were very few submissions so far. I understand that theme is challenging – “Choice” can mean all and nothing at the same time – but this is why it is a challenge, and this is why your participation is required! If this can be a source of inspiration, here is the link to my own mumbling on the subject – I’m sure you can do better. Write up, people!

Now, last weekend of September might be challenging for the food and wine lovers, as multiple events will be competing for your time and attention:

Greenwich Wine and Food Festival 2015, presented by Serendipity, will take place September 23-26 in Greenwich, Connecticut – lots of celebrities, Food Network Chefs, wine, food contests and more are in the program. Here is the link for detailed information, tickets and more.

The 10th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival will take place on September 25-27, 2015 at The Elms, Rosecliff & Marble House mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. Food& Wine Magazine will be hosting the festivities, and there is a very long list of celebrities and celebrity chefs who will be in attendance there – Martha Stewart, Jacques Pepin and many others will be present, so you can expect lots of delicious food, great wines and fun time. Here is the link for detailed information.

Georgian Food and Wine Festival should take place in New York City on September 25-27 at Chelsea Markets. At this point, this is all information I have – I can’t even give you a link – but just in case, if you are in New York city, see if a visit to Chelsea Markets will fit into your schedule – this will be a free event and I’m sure you will not regret making it.

Now, a bit more of a local event, but on Tuesday, September 15th, Vespa restaurant in Westport, Connecticut, will be hosting an Allegrini wine dinner, where 5 different wines from Allegrini & Poggio al Tesoro estates will be paired with the dishes specially created by the Chef David White. Allegrini is well known producer our of Veneto  in Italy (so yes, there will be Amarone on the list), and they also own Poggio al Tesoro vineyards in Tuscany. To get full information about the dinner and to reserve your spot, please visit Vespa Westport web site.

And the last one for today: WTSO, the best of the best in the world of the value wines, will conduct their famous “Anything Goes” Marathon on Monday, September 21st, starting at 9 AM US Eastern time. Wines will be offered in a rapid succession, new wines will be advertised only through the Twitter (no emails and no App notifications), no minimums to buy to get free shipping. But you better have all your information ready, as wines will be flying. If you are not already doing so, you might want to follow WTSO on Twitter. Happy hunting!

And this is all I have for you for today. The glass is empty, but the refill is on the way. Cheers!


Spanish Wine Recommendations, Part 4 – Where to Buy Spanish Wines

April 13, 2015 15 comments

PJWine_Rioja_IsleAs I was rather hoping for, this post is becoming a living thing – I started receiving suggestions for the additional sources of Spanish wines in different regions of the world – and will be updating the post with those. If you have suggestions of your own – please reach out!

And we are back with the Spanish wine recommendations series. In the previous three posts I talked about my long-time favorite ( and therefore, recommended) Spanish wines in the three different price categories – under $20, from $20 to $50, and from $50 to infinity. Now I want to talk about seemingly a non-subject  – where can you buy Spanish wines.

This seems to be a non-subject as the answer is simple – in the wine store, duh. Well, of course, but it is not that fast and easy. Most of the wine stores in US would have a section of the Spanish wines – however, majority of the wines in that section will be the “value wines” – unknown producers, unknown wines, limited selection of Rioja of unknown pedigree and some of the better names at often inflated prices. You really need a “specialty retailer”, someone who has a passion for the Spanish wines, to be able to buy exactly what you want at a price you want.

So in this post, I will share with you what I know about buying the Spanish wines. As I live in US, I will give you first-hand recommendations based on my own buying experience. Well, US is a big country, and I live in a close proximity to New York, so again, this is where my experiences come from. However, I will include some store recommendations for other areas in US, and I will do the same for the Europe and Australia- but this will be mostly based on the information I found on Internet, not something I know myself. Of course my recommendations will include both online and “brick and mortar” sources – as you can imagine, there is only a handful of the physical wine stores I’m familiar with, so most of the recommendations will pertain to the online stores.

Before we begin talking about the stores, I want to make a few general comments about buying Spanish wines. It may be even just one comment – when it comes to the Spanish wines, the information on the wine label matters. Another “duh moment”? Well, may be it is, but still – I want to make sure it is something you clearly understand. The words such as Reserva or Gran Reserva are protected by the law – unlike US, for instance, where the words such as “Special Reserve” can appear on the bottle at winemaker’s desire, and actually mean nothing regarding the wine. Why is it important? Reserva typically cost more than Crianza, and Gran Reserva typically costs more than Reserva – and you need to understand that to avoid surprises and to be able to buy exactly what you intended to buy and at a right price. And the vintage and producer matter –  of course, this is universal, no mater where the wine is coming from.

Okay, let’s now talk about good places to buy good Spanish wines from.

Before we get country-specific, let me elaborate on the first “duh moment” – the place to buy Spanish wine is at the wine store. It is definitely true, as a trusted wine retailer is your best source of the Spanish wines. To me, “trusted wine retailer” means exactly that – a person you trust with giving you the best deal and taking care of you. As in any other business, some retailers will be simply looking for the quick buck, but some will be there for the mutually beneficial, long term relationship – retailer gets paid, and you get an access to the wines you want at a price which makes sense. If you have a wine retailer you trust, this might be your best source of the Spanish wines, or at least, one of the best sources. But again, “trusted” is a key word here – and if you have a retailer like that, you are in luck, as hunting down good Spanish wines is a challenge.

One more (last!) general note: if you are looking for the particular wine (where to get it from) or just want to check if the price you see makes sense, Wine-Searcher is the place where you should start. Of course it has limitations – if the wine store, for instance, doesn’t sell online, you will not see it come up in the Wine-Searcher results. Also, even if you see the wine to be available in the particular store, especially if you plan to drive to the store, check with the store first if the wine is still available. And Wine-Searcher can’t tell you anything about the reputation and reliability of the store (had my share of issues). Still, it is a great tool to start your search. It is also available as an app on the mobile devices.

United States:

I have to start with my favorite wine store – the wine owned my friend Zak in Stamford, Connecticut – Cost Less Wines. Zak is exactly that “trusted retailer” – not just for me, but for hundreds and hundreds of his regular customers. The Spanish wines section in his store was built gradually over the last 2-3 years (your truly was a bit of a motivational factor, I have to modestly admit) – but at this point, Zak has an excellent selection – La Rioja Alta, R. Lopez Heredia, CVNE, Imperial, Bodegas Juan Gil, Alto Moncayo and many other wines I mentioned in my recommendations are readily available at his store. It is not just the selection – the prices are great too. For instance, you can’t even find 2001 La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial in the stores anymore. Using Wine-searcher, I found one place online where this exact wine was still available – at $89 per bottle. Zak has this wine on the shelf as $29.99. Unfortunately, Coast Less Wines doesn’t sell online, but if you live in a reasonable proximity to Stamford and looking for a good Spanish wine at a good price, this store would worth a drive.

Next store I have to mention is called PJ Wine, and it is located in New York City. This store and its owner, Peter Yi, literally put Spanish wines for me on the map (Peter is incredibly passionate about Spanish wines). First I discovered the store online, while looking for some specific wine, and this is how I ended up on their mailing list. Then I got an email advertizing free Spanish Rioja seminar – I signed up, drove to the city – the rest was a history and a love from the first sip (especially a first sip of 1964 Rioja). PJ Wine sells both in the store and online, and their selection is nothing short of incredible, including lots of Rioja from the best years – 1964, 1978, 1994 and lots more – all in stock. Again, if you live in New York city or a close proximity, this store absolutely worth a special visit (just do me a favor – decide on your spending limit before you come there, or better yet, leave all credit cards at home and bring limited amount of cash, as once you will start shopping, you will not be able to stop – and don’t tell me I didn’t warn you). Online selection is equally excellent.

One more store I have a good experience with is the Bottle King in New Jersey. It is not just one store, it is a number of stores, mostly located in Northern New Jersey –  plus an online store called The Wine Buyer. Overall Bottle King offers good selection of the Spanish wines at good prices. What is important to know about Bottle Kings, however, that the selection will vary from the store to the store, and most importantly, the selection and pricing online at The Wine Buyer might differ from the physical stores – stores often offer deals and discounts not available through the online outlet.

I wish I can offer you a selection of the stores in any of the large metropolis around the country, like Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas or Denver – but I’m not aware of any of the “Spanish wine” specialty retailers. By the way, if you know of any good “Spanish wine” specialist stores in your areas – please let me know, I will be glad to amend the post.

Going all the way to the west coast, there is not a whole lot I can offer as well. However. there is one store I would like to mention – K&L Wine Merchants. They operate three stores in California, as well as an online store. At the time of this writing, the online store offered selection of about 330 Spanish wines, many with the reasonable prices, so I believe it is worth mentioning here.

Last two sources I would like to bring to your attention are both online only. First of all, my beloved Wine Til Sold Out, (also available as an app). While there are other sites with the similar model (Last Bottles, Last Call Wines and more), WTSO has the best deals when it comes to the Spanish Wines. Yes, you have to be on a look out, true (sign up for email and twitter updates from them), and when the deal shows up, you have to act quickly, but still, they have by far the best selection alongside of recommendations I made. Just to give you an example of a recent deal I got there – 2002 R. Lopez de Heredia Reserva, $23 at WTSO and about $35 (give or take) most anywhere else.

The last one for the US is the online store called To tell you the truth, I never bought anything from myself, but I checked their inventory, and at the moment they are offering about 300 different Spanish wines, including many of the names I talked about in this series (CVNE, La Rioja Alta, Carchelo “C” etc.), and the prices seem to be reasonable, so I feel inclined to include them into my recommendations ( if you have a first hand experience with, I would appreciate your comments below).


Okay, so let’s get things straight. As I live in US, I don’t have a first hand experience buying Spanish wines in Europe. So for the stores which I found, I made sure the selection looks good and the prices look reasonable. What I found was a link to an excellent article which pretty much summarizes the online sources for Spanish wines in Europe, so in essence, I only need to direct you to read this article here. Note that not all the stores in the article are equally reputable – for example, a reader told me that Uvinum is known to have problems (poor deliveries and bad customer service), so check the references before you will use them.

Now, this was the part of the original post: If you know if any wine stores with the good selection of Spanish wines (with good prices!) in your country in Europe – please let me know and I will be glad to add them to this post. Lastly, don’t forget that Wine-Searcher works internationally, so you can specify your country when searching for the specific wine.

As I have the reader suggestions now, I will include them below:

As recommended by Julian of Vino in Love:
“I highly recommend the online retailer They have a great selection (I mostly buy my Spanish wines from them). Vinos also has stores in Berlin and Munich for those who do not like to buy wine online.”

United Kingdom:

As recommended by Mathias of The Winecurious (some stores are reviewed in the Mathias’ blog, so check it out):
“For those in the UK I can strongly recommend Moreno Wines ( in Maida Vale. They have an excellent selection of Spanish wines and are almost every other year awarded Spanish wine merchant of the year.

Other good UK (or perhaps more London, but many of these deliver) options are:
Lea & Sandeman Perhaps not the largest or most innovative selection but they often have good prices and I really like the friendly service, especially in their Kensington shop.
The Sampler My overall favorite when it comes to wine shops in London. They are stronger on champagne but also have a good selection of Spanish wines.
Handford,  is also a good bet, not cheapest but not expensive either.
Zelas Good Spanish wines at decent prices.
Two other places that deserves a mention are Hedonism Wines and Berry Bros & Rudd ( Hedonism almost has everything when it comes to expensive and rare wines, not cheap but love to browse there and occasionally  they have good prices on really high-end wines. BBR are the oldest wine merchant in the UK (at least I think so), lovely shop, impeccable service and while not cheapest they do not overcharge so in the fair price category”
Nordic Countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden):
Again, as recommended by Mathias:
Viña Española up and coming store, offering great selection of Cava at the moment, but expanding in the near future”


Quite unexpectedly for me, it appears that Spanish wines represent a tough love when it comes to Australia. I understand that Australia produces a lot of their own wine, but so does the United States and many other countries. Yet searching for La Rioja Alta and CVNE for the whole of Australia yield only one result. Many of the Australian wine store web site don’t recognize the word “Rioja” and suggest correcting it to “Rosado”. I reached out to The Wine Wankers, very popular and knowledgeable wines bloggers who happen to live in Australia, and I got a few recommendations, out of which I would like to mention Dan Murphy’s, which is a chain of the wine stores in Australia, where you can find at least some of the wines we talked about in this series.  Well, not sure if Australia might be a next opportunity for the Spanish wines, but at least this is the story at the moment. Same as for all of my European friends – if you live an Australia and know of a wine store with a good Spanish wine selection, please let me know and I will be glad to include it here.

And we are done – now you have my Spanish wine recommendations as well as the some of the places where you can buy those wines. I still want to write one more post and summarize all we talked about here, therefore, I’m not waving good bye yet.

To be concluded…

Following Wines Til Sold Out – Magnum Marathon, April 2014

May 6, 2014 2 comments

15 hours. WTSO logo 201213,317 bottles. About 70 different wine offers. 3,215 thirsty people logged into the web site at 5 PM. These are some of the statistics of WTSO Magnum Marathon which took place on Tuesday, April 22nd. Another day of lost productivity for many businesses – oops, did I say it out loud? I meant the day of great deals for all wine lovers out there – I’m sure everybody were super productive at their desks.

As this was the Magnum Marathon, most of the wines offered were of 1.5L size, with few exceptions at 3L. Lots of great producers – Ladera, Tablas Creek, Ciabot Berton, Paolo Scavino, even Cristal and Joseph Phelps,  and many many more.

Without further ado, I will leave you on with the data. Yes, my collection was somewhat lacking this time, so you will see some missing data as to the pricing and source of ratings – oh well, I hope you will still find it interesting. Note that unless the bottle size is noted as 3.0L, it is the standard magnum size of 1.5L.

Here is the guide to the rating abbreviations (this list is ever inclusive – not all of them are used below): WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, ST – Steven Tanzer, WE – Wine Enthusiast, WRO –  Wine Review Online, W&S – Wine and Spirits, JS – James Suckling, RP – Robert Parker, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, D – Decanter Magazine, rating goes in stars ( 5 stars is max), JH – James Halliday, TRR – The Rhone Report, BH – Burghound, IWR – International Wine Report, TLC – The Library Collection, PR – Pinot Report, TWN – The Wine News, LM – Luca Maroni, Sn –


Time Wine Rating Min. Qty MSRP Price %off
12:00a 04/23 Mockingbird Hill Reserve Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2012 (750) JHN91 4 $32.00 $14.99 53%
12:00a Our Magnum Marathon is officially over!
11:31p Elena Fucci ‘Titolo’ 2010 Aglianico del Vulture JS91 1 $160.00 $69.99 56%
11:21p Chateau de Macard Bordeaux Superieur 2010 IWR90 2 $55.00 $28.99 47%
11:06p Vellum Napa Valley Cabernet 2011 1 $200.00 $99.99 50%
10:44p Bodegas Penafiel Miros Reserva 2007 2 $175.00 $39.99 77%
10:36p Brut Champagne NV Piper-Heidsieck WS93 2 $100.00 $64.99 35%
10:15p Firriato Harmonium Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT 2010 LM97 2 $115.00 $59.99 48%
10:10p San Rustico Amarone Classico 2008 WA92 1 $130.00 $64.99 50%
9:52p Rocca Family Estate Collinetta Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009 WE93 1 $210.00 $149.99 43%
9:32p Cantina Valenti ‘I Puritani’ Etna Rosso Nerello 2009 JS92 2 $90.00 $49.99 44%
9:06p Ribera Del Duero Reserva 2001 Bodegas Balbas WS93 2 $130.00 $49.99 62%
8:50p Tenuta dei Setti Cieli ‘Indaco’ 2005 WA90 1 $100.00 $59.99 40%
8:28p St. Supery Dollarhide Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 TWN93 1 $200.00 $149.99 25%
8:10p Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel Reserva 2005 WS90 1 $160.00 $69.99 56%
7:50p Domaine de Fond Croze ‘Cuvée Shyrus’ Cotes du Rhone 2009 WE91 2 $75.00 $39.99 47%
7:31p Diadema Super Tuscan Rosso IGT 2009 Swarovski Bottle WE93 1 $250.00 $94.99 62%
7:12p Bodegas Tabula Gran Tabula Ribera del Duero 2009 WS92 1 $200.00 $89.99 55%
7:08p I Balzini Black Label 2006 Double Magnum (3.0L) 92 51%
6:45p Eagles Trace ‘Latitude 38’ Conn Valley Bordeaux Style Blend 2006 1 $175.00 $99.99 43%
6:34p Ciabot Berton Barolo DOCG 2008 ST92 1 $190.00 $79.99 58%
6:21p Rocca Family Vineyards Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 WA90 1 $210.00 $124.99 40%
6:09p Red Bordeaux Castillon Cote de Bordeaux Chateau Hyot 2010 WS90 2 $45.00 $24.99 44%
6:04p Scavino Carobric Barolo 2008 WA94 1 $250.00 $159.99 36%
5:40p Eagles Trace Conn Valley Napa Cabernet 2006 1 $150.00 $89.99 40%
5:11p Millet-Roger Sancerre 2013 IWR92 2 $95.00 $44.99 53%
5:03p I Balzini Black/White 2000   2-Pack WE91 1 $250.00 $99.99 60%
4:45p Resalte Pena Roble Reserva 2004 WS92 2 $120.00 $49.99 58%
4:40p Michel-Schlumberger ‘La Cime’ 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon 2 $80.00 $39.99 50%
4:15p I Giusti & Zanza Belcore 2009 JS92 2 $80.00 $49.99 38%
4:09p Bodegas Tabula Gran Tabula Ribera del Duero 2007 WA94 1 $200.00 $89.99 55%
4:00p Canalicchio 2004 Brunello di Montalcino WA93 1 $225.00 $99.99 56%
3:34p Champagne Philippe Prie Brut Tradition NV WS91 2 $125.00 $49.99 60%
3:27p Vieux Telegraphe La Crau Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011 W&S96 1 $190.00 $139.99 26%
3:13p Ladera Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 W&S92 1 $250.00 $149.99 40%
2:59p Barolo Riserva 2004 ‘Roggeri’ Ciabot Berton WE91 1 $250.00 $109.99 56%
2:37p Boekenhoutskloof ‘The Chocolate Block’ 2011 ST90 1 $100.00 $69.99 30%
2:22p Cotes du Rhone 2011 Domaine de Dionysos ‘La Deveze’ IWR90 2 $65.00 $24.99 62%
2:09p Vellum Napa Valley Cabernet 2010 1 $200.00 $99.99 50%
1:48p Bodegas Penafiel Miros Reserva 2007 2 $175.00 $39.99 77%
1:42p Tenuta dei Setti Cieli ‘Indaco’ 2007 WA92 1 $100.00 $59.99 40%
1:22p Brut Champagne NV Piper-Heidsieck WS93 2 $100.00 $64.99 35%
1:19p Trefethen Oak Knoll Cabernet 2007 92 40%
1:12p Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli 2006 JS96 1 $249.99 $149.99 40%
12:48p Ribera Del Duero Reserva 2001 Bodegas Balbas WS93 2 $130.00 $49.99 62%
12:44p I Balzini White Label 2006 Double Magnum (3.0L) WS93 1 $225.00 $109.99 51%
12:24p St. Supery Dollarhide Cabernet 2003 1 $200.00 $149.99 25%
12:07p Fontanafredda Barolo Riserva ‘Tilson’ 1997 Limited Edition 1 $450.00 $119.99 73%
11:42a 92 Pt. Chateau Haut Gravet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2010 JS92 2 $105.00 $49.99 52%
11:38a Canalicchio Brunello 2007 93 56%
11:17a Essenciel de Paradis Coteaux D’Aix En Provence Rose 2013 IWR90 2 $60.00 $24.99 58%
11:03a I Balzini White Label 1997 JS92 1 $125.00 $54.99 56%
10:43a Maroon Cabernet Signature Reserve Napa Valley 2012 1 $90.00 $44.99 50%
10:40a Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc Barolo 2008 ST96 1 $350.00 $199.99 43%
10:22a Bodegas Resalte Ribera Del Duero Gran Resalte 2001 W&S95 1 $250.00 $89.99 64%
10:09a Rocca Family Estate Grigsby Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008 WS93 1 $210.00 $129.99 38%
10:00a Mario Giribaldi Barbaresco 2006 WS93 2 $125.00 $44.99 64%
9:48a Roger & Didier Raimbault-Sancerre 2012 Les Belles Cotes WE90 2 $95.00 $49.99 47%
9:35a Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2005 WE97 1 $750.00 $499.99 33%
9:30a Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008 JS94 1 $190.00 $99.99 47%
9:12a Champagne Charles de Cazanove Brut NV WS92 1 $125.00 $56.99 54%
9:00a Ladera Napa Cabernet 2008 WA89 1 $175.00 $89.99 49%
8:46a Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Tablas Paso Robles 2011 WA93 1 $250.00 $99.99 60%
8:39a Vignavecchia Chianti Classico Riserva Odoardo Beccari 2008 (3.0L) WA92 1 $225.00 $149.99 33%
8:22a St. Supery Napa Valley Estate Cabernet 2006 Sn91 2 $75.00 $49.99 33%
8:03a I Balzini Black/White 2002   2-Pack 91 60%
7:52a Mont-Redon Rouge 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape 92 56%
7:39a Sullivan Napa Valley Cabernet 2007 92 62%
7:34a Tenuta dei Setti Cieli ‘Indaco’ 2004 91 40%
7:14a Chateau de Macard Bordeaux Superieur 2010 90 47%
7:07a Ciabot Berton Barolo 2000 93 45%
7:05a Phelps Vineyards Insignia 2009 96 30%
7:00a Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc Barolo 2007 96 43%
12:00a Champagne Philippe Prie Brut Tradition NV (1.5L) WS91 2 $125.00 $49.99 60%

That’s all I have for you for today, folks. Did you get anything during the Magnum marathon? What do you think of the deals?

Following Wines Til Sold Out – Gift and Magnum Marathons, December 2013

December 18, 2013 8 comments

WTSO logo 2012As a self-appointed chronicler of WTSO (Wine Til Sold Out) deals, I want to bring to your attention the details of not one, but two of the events WTSO conducted in December. The first event was done as part of the CyberMonday on December 2nd – it was a Gift Marathon. The event was different from the typical WTSO Marathon – all the wines were offered as gift sets consisting of one bottle of wine and two Riedel varietally correct glasses. There were no minimums, and you could specify multiple shipping addresses, which greatly simplifies wine gift giving. New sets were offered 36 times, from 8 AM Eastern until midnight – there was a lesser number of wines offered, as some of the gift sets were repeated. I was not able, unfortunately, capture all the prices – from the few that I did, I can say that some of the gift sets were great deals, like Sassicaia at $149 – this is much better than the regular price of that wine alone, forget the gift set packaging. Overall, there were quite a few great deals offered.

The second event was Magnum Marathon on Thursday, December 12th, from 8 AM Eastern until the midnight. There were 57 offers, with most of the wines coming as 1.5 liter bottles (magnum), and few of the 3 liter bottles (double magnums). Prices per bottle ranged from $24.99 to $499, and the minimum quantities (to get free shipping) were from 1 to 3. What was interesting is that for the first time that I remember, both marathons featured a 100-point wines. And both events were “no holds barred” type, with some of the best known names being present, such as Cristal, Heitz, Caymus, Joseph Phelps and others.

Without further ado, I will leave you on with the data. Yes, my collection was somewhat lacking this time, so you will see some missing data as to pricing and source of ratings – oh well, I hope you will still find it interesting.

As usual, before I will leave you with the data, here is the guide to the rating abbreviations: WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, ST – Steven Tanzer, WE – Wine Enthusiast, WRO –  Wine Review Online, W&S – Wine and Spirits, JS – James Suckling, RP – Robert Parker, JHN – Jonathan H. Newman, D – Decanter Magazine, rating goes in stars ( 5 stars is max), JH – James Halliday, TRR – The Rhone Report, BH – Burghound, IWR – International Wine Report, TLC – The Library Collection, PR – Pinot Report.

Gift Marathon:

Time Wine Rating Price
11:30p Sojourn Cellars Rodger’s Creek Vineyard Sonoma Pinot Noir 2011 Gift Set PR94 $59.99
10:51p Brunello Conti Costanti 2007 Gift Set WA96 $74.99
10:30p Silver Oak Cabernet Alexander Valley 2009 Gift Set $79.99
10:00p Merryvale Merlot Napa Valley Oak Knoll 2007 Gift Set 92
9:33p Joseph Phelps Insignia 2010 95
8:42p Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose Champagne N/V Gift Set 90
8:30p Donna Olga Brunello di Montalcino 2007 Gift Set JS93 $49.99
8:00p Clarendon Hills Cabernet Hickinbotham 2006 Clarendon, Aus. Gift Set WA96 $74.99
7:30p White Burgundy 1er Cru Meursault Perrieres 2007 Gift Set 94
6:57p Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet 2009 Gift Set WA93 $99.99
6:29p Champagne Veuve Ponsardin Clicquot Brut NV ‘Yellow Label’ Gift Set 90
5:48p Champagne Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon 2003 Gift Set 94
 5:21p Merryvale Cabernet 2009 Napa Valley Gift Set 91
 4:56p Champagne G.H. Mumm Cuvee R Lalou Prestige 1998 Gift Set 93
 4:37p Silver Oak Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Gift Set 91
4:10p Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva 2001 Bodegas Balbas Gift Set 96
3:34p Magie Rouge Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Gift Set WA94+ $79.99
3:15p Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 Gift Set 92
2:46p Caymus Vineyards Cabernet 2011 Napa Valley Gift Set $84.99
2:30p Clos du Marquis 2010 Saint-Julien Gift Set 96
2:00p Silver Oak Cabernet Alexander Valley 2009 Gift Set $79.99
1:30p Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut N/VGift Set WS93 $74.99
1:08p Joseph Phelps ‘Insignia’ Proprietary Red 2009 Gift Set 96
12:55p Sojourn Cellars Rodger’s Creek Vineyard Sonoma Pinot Noir 2011 Gift Set PR94 $59.99
12:38p Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Reserve 2010 Gift Set 95
12:10p Champagne Philippe Prie Brut Tradition N/V Gift Set 91
11:50a Sassicaia Super Tuscan Tenuta San Guido 2010 Gift Set WA96 $149.99
11:28a Brunello Conti Costanti 2007 Gift Set WA96 $74.99
10:54a Corton Charlemagne 2006 Grand Cru Chardonnay Domaine Louis Latour Gift WE95 $84.99
10:32a The Prisoner By Orin Swift 2012 Gift Set WA90 $59.99
10:10a Bouchard Pere & Fils Le Corton Grand Cru Rouge 2008 Gift Set WA94 $74.99
9:40a Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet 2009 Gift Set WA93 $99.99
9:19a Perrier Jouet Fleur de Champagne Brut Cuvee Belle Epoque 2004 Gift Set WS92 $119.00
9:00a Chiappini Guado de Gemoli 2009 Super Tuscan By Emiliano Falsini Gift Set 100
8:30a Cristal Champagne Brut 2005 Louis Roederer Gift Set 97
8:00a BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Gift Set 94

Magnum  Marathon:

Time Wine Rating MSRP Price M.Btls %off
12:00a Our 2013 Magnum Marathon is officially over (sad) but what an awesome day! Hoping all of you had a chance to score some “BIG” wine deals!
12:00a Brunello DOCG MastroJanni Estate 2007 JS95 $95.00 $39.99 3 58%
11:46p Eagles Trace 2006 ‘Latitude 38’ Magnum (1.50L) Conn Valley $300.00 $199.99 1 33%
11:11p Brut Champagne N/V Piper HeidsieckcMagnum (1.50L) WS93 $100.00 $64.99 2 35%
 10:33p Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2005 1.50L Magnum WE97 $750.00 $499.99 1 33%
10:00p Domaine Du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Cuvee Vieilles Vignes IWR91 $150.00 $54.99 2 63%
9:38p Ribera del Duero Clave de Tabula 2008 Bodegas Tabula Magnum (1.50L) WA95+ $300.00 $129.99 1 57%
9:07p Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2010 Magnum (1.50L) IWR90 $55.00 $28.99 2 47%
8:36p Fontanafredda Barolo Reserva ‘Tilson’ 1997 Limited Edition (1.50L) $450.00 $119.00 1 73%
8:06p Mont-Redon Rouge 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Magnum (1.50L) ST92 $150.00 $54.99 1 56%
8:01p Eagle Trace Conn Valley Cabernet 2006 Double Magnum (3.0L) $300.00 $199.00 1 33%
7:30p Red Bordeaux Castillon Cote de Bordeaux Chateau Hyot 2010 Magnum (1.50L) WS90 $45.00 $24.99 2 44%
7:00p I Giusti & Zanza Dulcamara Super Tuscan 2009 Magnum (1.50L) $175.00 $54.99 2 69%
6:45p Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas La Louvee 2008 Magnum (1.50L) WE93 $225.00 $99.99 1 56%
6:15p Brunello Magnum (1.50L) La Mannella 2007 WE95 $160.00 $99.99 1 38%
5:47p Champagne Philippe Prie Brut Tradition N/V Magnum (1.50L) WS91 $125.00 $49.99 2 60%
5:27p Super Tuscan Magnum (1.50L) Cabreo Il Borgo 2010 Tenute del Cabreo JS91 $135.00 $79.99 1 41%
5:20p Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet 2005 Magnum (1.50L) WS93 $400.00 $249.99 1 38%
5:02p Ribera Del Duero Reserva Miros De Ribera 2004 Bodegas Penafiel Magnum (1.50L) WS92 $120.00 $39.99 2 67%
4:37p Domus Vitae Brunello DOCG 2007 By Attilio Pagli Magnum (1.50L) WA93 $160.00 $69.99 2 56%
4:23p Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne ‘La Cigalette’ 2011 Domaine de Dionysos Magnum IWR91 $80.00 $29.99 3 63%
4:19p Heitz Cellar Trailside Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (1.50L) 93 $189.99 $129.99 1 32%
4:07p Paulo Scavino Barolo Bric Fiasc 2006 Magnum (1.50L) WA95 $325.00 $199.99 1 38%
3:48p Veuve Clicquot Magnum ‘Yellow Label’ Brut Champagne NV WS92 $150.00 $82.09 1 45%
3:36p I Balzini White Label I.G.T. Rosso 2006 Magnum (1.50L) WS93 $130.00 $49.99 2 62%
3:24p Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas La Louvee 2007 Magnum (1.50L) WS93 $250.00 $99.99 1 60%
2:54p Maroon Cabernet Signature Reserve Napa Valley 2010 Magnum (1.50L) $90.00 $44.99 2 50%
2:43p Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione I.G.T. Alta Valle Della Greve 2009 Magnum WA94+ $200.00 $119.00 1 40%
2:36p Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut NV Magnum (1.50L) WS93 $225.00 $99.00 1 56%
2:27p Domaine Chene Macon Milly-Lamartine 2012 Magnum (1.50L) JHN91 $55.00 $24.99 2 55%
2:20p Burgess Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet 2009 (1.50L) Magnum $128.00 $59.99 1 53%
1:53p Chateau Haut Gravet St. Emilion Grand Cru 2010 Magnum (1.50L) JS92 $105.00 $54.99 2 48%
1:32p Amarone 2007 Magnum Tenuta Lena di Mezzo Monte del Fra (1.50L) WS93 $119.00 $59.99 1 50%
1:25p Jarvis Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2004 1.50L Magnum WE96 $350.00 $319.00 1 9%
12:57p Mont-Redon Rouge 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Magnum (1.50L) ST92 $125.00 $54.99 1 56%
12:49p Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas La Louvee 2006 Magnum (1.50L) WS93 $250.00 $99.99 1 60%
12:23p I Giusti & Zanza Perbruno Syrah Toscana 2010 Magnum (1.50L) WE95 $110.00 $59.99 1 45%
12:16p Burgess Cabernet 2002 Vintage Selection Napa Valley Magnum (1.50L) WRO90 $116.00 $44.99 2 61%
11:54a Champagne Charles de Cazanove Brut NV Magnum (1.5L) WS92 $125.00 $59.99 1 52%
11:38a Eagles Trace Conn Valley Napa Cabernet 2006 Magnums (1.50L) $150.00 $99.99 1 33%
11:30a I Balzini Black Label 2006 Tuscan Red Wine Dai Colli Della Toscana Magnum (1.5L) WS92 $130.00 $49.99 1 62%
11:20a Grand Cru Blanc 2009 Louis Latour Magnum (1.50L) Corton-Charlemagne IWR98 $225.00 $159.99 1 29%
11:08a Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (1.50L) Magnum WS88 $400.00 $249.99 1 38%
11:00a Brunello Magnum (1.50L) Vertical 3-Pack Scopone 06/07/08 94 51%
10:38a Chateau de Macard Bordeaux Superieur 2010 Magnum (1.50 L) IWR90 $55.00 $28.99 2 47%
10:32a Joseph Phelps Insignia 2010 Magnum (1.50L) ST94 $600.00 $369.99 38%
10:12a Sette Ponti Oreno 2010 Magnum (1.50L) JS96 $225.00 $134.99 1 40%
10:04a St. Supery Napa Valley Cabernet 2005 (1.50L) Magnum WE90 $80.00 $49.99 2 38%
9:47a Domaine Du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Cuvee Vieilles Vignes IWR91 $150.00 $54.99 2 63%
9:35a Franco Martinetti Barolo Marasco 2008 Magnum (1.50L) 93 40%
9:31a Jordan Cabernet Alexander Valley 2003 Magnums (1.50L) 34%
9:22a Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2005 1.50L Magnum WE97 $750.00 $499.99 1 33%
9:19a Howell Mountain Cabernet 2007 Ladera Vineyards Magnum (1.5L) 93 20%
9:00a Cotes du Rhone 2011 Domaine de Dionysos ‘La Deveze’ Magnum (1.50L) 90 62%
8:41a Guado De Gemoli 2009 Super Tuscan Magnum (1.50L) WE100 38%
8:19a Corton Grand Cru 2007 Domaine Louis Latour (1.50L) Magnum 92 65%
8:16a Burgess Cellars Napa Cabernet Vintage Selection 2001 Magnum (1.50L) 89 60%
8:00a Super Tuscan (1.50L) La Torre “Esse” 2010 95 58%
before Brut Champagne N/V Piper Heidsieck Magnum (1.50L) WS93 $100.00 $64.99 2 35%

That’s all I have for you for today, folks. Did you get anything during either one of the marathons? What do you think of the deals?

Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, Wine Spectotor Top 100, Perfect Holiday Gift Solution, and more

November 20, 2013 4 comments

Duboeuf Beaujolais wines 5Meritage time!

First, let’s start with the answer for the wine quiz #82, grape trivia – Gamay.

In the quiz, you were supposed to answer 5 questions about red grape called Gamay. Here are the questions, now with the answers:

Q1: Gamay is closely associated with every third Thursday in November. Can you explain why?

A1: Beaujolais Nouveau is coming into town! While Beaujolais Nouveau was always the first wine of the harvest to be delivered to the restaurants and shops in Europe, in 1985 the phenomenon became more organized, settling on the third Thursday of November to make the new release available.

Q2: Carbonic maceration is an important method in production of wines made out of Gamay. Can you briefly explain what is carbonic maceration and how does it helps here?

A2: Carbonic maceration is a process where the grapes in a sealed tank are subjected to the flow of CO2, which start fermenting the juice inside of the whole grapes before they will be crushed. The resulting wine becomes fruity with very low presence of tannins. This process is particularly used inproduction of Beaujolais Nouveau and other Beaujolais wines. For more information, please refer to Wikipedia article.

Q3: Fill in the blanks: In Beaujolais, Fleuri is considered to produce the most ___ wine, and Moulin-à-Vent produces the most ___ wines.

A3: In Beaujolais, Fleuri is considered to produce the most feminine wine, and Moulin-à-Vent produces the most masculine wines. Feminine and Masculine are the descriptors typically used by wine professionals to describe the wines of Fleuri and Moulin-à-Vent wines.

Q4: Which one doesn’t belong and why:

a. Brouilly, b. Côte de Brouilly, c. Côte Chalonnaise, d. Juliénas, e. Régnié

A4: c. Côte Chalonnaise. The other four names are part of Cru de Beaujolais ten villages, but Côte Chalonnaise doesn’t belong there (it is an AOC in Burgundy).

Q5: True or False: Beaujolais Nouveau wines can be aged for a few years before consumption.

A5: False. The whole point of aging the wine is to wait for it to develop further in the bottle and become more enjoyable. Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be enjoyed right away and should be consumed by May of next year – it doesn’t improve in the bottle.

So for the winners, Jeff the drunken cyclist continues his winning streak – he got correctly 5 out of 5, including the difficult question #3. Great job, Jeff – unlimited bragging rights are yours! I would like to also acknowledge Wayward Wine,Whine And Cheers For Wine and Eat with Namie  who all correctly answered 4 questions out of 5. Well done!

Now, to the interesting stuff around the vine and the web!

On Monday, November 18th, Wine Spectator published their Top 100 list of Wines. Yes, I know, many dismiss the whole notion of Wine Spectator ratings and Top lists as closely associated with the advertizement dollars spent with publication. True or not, but I still have a lot of respect to Wine Spectator and definitely curios to see their “top wines” list. As Wine Spectator celebrates 25th anniversary, they whole web site is open to the public (typically it requiressubscription). I would highly recommend that you will take advantage of this opportunity and explore the site which has a great wealth of wine information. Also, here is the link to the WS Top 100 wines of 2013. I have to admit that I’m happy with Wine Spectator’s choice for the wine of the year – 2004 Cune Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva. In general, Cune Imperial makes great wines, and I think it is an excellent choice for the wine of the year.

Thinking about holiday gifts? Does your list include any wine lovers? If yes, you are in luck, but you will need to act quick. On December 2nd, WTSO will conduct a Gift Marathon (full info can be found here). As a traditional WTSO Marathon, there will be no announcements of new wines. But each wine will come gift packaged, with one bottle and two varietally correct Riedel glasses in the box. Most importantly – free shipping on each package (no minimums), and each packaged can be shipped directly to your gift recipient – this is the best part! Prices start from $44.95 per box (free shipping). I think this is a deal not to be missed, so point your browser to WTSO on December 2nd and happy hunting!

You know Wine-Searcher is a great resource for finding the wines online and comparing the prices. Are you curious what the other people looking for on the wine-searcher? Here is an interesting article, which tells you what the consumers in America are looking for. Based on the article, looks like most of the times people are looking for red Bordeaux blends – which makes sense, as there are a lot more Bordeaux blends produced nowadays. Anyway, for your own analysis and lots more data, take a look at the article.

When you make dinner, how often do you think about what wine should be opened for the food you are serving? Sometimes the pairing can be quite difficult, so I have no problems taking my food and wine separately. But when you hit the mark and the wine and food “work” together, it becomes the whole new level of experience. To help you in this process of pairing food and wine, here is the link to the web site I recently came across – I think it has a lot of good suggestions. Take a look – you might be able to pleasantly surprise yourself and your guests during your next dinner.

That’s all I have for you for today, folks. The glass is empty – but refill is on its way. Until the next time – cheers!

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