November 30, 2006

SWILL Wine Tasting Party Kit

SWILL Wine Tasting KitWe're not sure what SWILL stands for, but it's definitely a verb we think should be attached to wine more often, because sometimes you don't want to swish, sniff and sip - you just want to take a good old drink. But enough of our soapboxing, because SWILL is a wine tasting party game that's a good excuse to throw a tasting for your friends and swill some wine. The kit comes with 8 of everything you need to throw a wine tasting party (other than the wine, glasses, and friends) including wine rating cards, invitations and writing implements.

Amazon - New SWILL Wine Tasting Party Kit and Wine Club Starter Kit

We also found out if you go to the SWILL website at, you can get the same price as Amazon with free shipping through December 20, 2006. Not only that, you can also set up your own wine club page, get refills for the kit, find wine buying guides and wine reviews, and more. How can you go wrong?

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November 29, 2006

Wall-Mounted 12 Bottle Wine Rack

12 Bottle Wall Mount Wine RackWhen it comes to storing your wine, who wants to hide it all away in some dusty basement where you have to schlep up and down the stairs all the time? If you ask us, conspicuous (and convenient) is the way to go, especially with your "drink now" bottles if you know what we mean.

That's why we like this wall-mounted wine rack - it holds 12 bottles and you can install it right in your kitchen or living room. It's got a nice contemporary look, and as long as you mount it on a stud it should be able to hold 12 bottles no sweat. One thing we did notice is that it comes with "mounting materials" but no wall screws, but as cheap as this thing is you can probably afford to swing for a few screws.

Amazon - Contemporary Wall-Mounted Wine Rack - Holds 12 Bottles

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November 28, 2006

Wine for Dummies

Wine for DummiesY'know, there's nothing wrong with saying you don't know anything about wine. Don't be shy. There are plenty of people in the same boat. And sometimes all it takes is the admission of ignorance to start you down the path to enlightenment (did we really just say that?) Anyway, If you're too embarrassed to get Wine for Dummies for yourself, or you take umbrage at being called a dummy, just buy it for a gift for someone else. It's a win/win/win.

Amazon - Wine for Dummies

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November 24, 2006

Holiday Gift and Shopping Guides from Around the Blogpire

Our editors have been hard at work coming up with the latest products to give as gifts this holiday season. Each of our different sites has their own holiday gift guide on various topics including: shaving, hdtv, gps, gaming, coffee and espresso, kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, and more.

Make your holiday gift giving easier this season by visiting the holiday shopping guides below, and get your shopping done online without the crowds and hassle of ever leaving your comfy couch or computer chair.

Electronics - TV and GPS

Tvsnob Gg

Holiday Shopping Guide from

Gps Lodge Blogpire Gg-1

Holiday Shopping Guide from

Natural Products & Organic Living

Reallynatural Gg

Holiday Shopping Guide from


Shaving Gg

Holiday Gift Guide from

Coffee & Espresso

Holidayshoppingguide1 Ssc
Holiday Gift Guide from

Sse Gg

Holiday Gift Guide from


Criticalgamers Blogad Giftg

Holiday Gift Guide from

Liquor and Spirts

Liquor Snob Blogad Gg

Holiday Shopping Guide from

Kitchen Related

Holiday Shopping Guides Kc

Holiday Shopping Guide from

Thecookingnews Gg

Holiday Gift Guide from The Cooking

Baby Related

Supercoolbab Gg

Holiday Gift Guide from

Poker & Casino Related
Holiday Gift Guide from

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November 17, 2006

More Thirsty Traveler: Australian Wine Videos

Thirsty TravelerA little while back we featured some sake videos shot in Japan as part of a featured called the Thirst Traveler. We thought the videos were interesting and informative, and we've just gotten our hands on a few more videos - these ones from wineries in Australia.

Check out A Taste of Hunter Valley to see more about Australia's Seafood and Semilion festival and check out some oyster shucking to boot. Or, stomp some grapes with the Thirst Traveler as he helps celebrate the harvest in the Coonawarra region in The Mecca of Australian Reds. Finally, throw some kangaroo tail on the barbie (seriously) with aboriginal vintners in Vines in the Outback.

If those videos aren't enough, Travelistic (the home of the Thirsty Traveler) has all sorts of wine videos for you to check out. We recommend watching with a nice little glass of something in your hand - but that's really up to you, isn't it?

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November 15, 2006

New Update on Old Fart Wine

Old Far WineJust in time for the holidays, Old Fart wine has been revamped and relaunched on the market. We've seen this stuff in the stores before but we've never actually tried it, and we think it might just be time to pick up a bottle. There are two varieties, Old Fart Wine, which is a Grenache/Syrah, and Old Fart Wife, which is a Chardonnay. Both retail for somewhere around $10, and they seem like a great gift idea for the crochety wine lover in your life.

The brand which is produced by Boutinot Wines Estates Inc. and distributed through A.V. Imports, Inc., is based on the premise that grapes from old vines make the best wines.

Old Fart Wine and Old Fart's Wife both come from the Southern Rhone region of France using grapes from 40 year old vines.

via Bottle Watch - Old Fart Wine - Reformulated

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November 13, 2006

Liquor Snobs Review Lever Action Corkscrew

Lever Action CorkscrewIt looks like the fellas over at Liquor Snob have gotten their hands on a high-end lever action corkscrew from Le Creuset and tried it out over the weekend. Sounds like a pretty neat gadget, but wouldn't you think they'd share their new technology with their sister site? Y'know, the one that's all about WINE?

So what's the verdict? All in all we found it to be a great tool, it seemed extremely solid and well-made, and we're going to use it every chance we get. Maybe you don't need one, but if you drink a lot of wine and want a smooth and elegant way to pop the top, you might just find it's worth it.
Amazon - LE CREUSET Lever Action Corkscrew(via Liquor Snob)

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November 10, 2006

Swanky Wine Friday: Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque

Perrier Jouet Belle EpoqueLeave it to the French to make wine even more expensive. Pernod Ricard has announced that it will be releasing a Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque that retails for just under $1,300 per bottle (we're pretty sure it's not the bottling we've got pictured here, but at least the bottle says the right name, right?). We can't even imagine spending that much for a bottle of wine...that amount of money would let us buy like 65 to 130 of the bottles we usually drink, and can the "quality" or "rarity" of the wine be worth it?

A spokeswoman for the company and a British wine buyer had something to say about that, and we translate it as "no, the wine's not really that much better, but we're not making many bottles of it to drive the price up." Go team France.

"There is a global trend to develop more and more premium and ultra-premium brands," she said.
"I am sure they will have buyers for it because people have money to spend and they want exclusivity," said Ronan Sayburn, head of wine at Gordon Ramsay's restaurants in London. "But there is a trade-off point where the price and the actual flavor of the wine begin to split," he said.
"What you are getting after that is exclusivity, rarity."
via United Press International

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November 9, 2006

The Appeal of South African Pinotage

South African Grape HarvestingWe've always been fans of the notion that not all wine comes from California and Europe, and we've been noticing a lot of nice inexpensive wines coming out of Africa. We've found an article singing the praises of Pinotage, a graft of pinot noir and cinsault grapes invented in the 20th century in South Africa.

The tasting notes we read appealed to our adventurous side, and while there are mentions of everything from rotten fruit to salsa in the tasting notes, it always seems to be "in a good way." Plus, prices seem to range from $8.50 to $15, so we're up to give it a try since it won't hit the wallet too hard.

Check out our choices below, and head over to Philadelphia for a full rundown and more selections.

Cathedral Cellar 1999 ($13)

Here is proof positive that pinotage can age. This fascinating oddball stood out from the pack. A huge nose, with anise, beets, pepper, blue cheese, plums and, oh hell, throw the whole fridge in. Don't waste any time getting to this; one taster detected a fade, while another declared that the time to drink this is now.

Simonsig 2002 ($15)

More than a few tasters commented on the elegance of this wine. A beautiful balance of sweet and tart mouth feel, with vibrant red fruit tones on the nose. Seductive purple color. Lovely finish. Some found this a bit forward, even metallic, but the consensus was that this is a classically pretty quaff.

Fairview 2005 ($13)

This came across as a racy young thing, with a tartness that crossed the line into sourness for some. Flowers lurking in the nose. The host detected rotten fruit on the back of the tongue, but in a good way. Screw top enclosure is a hip touch.

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November 7, 2006

Sake Videos Are the Bomb

Sake PourWe've enjoyed our fair share of Sake bombs in our time, but we've never really explored different varieties of the drink. There are a few Asian restaurants around us, but we've never been to the Orient to check it out for ourselves. That's where the Thirsty Traveler, an ongoing feature at a website called Travelistic, comes in. We found an episode called Sake Bomb where the Thirsty Traveler goes to Japan to get help picking out Sake from among 100 varieties at a local restaurant. Sounds like help we could use when we're at the sushi bar, and we recommend checking it out if you've got the slightest interest in rice wine.

There are a bunch more sake videos on the site too, as well as a more Thirsty Traveler episodes for you to choose from. Thanks Travelistic!

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November 6, 2006

Woot Wine 11/06/06: Sierra Club Chardonnay

Sierra Club ChardonnayCalling all eco nuts! If you can stop spiking trees long enough to log onto the Infernets, this week's Wine Woot is right down your alley. Introducing Sierra Club Chardonnay, a California Chard that usually retails for about $15 a bottle, but is available in four-bottle clusters from Woot for $40 plus $5 shipping. As always, this will only last as long as the wine does, or until the week is over.

Folks in the Woot blog seem divided on this stuff, but moreso over the politics than the quality of the actual wine. Our verdict? It seems cheap enough, and it's available for a lot of states (but not Masschusetts...grrr). If you agree with the Sierra Club and want to give them your dough, get there. If you think they're a bunch of tree hugging wack jobs who don't deserve your hard-earned money, save it and buy some acreage of your own to clear cut as you see fit. Doesn't bother us either way.

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November 2, 2006

Choosing the Right Wine Glass

Wine GlassesWe've found a fairly interesting article that tells you not only how to choose the right glasses for the wine you're serving, but also how to serve it effectively. For example, contrary to (our) popular belief, you're not supposed to try to fill your glass so it's nearly overflowing, with a meniscus of grape over the top. Who knew?

While wine is a type of alcohol, it refutes this easy-to-serve concept. It’s not horribly difficult to serve, but when compared to other forms of alcohol, its proper service requires a little more know how, a know-how that is facilitated by an understanding of the different types of wine glasses.
Read on at Serving with Wine Glasses (blogcritics)

To get you started we found some likely wine glasses at Amazon:
Bodum So Long Stemless Red Wine Glasses, Set of 2

Riedel Vinum Bordeaux Wine Glasses, Set of 6

Mikasa Cheers Balloon Wine Glasses, Set of 4

Riedel Wine Series Viognier/Chardonnay Glasses, Set of 4

Riedel Vinum Extreme Cabernet/Merlot Glasses, Set of 2

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November 1, 2006

CFW Monthly Roundup: October 2006

Wine CostumeThe month of October is traditionally a scary time, what with Halloween falling right at the end. That and the fact that the World Series happens in October - here in Boston the only non-scary October we've had in a really long while was in 2004. But that doesn't really have anything to do with what we're here to discuss, which is wine! We found all sorts of wine deals this month, we checked out boxed wine from a company called JuiceBox, and we found some great Halloween-related wine stuff, including Dracula wines and tips for pairing wine with candy. Now that's some good stuff - find the full list of stories after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "CFW Monthly Roundup: October 2006"

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Five Celebrity Wines Worth Trying Out?

Fleetwood WineWe've covered a bit of celebrity wine news in our time, from Elvis Presley wine to Dan Aykroyd's, but Slashfood has found five more brands you might want to try. From rock stars to race car drivers, they've dredged up the best of the best celebrity wine.

We're not sure how well they pair with food, but we're sure they'll go great with your night vision goggles on your nightly outing to Lorraine Bracco's house.

Best Cabernet By A Super Bowl MVP: Joe Montana's 2001 Montagia Cabernet Sauvignon.

Best Sauvignon Blanc By A Formula One Race Car Driver: Mario Andretti's 2005 Sauvignon Blanc.

Best Austrailian Shiraz By A British Open Winner: Greg Norman's 2003 Limestone Coast Shiraz.

Best Chardonnay By A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer: Mick Fleetwood's Private Cellar 2001 Chardonnay.

Best Brunello By A Sopranos Cast Member: Lorraine Bracco's 2000 Brunello di Montalcino.

Head on over to Slashfood for more info and links.

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