January 31, 2007

RiotWine Club

How RiotWine WorksWhen we think of riots we don't usually think of wine - rioting seems like more of a light beer thing. However, we just got our daily Thrillist email and read about a program called RiotWine, which sounds like a wine club that takes the stodginess out of the grape, and you can join for $32, $47, or $64 to receive two bottles per month.

Just think - for less than the price of a cup of coffee every day, you can get some kickass wine into the house. We'd join, but of course no one can ship wine to Massachusetts. Stupid Pilgrims.

You wouldn't want sex tips from a grizzled old codger, so why entrust your wine recommendations to one? Get a monthly infusion of age-appropriate vino from RiotWine.

As their unruly name suggests, RiotWine's a next-gen wine-of-the-month service that caters specifically to the younger, non-arthritic man's oenephilic needs. RW's twin monthly picks come straight from young-buck wine experts -- who are so roguish in their appreciation, they would kick you in the balls for calling them "sommeliers".

RiotWine - via Thrillist

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January 29, 2007

Get Your Mead On

There's something cool about mead. For one thing it's honey wine, so you if you have enough of it you can act like a drunken Pooh Bear. For two, it's just had a long and complex history...did you know the term "honeymoon" is rooted in mead? Yup, that's right. We found a cool mead-related video on Travelistic, complete with a recipe for brewing your own. Have at it!

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January 26, 2007

Mulholland Brothers 4-Bottle Wine Carrier

4 Bottle Wine CarrierWe don't know what it is about wine totes that we're so much more willing to pay for them than we are for more expensive wines. Case in point is the Mulholland Brothers 4 Bottle carrier, which costs as much as 20 of our usual bottles of wine, but just look at's damned cool. It's insulated to keep wine temperature consistent, it's got a padded shoulder strap to make things easier on your shoulder, and it ships with a corkscrew.

It's just what you need to move a whole bunch of wine bottles and look like a million bucks at the same time.

A handsome bag designed for someone who is pretty serious about wine, this Mulholland Brothers 4-Bottle Wine Carrier features an insulated nylon liner for temperature control. Equipped with a padded shoulder strap and a carrying handle, this durable, waterproof bag is ideal for picnics or wine tasting.
Available at [via productdose]

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January 25, 2007

Gravity Leather Wine Bottle Holder

Gravity Wine Bottle HolderNeed a slick-looking wine holder for your table? We're always a sucker for these balancing bottle holders, and this one looks like it will hold up its end of the bargain.

Product Description
Modern art, our Gravity Leather Wine Bottle Holder displays your wine for all to see in a unique way. Just insert the neck of your wine into this black genuine Italian leather wine bottle holder and watch as it defies gravity to your guests amazement.

An elegant and unique way to display your favorite wine bottles, perfectly balanced in mid-air!

Amazon - Gravity Leather Wine Bottle Holder

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January 24, 2007

WineZap Mobile Wine Price Search

Wine Shopping BasketThere are times when you need a little extra information about the wine you're buying, whether you're comparing multiple bottles or just looking for a particular type. We just found out about a service called WineZap, a mobile wine search tool that lets you look for wines by type, by price, by food pairing, and more, all from your cell phone.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, especially considering it's all free.

The WineZap Mobile Search service is free and simple to use. Browse to using a mobile device’s built in web browser. The application recognizes all the major mobile device browsers and will automatically load the mobile optimized search engine.

The pricing and retailer information is from WineZap’s advanced search engine. The system collects wine pricing information from over 700 U.S. retailers, normalizes the data and aggregates it.

WineZap [via PressZoom]

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January 23, 2007

Winemakers Worry About Global Warming

Harvesting Wine GrapesWe've had a crazy warm winter here in New England, at least up until the last few days anyway. In fact, it's been warm enough to convince even the most hardened anti-global warming nut. And there are some people out there who don't need a lot of convincing that global warming could be a bad idea - there are those in the wine industry who are starting to shake in their boots a bit too. We're not nuts about warming, but maybe you should be a bit nervous too - bad wine years could lead to higher prices.

Frank Mitolo, of Mitolo Wines in Australia's McLaren Vale, describes the situation as, 'one of the scariest periods in history in terms of weather patterns and the impact on our agriculture.'

'It is quite a wake-up call to anyone believing that global warming isn't their concern,' said Mitolo. 'Even if it's not on your doorstep, at the very least it's still going to tiptoe up and make itself felt on your supermarket shopping bill.” - Winemakers fear 2007 global warming threat

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January 22, 2007

Nuvo Vino Infrared Wine Thermometer

Nuvo Vino Wine Thermometer

There's something to be said for paying attention to the temperature of your wine before you serve it. You'll serve a red at a different temperature than a white, which just about everyone knows, but how can you tell what temperature your wine is at? That's when you whip out your trusty Nuvo Vino, to let you know just what temperature we're talking about here. According to Uncrate, "The Nuvo Vino uses IR circuitry to measure the temperature of any individual glass of wine, all without touching the surface — ensuring your wine tastes exactly like it should." What can we say? For under $50 you'll always know the right temperature to serve your wine - and knowing is half the battle.

Nuvo Vino Infrared Wine Thermometer [via Uncrate]

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January 19, 2007

Chablis/Chardonnay Wine Glasses

Metrokane Chablis/Chardonnay GlassesThere was a time when the thought of drinking certain wines out of specific glasses would have caused us to chuckle a bit. Of course, there was also a time when we would have gleefully sucked our wine out of cleaned out mayonnaise jars. These days we're trying to bring a little bit of class into our otherwise debauched lives, so in honor of Swanky Wine Friday we offer you these Chablis and Chardonnay glasses. Made by Metrokane, these bad boys come in a set of 4, are dishwasher safe, and are shaped specifically for white wines.

They also have a tasting lip to "enhance wine appreciation." Not sure what that does, but these are cool glasses anyway.

Metrokane Rabbit Chablis/Chardonnay Wine Glasses, Set of 4- at Amazon

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January 18, 2007

Endurance Wine Glasses

Endurance Wine GlassesWe're not sure if you know this, but sometimes alcohol can dull your motor skills. We're sorry to be the ones to have to break it to you, but it's true. We don't know how many times we've been knee deep in wine tasting and elbowed our glass over, maybe even broke it. That's why we like these RSVP Endurance glasses - not only do they look cool, they're stainless steel to we minimize the risk of having to pick shards of broken glass out of our feet.

We might not use these when we're reviewing, but we'd use them if we're out on the porch, skydiving, or any other higher impact drinking situation.

Endurance Wine Glasses (set of 2)- at Amazon

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January 17, 2007

Wine Tote for Two

Wine Tote For TwoWe've said it before, but we're suckers for anything that makes our wine portable. We've found a cheap little wine tote on Amazon that offers everything a couple needs for some mobile wine drinking, whether it's Shakespeare in the Park or a picnic in the back yard. The tote itself is insulated, and it contains a stopper for if you don't finish the bottle (as if), napkins, a corkscrew, and two glasses. What more could you need? Oh yeah, a bottle of wine. That might help.

Wine Tote for Two- at Amazon

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January 16, 2007

HBO Promotes Rome with Wine

romewine.jpgWe just read on YumSugar that HBO plans to promote its Rome series with an interesting little promotion - they're giving away free wine. We're not exactly sure the connection...probably just the whole Italian thing, but we thought it was kind of cool, it being free and all.

Leave it to the folks over at the premium cable channels to come up with another fun marketing campaign. This time HBO has graced 100 Italian restaurants in LA, NY and Chicago with bottles of Rome wine. The cabernet sauvingnon, which is bottled in California, will be offered free to patrons. Each table will have a card that states:

And our house wine tonight is brought to you by HBO. A taste of 'Rome' awaits you. Ask server for details.

yumsugar - A Taste of Rome

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Beware of Wine Burglars?

BurglarDid you know over a million Americans have wine collections that are considered to be of significant value? Neither did we, at least not until we read about a wine burglary that occurred in Sonoma, CA back at the beginning of January. Apparently a whole mess of wine valued at upwards of half a million dollars was burgled (I've always wanted to use that word) from a home, and police believe it's the work of seasoned connoisseurs since they avoided low-value bottles.

Half a million bucks? If we had more than $40 worth of wine around at any given time we'd just burgle ourselves. So who should be most concerned? Owners of Bordeaux, because it ages well and fetches a high price at auction.

Read the full story at SFGate.

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January 15, 2007

4 More Rules for Pairing Wine with Food

Wine and FoodIf you ask most people for tips on how to pair wine and food, they'll mumble something vague about red wine going with meat and white wine going with fish, and not have much more to offer. We're starting to become very interested in this kind of pairing, and we stumbled over an article from Ask Men offering some more in-depth information on the subject, and we even forgive their use of the word "oenophile." One detail we found interesting was the rule of thumb that you shouldn't pair a sweeter food with a less-sweet wine.

AskMen's 4 rules are:

1- Match flavors and tastes

2- Take your cues from the kitchen

3- Offset tastes

4- Start light and build up

Read the full explanations of these guidelines at
[via The Cooking News]

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January 11, 2007

ReServe Your Wine

ReServe Wine Preservation SystemThere's nothing wrong with opening a bottle of wine and not finishing the entire thing. In fact, it's a skill I wish I had. In the off chance you are able to do so, check out the ReServe Wine Preservation System. We don't know much about the tech - something about argon gas - but it's supposed to work like a charm.

Check below for a snippet of the review from Popgadget, and you can pick up your own system at Williams-Sonoma.

The long and short is “Does it work?” The answer is yes. I was able to open a bottle, let it sit for a few days and come back to enjoy it later. That’s enough time to let me open a bottle with dinner, drink half, and enjoy the other two glasses at my leisure.
Read the full review at Popgadget

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January 10, 2007

The Best Wines of 2006 Under $30

Picture via Shadow Valley WinesI'm sure people will accuse us of forgetting our charter on this one, but sometimes even we, lovers of cheap wine, like to splurge a bit. This especially happens when we know we're getting a good wine for our extra $$, which seems to be the case with the article we found. New York's The Record Online did a roundup of their favorite wines of 2006 for under $30, and lo and behold, they included some wines under $20 and even under $10! So take that, naysayers - we're still finding you cheap stuff!

...first pick is the 2001 Bodegas Palacio, Rioja Cosme Palacio y Hermanos Crianza.

"We do not know of many better bargains at around $12 retail," he says, adding that this wine made "Wine Spectator's" Top 100 two years ago.

Guiliano also liked the Badger Mountain Vintners Estate Cabernet (about $15 retail) from Columbia Valley, Washington, which is made with estate-grown organic grapes.

Read the rest of the recommendations at Record Online

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January 8, 2007

Absinthe+Champagne=Death in the Afternoon

Death in the Afternoon cocktailThe boys over at Liquor Snob might have something here - check out Death in the Afternoon.

We've heard about a drink called the Hemingway cocktail, and we knew it involved a combination of absinthe and champagne. It seemed like a high end way to kill an afternoon, but there were two things we didn't think about (or know). One thing we didn't think about was how champagne's bubbles might distribute the absinthe buzz. Two was the fact that another name for the drink was the Death in the Afternoon (named after a book by Papa himself).
Liquor Snob - Death in the Afternoon

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January 3, 2007

Ring in 2007 with Wine Deals

Cheap WineIf you're anything like us, you're a little less than flush right now money-wise after blowing it all on Christmas presents and celebratory drinks. Even if you're nothing like us, January can be a little tight, especially when it comes to buying wine. We've found an interesting article that rounds up a bunch of good wines for bottom shelf prices - we wish we could take advantage of the $2 deal from Trader Joe's but the stupid laws in Massachusetts won't let us buy wine at any old store. Anyway, check out the write up of the TJ's recommendation below and read the full story at

TWO-BUCK ALTERNATIVE: When you're shopping at Trader Joe's, you could reach for the Two-Buck Chuck. But for the same money at TJ's, you can buy something a little more unusual and interesting from Argentina. Most stores still have the 2005 Amaicha Torrontes ($1.99), a floral, aromatic wine with a fragrance reminiscent of gewürztraminer, as well as notes of white peach, honeysuckle and jasmine. But the wine is likely to sell out soon, so don't wait if you want to try it. There was a red from the same winery made from the bonarda grape, believed by some to be the same grape as California's charbono, but the wine was sold out at every store I tried.

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January 2, 2007

Happy New Year from Cheap Fun Wines

Where does your wine come from?Well, we've been in 2007 for a couple days now, and all we can say is it seems like a pretty darned good year. We know things have been quiet around here for the last little while, and it should do your heart good to know our New Year's resolution is to drink more wine. Well, not exactly, because we already drink a ton - we just need to write about it more. We're constantly scribbling our tasting notes on the back of cocktail napkins and forgetting to write them up later...we know it's bad form. We're thinking about getting a wine journalat Amazon to keep us honest - we'll let you know how it works out. Anyway, here's to a great 2006 and looking forward to a prolific 2007!

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