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March 30, 2007

Le Miccine Chianti Arrives for Review

Don't look now, but we've just gotten a bottle of wine in for review. It's Le Miccine's 2003 Chianti Classico, the output of an American winery in Italy. This wine, a blend of Sangiovese, Malvasia nera, and Merlot, has already won multiple awards and high recommendations from other tasters, so we're looking forward to giving it a try.

Here's a little more info about the winery that produces it, and expect a full review soon:

Azienda Agricola Le Miccine is a small Tuscan wine estate located near the geographic center of Tuscany's Chianti Classico wine region, half-way between Florence and Siena, near the historic towns of Gaiole-in-Chianti and Radda-in-Chianti. It has been part of the Tuscan landscape since the early 1700s, when it served as a way-station for travelers requiring a change of teams on their journeys through the Tuscan hills. Now, 300 years later, Le Miccine is known for its fine wines and olive oil and its elegant and exclusive Tuscan vacation rental accommodations.
From LeMiccine.com

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March 28, 2007

How to Uncork Corked Wine

One of the most disappointing experiences on this earth is to open a bottle of wine, only to find the bottle has been "corked."

It smells horrible, and if you've ever got around to tasting it you know why it's a bad idea. The bad smell and taste are because of trichloranisole (TCA) in the wine, often introduced by the cork or barrel. But you don't care about that, right? You just care about how to make it go away - and we've found some advice about how to do just that, especially if the corkage is relatively minor. Here's a hint - all it takes is some Saran Wrap.

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March 27, 2007

Mr. Cheap's Guide to Wine

We haven't picked up our copy of Mr. Cheap's Guide to Wine yet, but we're pretty sure we will - it's right up our alley. The subtitle is "Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget" and that pretty much sums us up. On top of everything else, this book purports to contain a guide to the best wines for under $10, as well as tips for pairing cheaper wine with the right foods and making sure your wine lasts as long as possible to stretch your dollar even more. All in all, they had us at "cheap wine."

Amazon - Mr. Cheap's Guide to Wine: Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget!

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March 26, 2007

Wine Cellar Closet for Your Home

Don't have the room for a real wine cellar, but looking for somewhere to store your massive collection of Boone's Farm, Thunderbird, and other bum wines? We've thrown out some ideas for compact wine cellars, but what if you don't have room for even that?

Want a wine cellar but don't have a basement or a spare room to dedicate to your love of the grape, Closet Wine Cellars specializes in putting small cellars into a variety of places. You find the room, they'll make it work whether it is a closet, wall or storage space. The systems can be customized to your design style and refrigerated units are available.
ClosetWineCenters (via Luxist)

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March 22, 2007

Puzzle-Style Wine Rack

puzzle-wine-rack.jpgPuzzled about the best way to store your wine? Going to pieces about what to do with the bottles you'd like to display? Wondering why we're rattling off all these horrible puns? It's because we're excited about the Puzzle Wine rack - we have to say it's pretty well put together. All joking aside, we like the way you can get multiple racks and set up a pretty striking display for your bottles.

Puzzle Wine Rack at Uncommon Goods
(via productdose)

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March 21, 2007

Spiegelau Vino Grande Red Wine Glasses

We're big, huge, giant fans of big, huge, giant wine glasses for red wine. We like having plenty of room to roll our wine around in the glass, partially to get a bit of air in there but mostly because we like to watch the red liquid spin around the glass. These Spiegelau red wine glasses look like they're just what the doctor ordered - they're nice and tall with a pretty wide mouth. Plus, we're feeling the reviews, which say they like these glasses better than Riedel for a pretty significantly lower price. Can't go wrong with that.

Amazon - Spiegelau Vino Grande Red Wine Glasses, Set of 6

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March 20, 2007

Second Life Winery

As you know, we're always on the lookout for a cheap bottle of vino here at Cheap Fun Wines, and we're starting to think the cheapest bottle might be...a virtual one?

That's right, we're starting to hear rumors of virtual wineries (or at least one) popping up on Second Life, that media darling that we're apparently too darned old to understand. From what we can gather, it's a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) that has no real point, but there are sub-games that people can set up to play. Maybe we're off base here - or maybe we're just really old.

Anyway, the Second Life winery looks really interesting - they've bought a (virtual) island where you can (virtually) harvest your own grapes, make your own (virtual) wine, and (virtually) cellar it. Is it too much to ask that we can stick our tongues in the USB drive and get virtually drunk? Anyway, it's being created by the Caprozzi Family Winery, who also make wine in real life as well. As much as we might want to pick on Second Life, this is a cool way to get the word out about a new winery, we've got to say. See below for more information about the winery in the game (and a link to the blog of the real-life one).

ArrowContinue reading: "Second Life Winery"

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March 16, 2007

Swanky Wine Friday: Wine Cufflinks

It's been a while since we've done Swanky Wine Friday, and we thought we'd go with a different slant this time. This time we're not thinking about the wine filling up your insides - we thought about using wine to decorate your outsides. Every gentleman has an occasion to wear cufflinks every once in a while, and what better way to show off your affinity for wine than to wear these ones, of the wine goblet variety.

Amazon - Sterling Silver and Epoxy Wine Cuff Links

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March 15, 2007

How to Make Your Own Wine

We've often thought of making our own wine, but we're a bit scared- we've dabbled in making beer at home but it seems to us wine is a whole other beast. We just found an article about how easy - and inexpensive - making wine at home can be, which almost has us convinced to pick up a kit at Amazonand give it a whirl.

Linda and Dave Quaine of Marysville have been making wine for about three years. They prefer to do the process at Vinomondo Winery on the corner of Lakeshore and Keewahdin roads in Fort Gratiot.

With wine becoming more popular, the Quaines are part of a growing trend. According to statistics from The Wine Institute in San Francisco, wine consumption in the United States has grown from 464 million gallons in 1995 to 703 million gallons in 2005. Many of those wine enthusiasts are, like the Quaines, making their own.

The Times Herald; pick up a basic winemaking kit at Amazon

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March 14, 2007

3 Inexpensive Spanish Wines

vilos04.jpgIt sounds like Beau over at Basic Juice is having some trouble with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the poor bastard, Luckily, that doesn't mean he's given up on finding excellent wines, and he's even gone so far as to round up three bottles of cheap Spanish wine. If he recommends them, we have a feeling they're going to be good, so pick 'em up if you can find 'em, no questions asked.

1. Lo Brujo Macabeo 2005, $7 (imported by Bon Vivant) - Not as memorable as the Macarena, but still a nice little white wine to pair with fish tacos.

2. Bodegas Zabrin Garnacha de Fego 2005, $10 (imported by MS Walker) - Great, classy Garnacha flava at a wee little price. One of the best ten-buck vinos I've had in months.

3. Vilosell 2004 $14 (by European Cellars) - Nifty unfiltered Tempranillo blended with Cab S., Merlot and Garnacha. A lot of smoky depth and chewy texture. Perfect with something meaty

Basic Juice

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March 13, 2007

What Wines Do Women Want?

We've never really spent much time thinking about the role of gender in the wine world, but we just found an article discussing the lack of representation of women in the culture of the vine. Pretty interesting, actually, and we thought we'd share it. There's a move afoot right now to get more women involved in judging and tasting wine, especially considering how so many of them are involved in drinking and even creating it. We say bully for them - see the details below.

Women buy much of the wine purchased in the United States, and they make quite a bit of it too. But it's mostly male critics who proclaim what's prime and what's plonk.

Enter the National Women's Wine Competition being held this month in Northern California. The event, judged entirely by women, boldly sports the slogan "Wine Women Want." There's even a separate category of entries from women winemakers to add an extra fillip of vintage suffrage.

The competition runs March 13-15 in Santa Rosa, and interest in being a single-gender contender has been keen. Wineries from across the country responded and about 1,800 entries have come in, more than double expectations.

North Country Times [via Celebrate Wine]

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March 12, 2007

Ken's Practical Party Case

We're always on the lookout for a good, satisfying, cheap wine, but sometimes it can be tough to figure out which bottle of plonk we should plunk down our money for. We got an email from a gentleman named Ken who is on the same quest, plus he seems to be much more organized than we are - he has a section of his site called the "Practical Party Case."

In it you'll find all sorts of great information about wines from the lower end of the price spectrum - he gives his own reviews and consolidates the ratings of others, all to find wines that are Very Good to Excellent for a reasonable price. Go Ken! Check it out at Ken'sWineGuide.com.

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March 7, 2007

Wine Enthusiast Essential Buying Guide 2007

Wine Enthusiast Buying GuideSometimes we feel like there's just too much information out there about wine. We're not sure whose opinion to take, who to trust, etc. However, one place that has never let us down is Wine Enthusiast. We just found their 2007 Wine Buying Guide, which has ratings and price lists for over 25,000 wines, which seems like it should keep us in the know at least for the year. We're not sure exactly how many of these wines fall into our coveted "Under $20" category, but we'll let you know when we get our copy.

Amazon - Wine Enthusiast Essential Buying Guide 2007

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March 5, 2007

Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape

Marilyn MerlotSome days your ordinary, run of the mill wine just doesn't cut it. Some days, you need something that's just a little bit crazy. That's where Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape come in.

Get your hands on some wine miscellanea with the straight dope on 100 crazy wines - from those with nutty names to those with stunning artwork. You'll get tasting notes, interesting tidbits, and all sorts of wine labels for your perusal. If that sounds like your cup of...ummm, wine...pick up Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grapeat Amazon. If you still need convincing, see the full book description below.

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