May 31, 2007

New Wine Site: Vinapedia

bacchus.jpgPicture this: you're an amateur wine enthusiast looking for advice. You want a place to go that will give you expert advice, maybe somewhere to get an interesting new perspective on wine. Check out Vinapedia - they love wine as much as you do, and they're just starting out so your knowledge will grow as their databases do.

Like the name implies, Vinapedia is set up sort of like an encyclopedia. There are five "volumes" -- Basics, Varieties, Regions, Tasting, and Articles & Media -- each exploring a different aspect of wine. In addition, there's also a Shop section where you can purchase books, accessories and more. Lastly, there's the Tasting Notes Blog (coming soon), which offers up-to-date tasting notes and recommendations to help you get the most out of your viticultural adventure.
Read on at

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May 30, 2007

MontGras 2005 Reserva Carmenere


There's something that makes us giddy about trying a new wine, especially one of a type we haven't sampled much before. That's one thing we can say about Carmenere - we haven't had much of it and we liked it a lot. This was another relatively cheap bottle we picked up while feeling adventurous, and we liked it enough we feel like we're batting 1000.

Color: Deep violet red

Bouquet: Powerful aromas of spices, wild herbs and vanilla

Taste: Well-rounded, with subtle fruit flavors and soft tannins leading to a velvety finish

Serving Suggestions: Best served with spicy entrées, steak and rich cheeses

MontGras 2005 Reserva Carmenere - Red Wine

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May 29, 2007

Crios de Susana Balbo 2005 (Syrah-Bonarda)

We went into the New Hampshire State Liquor Store this weekend, intent on trying a wine varietal we'd never had before, and randomly chose the South American wines as the object of our affection. We're glad we did, because we found the gem we call Crios de Susana Balbo among the shelves. It's a 50/50 mix of Syrah (which we'd had before) and Bonarda (which we hadn't), and we really liked the big berry jammy-ness in there. Add some plum taste and a spicy finish, and it was well worth what we paid - which was not much over ten bucks. How can you go wrong?

Crios de Susana Balbo 2005 Syrah-Bonarda - Red Wine

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May 25, 2007

Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines

We're always looking for great new wines we haven't tried yet, and we often like to research wines online before we actually buy. We're relatively new to the idea of purchasing wine online, especially since it's such a pain in the arse in our home base state of Massachusetts, but we really believe in the concept.

One thing we consider to be a godsend for knowing what to buy is the Wine Spectator Top 100 List - 100 well-rated wines, and while not all of them are under $20 there is a good chunk that are.

Check out the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2006

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May 24, 2007

A Whole Mess O' Wines Under $15

We bet you woke up this morning and said to yourself, "Self, I wish someone would post a story including 17 different wines under $15 so I can hit the liquor store." Your wish is our command. From Syrah to Riesling to Sangiovese, check out this roundup of more cheap wine than you can shake a stick at.

Washington Post - Bottles That Won't Break the Bank

As an interesting side note, this story was written by the same folks who wrote What to Drink with What You Eat- a little book that happens to be our favorite new food and booze pairing companion.

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Clos du Bois 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon


We've just finished a bottle of this wine and at $19+ bucks a bottle, it's just making it under the Cheap Fun Wines radar. We think it's good - but at $19 you've got to love a wine right? Well, several of us did really love it. It has a very deep flavor with big spicy flavor. Not bad and worth a try if you like a bigger wine.

This Cabernet has a black, deep, ruby red color. Its scents of ripe blackberry and cassis are followed by intense and powerful flavors of spice and black cherry on the rich and juicy palate. Concentrated blackberry and cassis fruit mingle with hints baking spice, licorice, and smooth tannins on the back palate and persist through the lingering finish.

At Clos du Bois 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon - Red Wine

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May 23, 2007

Fess Parker Lot 71 Frontier Red


We are currently drinking this little gem and have had lots 51, 61, and now 71. We like 71 and think it pairs well with just about anything - especially a little red meat. It will also run you less than $10 bucks a bottle if you buy a case.

Dark fruit aromas of blackberries, blueberries, exotic cedar and sandalwood, and spices jump from the glass at first exposure. Added notes of ripe cherry, cassis, cinnamon and chocolate complete this incredible bouquet. Tart cherry, blueberry, and licorice flavors accentuate the sweet mid-palate and help produce a soft, velvety finish.

At Fess Parker Lot 71 Frontier Red - Red Wine

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Win $50 Bucks at Tool Snob

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Presorvac Wine Saver Plug-in

We didn't know this was possible, but apparently there are people out there who don't finish an entire bottle of wine in one sitting. That's something that's alien to us, but if that's your bag, hey...who're we to judge? If you're looking for a good way to store that pesky extra wine, check out the Presorvac - that's what we'd do if we ever ran into that problem.

The Epicurean Preservation System plug-in EPS Wine Saver creates a 100% natural seal for red or white wines in just seconds! It preserves wines at their optimum taste, color and aroma for up to 14 days longer than corked open bottles. The technologically advanced Wine Saver is engineered with five patent-pending features, offering a perfectly controlled and efficient method to preserving wines. Includes: 1 Wine Saver, Plug-in version, 2 Standard Wine Stoppers, 1 12V Adapter.
Presorvac [via Coolest Gadgets]

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May 22, 2007

Oster 4207 Electric Wine Opener

At the touch of a button, the Oster Wine Opener easily opens up to 30 bottles on a single charge. The stylish and ergonomically designed soft-grip handle will fit into the palm of your hand for a firm grip. Also includes a foil cutter to remove wine seals and a recharging base for convenience.

  • Cordless operation with recharging base for convenience and mobility
  • Opens a bottle in seconds with no effort allowing you to spend more time with your guests
  • Includes a foil cutter to remove seals with more ease
  • Ergonomically designed soft grip handle to fit the palm of your hand for a firm grip

At Oster 4207 Electric Wine Opener

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May 15, 2007

Wine Dogs

We were tooling around on Amazon today and found something we thought was kind of cool, even though it couldn't be said to directly involve wine (or that buzz we're eternally chasing). The book is called Wine Dogs, and it includes pictures of American wineries, as well as their resident dogs. Doesn't sound that interesting at first blush, but as we looked through some of the pictures we thought they were absolutely gorgeous, and we could really see this thing sitting on our coffee table. If you or someone you know is a dog lover, or a wine lover, or both, this book could be just what the veterinarian ordered.

Amazon - Wine Dogs USA Edition

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May 14, 2007

Cork Pops Wine Opener

We've never used them ourselves, but we have some wino friends who are big proponents of the screwless corkscrew. The usual method is to use a cartridge of compressed air, shove a needle into the cork, press a button, and force the top right out of the bottle. Sounds pretty simple to us - the only downside we can think of is you have to buy replacement cartridges of that air, while you don't have to refill the elbow grease you use with a regular corkscrew.

Still, it might be worth a try if you're a wine lover who doesn't like wrestling with the bottle.

Amazon - CorkPops Wine Opener, Black

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May 10, 2007

Warning: Don't Touch My Wine

We think the logo on this long sleeve tee shirt pretty much says it all.

Product Features

* 6.1-ounce
* 100% cotton jersey
* Mock Style Collar
* Lyrca reinforced collar & cuffs
* double-needle bottom hem

Amazon - DON'T TOUCH MY WINE Long Sleeve Mock T-Shirt

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May 8, 2007

Evil Cabernet Sauvignon Review

Yesterday we let you know about Pure Evil Chardonnay, but we didn't menton one thing...its labelmate Evil Cabernet Sauvignon. How dare we you say? We must be a little bit evil. Yeah, that's it.

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May 7, 2007

Pure Evil Chardonnay Review

With all those cute and fuzzy new wine labels out there - y'know the ones we're talking about, the ones with kangaroos and penguins on them - it's kind of fun to encounter a new wine with a bit of an edge. We don't expect much of a tough guy act from our wines, and those cutey wines can be pretty tasty, but we want a label that will let us hold our heads high as we walk out of the wine shop.

Our favorite newly-discovered wine is Pure Evil. No, it's not some kind of demon-possessed label...that's the name.

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May 5, 2007

Sangria Recipe for Cinquo de Mayo

OK, OK - so we know Sangria is a Spanish recipe, and Cinquo de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, but cut us some slack here. Sangria can be so damned good if it's made correctly, and what better excuse to make it than a giant fiesta? Of course, maybe we should've saved the recipe for Halloween since the word Sangria is derived from the Spanish word for blood, but who could wait that long? This is a perfect summertime recipe, and we're looking forward to sipping some while we lounge in the sun.

Find the recipe after the jump.

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May 3, 2007

Wine Matcher from Natalie Maclean


A while back, we posted a story about a book we found on Amazon about pairing wine and food, and we've been more than a bit intrigued about pairing for a while. We're still learning about it, and we got an email from a woman named Natalie Maclean offering to take some of the mystique out of matching our food with our wine. She's got a matching tool on her website that lets you match food to the wine you have on hand, or vice versa. What more can you ask for?

We played with it a bit and we really liked her recommendations - if you've got food in mind, from apps to desserts, she'll tell you the type of wine to serve and go so far as to make recommendations for the specific bottle to put on the table. Check out the Wine Matcher at Natalie's website.

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May 2, 2007

Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rose

Beau at Basic Juice has put together a nice little introduction to Mourvedre, a grape we're not incredibly familiar with but sounds interesting. We're feeling a bit adventurous, and his description, which included words like "meaty, gamey, and wild" definitely caught our eye. He also recommends a Mourvedre Rose from Cline Cellars, the folks who put together White Truck and Red Truck, two wines our parents are fans of.

Fortunately, Cline's 2006 Mourvedre Rose ($15) doesn't finish off with any flavors that could be construed as meaty. It does however offer a nifty flavor combo of fresh strawberry, red plum and a touch of clove. While This pinkie is a bit big on the -OH side (13%), it rights itself with a spritz of acidity and a touch of textured tannin. As with most rose wines, Cline's pink Mourvedre will do its duty with nearly any unpretentious food. Try it with a turkey burger, cheese pizza or pasta.
Cline Cellars via Basic Juice

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May 1, 2007

CFW Monthly Roundup: April 2007

flowerglass.jpgAaaah, spring. The time when a young man's (or woman's) fancy turns to wine. Wait, how's that different from the rest of the year? Anyway, April was a good month for us here - we discovered a great book about pairing wine with food, found a contest to name a Winery in Washington, got the results of the 2007 Wino sign awards, and reviewed our new favorite Chiante. Can you get any better than that?

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