September 27, 2007

Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano dAbruzzo Review

cornacchia-montepulciano-dabruzzo.bmpAzienda Agricola Barone Cornacchia
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Year: 2003
ABV: 13%
We Paid: $11

I was deep into a game of Snood the other day when one of the CFW crew walked into my office, stated, “Denique apertos Baccus amat colles,” slammed down an empty bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and left. My friend and co-worker had clearly enjoyed the wine, the entire bottle during lunch, but was unfit to write a review. I left work early and picked up a bottle of what my friend had forcefully and archaically suggested.

Roughly translated, my friend had slurred, “Bacchus loves the open hills.” As far as I’m concerned, whatever Bacchus loves is fine by me. Abruzzo is a region in central Italy on the Adriatic Sea side of the boot and if it’s not mountainous then it’s hilly. Put a ball down on the ground and it’ll roll somewhere. This region is known for the Montepuliciano grape which is a dark red with blackberry fruit flavors and has spicy and peppery qualities.

The 2003 Montepuliciano vintage is excellent, round in character, and delicious. It broadcasts ripe aromas of berries with spices, herbs, and earthiness. This is a rustic red wine with ripe strawberry and blackberry flavors that fills the mouth. This is followed by layers of leather, violets, a dash of peppery, and completes with smooth tannins and a fulfilling finish. The fruit is balanced adroitly with acidity that makes this a no-brainer companion choice for antipasti, pastas, grilled, or roasted meat. It’s the perfect wine to drink during the day, if you are lucky enough to have me as a boss.

Website : (it's in Italian; good luck)

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September 25, 2007

Vertvs Tempranillo Crianza 2003 Review

Bodegas Iranzo
Vertus Tempranillo Crianza
Year: 2003
ABV: 13.5%
We Paid: $10

History is a favorite topic here at CFW. We’ve argued about everything from Urban II’s motivation in the first Crusade, to the ever-important Mary Ann and Ginger debate*. So, when we saw an affordable Tempranillo from Bodegas Iranzo, we were very excited. This is a family-owned winery who make their wine from the Finca Canada Honda Vineyard, a vineyard that can be traced back to the year 1355. That’s old by the way. The new twist is that Bodegas Iranzo make their wine from organically grown grapes; history and organic farming: heaven.

The Vertus Tempranillo is a Crianza that has been aged for six months in American and French oak.
It’s a bit difficult to get a grip on this Spanish wine. At first taste, I thought to advise making Sangria out of it, but by the end of the glass, I couldn’t even recommend that. There are redeeming qualities though. They would be the wine’s fruity berry aromas with herbs, spices, flowers, and light oak. There’s a round mix of dark berry fruit, licorice, violets with earthy background flavors. Then there are the bits of evocative leather flavors that emerge, conjuring up images of Spanish Dons and Conquistadors. However, the finish is shallow and overall the wine lacks distinction worthy of its ancestry and heritage. Living up to one’s history is essential.

* By the way, the answer to the important question is Mary Ann of course.

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September 24, 2007

Brass Knuckles Wine Opener

brass-knuckles-wine-opener.jpgWe have talked endlessly at CFW about the lack of crossover between underground mixed martial arts and wine tasting. We feel that a sommelier performing a flying knee drop would bring two wonderful worlds together. Finally, we have found a step in the right direction - and it turns out we're not the only ones thinking this way.

Jonathan Sabine for Vest Collective designed this remarkable wine opener. The corkscrew smoothly blends utility and winking, dark humor, and you can easily see this being a hit at your next dinner party (not to mention a vicious weapon if things get out of hand). No word yet on the availability of this piece, but you can be sure we'll keep you posted.
Not sure how many people who appreciate wine can really relate to the knucks, but for the few, like the crew at CFW, it’s the meanest kitchen implement in recent years.

at productdose

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September 21, 2007

2004 Terrazas Reserva Malbec Review

Terraza de los Andes Reserva Malbec
Year: 2004
ABV: 13.5%
We Paid: $10

You think you’re tough? Need a muscle-bound lug of a red that can ride herd on a Saturday evening barbecue yet drink nice and easy? Try this high Andes Malbec from Terrazas. It’s supple and rich and full-bodied that dances with dark berries and plums together with leathery smoke and chocolate and a hint of tar. There are some sturdy tannins which are not unexpected but the complex wine softens with a lingering smooth velvety finish.

Probably only a perfectly rare porterhouse will be chewier than this Argentinean Malbec. It’s a hearty and pleasing red for the price - we found it for $10, but it's a value anywhere under $20. Find your favorite food that had a face, fire up the grill, and open a bottle of this very satisfying wine.

Terrazas 2005 Reserva Malbec - Red Wine

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September 18, 2007

Scrimshaw Wine Opener

scrimshaw-wine-opener.jpgOK, so we know it's not Swanky Wine Friday yet, but we saw this corkscrew and just had to post about it. If you know what scrimshaw is (carved bones or teeth from marine mammals like whales), you probably have one of two reactions - A) wide-eyed wonder or B) horrified disgust.

For those in the first category, yeah, this thing's damned cool and it was swimming around the ocean a while back. For those in the second, it's pretty damned expensive so they're probably not going to sell enough to depopulate the manatee or whale populations.

We just think it's neat.

[Note: We just read up a bit more and discovered it's not marine at's camel bone. Those humped bastards get what they deserve.]

Sam McDowell Scrimshaw Wine Opener

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September 17, 2007

Deer Antler Wine Rack

If you're like us, you need a second home - preferably a log cabin with a rustic feel. Maybe you already have one. Either way, you should get this deer antler wine rack and put it there - it saves you from actually having to kill a deer yourself for the sake of interior decor.

River's Edge Deer Antler Wine Rack

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September 13, 2007

Wine Flight Set

wine-flight-set.jpgClass up your next wine tasting - or even just wine serving - with the Wine Flight Set from Red Envelope. It comes with two trays, eight stemless Riedel wine glasses, and multiple plaques with an erasable pen to change the names of the wine you're tasting, mark down scores - or just write funny little messages to each other.

Wine Flight Set [via Uncrate]

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September 10, 2007

Wine & Apples for a Good Cause

wine-n-apples.jpgOK, so we're a little more tardy with posting about this than we wanted to be, but better late than never, right? We found out about an opportunity to drink some wine and support a great cause, so we wanted to let our Boston-area readers know about it so they could get in on the fun. The short story is you can go to Nashoba for some wine drinking and apple picking, all to support the On Your Feet Project (learn about 'em) - more details below.

What: A wine tasting at the Nashoba Valley Winery. Your ticket (for $30) includes the wine tasting, a complimentary glass from the winery, a tour, transportation to and from the winery, entrance to the Apple Festival, and breakfast from Starbucks. What a deal! Any apples you pick (and buy) will be at an additional cost.
Buy your tickets by September 26 to get in on the festivities, which are on September 30 - learn more at

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September 5, 2007

Westport Rivers Winery


We spent some time at the Westport Rivers Winery this weekend, and we can't explain what a great time we had. We bought a few bottles of wine, sat in some adirondack chairs and overlooked the vineyards, and took in the view. We sampled some wines we'd never had before, relaxed, and overall had a damn fine time.

The wines we tried, you ask? Two of our favorites so far this year - one was a Rkatseteli, and the other was a rose of Pinot Noir. Both were extremely economical ($18.99 and $12.99, respectively), and the Rkatseteli (no, we'd never heard of it either - learn more here) is the front runner for "Best White Wine of the Summer" if you ask us.

Learn more and check them out at

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September 4, 2007

Screwpull Champagne Cork Catcher

Are you the kind of person who pads the pointy edges of the items in your house to keep yourself from losing an eye? Do you constantly live in fear that you'll be minding your own business and suddenly, from out of nowhere, you'll be cracked across the skull with a cork? Are you concerned you'll end up going to Federal P.M.I.T.A. prison for beaning someone else with said cork?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if you just want a nifty wine-related accoutrement, you need this gadget.

Screwpull Champagne Cork Catcher [via acquire]

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