April 18, 2008

Pretty in Pink - Globalight Champagne Holder

globalight.jpgWell, it doesn't get much more swanky than this. Created for Rose Chamapgne, which tends to be swanky on its own, this little number is so extravagant that I am at a loss for words. Check out this bit from
Cool Hunting:

Launching [this week] as part of Milan's furniture festivities, the latest collaboration with leading designers and the second with blob lord Karim Rashid and Veuve Clicquot is this reinvention of a chandelier in the form of a glowing pink champagne holder that doubles as a cooling tote. The design, an asymmetrical sensual ellipse, was the result of Rashid's initial scribble after asked to meld the immaterial and the material like he'd done with his first project for Veuve, the loveseat. Realizing his doodle was "the idea in itself," the Globalight literally circles the champagne and adds ambient illumination that plays off the pink hue of Rose champagne, for which it was designed. Bringing lighting experts Zumtobel into the project, the lamp-cum-basket uses technology to light up without heating and in fact keeps bottles at the ideal temperature for up to two hours. Limited to a run of 500 (only 50 of those will be available for the U.S. market), the Globalight will be available on Eclicquot in May for $4,000.

Obviously only a select few can, and will, splurge on this accessory. Just don't think of it as a wine cooler. Think of it as art.
Image and excerpt from Cool Hunting

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

April 4, 2008

Riedel Tyrol Cabernet Glasses

tyrol_pop_links_logo.jpgI have FINALLY found my perfect glasses. Unfortunately they don't fit into my perfect budget, but we'll have to work on that. Don't misunderstand, I love my Riedel Vinums, but I don't like that they break easily and they don't fit into the top rack of my dishwasher. Add to that my spastic propensity for knocking them over and you have the trifecta of irritation. The Riedel Os are ok, but I like a stem to swirl and I don't like that my hands heat up the wine. Enter the Riedel Tyrol line. Clean lines, stunning design, a sturdy stem, and all of the fantastic attributes that you get with Riedel. Check it out:

tyrol_cabernet_405-0_popup.jpgCasual and elegant, this Riedel Tyrol Cabernet glass is part of a brand new glass series introduced in Spring 2007. This glass stands on a solid half sphere, offering amazing light reflection, while each bowl is developed for the enjoyment of popular grape varieties and beverages. The Tyrol series is made of lead crystal, which lends itself to a solid base with great stability, while giving it never ending sparkle. The name Tyrol commemorates the Riedel Family's new beginning 50 years ago in Austria in the federal state of Tyrol. These glasses come in a set of 2 and are designed to enhance the enjoyment of full-bodied red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. (from Amazon)

They are slightly more affordable than the vinum line, but are still a little swanky at $39 for a pair. My vinums should really watch out . . . it is a long fall from the bar to the tile. Accidents can happen.

Check out the full line and pick your faves: Riedel Tyrol Cabernet Glass, Set of 2

Images from

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

March 21, 2008

Rocket Science 2004 Proprietary Red

Rocket science btl shot detail.jpgWhen John Caldwell arrived in Napa Valley in the early 1980's, his intent was to make his mark as a real estate developer, but when the Napa bureaucracy crushed that dream, he decided that his land might just be the ideal spot for growing grapes. And so Caldwell Vineyard was conceived.

Caldwell Vineyard; the confluence of superlative soils, an ideal climate, and the passion to produce delicious wines. We are so fortunate to live and work in a place where Mother Nature conspires with us to make magic.

Now I've had my share of swanky wines but I must say, there are not too many that I've enjoyed as much as this one. No, for me the Caldwell 2004 Rocket Science is in a category all its own. The deep, dark garnet juice is a jewel in the glass. At first whiff, the sweet tobacco and spice and rich macerated berry are mind-blowing and totally hypnotic. This wine is so rich and layered that my mind and my palate can hardly keep up. My heart is racing. The Rocket Science teases with layers of black cherry and berry fruits that remain on your palate but at the same time give way to clove and cedar and sagebrush. It is reverent and refined, yet completely unpretentious. I am in love. And why shouldn't I be? This Proprietary Red blend is composed of some of my favorite varietals. It is 32% Syrah, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. You can find the current release (2005) on the Caldwell Vineyard site for $40. And it is worth every red cent.

P.S. If you are interested in learning more about the what Napa was like before it became a tourist destination and while it was struggling to become one, check out James Conaway's, Napa: The Story of an American Eden. It is a truly engaging account of Napa's storied past starring a fascinating cast of characters that you come to love or love to hate.
Photo from

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

February 29, 2008

Crushpad's fusebox - Learn to blend wine at home!

fusebox.jpgIn our efforts to bring you the the latest buzz in the wine world, we have come across yet another swanky wine business that everyone can enjoy at home -- that is everyone willing to spend $120. Check out the Springwise article:

The busy vintners at Crushpad, an urban winery we've already discussed on two separate occasions, have given us reason to cover them yet again. Just before the holidays Crushpad introduced fusebox, a wine blending kit that lets users experience the wine-making process at home.

Crushpad's 15-pound fusebox was created to contain everything a group of four might need to explore how some of the world's greatest wines are blended: Six 375 mL bottles of blending wine from some of Napa's finest vineyards, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc; one 375 mL bottle of Mystery Wine; one graduated cylinder and 4 pipettes; four wine evaluation cards; four tasting place mats; recipe cards, a vinography aroma card and a corkscrew. Using the kit, wine enthusiasts can try to re-create classic Cabernet blends or invent their own; they can also test their discernment skills on the included Mystery Wine by playing the "Guess the Mystery Blend" online game at fusebox is priced at USD 120 and available for shipping only within the United States.

"Crushpad's mission is to turn consumers into creators," explains Michael Brill, CEO of San Francisco-based Crushpad. "Whether it's the multiyear experience of making a wine from vine to bottle or just spending a few hours with friends enjoying a blending session with fusebox, we want to give individuals the opportunity to experience the fun and sense of creative expression that comes from making wine."

Crushpad has always specialized in helping enthusiasts understand and make their own wines, providing desirable status skills along the way. Crushpad is in the very early phases of signing up fusebox retailers and distributors.


from: Springwise

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

January 18, 2008

Clarendon Hills Kangarilla Grenache 2004

So this is way swanky, but we have excellent justification for it. Valentine's Day is fast approaching and you've got to stockpile great wines for that night. Grenache is a wine you can truly enjoy, without the commitment demanded by a Cabernet or even a Syrah, and this wine fills the bill, although at rather a high level. The wine is a deep, nearly opaque purple, bringing confident aromas of raspberry, strawberry and blackberry to the nose, with eucalyptus, black pepper, licorice and floral notes. This is deep, ripe, honest fruit, thick and concentrated, but far from jammy. The flavor notes are similar. You can actually get your teeth into just picked fruit, chew on the flesh, access the hard-working acidity. The tannins are firm, ripe, and well integrated. It all makes for delicious fun.

Conor Hanover at Permalink social bookmarking

December 14, 2007

Trimbach Cuvee Riesling

Year: 2003
ABV: 14.5%
We Paid: $28

Rieslings do not have to be a summer wine. In fact, I have images of ice encrusted grapes yearning to be part of a Christmas desert. Trimbach produces wonderful wines, and this is no exception. Crisp and light with only a hint of sweetness. Italian cookies, French pastries, or maybe even a New York Style Cheesecake with cherries. OK I'm hungry and thirsty.

TrimbaChateau 2003 Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling - White Wine

Conor Hanover at Permalink social bookmarking

December 7, 2007

Orogeny Vineyards Pinot Noir 2005

Year: 2005
ABV: 14.2%
We Paid: $36

Swanky indeed! This Pinot is worth the extra scratch. Friday night is dinner party night and this smooth red is perfect. Ripe and moderately juicy with a dollop of creamy oak looming in the background of its light-medium intensity aromas, this one comes across as slightly supple and fairly full on the palate with more body on its side than flavor. In the absence of convincing fruit, it narrows and dries at the end.
Orogeny Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir Green Valley - Red Wine

Conor Hanover at Permalink social bookmarking

November 16, 2007

Trapiche Malbec Vina Victorio Coletto 2004

ABV: 13.5%
We Paid: $45

trapichemalbec.jpgAlright, this is double our usual range. However, we're going back to Swanky Wine Fridays. It's the end of the week and it's vacation time for many of us, so splurge a little. And believe us, this wine is worth it. While all of Trapiche's single-vineyard Malbecs are excellent, this is the rock star of the group. From 50-year-old vines, Coletto offers prune, fruitcake and cedar aromas in front of a jammy but structured palate. Smooth as silk with hints of Port. A lovely, lush wine that will impress your holiday guests.

Conor Hanover at Permalink social bookmarking

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

Head Wino at Permalink social bookmarking

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

Head Wino at Permalink social bookmarking
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