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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February 28, 2007

On Shipping Wine - Redux

Wine ShippingA while back we tried to put together a primer on how to ship wine to various states. We tried to do our research, but somehow we managed to drop the ball egregiously - or at least that was the vibe from the comments we read. In an attempt to make things right, we've dug up a couple articles from WineLog that cover the same ground. Hopefully they got it right, but if they didn't...hey, don't kill the messengers.

Article 1 - an overview and a treatise on reciprocity

Article 2 - state specifics and some other details

Good luck and we hope you find it more helpful than what we put together.

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February 15, 2007

Pick Up Some Sommelier Secrets

Men at a Wine TastingAmateur wine enthusiasts (and beginners alike) rejoice - you no longer need to fear the sommelier. You know, the guy who looks down his nose at you in a fancy restaurant because you don't get his terroir jokes? We've found an excellent Q&A about how to handle a sommelier and know exactly what to ask/tell him or her when you're trying to pair your food with wine or just order a nice bottle.

We've included a couple of our favorite questions - and their answers - after the jump.

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February 14, 2007

Wine, Wine, Good for your Heart

Red Red WineThe more you drink it, the more you...get the health benefits. OK, maybe that's not the best way to start off our Valentine's Day post, but we love hearing people rave about how great red wine is for your heart, and every time we read an article about it, it does our hearts good. And what better day to have good heart happenings that VDay?

We've found another interesting note about an experiment involving mice, fatty foods and a chemical in wine over at the Sporting Life. Not only is the article they're discussing interesting, we liked their take on it too:

Actually, a whole history of the popularization of the ‘red wine good for you’ theory is given here. In a surprise twist, from 1992 until now, the theory has traveled the opposite road to most similar hypotheses. Rather than being a solid theory, slowly eroded by science into ridicule, it started is life as the crackpot ravings of drunken Frenchmen and then built up a weight of scientific evidence.
The Sporting Life - Drink up or die! (Red wine still good for you)

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February 5, 2007

Don't blush if you like pink wine

Pink WineGet it?

Rose wines have gone from a tacky '70s spirit to today's trendy libation, say wine experts. Expect to sample some if you head to the Boston Wine Expo next weekend at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

The 16th annual Boston Wine Expo is one of the largest events of its kind in the country, bringing 450 wineries and more than 1,800 wines to the Hub for a weekend of wine education and enlightenment.

Read more at the Eagle Tribune

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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 16, 2007

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 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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December 20, 2006

Pruno - Make Your Own Prison Wine

Pruno image courtesy of Black TableAs you know, we're always on the lookout for the cheapest tasty wines available - it's kind of our thing. But sometimes you have to stretch your boundaries...exit your comfort zone...leave tasty out of the equation. For those of you who don't know, Pruno is a variety of homemade wine that is usually created in prison, often hidden in the toilet tank as contraband. When you hear the words "prison wine" and "toilet tank" you probably think it's going to taste pretty good.

You'd be wrong - the creator of the recipe we found described it as tasting like a "bile flavored wine cooler." Even so, Pruno creation is a skill that might treat you well some day when you're on lockdown for downloading pirated Justin Timberlake songs or whatever it is you do.

By most accounts, pruno isn't something a normal human would want to drink, so potent that two gallons is said to be "a virtual liquor store," enough to get a dozen people mindblowingly wasted. And while it tastes so putrid that even hardened prisoners gulp it down while holding their noses, they'll go to incredible lengths to make it, whipping up batches from frosting, yams, raisins and damn near everything.
from Black Table

Note: Pruno is nasty crap. Cheap Fun Wines takes no responsibility if you drink it and go blind, have a psychotic episode, or otherwise have ill effects.

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