Gaja Tasting Sweeps through Lower Falls Wine Co.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I missed it. I'm sorry I did, but I missed it. On Thursday, November 19th, Lower Falls Wine Co. in Newton, MA had a free Gaja tasting where they poured their full line-up which ranges from $40-$300 retail.

The Gaja brand has a long and storied history and is recognized as a benchmark Barbaresco- an Italian wine from the Piedmont region made from Nebbiolo grapes. Barbaresco wines are similar to those from nearby Barolo (also made from Nebbiolo) but Barbaresco's tannins are more forgiving when young.

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Even if you missed the event at Lower Falls, it's not too late to take advantage of special event pricing. In talking with the uber-helpful Stephen Pope last week, he indicated they'd be offering the wines at special prices for 2 weeks following the event.

I was tempted (and still am) to pull the trigger on a bottle of 2006 Gaja Barbaresco. Not affordable at all (even at prices significantly lower than the best price in the US according to but a bottle of wine I'd love to have in my cellar.

I bought a bottle of 2007 Gaja Sito Moresco (around $50) and drank it with family over Thanksgiving weekend. Wow- what a wine. Here are my notes:

What a beautiful Italian wine. Such a complex nose: red fruit candy, cranberries, vanilla, earth. Spice notes on the palate that wouldn't be out of place in a domestic Pinot Noir. Medium acidity. Food friendly -or- enjoyable as a cocktail. A finish that goes on for miles and I somehow felt it in my ears. Yikes. Great brand, great label, great wine.

94 Points WWP/Outstanding

You may recall my previous posts regarding struggling to find value in Italian Wine. I think I'm beginning to turn the corner, and it's through the Nebbiolo grape and specifically through Barbaresco. I've tried quite a few Barolos and I've not been nearly as impressed. That being the case, stay tuned for an upcoming case-club deal featuring Barbaresco.

Compare prices on
Take advantage of 1-cent shipping on Monday November 30th, 2009 with the coupon code CYMBERMON.

Disclosure: I am a affiliate.

Check 'em out:
Lower Falls Wine Co.
2366 Washington St
Newton, MA 02462-1440
(617) 332-3000


Black Friday Wine Sales

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday isn't just about electronics, toys, and appliances. It's for winos too! Here's a few Black Friday wine sales that crossed my desk and caught my attention this week:

Blanchards West Roxbury, MA

20-60% off select items, including the 2006 Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz. I'm looking forward to seeing how low the price goes on the Amon Ra. @QPRKings tells me the lowest he's seen it is $80 so we'll set the over/under there. The sale is supposed to be posted Friday at 12:15AM- we shall see!

Update: Prices are now up. Amon Ra is at $64.97, Chappellet Pritchard Hill at $89.97, and Radio Coteau at $39.97. Harlan Estate at $599.97 if anyone wants to buy me a gift. ;) Pretty amazing deals- definitely the best Black Friday wine sale I've seen this year!

Click HERE to learn more about the Blanchards sale.

Bin Ends Wine in Braintree, MA

10% off everything online and in-store, including items in the bins! Bin Ends has great wines at great prices across the board, but depending on how you time it, the "bins" at the back of the store provide best values of all. I picked up a half-bottle of 2002 Ridge Monte Bello for $30 earlier this year- compare at $445 for same on the wine list at The French Laundry.

Click HERE to learn more about the Bin Ends sale.

Grapes The Wine Company in White Plains, NY

Since subscribing a few months ago, I've been impressed with Grapes The Wine Company. Daniel Posner does a nice job informing and entertaining while pumping out some great deals. Even if they can't ship to your state it's worth subscribing to their newsletter. I'm not certain what they have in store, but it would be worth signing up today so you can hear about the sale in Friday's edition.

Click HERE to visit the Grapes The Wine Company site and sign up for their newsletter.

For Black Friday, they're doing 25% off select gift baskets with the code 25FRIDAY.

On Cyber Monday, they're doing 1-cent shipping on orders of $49 or more with the code CYMBERMON.

Sign up to receive emails and get 1 cent shipping on $99 or more. Code given via email upon sign up confirmation.

Here's a link for a 90-point Wine Spectator wine that's less than $20 to get you started. The 2006 Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir:
Disclosure: I am a affiliate.

Not really a Black Friday deal necessarily, but they've got a $140 release price 93 WS 2005 Volnay Burgundy for $55.55 with free shipping on 3 bottles. Any MA consumers want to split a 3-pack?

Check out the deal HERE

Breaking: Cinderella Wine has deals at 1P, 3P, 5P and 7P today! Check it out HERE

St. Supery Winery

Offers a 2002 St. Supery Cab for $20/btl with free shipping if you buy a case. This normally sells for $35/btl at the winery.

Check out the deal HERE

Wine Authorities Durham, NC

Black Friday sale today: 10-1pm get extra 25% added to your Enomatic purchase, 2-5pm all non-alcohol products are 25% off, 5-7:30pm Just-in-Case = 25% off! More info on their Facebook page HERE

Check out their site HERE

Wine Enthusiast

$19.99 for the Nuance Wine Finer with free shipping on orders of $95+

Check out other wine accessories on sale at Wine Enthusiast HERE

Not a wine deal, but Apple is running their annual one-day sale. I'm thinking of getting a I bought a new iMac for the family this year at $100 off. Check it out HERE.

Question of the Day: Any other wine sales we should be aware of? Drop me an E-mail at -or- share in the comments. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving!


Value Alert: 2007 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here's an interesting one. If you're like me, and base at least some of your wine purchasing decisions on ratings from publications like Wine Spectator, you'll find that it's often tough to find inexpensive, highly-rated wines. Unless they're high-production, they disappear from the market quickly and retailers are unable to obtain them at or near their release price.

Take $20 domestic Pinot Noir as a category for example. According to Wine Spectator, only 2 wines are rated 90 or more point and cost $20 or less. Both are from Siduri. Good luck finding any of these around. When I have seen them they've been priced closer to $25 or $30 before quantity discounts. This kind of wrecks the QPR.

Sometimes it's a more effective approach to find the 90 pointers that *are* available in stores that are available at good prices. A problem with this approach is that you're at somewhat at the mercy of retailers and their often-shady shelf talkers. Of course you can always carry along a cheat-sheat in your pocket or carry along a mobile phone to look things up on the fly.

Recently, I picked up a wine at Wine Connextion in North Andover, MA that lists for $32, but was available for $23.99- the 2007 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Willamette Valley. I used the iPhone app to look up consumer ratings for this wine on CellarTracker. As of this writing, the wine carried a median of 88 points and an average community value of $29.79. This told me $23.99 was a good price for this wine, and since I'd received positive comments about Adelsheim from my cousin Michelle in the past, I bought a bottle.

I cracked it open last night after hearing Wine Spectator dropped a 90-point rating on the wine. They did a piece featuring 13 Oregon Pinot Noirs they scored between 90-92 points and cost between $32 and $85.

My Notes:

Rather low alcohol at only 12.8%. Light bodied as well, but not necessarily light in flavor. On the nose, in addition to red raspberries, was wet wood. Like the wet wood you'd smell waiting in the queue to ride the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland after it's been raining. Quite fascinating, but perhaps the oak needs some time to integrate. After that, sour cherry on the palate. This is definitely not a big, amped up Pinot Noir. This is an elegant, thoughtful wine.

89 Points WWP/Very Good

Check 'em out:
Adelsheim Vineyard
On Twitter: @Adelsheim

Of course, another approach to wine buying is to simply trust your local wine merchant. I did just that recently and wound up with an Oregon Pinot Noir I'd rate 92 points and it only cost $15. Read more about that one HERE.

This Adelsheim would be a great wine to enjoy with the bird for Thanksgiving dinner. In case you missed it earlier this week here's our take on what wines to serve on Thanksgiving:

Purchase this from
Disclosure: I am a affiliate.

Question of the Day:
Have you had wines from Adelsheim before? If so, what did you think? If not, have you found any good Pinot Noir values lately?


Be Thankful . . . and Drink What You Like!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is a guest post from Todd Broderick, a fellow Boston-area wine enthusiast.

Every year I read a vast array of articles in everything from the Spectator to the Wall St. Journal extolling the virtues of various varietals and telling us what we should pair with Turkey. While I do not dispute the benefit of pairing a great Pinot with a dry bird, I am writing simply with what worked for me. At “Pretend Thanksgiving” I decided to drink what I liked and enjoyed it with people I was thankful for. I have a few tips from this year’s experience that may help guide your selection process based on my turkey day trial run, I hope you find them useful.

So what the heck is Pretend Thanksgiving?

For the last several years my wife and I have hosted “Pretend Thanksgiving” a few weeks before the real deal. We take this as an opportunity to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving day feast with friends who are usually tied up with family, come the last Thursday in November. As we were planning this year’s menu I was reminded of the amazing array of flavors that the Thanksgiving meal brings. From the savory taste of Aunt Kathy’s sweet sweet potatoes, to the tart contrast of the cranberry sauce, there was something that hit every taste bud. There truly is a flavor to be paired with virtually any wine that might be on your list. So I decided to go with wines I liked and I thought would be widely appealing to the guests joining us.

We started the day with an array of fruit, cheese and cured meats. Tip # 1 – start things off with a couple different whites that might appeal to different palates. The whites of the day to accompany the starters were Conundrum (previously mentioned in our Freaking Delicious Wine recommendations from local merchants piece) and McManis Viognier. I figured the Conundrum would be the crowd pleaser and the Viognier would provide an interesting alternative to with some acidity to balance out the some of the harder cheese. The McManis was a great deal for around $8 and the Conundrum wasn’t too bad just shy of $20. The Conundrum was definitely a crowd pleaser but also had just enough acidity to pair nicely with the apps. I decided to experiment a little with the Viognier, which leads me to Tip #2 – try Viognier (or Riesling) to add to the base of your gravy. Combine the wine with chicken stock to give the gravy a much more interesting flavor. The combination of citrus and floral flavors brought a really interesting twist to the gravy without be too overpowering.

As we transitioned to the main course we were ready for some red, ok let’s face it, I was ready for the red 5 hours ago when I jammed the bird in the oven, but I exercised some restraint and sipped the white. But what I did do is something easy that I recommend to all, Tip #3 – open your reds at least 3 to 4 hours ahead of time and decant if you can. Giving the wine some time to evolve does wonders for it and it is amazing how much more your guests will taste and enjoy. It’s not hard to remember either, baste the bird and open the wine! Now back to what we were drinking. Tip # 4 – Try a couple different varietals, one that makes you happy and one that might make others happy! I went with 2 different options; 2004 Jax Cabernet, (in the $30 to $35 neighborhood) and a 2007 Rombauer Zinfandel (about $25 to $30). The few hours of decanting did wonders for both wines. The last time I had opened the Jax, it was pretty tight but it opened up nicely and really balanced out some of the rich dishes we had. The Rombauer is big with some strong upfront fruit that pleased everyone that tried it.

My preference was to start with the Cabernet, which wasn’t as overpowering as I expected. I know it’s not traditional, but it was still quite enjoyable and pretty reasonable compared to some of the other cabs I was contemplating. The Rombauer was how I rounded out the day, it has a delicious factor that might a little overpowering for some. But if you enjoy a high quality big fruit Zin, give it a shot. I was able to find the Conundrum, the McManis and the Rombauer at the Wine ConneXtion in North Andover. All three were a great deal and made me that much more thankful for having the opportunity to share some great wine with great friends.

Enjoy your celebration and let us know what you’re drinking in the comments!


Todd can be reached via E-mail:
You can also follow him on Twitter: @ToddBrod

Check back tomorrow for our top Thanksgiving Pinot Noir value pick. We're going to Oregon for this one, and we've discovered a real winner for just over $20. Subscribe via E-mail and you won't miss it.


Consider Practicing "CPR" for Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I wasn't planning to write a "what wines to drink with Thanksgiving" post, but when I thought of the acronym I knew it had to knock this one out. It seems that as many publications are recommending you "drink what you like" as are offering up Thanksgiving wine picks this year.

I'm not much of a wine pairings guy. Perhaps this stems from the fact that the majority of wine I consume is as a cocktail- served after the work day ends and before we sit down for dinner. I've heard this is a terrible way to drink wine- that drinking wine before a meal increases your appetite. It would be great if I had that kind of restraint- sometimes I'd like to have just a glass with dinner- but most of the time it just doesn't work out that way.

So what am I planning to crack open this Thanksgiving? CPR: Cab, Pinot, and Riesling. Here's why:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is like Mexican food for me: I always have a taste for it. It's also the first variety that comes to my mind when I think of special occasions. I find my guests that enjoy wine are enthusiastic about Cabernet Sauvignon, and when you share a nice bottle many people appreciate it. And that's what it's all about, right? Giving people what they want?

Cab on Thanksgiving is, I think, a bit of a strange call. I don't think many people would recommend Cabernet with dinner- but there's lots of wine to be had before dinner, right? And not many people would recommend going full-bodied to light either but it's a long day with plenty of time to cleanse your palate between wines.

In terms of specifics, I'd personally look to labels that have historically run over $50 but have fallen down into the mid-$30s if you shop around. Brands to consider: Groth, Chateau Montelena, Lewelling and Chappellet. In Massachusetts, try Wine ConneXtion in North Andover or the Wine Cellar of Stoneham for value plays in this category.

Want to splurge? Crack open a Cakebread or a Caymus. Always solid picks. I'm tempted to try a 1994 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cab I recently picked up.

Want to keep the cost down? Hands-down my go-to $10 supermarket recommendation you can find in any grocery store in America is the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cab. Such a great line of wines across all varieties.

An alternative play here is Zinfandel. Look to Buehler, Seghesio and Ridge as great producers in this category in particular.

Top pick that's ready to drink? 2004 Lewelling Cabernet Sauvignon

Pinot Noir

With it's soft tannins and approachable flavors, Pinot Noir is a classic pairing with so many foods. When it's time to sit down for dinner it's my go-to wine.

For Thanksgiving, I like to pick something on the lighter side of Pinot with lower alcohol if possible. Don't want to get in the way of the food, right? Perennial favorites around here include Elk Cove, Siduri and Carmel Road.

Want to splurge? So many good Pinots to choose from. Last year a Goldeneye was our feature wine. This year, I'm thinking of cracking open something from a trip to Sonoma earlier this year. Perhaps Keller Estate or Adobe Road. Don't forget last year's WWP Wine of the Year Zepaltas -or- Clary Ranch as well.

Want to keep the cost down? A great play for Goldeneye on a budget comes from J. Mauceri. Same winemaker, one-third the cost, great wine. Another to consider is the obscure August Cellars. Castle Rock and Mark West are always good plays closer to $10.

Top pick that's ready to drink? 2006 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir


The great thing about Riesling is that almost everyone can agree on it- wine geeks and those new to wine as well. It's also versatile. Depending on how sweet you like your wines, I think a Riesling can serve as a dessert wine -and- a wine served with dinner. For your guests that don't like red wine, they can start on the Riesling earlier and/or enjoy it with dessert as well.

One tricky thing with Riesling is taking a recommendation and acting upon it because there's so many variations on similar wines even from the same producer. German wine labels are very descriptive, but they can also be very confusing. That being the case, I'd recommend you find a local wine retailer you trust and/or buy a $15-$20 German Kabinett Riesling and I'd bet you get a good bottle. If you're in the Boston area, Steve Grant at Blanchards in West Roxbury is a great resource. I've hit him up for a couple of Riesling recommendations and I've been blown away.

Want to splurge? One great thing about Riesling is that top wines don't break the bank. Best Riesling I had this year? I remember like it was yesterday. This summer, after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day I came in and opened a 2007 Stephan Ehlen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese. It was so absolutely delicious and perfectly suited to the occasion. I'd give it a try this Thanksgiving if I had some around.

Want to keep the cost down? Consider going domestic with a bottle of Firestone -or- consider one of these 5 Freaking Delicious Wines including a late harvest Riesling pick from VinoDivino in Newton, MA. Heck- even the Dr. L they sell at Trader Joe's is pretty good.

Top pick that's ready to drink? 2007 Stephan Ehlen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese (but don't sweat it if you can't find this particular one). Another I've enjoyed is the 2007 Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett.

Question of the Day: What are you thinking of drinking for Thanksgiving?


Tasting Report: Olson Ogden Wines

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tim Olson and John Ogden are the names behind Olson Ogden Wines. I had a chance to taste through 3 Syrahs and 2 Pinot Noirs from their 2007 vintage, which included 3 wines I considered outstanding. But first, a little information about the winery...

From their website:

"Olson Ogden Wines is a small, artisan wine company located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. We specialize in small production, handcrafted wines. Our focus is on Pinot Noir and Rhone varietals, with an emphasis on vineyard designated Syrah’s. We seek out passionate growers with special vineyards.

Our primary goal is to produce balanced, complex and tasty wines that express the terroir and vintage from which they come."

Sounds like a great fit for my palate. Here are my notes, taken from enjoying these wines over a period of a few weeks:

2007 Olson Ogden Sonoma/Napa Syrah

  • 72% Sonoma/28% Napa
  • Medium intensity aromatically and on the palate.
  • I was looking for something more from this wine.
  • A little, just a little, hot with alcohol.
  • 14.8% alc
  • $28
  • 86 WWP/Very good
2007 Olson Ogden Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
  • Limited aromatically and on the front end of the palate
  • However, it comes through big time on the back end
  • A very soft, round wine. Non-bright.
  • Even better the 2nd night
  • 14.8% alc
  • $32
  • 88 WWP/Very good
2007 Olson Ogden Stagecoach Syrah Napa Valley

  • A luscious, hedonistic wine
  • Deep, dark purple. Fresh. Very fresh. And vibrant.
  • Blueberries, blackberries, and leather on the nose.
  • Fleshy tannins. Youthful mouth-feel and finish.
  • 14.7% alcohol
  • $52
  • 93 WWP/Oustanding
2007 Olson Ogden Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

  • Medium-Full Bodied.
  • Baking spices and a little gamey on the nose initially, but in a good way. Like Thanksgiving dinner being prepared.
  • Light acidity. More of a cocktail wine than a wine to be enjoyed with dinner.
  • One of those wines where you intend to have a single glass and it ends up being more like a single bottle. Delicious stuff.
  • 14.7%
  • $42
  • 92 WWP/Outstanding
2007 Olson Ogden Syrah Unti Vineyard
  • Fresh and lively red raspberries.
  • Delivered something different on the nose each time I smelled it (orange peel, bacon fat). Complex or "lacks focus"- you decide.
  • Chalky tannins that quickly softened while the bottle was open.
  • Dusty, but in a good way.
  • 14.5% alc
  • $38
  • 90 WWP/Outstanding
I'd like to thank Olson Ogden for giving me the chance to taste through these wines. I really appreciate it, and I'd encourage you to check out their outstanding wines.

Check 'em out:
Olson Ogden Wines

Follow them on Twitter:

Further Reading: Wine Spectator called 2007 the best California Pinot Noir vintage ever. Read more about it HERE.

Question of the Day: Do you have any familiarity with Olson Ogden? If so, I'd love to hear what you think.


Deal Alert: Outstanding Zinfandel at Amazing Price

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A few months ago, as I was hearing tales of doom and gloom in the wine industry I was thinking "I haven't seen that many great wine deals around." That has changed dramatically in this last couple of months, and here's a shining example of an amazing price on a great wine. You'd better act quickly if you want to pick up this one...

It seems there's an Internet price war going on between Wine Library's Cinderella Wine and Empire Wine in Albany, NY.

Cinderella Wine offers the 2006 Ridge Lytton Springs at $18.88/bottle with free shipping on as little as 3 bottles. Empire Wine has it at $17.95/bottle with free shipping if you buy a straight case of this one -or- mix and match wines from the 18 listed in their free shipping area.

As always, interstate shipping laws can be complicated so be sure to check whether shipping to your (or a nearby) state is possible.

I consider Ridge to be in the top ranks of Zinfandel producers in the world. This wine carries an 88 point Wine Spectator rating and a release price of $35. I was thrilled to pick up the '07 vintage for $24.99 recently. I tried the 2005 vintage of this wine and rated it 93 points, calling it probably the best Zinfandel I've ever had.

Definitely one to check out. Great to see wine deals like this out there, and proof that if you shop around you can save a boatload on great wine in this weak economy.


Wine & Design at the Wellesley Home Design Center

What's this? A wine-related event in Wellesley? I'm all over it!

The Wellesley Home Design Center is hosting their 2nd Wine & Design event tonight. The event features demonstrations of interior design techniques and is targeted at designers -or- homeowners interested in decorating. Attendees can sip wine while watching the demonstrations; I hear Kendra makes a nice White Sangria!

Click HERE for more information.

Wine & Design Night
Tuesday November 17th
5:30 PM - 8 PM
RSVP 781-235-0022

Check 'em out:
Wellesley Home Design Center
555 Washington St.
Wellesley MA 02482
Phone: 781-235-0022

Thanks to @WellesleyUpdate for the heads-up on this event.


Spectating on The Spectator

Monday, November 16, 2009

This coming Wednesday, November 18th 2009, Wine Spectator will begin unveiling their Top 100 Wines of 2009. This list isn't strictly the best 100 wines presented in rank order according to rating. Rather, it's intended to be the most exciting wines of the year. I think of them as the list of wines we'll remember as being hot this year.

Jill Bernheimer over at domaine547 is running a cool contest related to the Top 100 list. Guess 10 wines and the person who gets the most right in the Top 10 wins.

Based on a top secret algorithm that involves the wwpQPR Calculator guessing, here are my picks, many of which have been featured on this site as Value Alerts:

  1. 2007 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc
  2. 2005 Columbia Crest Reserve Cab
  3. 2007 Paraiso Pinot Noir
  4. 2006 Chappellet Signature Cab
  5. 2006 Schrader T6 Cabernet
  6. 2006 Villa Pillo Toscana Borgoforte
  7. 2006 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Kathryn Hall
  8. 2007 Red Car Pinot Noir Heaven & Earth La Boheme
  9. 2005 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol
  10. 2006 Fontodi Colli della Toscana Centrale Flaccianello
Head on over to domaine547 to enter the contest

Update: I didn't realize the Top 100 would be revealed to subscribers this morning. If you have a Wine Spectator Online subscription you can see the full Top 100 HERE

Good luck!


Chateauneuf-du-Conclusion: 2007 Autard Case Club a Success!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Earlier this week, we did our 2nd "case club" where we combined purchasing power to get the best price possible on a specific bottle of wine. The wine this time was the 2007 Domaine Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a highly rated wine from a heralded vintage that I thought was outstanding.

We got a bump in awareness thanks to The Boston Globe linking to the piece on the front page of (thanks to @DaleCruse for catching a screen shot). In total we got interest for 16 bottles from 6 people. Not too shabby!

On the pricing front, I have good news! A retailer stepped up and offered a price that is significantly lower than the $43 release price, and significantly lower than the lowest price wine-searcher lists in the nation (which currently shows is $32.98 from Wine Library in Springfield, New Jersey). The price? A truly rock-bottom $25.99.

The retailer is The Wine Cellar of Stoneham- the wine store located within the BJ's Wholesale in Stoneham, MA. If you didn't catch the offer earlier this week- don't worry. If you have interest in purchasing this wine for $25.99 they have a few bottles set aside behind the counter. Just mention you heard about the Autard Châteauneuf on The Wellesley Wine Press and if they still have it available, they'll sell it for $25.99 even for single bottle purchases. Call ahead to see if they have it in-stock: (781)438-8801

My thanks to everyone who participated. I'll be following up when the wine is in stock to arrange for pick-up. Thanks as well to The Wine Cellar of Stoneham for stepping up offering this wine at a great price. I'd encourage anyone looking for great pricing on outstanding wines to visit their locations. No BJ's Wholesale membership required:

  • Stoneham (map) (781)438-8801
  • Danvers (map) (978)762-4400
You can follow them on Twitter: @WineCellarsMA

Want to hear about future case clubs? Consider subscribing to The Wellesley Wine Press and you'll never miss an update.

Question of the Day: What wine (or wine category) would you like for our next case club? Sea Smoke? Oregon Pinot Noir? Napa Cab? More expensive? Less expensive? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Bonus! Gary Vaynerchuk reviewed this wine tonight. He must subscribe to the WWP. ;)

Side note- since he published this review Wine Library quickly sold out of the wine. Good thing we got ours when we did! Check it out:


The Wine House Holliston, MA 2nd Anniversary Tasting

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Here's a nice (and free!) event coming up this Saturday night for your consideration. I attended The Wine House's first anniversary last year- it's hard to believe they're now twice as old a store as they were when I first got to know them. I'd highly recommend you check them out and this event is a great intro. 25% off on 18+ bottles or more of wines you can try before you buy too:

The Wine House is turning two!
Come join us to celebrate!
Saturday, November 14th, 2009
2 to 6pm
at the Holliston Historical Barn
(547 Washington Street)
20% off 6 to 17 tasting bottles
25% off 18+ tasting bottles
(on orders placed during tasting only)
Over 50 wines!!

Check 'em out:
The Wine House
76 Central Street
Holliston, MA 01746
505-42-WINES (429-4637)

Reminder: Let me know by Thursday at 10AM whether you're interested in combining purchasing power to go in on a case of 2007 Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape. We've got interest in 15 bottles from 6 parties so far. It's looking like we'll have in-store pick-up options along Route 128 north in addition to Wellesley and pricing even a little lower than the $27/per I anticipated. This is a great opportunity to pick up a nice bottle of CdP at a great price.


Case Club 2: 2007 Paul Autard Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Interesting Question: Is Châteauneuf-du-Pape one of the top 5 categories to pay attention to in wine? It's a tough call- I'm not sure honestly. It's the right on the edge. It's not cheap by any means, but you can find outstanding bottles for around $30. The 2007 vintage now in stores has received good press, and I was quite impressed with a 2007 Domaine Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape I tried recently.

I was first introduced to this producer's wines at a Hingham Wine Merchant holiday tasting. The 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée La Cote Ronde (around $50) was the best amongst some great wines I tried. The legend I recall, according to Martignetti's Scott Weinstein who always has a good story to tell about the wines he's pouring, was that fellow producers in the area line up to buy his wines upon release- they're that good. Since then, I've been impressed with Autard's Côtes du Rhône (around $12) but this was the first chance I had to try his entry-level CdP.

My Notes:
This wines brings layers of flavors but has an elegant air to it. Red berries on the nose, along with some graphite and tar I more readily associate with Bordeaux. Spice on the palate and fine tannins. Firm at this young age, but very enjoyable. Fantastic stuff. Would like to buy more for enjoyment over the next few years.
93 Points WWP/Outstanding
2.0/Very Good
on the wwpQPR value index (what's that?)

2007 Domaine Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape
750 cases
14.5% alcohol
$43 Release price

Wine Spectator: 93 Points
CellarTracker: 92 Points

I'd like to combine our purchasing power to buy a case of this wine from the retailer I can find it for at the best price. If you'd be interested in combining our purchasing power and going in on a group purchase (like we did with a case of Cakebread earlier this year) leave a comment below -or- send me an E-mail letting me know how many bottles you'd like to buy. Thursday morning at 10:00 AM (November 12th, 2009), I'll tally up however many bottles we have and then place an order for the best price I can find it for (including shipping if necessary). Pick-up would be in and around Wellesley, MA. I'd estimate the pricing to be $27 + 6.25% MA tax per bottle unless we can find a retailer lower than Table & Vine which is running a free-shipping on a case promotion right now (which I don't think will be possible since they're price is the lowest in the country on this item according to wine-searcher).

Count me in for 2-3 bottles, and feel free to shop around on Table & Vine's
site to add mixed-bottles as part of the order to build up an additional mixed case to save on shipping.

UPDATE: Click HERE to see how this case club turned out.

Question of the Day: What do you think? Is CdP a category that should be part of everyone's wine collection?


Notes and Conclusions from the 2009 Hingham Wine Merchant Holiday Show

Monday, November 9, 2009

This past weekend, I attended my 3rd consecutive Hingham Wine Merchant Holiday event. We tasted through a really nice assortment of red wines and focused our time on Napa Cabs, Malbecs from Argentina, Italy, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here are my notes...

Napa Cabs

We started off the evening at a table featuring mostly Napa Cabs. Dennis Gilligan was manning the table and I recognized him from a Robert Foley wine dinner at BOKX109 in Newton.

'06 Faust Cabernet Napa Valley
-Showing well and offered at a really good price. Bought 1 bottle.

'05 Ramey Cabernet Napa Valley
-I've been looking for Ramey wines at a good price since being so impressed with Hall Wines I tasted earlier this year and learning that David Ramey is a consulting winemaker there. This too was showing well and was offered at a price I'd expect to pay for his more affordable Claret bottling. Bought 1 bottle, maybe I should have bought more?

'06 Cade Cabernet Howell Mountain
-New vineyard and winery from the Plumpjack folks. Very impressive, but pricey.

'06 Switchback Ridge Cabernet Napa Valley
-Probably my favorite Napa Cab of the night, but pricey.

'06 Chappellet Signature Cab
-Showing quite well, and less tightly wound than when I tried it earlier this year (but it's hard to say in a quick tasting like this). Over the past 2 vintages, Chappellet has really done well with this wine, and if the '06 is like the '05, it really evolves nicely over the first year or two after release. Definitely a smart buy south of $40. Sure to be on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list (if not the Top 10).

'06 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cab
-Beautiful wine, but very expensive. Not showing better than others at this point (but it's more of an age-worthy thing).

'06 Snowden Cabernet "The Ranch"
-Wow, this wine was showing amazingly well and was less than $40. A textbook example of what I'm looking for in Napa Cab with rich black currant, blackberries, and savory components. Bought 1 bottle. Fantastic stuff.

Dennis really knows his stuff- I always enjoy his descriptions. We took a break, and had some delicious beef tenderloin sandwiches with horseradish sauce (the food is always a cut above at these events) and then went off to taste some Malbec.

Napa Conclusion: Some say to skip '06 Napa Cab and wait for '07. I think there's value to be had at this point even in the '06s as $80 wines sell for $50, $50 wines sell in the $30s, and $30 wines sell in the high teens.

Malbecs from Argentina

This is a category I've dabbled in mostly at the $10-$20 price point. I've heard that although it's possible to find great Malbec for $10-$15 (indeed, I thought the Altos Las Hormigas at $10 was a fabulous wine) there is a lot of lousy Malbec out there in the market. Tasting through the Catena line-up (and some others) provided a chance to try a range of Malbecs from $10 to ~$100.

We tried the '07 Catena Malbec, '06 Catena Malbec Alta, '06 Catena Cabernet Alta, the '06 Catena Zapata Malbec Adrianna, and the '06 Nicolas Catena Zapata Cab/Malbec blend. It was really interesting climbing the ladder from ~$20 - ~$100 on these wines. I thought they were all really good, but somehow I'm not willing to spend big money on wines from Argentina. I consider it a value category, and I'm hard pressed to imagine an occasion where I can justify breaking out a $100 bottle of Malbec (or Cab for Argentina). Maybe that'll change in the future- these wines were really good.

'06 Ernesta Catena Alma Negra Bonarda
-Andy Gesell did a great job pouring and describing these wines and told us Bonarda was a more widely planted grape variety in Argentina than Malbec. Tihs wine was a 60/40 Bonarda Malbec blend and I thought it was really fascinating wine. Fruity and delicious, but still dense and serious. I bought a bottle.

'07 Pascual Toso Malbec Reserve
-I've had the '08 Pascual Toso (~$11) before, and thought it was "ok". However, this reserve bottling at $20 was quite nice. Although I didn't buy a bottle, I might in the future- it was a noticeable step up from the regular '08 bottling.

'08 Achaval Ferrer Malbec/'07 Achaval Ferrer Quimera

-I've seen these wines around but haven't tried them before. I think these are their entry level offerings (around $22-$45) and they didn't stand out for me in the tasting for whatever reason.

Malbec Conclusion: Gaining courage to spend more in this category but still hesitant to go north of $20 with so many great values around $10.


I've struggled mightily finding value in this category historically. So many lousy $30 bottles over the years. Last year this show, I didn't even make my way up to the Italian room on the 2nd floor but I've very glad I did this year because I found some wines I really liked (and some great pasta dishes as well)...

We started out a Masciarelli table with Debbie Pecce pouring mostly Montepulciano d'Abruzzos.

'07 Valori Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
-At $16, this wine was the value find of the night. Beautiful dried fruit aromas and a delight on the palate. A nice change of pace from the Malbecs. I bought a bottle and maybe should have bought more.

'04 Capanna Brunello di Montalcinio
-I was intrigued by a sub-$40 Brunello but disappointed with this wine. Bruenllo is killing me lately. So expensive and I'm so often disappointed. At this point in time, for me, Barbaresco is where it's at.

We bounced over to Liz O'Brien's Indigenous Selections table next. She offered up a couple of wines that really impressed:

The wines from Giorgio Rivetti's La Spinetta tend to have a rhino on the label, and I've heard "trust the rhino" before. I previously tried an '07 Langhe Nebbiolo that was very good but it didn't blow me away. I tried that wine again tonight, but it was the wine sitting next to it (also with a rhino on the label) that blew me away:

'05 La Spinetta Barbera d'Alba Gallina
-Such a rich and complex wine. Ripe dark fruits, smoke, and savory stuff. An absolute pleasure to drink. Might have been my "wow" wine of the night in terms of a category and a wine that really surprised me in a good way. Bought 1 bottle.

'04 Cigliuti Barbaresco Serraboella
-This was a gorgeous wine. Dried rose petals, earthy mushrooms, and cherry on the nose. A delight to drink, but for my wallet very expensive (nearly $60 for this one). I wanted to pull the trigger, but I remembered that I wanted to have The Wine Bottega be my Italian wine sherpa.

Italian Conclusion: Some of these wines surprised me, and I think I may be finding some paths into Italian wine that weren't the first I would have guessed to start with.


The 2007 vintage of CdP is probably the most heralded of any winegrowing region coming to market currently. John Junguenet did an awesome job walking us through wines in the $30-$50 range. He did an awesome job representing this unique region, and his eyes lit up when I told him my boy could pick a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape out of a line-up when he was only 2 years old (video). He gave us some temporary CdP tattoos!

These wines, as a whole, were drinking quite well at such a young age. I remember tasting through some 2005 Châteauneufs when they were about 2 years old and thought they were all closed aromatically and entirely unimpressive. Some of these 2007s are remarkably approachable already.

'07 Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape
-Although this wasn't the most fruit forward nor tastiest of the wines I tried, I bought it for it's reputation and the impressions of the pros. Nice looking bottle, famous name. Sometimes, that's how I buy wine (especially when it's the last category of the night and I've tried 50+ wines).

'07 Vieux Telegramme Châteauneuf-du-Pape
-Another nice looking bottle, this one with a famous more expensive sibling (Vieux Telegramme La Crau). I thought this one was nice too so I bought a bottle.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Conclusion: Check back tomorrow for a combined case purchase opportunity (only the 2nd we've done here) on a value-priced red CdP. Subscribe to the WWP and we'll send you an E-mail when there are new updates.

I've also been seeing a lot of wine deals come and go so quickly, I don't even have a chance to blog about them. However, I do have a chance to tweet about them. Follow me on Twitter (@RobertDwyer) so you don't miss out on these.

Question of the Day: What do you think of these picks?


90+ Cellars and The Greater Boston Food Bank Team up to Fight Hunger

Friday, November 6, 2009

90+ Cellars is partnering with the Greater Boston Food Bank to help fight hunger this holiday season.

Throughout the month of November, 90+ Cellars will host wine tastings during which the profits from every bottle of 90+ Cellars purchased will be donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank. No fancy dress or urbane knowledge of wine is required. Just stop by one of the locations below to taste some outstanding wine and learn about the many great undertakings the Greater Boston Food Bank is planning for the holidays.

I hope you'll get a chance to try these wines while supporting this worthy cause.

This weekend I'm looking forward to the Hingham Wine Merchant's Holiday tasting. HERE are my notes on last year's event if you're interested. I hope you have a great weekend! Any food or wine-related events you'd like to mention? Let us know in the comments section.


Auctioned Chef's Table Dinners: Deal or No Deal?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One of the more popular items at charity auctions I've attended lately is the chef's table. It sounds great, doesn't it? A delicious dinner for you and 7 of your closest friends at one of your favorite restaurants. There's something about the notion that seems to whip bidders into a frenzy. Maybe it's the idea of hosting your friends and spending time together, or just the general idea that everyone likes to eat out at a great restaurant. I've seen these go for several thousand dollars.

This past June, a group of friends and I went in on an 8-person Chef's Table at The Capital Grille's Newbury Street location as part of a WGBH Auction. I remember reading about it on The Passionate Foodie at the time and thought there'd be no way we'd win it at a reasonable price. However, we were pleased to win the item with a $1,000 bid. $125 a person seemed like a good price, depending on what exactly was included. I figured the restaurant would treat us well given that it was an auction item, but you never know.

The Capital Grille has long been one of my favorite restaurant groups, and their Newbury Street location is the best I've been to. It's got this great old-world Boston feel while still managing to offer refined upscale dining ambiance. The crowd is always lively and well-heeled, and we frequently manage a celebrity citing or two. A few years back, I asked my friend Michael if he'd ever seen a World Series ring up close. He said "no". I told him to turn to his right because seated next to us Charlie Steiner and his massive ring was quite a site. Derek Jeter was there that night too. More on celebrity citings in a bit...

Since it was Halloween by the time we were able to find a night we could all make it, we decided to declare it our holiday group dinner. We had an 8:15 PM dinner reservation, and our table was ready and waiting for us when we arrived. Something I've always been impressed with from the Capital Grill is how professionally they handle their reservations. There's never that awkward "hmm- I can't seem to find your reservation might it be under another name?" moment. As soon as you walk in they're expecting you and your table is waiting for you complete with any special pre-arrangements like anniversary hearts sprinkled on the table or a birthday acknowledgment. Very intuitive service a la the Four Seasons Hotel group. Love it.

When we were seated I noticed they had a couple bottles of Champagne and some white wine chilling along with 4 bottles of ZD Cabernet Sauvignon open and ready to go. I was curious heading into this how it would work. Was everything included? Or was there going to be a supplemental charge if we drank more than a certain amount of wine, or if we ordered dessert or coffee? What choices would we be able to make? As I'd soon discover, everything was included and then some.

We started off with some Roederer Champagne and our choice of Fiji or Pellegrino. Managing Partner Christopher Scott came by the table and graciously introduced himself, and said that Champagne was a good way to celebrate and that we had reason to celebrate because we were all there that night. He'd be our host for the evening, visiting the table at just the right times to describe the food and wines we were enjoying. He mentioned that he received an E-mail from George Miliotes, The Capital Grille's Master Sommelier. I pinged George on Twitter earlier in the week and asked if he could send some VIP love our way. I didn't hear back from George directly, so it was great to hear he took the time to send a note to Christopher on our behalf. The invisible hand of excellent guest service at work again.

The only choices we needed to make for the night were the salad and the entrée. Fortunately, two of my favorite items were on the list: The "Wedge" Salad with Bleu Cheese and Crumbled Bacon -and- the Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin. Easy choice!

The appetizer course was presented with a 2008 Mason Cellars Pomelo Lake County Sauvignon Blanc and included:

  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Wagyu Beef Carpaccio
  • Pan-Fried Calimari with Hot Cherry Peppers
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes
I enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc as a first-course alternative to Chardonnay, and I thought it was a nice clean start to the evening. The appetizers were all great (indeed, I find The Capital Grille to be strong across the whole meal rather than merely cooking up a good steak). I especially enjoyed the shrimp and the carpaccio. Others at the table thought highly of the calamari.

The pace of service was very comfortable, and multiple pours were offered of each course of wine. There was absolutely no skimping going on at any point in the night. Chris offered to cut the white wine offering short and move on to the reds if we wanted, but most everyone was enjoying the white. We ordered up an additional plate of shrimp and carpaccio which were promptly and cheerfully delivered with no extra charge.

The salads came out, and after devouring the lion's share of my Wedge I was stuffed. That's got to be the best salad in America. Delicious dressing, stunningly ripe tomatoes, and these awesome crouton-sized "nuggets" of bacon. My goodness. I could have (should have?) quit while I was ahead but we were only half way through the meal!

The featured wine of the evening was a 2006 ZD Cabernet Sauvignon. They picked a winner with this one. For a group like ours, the last thing I'd like to see is an obscure, austere, bitter French wine. The ZD was pitch-perfect with it's savory mocha and black currant aromas that everyone enjoyed. On the palate it was a very smooth low-tannin wine. Perhaps a bit one-dimensional and short on the finish, but again, for a wine that needs to appeal to a broad audience I thought it was an outstanding selection. More info on where the name "ZD" originates from here...

The ZD continued to flow and evolve as our steaks and side dishes arrived at the table. It seemed like half the wait staff concurrently descended upon our table so everyone's food arrived at exactly the same time, at the perfect temperature, and prepared to everyone's liking.

I've had the Kona Crusted Sirloin on few times, and this bone-in rendition didn't disappoint. I order steak "medium" and to be honest I'm not too picky about how well-done my steak is. It's important to me that the steak and sides be served hot however, and these indeed were. I especially appreciate the carmelized shallots that accompany the not-too-sweet coffee rub in this preparation. Quite a treat.

Other entrée choices included:
  • 10 oz Filet Mignon
  • Porcini Rubbed Delmonico with 12-Year Aged Balsamic
  • Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon
In addition to the steakhouse-favorite Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Creamed Spinach, Lobster Mac 'n Cheese and a seasonal vegetable (Green Beans) were offered up. Each were spot-on, and I especially enjoyed the Lobster Mac 'n Cheese which I'd never had before.

As the table was cleared and prepared for dessert, we'd gone through more than a few bottles of red wine and although none of the glasses were completely empty they readily cracked open another bottle and topped off everyone's glasses. Little things like this reinforced how they were looking to give us the best treatment possible and impressed me quite a bit.

Two oversized trays of desserts were presented along with a 2007 Selbach Kabinett Riesling Mosel as a dessert wine. Interesting call on the Riesling. I thought it was a delcious wine, but I could have gone a little sweeter for a true dessert situation. This Riesling could have been served with the appetizers and salads. Some debate ensued at the table as to whether the wine was too sweet or not- I don't think there was a consensus. I can say for sure that I preferred it to a Sauternes or a Port (not a fan of either of those) so I say it was a safe choice that most people enjoyed.

Complimentary coffee, espresso and cappuccino was included, which I thought was a nice touch. It seems petty to me when you drop $100 on a price fixe dinner and then get soaked for $6 for a cup of drip coffee.

Remember that celebrity-citing aspect I mentioned earlier? About two-thirds of the way through the meal, Chris was describing the ZD Cab to us and Ben Watson from the New England Patriots was leaving the restaurant and walking past our table. Chris pardoned himself from our conversation momentarily, shook Ben Watson's hand and thanked him for coming in, and effortlessly picked up where he left off. I can imagine there being an instinct to fawn over/chase after the celebrity at the expense of the auction-winning set, but Chris handled it perfectly.

The chef himself made a brief appearance, but he wasn't a talkative type. That was fine, but it reminded me just a little bit that a Chef's Table experience conjures up images of sitting near the kitchen and hearing from the chef personally what went in to each course. That didn't happen, but I wasn't expecting it to given the nature of a the restaurant. The Capital Grille, for me, is about consistency across the restaurants in the group rather than shining a spotlight on the chefs at any one of their locations.

At the conclusion of the meal, no check was presented. Our valet tickets were taken so they could get our cars, and we were on our way. Gratuity was not included, so we left cash on the table for the excellent service. Our server and everyone we came into contact with were fantastic.


I thought this was one of the most enjoyable dining experiences I've ever had. Not only was the food and service fantastic, but we were treated like VIPs. Most importantly, the generous all-inclusive nature of the event gave the evening a celebratory and relaxed feeling. Kind of like a cruise- when you don't have to think about the incremental cost of each decision you make it frees up your mind to focus on conversing with your friends and enjoying the occasion. I'd absolutely do this again, especially as a way of arranging a holiday dinner for a group this size.

Check 'em out:
The Capital Grille
359 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115
Other locations...

Question of the Day: Have you ever done a Chef's Table you won at an auction? If so, I hope your experience was as good as ours. Either way, I'd love to hear about it or your experience with The Capital Grille.


A Simple and Effective Short-Term Wine Preservation Tip

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This is a guest post from Todd Broderick, a fellow Boston-area wine enthusiast. I've received multiple E-mails looking for thoughts on how to easily and effectively preserve wine overnight and I think this approach is quite helpful.

So here is my dilemma, I like to drink wine with dinner but we’re having a baby so my wife is not drinking and I am probably not going to kill a bottle myself on a nightly basis. . .so what do I do with the rest of the bottle that I might not consume for a couple of days?

I have sometimes gone with the assumption that I am going to finish off that wonderful cab the next night, only to have it sit on the counter for 3 days with a vacuum stopper and end up barely drinkable. Over the course of the last year I have been on a mission to solve this problem, trying a variety of methods recommended by friends and professionals. My hope is that by sharing these experiences with you, I’ll help you savor just a little bit longer, that great bottle that you opened up on Tuesday night “just because.”

There are so many different ways to go about preserving your wine; you can use the cans of gas that put a protective layer of argon or some other gas in between the wine and the air in the bottle, you can use a special stopper that pulls the air out of the bottle, you can also fridge the leftover portion in hopes of slowing down the oxidation process. I have given most of them a shot and had varying degrees of success. I tried to combine the trial and error research I did with some basic logic and ended up with a pretty good result, that I think you might find helpful. I went under the premise that you want to limit the wines exposure to air and tried to keep the solution simple and inexpensive.

I had an extra half bottle (375ml) lying around and upon opening a new bottle for the night, promptly filled the half bottle, capped it with a vacuum stopper and put it in the fridge. 48 hours later I pulled the bottle from the fridge when I got home to let it warm up. By the time dinner was ready, I was able to give it a few swirls and enjoy a pretty good glass of wine. Here are a few other tips and observations worth noting:

  • Use a funnel to fill the half bottle up as much as possible, but be careful not to use one that aerates the wine as you pour.
  • The type of stopper used has not really made a difference; I have used both a vacuum stopper with pump and a standard one, and have had equally good luck. Here is a $1.95 alternative from Crate & Barrel (also available for $3 at Williams-Sonoma)
  • Two to three days seems to be a relatively safe time frame in my experiences, I’ve gone as long as four and the wine had clearly faded, but was still drinkable.
  • I wouldn’t advocate trying this with a really special bottle of wine that may need some decanting, but for a weekday wine it works well.
  • If you fridge the wine, which I would suggest if you know you are drinking it over 2 plus days, make sure to give it time to warm up.
I like this approach because it is pretty straightforward and did not involving buying any more gear. All you need is the empty half bottle, the funnel and a stopper, pretty easy, right? I’m up for trying other alternatives if anyone has a suggestion, feel free to email me. Until then, this is going to be my preferred method of getting that bottle to last just long enough to enjoy ever last drop!


Want a second opinion? Here's an interesting take from The Shopping Bags (including a freezing technique!)

Question of the Day: What do you think of the half-bottle approach? Have you tried it? Does it work for you?


Winners Announced in Wine Glass Towel Giveaway!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thanks to everyone who left a comment, tweeted, or subscribed to enter in the wine glass towel review/giveaway we ran last week. And thanks again to all of the vendors who submitted towels for review. I really appreciate it.

I took a quick video of the drawing:

Congratulations to @HeathStone and @troutmonster! I'll follow-up with you on Twitter to see which towels you'd like and I'll ship them out ASAP.

If you didn't win the drawing, I'd highly recommend you consider purchasing the Top Pick available at No affiliation for me on that one- just a great product.

We've got a great week of content ahead on the site. Tomorrow, we have a guest post on a simple and effective wine preservation technique. Later in the week, ever wonder if those dinners they auction off at charity events are a good deal? I'll review a Chef's Table wine dinner at a top area steakhouse I attended recently with friends. I'd love it if you subscribed via E-mail for updates.



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