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Buy Wine Now

I was reading the local paper and there was an article in the finance section entitled "Autumn Bargains". I love shopping. I can spend all day looking through stores so the name of the article was the first thing to entice me. What intrigued me further though was that the author, Marshall Loeb, took the art of shopping to a new level.

Shopping is a cyclical sport. For instance, in Southern California, buyers send us fall clothes in August when it is 100 degrees outside - like a nice wool sweater looks even remotely tempting. However, all of the cute summer clothes go on clearance and we can still wear them for several months. Makes sense right? That's the premise of the article.

In a nut shell, September is a great time to buy cars, holiday airfare and, yes WINE. The reasoning for the wine went :

"Last year's harvest begins arriving in stores in September. Because of the surplus of vino, winemakers face heavy competition and bottles tend to be priced to sell"
Intrigued, I found that BevMo has started their 5 cent sale and my local wine shops also seem to have some bargains. I don't know if I will remember the cycle next year, but I am excited that October is a great month to buy jeans and November to buy sneakers and wedding gowns.

It was an odd little article but it comes down to this - look around at your favorite wine stores right now and it's possible that you might find some bargains. I wonder if there's a tequila or beer season too?


Wine Tasting: Wine Fights Kidney Cancer

Wine tasters everywhere rejoice when reports come out about the fabulous health benefits of drinking wine. I am no exception. Darcy and I are both very involved in the fight against cancer and spend a good deal of time volunteering for various cancer organizations. In fact, part of the proceeds from the sale of The Wino Clubtm Wine Tasting Party Kit go directly to Michelle's Place, a breast cancer resource center helping women under 40 who are otherwise ignored in the fight against breast cancer.

That said, we are especially aware of any reports we find correlating the benefits of wine in relation to cancer. We've determined in our most non-scientific way that wine is cancer fighting gold and you should consume as much as possible of it.

According to the British Journal of Cancer:

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 25 Drinking wine or beer may reduce the risk of kidney cancer, a Swedish study found.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm surveyed 855 kidney cancer patients and a control group of 1,204 people, The Local reported. The study found that people who drink 22 ounces of alcohol a week are 40 percent less likely to develop kidney cancer.

Professor Alicja Wolk said consuming at least two glasses of red wine each week -- or the equivalent of white wine or beer -- appears to have a beneficial effect.
So go ahead. Drink up. O.K., 22 oz a week isn't a full weekend of debauchery, but it's a good start! We figure that if at 22oz a week our odds are 60%, then if we drink more the odds of getting cancer, at least of the kidney variety, go down proportionally. Makes perfect sense to us.


Wine Tasting with the NRA

This is one of those ideas that just odd enough that I had to stop and re-read it several times in the Press Democrat. The National Rifle Association has launched a monthly wine club (NRA Wine Club) to help raise lobbying funds to bear arms. Their tag line is "Now you can support the 2nd amendment with every wine you buy". They are also touting that their wine club seeks out the boutique wineries in California that aren't readily available or accessible.

Now no press is bad press and I'm sure that I am helping their cause just by linking to their club here, but I'm a little concerned that we have a portion of our society purposely combining alcohol and firearms. As a marketer however, I think it's just plain, well, smart. The idea might turn me off personally but you just have to appreciate the simple genius. Martha Stewart brand wine. Single portion bottles. Wine tasting at Disney World. Wine competitions at fairs. None of these things would be automatically paired up in my brain. And yet someone thought of an idea and had the gumption to follow through.

This type of fund raising will work on a National level and will have a huge grass roots following from NRA supporters. It will also help out some of the smaller wineries here in California. Disturbingly, it's actually a win-win.


Sideways Clip for Wine Presentation

While the techniques aren't perfect here (put your nose a little further from the side of the glass so you can smell more than alcohol), it really does look a lot like our wine tasting club! Except that we're a lot cuter. See our club consists of both experienced wine drinkers and novices. We do teach each other techniques and tricks and yes, I have confiscated gum from some of them as well. This post is just for the fun of it so enjoy!

Wine Tasting: Scientific Proof That Your Nose Lies

Ok - we all do it when we taste wine properly: we stick our noses right on that glass and smell. Right? That's our introduction to the wine, the first step in learning more about it and deciding to have a romance or a spit (the horror). Well according to an article posted in the Telegraph UK, scientists have decided that wine tasters are, well, full of it.

But now there is scientific evidence to suggest that wine buffs may just be talking rubbish, or at least that they greatly overestimate their own ability to pin down a wine's particular aroma.

Today a US team publishes hard evidence that people smell the world differently because of their genes.

The findings suggest that those who claim to pick up rich aromas from fine wines may owe more to genetics than to any great expertise.

Now I admit that when our friends are tasting wines together, we suggest scents to each other and then we can smell them. But to say that wine tasting is subjective? Absurd! OK not really.

Any wine taster of merit will admit that one person's palette differs from another. Why would our noses be any different. The best part of wine is that whatever we think about a wine is correct! It adds to the experience.

Perhaps another quote from the article states it best:

The Telegraph's wine buff, Jonathan Ray, commented: "Shock horror! So there is scientific proof that wine lovers talk rubbish. Doesn't everyone after a glass or two?

"How does one describe what scrambled eggs tastes like, or smoke smells like, without comparing them to something else? So it is that we wine lovers might describe a wine as tasting of truffles, leather, game and rotting veg. Well, dammit, that's what old red burgundy often resembles. It certainly doesn't taste of grapes."

Therefore, I'm not too concerned that scientists say we're full of rubbish. That's the point isn't it?

To read the whole article, go here.


Wine Tasting: Birthday Wishes

Here is my wine tasting wish for my birthday. You see, it's my birthday today and I'm so excited. I always make a point of letting everyone know that it's my birthday well in advance so sorry for the late notice. It's a courtesy really to make sure people know how many shopping days are left but this present to me will be free.

This year I am asking for some certificates for the local wine shops so I can stock up on some great wines. Now my taste is not expensive but it is refined. I understand that you can get some beautiful wines on a budget (remember Spainish wines under $10?).

So here's what I'm asking you for: If you had a budget of let's say $100 and you wanted to get some great wines for drinking - not storing because I don't have the patience for that, what would you buy?

Post up your comments because I could use a little help here and I'll consider your contributions a perfect birthday present!

Thanks and Happy Birthday to Me!


Wine Tasting: International Awards

Can you image tasting 9,358 wines from around the world? Well that's just what the judging panels did at the world's largest blind wine tasting contest. What made this contest rather unique was that the winners were not always from the categories you usually associate with major contests. There was for the first time a sake winner, a long debated wine category. They had a special category touting three trophies dubbed IWC Planet Earth awards: champion of sustainable, one of organic and one of biodynamic. These winemakers not only produce fine wine but also put the planet at the heart of their wine making activity.

So, without much ado, the winners were:

  • Champion Red and Champion Sustainable: Bald Hills Pinot Noir 2005, Bald Hills Vineyard, New Zealand.
  • Champion White: Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru 2005, Chanson Père et Fils, France.
  • Champion Sparkling (Daniel Thibault Trophy): Charles Heidsieck, Champagne Charlie 1981, Champagnes P & C Heidsieck, France.
  • Champion Sweet: Vin Santo di Capezzana 2000, Capezzana, Italy.
  • Champion Fortified: Lustau Almacenista Fino del Puerto Cuesta, Emilio Lustau, Spain.
  • Champion Sake: Tsurunosato 2005, Kikuhime & Co Ltd, Japan.
  • Champion Organic: Hans Tschida, Sämling Trockenbeerenauslese 2005, Austria.
  • Champion Biodynamic: Champagne Fleury Millésime 1996, France.
While I don't have a list of all the wines entered, I did notice that there is a lack of American wines (both North and South). And instead of pinning in in the whites, New Zealand won for both the Champion Red and the Champion Sustainable. Interesting.... That may be the one wine I look up to purchase on this list, although I am a sucker for the white champion as well. OK, maybe one of each although I would like to taste the sake. OK I need to stop now before my cellar gets over full again.

For more information on the contest results, click here.

The Wino Club: Wine Tasting Party Kit in the News

We have fantastic news. Our wine tasting party kit, The Wino Club, is going to be in 'Entrepreneur Magazine' in November (so it should be coming out sometime next month in October). We are so thrilled that a magazine of this caliber deems us worthy of even mentioning. I have to say that I have been reading this magazine faithfully for some time. Every single issue is dog-eared on almost every page with good ideas to build a business or things I personally want to check out.

So when we were contacted by them to be featured a couple of months ago, oh my gosh! Our wine tasting party kit has only been in production for a year (Happy Anniversary!). We're doing great on word of mouth sales, selling to friends and friends of friends around the country - a truly grass roots campaign. We've been picked up wholesale in several stores and wineries and have made it to Amazon.

Selling a product is just so much different than the service industry. My business partner Darcy is by day a Financial Advisor with Smith Barney and I am by day a Reverse Mortgage Specialist. Designing and making these kits was a labor of love for us. We based them on our own personal wine tasting club who has been meeting every month for several years now. We packaged up our proven formula for success for sale. Funny thing is, we made it to help our club get a little smaller because everyone started wanting to join. It was a defensive maneuver to help others make their own clubs so we wouldn't have to taste 20+ wines each month!

We had the final fact checking done yesterday by the editing department at 'Entrepreneur Magazine'. I called Darcy after I got off the phone and said, "Wow, it's really happening!".

When it comes out we'll be sure to post the links so everyone can go give it a visit and say 'I knew them when...".


Wine Tasting: Brits Gone Wild?

With all of the tasting posts going up throughout the wine blog-o-sphere about wine tasting gone wildthis summer, first about New York, then about my hometown of Temecula, I thought I'd toss this one into the mix. It seems that British teenagers, specifically girls have been hitting the sauce earlier and earlier. Girls as young as 12 are being diagnosed as alcoholics with cirrhosis of the liver.

In fact, one in five 15-year-olds in England drinks at least seven units of alcohol a week - the equivalent of almost a bottle of wine. In some parts of the country one in eight 12-year-olds is drinking this heavily.

Binge drinking is also to blame for more than 4,300 teenage pregnancies, 11,500 expulsions and suspensions from school and 5.5million lost days of schooling each year.

Drunk British girls are among the most violent in the western world. Previous studies have shown that 15 boys and girls under the age of 16 drink themselves into A&E wards every day, with some downing more than a bottle of vodka in a single session, and that drink-fueled British girls are among the most violent in the western world.

So what does this mean? It means that a few drunken wine tasters in Temecula and New York don't look so bad now. I'm not trying to make light of these are staggering statistics for underage drinking. But it does put things into perspective a little doesn't it?

I do have to applaud the statistics from the same article that stated:

More than a million men drink more than 50 units of alcohol a week. With a bottle of wine containing nine units, this is equivalent to almost six bottles or two bottles of spirits.

In 2005, Britons drank a staggering 6.5 billion litres of alcohol at an overall cost to the economy of £20 billion.

This reconfirms my desire to visit here but makes me wonder whether I will be bringing along my teenage daughter or not.

For the full story, go here.


Wine Tasting: Where Are We?

We're not out wine tasting that's where! We are still recovering from a long four day weekend where no blogs were posted, nothing was updated, and our hits fell down the ladder with equal conviction.

The temperatures here have been up to about 115* and it's too hot to go outside. My son came down with a 24 hour flu on Friday and then felt fine enough to go play football in the sweltering heat on Saturday. I came down with a sore throat yesterday and I'm still suffering, taken to odd bits of passing out from time to time. Youth bounces back so easily.

Funny thing is, I didn't feel like writing all weekend. I love to write and to read all of the postings. This morning I logged into by bloglines to see that I have successfully ignored 642 posts these past four days.

I guess I just needed a mental break.

We were not alone in the need to take a little break. One of our blogging mentors announced today that she's going into semi-retirement. She won't be writing anything for a while so she can get her life back (full story here). Now let me say that Cat is a young chick and she's fried already. What hope do I have? Again, making me feel a little old.

There were several posts I've read today with bloggers taking off the long weekend from writing. It seems to be in the air.

Never fear. Daily postings will resume tomorrow!