Le Wine Buffs Take Manhattan

Le Wine Buff - Enjoy BordeauxEnjoy Bordeaux‘s Le Wine Buffs are back and we’re thirsty.

This time we’re taking on New York City and Manhattan is gonna stumble down in a vinous frenzy of affordable Bordeaux wine!  We’re the wine sponsor for this year’s TechEnology wine event held by Enjoy Bordeaux partner Snooth and tech media publishing titan Ziff Davis.  Held at the newly renovated General Assembly, the event will mix some of the icons of tech, publishing and the wine biz and look to do some serious vino mind melding.

I’m excited to be pouring and talking about these wines at the event because I think Bordeaux is coming into another renaissance of exposure for it’s thousands of high quality, affordable wines and their Chateaux, all across the greater appellation.  Much of this belief was built during our visit to Bordeaux last summer.  This event promises to be “a private, networking event recognizing the wine world’s most technologically forward people, business and practices”…and these are the peeps that need to know Bordeaux!

See you on the Right Coast vinopanions, and cheers!

As Le Wine Buff for EnjoyBordeaux.com, I am paid a nominal fee for most of my participation.  I also receive free wine samples and my participation on this trip is courtesy of the CIVB.

VinTank Deals Wines from the Vines

Deals from the Vines - Facebook Group - VinTankCrazy-smart wine biz innovators VinTank (Twitter), have successfully launched a new route on the Direct To Consumer (DTC) superhighway with their Deals from the Vines Facebook Group (DFTV). A relatively new feature on Facebook, closed Groups are an elegant yet simply powerful new component of the social media behemoth.  VinTank has seized upon this new feature to form their version of the popular flash sales site phenomena that has taken over the interwebs during this Great Recession.  While many of these sites have proven to be quite the boon to the budget-conscious wine consumer, they are not always so profit-friendly to the wineries, chateaux, Bodegas and Quintas that have participated in the various sales.  VinTank’s DFTV has already effectively smacked that paradigm with vigor, creating a sweet win-win for wino’s and wineries, alike.

While VinTank Chief Strategy Officer Paul Mabray (Twitter) has laid out the concept quite nicely on their blog, his Tumblr and even on the airwaves at Wine Biz Radio (Twitter) with DFTV moderator (and new VinTank alum) Peter Alig (Twitter), I will drop the simplest knowledge: wineries agree to sell an allotted amount of wine with super crazy dealness (1 cent shipping or 50-65% off, etc) and promise to ratchet up some seriously cool interaction within the group and in return, group members get to partake in the sales and chat directly with the winegrowers.  The wineries are charged no fees/percentages for their participation and VinTank takes no part in the transactions.  It’s really that simple.

A couple current and past deals are listed below.  Wanna join?  Friend me on Facebook (or find me on Twitter) and I’ll add you, straight away. Cheers and happy holidays!

Deals from the Vines wines “DVTV“:

“DEAL #16: 2006 Marita’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Release Celebration.

2 cases offered only. 50% off wine and 50% off shipping. Expires when sold out.”

#WKBadges - NewWorldWKMarita’s Vineyard Napa Valley Select Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Color: Garnet/brick core with garnet edges

Nose: Savory herbs here with bright red fruit, dark black fruit lurking and baking spice and toast.

Palate: Bright and cool black fruit in the fore, with more baking spice, sweeter red cherry and fine tannins in the mid with good acid. Finishes juicy, with lurking toast and a sweetness to the red fruit.

SOMA Napa Valley Limited Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

“DEAL #7: 2006 Twisted Oak Winery Tempranillo.

Here are three bottles of our delicious 2006 Calaveras County Tempranillo for just $49.95 – that’s 30% off of the regular price and shipping is included!”

Twisted Oak Calaveras County Tempranillo 2006

“DEAL #4: 2005 James David Cellars Eagle Point Ranch Syrah.

As a Deals from the Vines member, enjoy 33% off the 2005 with shipping included on 6 or more bottles! Suggested retail: $24. You pay $16.”

James David Cellars Mendocino Eaglepoint Ranch Syrah 2005

Deals from the Vines - Facebook Group - VinTank

Brixr + TinyBottles + Me = Tasting Video Fun!

BrixrWhat is the single biggest problem about wine clubs for both the wine producer/wine store and the consumer who receives the wine?  The wine itself!  The wine producer or wine store owner usually has to send out new wine releases blind to their wine club members and the members just have to hope that they like the wine that they receive, even though it might be very unfamiliar to them as an average wine club member.  What does all of this mean?  A lot of wine bottles that are sent out are not the style of wine that a member enjoys.  This results in frustration, wasted money and sometimes even the cancellation of their membership.  Now there is a solution, one that actually solves the REAL problem that plagues wine clubs…and it’s called Brixr!

Crushpad WineryThe talented and clever wine folks behind Crushpad have fixed the actual problem behind the morass of many a wine club: the wine is not the issue, but the *size* of the wine is truly at fault.  Wine consumers need (and love!) to taste a wine before deciding to buy a bottle.  Most wine consumers do not get the chance to taste the wines that are lined up in front of them at the store or on their computer screen, however.  Enter Brixr tasting packs, the BrixrPack.  These are small packs of between 2-4 wines that utilize TinyBottles that hold 50 mL pours or “tastes” of each wine!  Brilliant stuff.

Brixr Pinot Pack #1Have a hankering for some high-end Pinot, those that can dip into the $40+ price range but don’t want to shell out the dough for a couple bottles that might be heavier than the cool climate style that you prefer?  Spend $19 instead, (with fixed shipping cost rates that become free with 4+ items) and buy the Brixr Pinot Pack #1 to get the chance to taste a healthy pour of 4 different Pinots!  These extremely small production wineries win because they have a great, cost-effective way for consumers around the interwebs to try their wine, despite the fact that they have no tasting room of which to speak.  The consumer wins because they can try a bunch of high-end, artisanal wines for a very affordable price and then even get a coupon for a 20% discount for the ones that they decide to reorder.

But Brixr goes far beyond just selling very clever wine products…it is a social media and interactive wine tasting network.  Indeed, they already have a tasting video that can walk you through your new BrixrPack, or you can check out a few videos and decide which pack might be best for your own palate.  Sommeliers, winemakers and Crushpad staff have all shot great videos that are already up on the site.

AWard Kadel - @drXeNo on Brixrnd now Brixr, continuing their string of wildly clever ideas (or dangerous ideas!), have wrangled me into the fold.  A couple weeks back I sat down and tasted through two packs, the Brixr Pinot Pack #1 and the Bon Coeur Tasting Pack.  Both videos are embedded below for your vinous pleasure.  There is a TON more in the works for Brixr and TinyBottles, but those announcements will just have to wait a bit longer.  Fortunately, there is a huge amount of fun stuff to do at the site already, so sign up and start checking it all out!

Are you a winery, distributor or winegrower that would like to get involved with TinyBottles?  Shoot me a line and I’ll get you started!

Brixr Pinot Pack #1 (WineLog: “BrixrPinotPack1“)Ward Kadel - @drXeNo: Brixr Pinot Pack #1

Bon Coeur Tasting Pack (WineLog: “BrixrBonCoeurPack“)Ward Kadel - @drXeNo: Brixr Bon Coeur Tasting Pack

Dig in to the links below to read my full reviews of the BrixrPack wines that I tasted through in my videos.  Follow the links in the Pack names to get to the Brixr Store where you can purchase these fun wine packs.   All of the wines from Brixr are continuing to be added to WineLog and are tagged with “Brixr“.

If you have any comments, feedback or tips about any of my videos or these wines, please leave a comment below.  Cheers!

Brixr Pinot Pack #1 ($19)BrixrPinotPack1:

Brixr Pinot Pack #1Rockroom Anderson Valley Hein Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007

Bon Coeur Santa Rita Hills La Encantada Nathan’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2007

Robléon Santa Rita Hills La Encantada Pinot Noir 2007

Due Cani Cellars Santa Rita Hills La Encantada Pinot Noir 2008

Bon Coeur Tasting Pack ($24)BrixrBonCoeurPack:

Bon Coeur Tasting PackBon Coeur Santa Lucia Highlands Doctor’s Vineyard Nicole’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2008

Bon Coeur Santa Rita Hills La Encantada Nathan’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2007

Bon Coeur Napa Valley Cuvée Marilyn 2007

Bon Coeur Napa Valley Reserve Red Wine 2007

Wine For Haiti: Brother Can You Spare a Bottle?

Wine For Haiti - Brother Can You Spare a Bottle?

Damon Winter/The New York Times

By now, all of us around the world are very aware of the devastation that continues to unfold in the nation of Haiti from the earthquake of January 12, 2010.  The resulting aftermath and aftershocks have continued to pummel the small island nation and it requires every increasing levels of aid and resources.  It is with these very concerns that have prompted the creation of an unprecedented, global online charity wine auction to directly support the recovery efforts in Haiti.

Palate Press - The Online Wine MagazineBooze MonkeyOne of the online magazines for which I write, Palate Press and the charity wine blog Brother Can You Spare a Bottle? have teamed up to found and lead this online charity wine auction, with all of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross.  As the word has spread about this auction, the efforts have quickly gone global with the Australian wine social network Booze Monkey joining the efforts and many other wine blogs helping and spreading the word.

01/24/10 Update: Wine For Haiti has been featured in the San Francisco Examiner!

01/28/10 Update: The movement keeps picking up, with over $60K in wine already donated! Many more news outlets have picked up the story, including Decanter, The New York Times, Wine Library TV and Voice of America News, wow!

Just within the last week, an incredible array of wines have already been donated by many kind and generous vintners, all listed below as of the publication of this article.  Please consider donating a bottle from your own cellar or check out the listings below to make a bid and add to your own cellar, confident in the knowledge that you’re also helping plenty of people in that are recovering from a devastating national tragedy.  The list is being updated multiple times a day so check back often.  Cheers!

Wine Lots for Auction at Palate Press:

Lot 1 – Cornerstone Cellars 6.0L

Lot 2- Rodney Strong Rockaway 6.0L

Lot 3 – Twisted Oak “The Spaniard” complete vertical SOLD

Wine for Haiti Lot 4 – Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select 3.0L SOLD

Wine for Haiti Lot 5 – Sara Nelson Design Fine-Art Print

Wine Lot 6 – Five Wine Books from UC Press

Wine for Haiti Lot 7 – Jancis Robinson Purple Pages SOLD

Wine for Haiti Lot 8 – Jancis Robinson Purple Pages HOT LOT

Wine for Haiti Lot 9 – Jancis Robinson Purple Pages

Wine for Haiti Lot 10 – Jancis Robinson Purple Pages

Wine for Haiti Lot 11 – Jancis Robinson Purple Pages

Wine for Haiti Lot 12 – Hospice du Rhône

Wine for Haiti Lot 13 – 1.5L Radio-Coteau Savoy HOT LOT

Wine for Haiti Lot 14 – 1.5L 2005 Araujo Estate Cabernet

Lot 15 – 3 Bottles Miller Wine Works Grenache

Wine for Haiti Lot 16 – The Uncorked Cellar

Lot 17 – 3.0L Quintessa 2006 plus Tour

Lot 18 – Tres Bonnes Annees Vertical

Lot 19 – A Charming Older Couple

Lot 20 – Rocca Family Vineyards Wine and Vacation

Lot 21 – WineBanq Cellar Software HOT LOT

Lot 22 – WineBanq Cellar Software

Lot 23 – WineBanq Cellar Software

Lot 24 – 3.0Signaterra Binziger Three Blocks

Lot 25 – 3.0L Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

Palate Press Article: 2009 NorCal Harvest Report

Palate Press - The Online Wine MagazineThis past week saw another article of mine published at Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine.  I first mentioned Palate Press when it had its very successful launch earlier this year, as well as when my first article debuted, a comparison of crystal stemware.  My second article is now posted, a wide-ranging review of the 2009 harvest across many of the appellations in Northern California.

Many of the talented writers and editors at Palate Press have been hard at work building a comprehensive portfolio of this year’s harvest reports covering many of the appellations in the northern hemisphere.  These articles include Missouri, England and Canada’s  Okanagan Valley.  I highly recommend browsing through all of these informative articles for a great picture of how the 2009 grape harvest unfolded across the top half of our collective hunk in space.  Enjoy!

Palate Press - 2009 Northern California Harvest Report