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

Pinot Days SF 2010 + Discount!

6th Annual Pinot Days San Francisco 2010One of the most exciting wine events of the year is back in the Bay Area this week.  The 6th Annual Pinot Days San Francisco festival celebrates the fickle grape all this week, culminating in the awesome Grand Festival Public Tasting Sunday 06/27/10 inside the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason.  Last year we were treated to an enormous amount of fantastic Pinot, with so much great wine there to be had, I was actually a bit sad after we left, when I realized that we had only tasted 1/5 of the offerings that day!

5th Annual Pinot Days San Francisco 2009This year’s festival proves to be even better, with more producers and all of those phenomenal 2007’s that will be on tap, only one of the finest vintages for Pinot in the last 10 years.

What could possibly be better than all of this wine in one space?  An exclusive DISCOUNT CODE for tickets to TRY these wines!  When you purchase your tickets, use the extrasupercool code DRXENOSF10 to get 15% off the ticket price for you and your fellow vinopanions!

Let me know how it went in the comments and cheers!

Icon Tax Time!

Uncle Sam TaxThe kind folks at Icon Estates have been worried about all of us out here in US wine-drinker land.  They realized back in March that tax time is hard on all of us wine grunts, particularly this year when everyone is still reeling from watching their life savings (and future wine purchasing potential) shrivel by -40% and see a world filled with recession and job loss.  They realized that everyone’s day or night (or both!) can be brightened by wine, however and put together a great list of wines to have while stumbling through filling out your requisite tax forms: Tax Time Wines! Susan and co. at Icon kindly shot out some wine samples for various bloggers to try including the prolific 1WineDude (Twitter, Twitter2), Luscious Lush Thea (Twitter, Twitter2) and yours truly (Twitter), among others.

Icon EstatesThe half case of wine included a number of single wines from many of their 13 prestigious labels, including Robert Mondavi Winery, Estancia Estates and Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards.  Among other labels that Icon owns are a personal favs in Mount Veeder Winery, the premiere icewine producer Inniskillin and the long time quality producer from Sonoma Valley, SimiIcon Estates has been an enjoyable conglomerate subunit to watch over the last few years, as they appear to stick true to their philosophy of purposefully and only seeking out wineries that have a well-established record of great quality and QPR.  Despite being owned by one of the largest conglomerates in the world, they have allowed those wineries to retain much of their original talent, yet provide them with more and better resources to continually improve their art.

Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006All of that said, it’s important that we just focus on the wine!  One of the hits of the 6-pack for me was the ’06 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cab.  I’ve always found this to be wonderfully under priced and this new vintage still doesn’t disappoint.  I brought this wine over to a reformed Passover Seder that my friend cooked for friends and family and it was quite a hit as well.  While young, it is medium-full bodied with good earthy black fruit on the nose and palate.  This should be even better in 2-4 years. At $28 dollars, this is already a steal for a refined and elegantly balanced Napa Cab, yet you can usually find it for even cheaper, making the QPR a bit embarrassing!

Wild Horse Central Coast Pinot Noir 2007Another good value-driven quaffer is the ’05 Paso Creek Paso Robles Cab.  I recently wrote about another good value wine in the ’06 Paso Creek Zin and this varietal doesn’t disappoint, either.  This is also young but has some nice toasty, plush red fruit on the nose and palate and features a ton of Bing cherry in the finish after a couple hours of decanting.  There tends to be a lot of wine needed at a Seder and so I also had brought along the ’07 Wild Horse Central Coast Pinot to have as one of our 4 glasses, alongside the Mondavi.  While tight, this shows great promise and significant value for the quality, with dusty cranberry and cherry and some great acid and a silky mouthfeel on the palate.  Wait a year on this one, unless you decant it ahead of time.  While I didn’t appreciate the lower than expected acidity in the Estancia Riesling and the Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva, I did like the interesting fruit combos that each wine featured.

Jackson-Triggs Niagra Peninsula Proprietor's Reserve Vidal Icewine VQA 2007 Lastly, if you’re running late on those tax forms like I am with this post, you can celebrate with a rather rare wine in the ’07 Jackson-Triggs Niagra Peninsula Proprietor’s Reserve Vidal Icewine. Icewine is exactly that…the grapes are harvested while frozen and very late in the year and at a very high brix or sugar content, typically well-known to be produced in Canada or Germany.  The fruit is typically picked at night and during the late Fall or early Winter, so that it is still frozen when pressed, releasing a tiny amount of highly concentrated juice that is then fermented into a deliciously sweet dessert wine.  It is an unusual and yummified after dinner or late night treat!

Feel free to check out the full reviews of all of the wines mentioned here through their links below.  If you’d like to list these wines in your own WineLog, all of them are tagged with “Icon2009Tax“.  Please leave a comment if you too, have tried these wines and enjoy!

Wild Horse Central Coast Pinot Noir 2007

Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale 2005

Paso Creek Paso Robles Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Estancia Monterey County Riesling 2008

Jackson-Triggs Niagra Peninsula Proprietor’s Reserve Vidal Icewine VQA 2007

Who's Gonna be at Wine 2.0 SF Expo!?!

Wine 2.0It’s that awesome time again when the Wine 2.0 (Twitter) folks gear up and take over San Francisco!  Wine 2.0 San Francisco Expo is taking place on Thursday April 2nd and if it’s anything like their past events…it’s going to be a killer wine shindig!  Indeed, my introduction into the 2.0 movement of wine events was the very first event I covered for WineLog.  I’ve been to a number of others, including the last one that Smoke (Twitter), Cornelius and others held at Crushpad (Twitter), the site of this year’s event, as well.

Wine 2.0 along with others are leading the way for the new direct to consumer and social networking outreach in the wine industry.  Their social network on the Ning platform has quickly gained large participation and their many industry/consumer mixed events have proven to be a major success over the last few years.

This year’s SF Expo will again feature many, many wineries including plenty of the premier, hard-to-visit boutique wineries that I’ve come to expect at their events.  You can also anticipate a number of speakers, symposiums and various other consumer and industry wine and food companies presenting their artisanal offerings during this special night.

WineLog.netI’m very excited to be attending and proud to announce that is one of the media sponsors for the Bloggers’ Lounge, debuted at ZAP 2009, a spot for all of us winebloggers to set up our laptops and blog in real-time during the event!  All of the details are below…come find me when you arrive.

As an extra bonus, use the secret promo code “wine” at checkout and you’ll receive 10% off your tickets!

Wine 2.0 Presents:

Wine 2.0 San Francisco Expo

April 2nd, 2009

5:30pm – 7pm Media & Trade Only

7pm – 10pm Open to the Public


2573 3rd Street

San Francisco, CA 94107

Wine 2.0 100 Top Wines (By Sales)

So there’s another annual “100 Top Wines” list on the block these days. It seems like this aspect of the wine industry gets blown out of proportion more and more every year (see the marketing ploy for the 100 from Wine Spectator this year??), but this new one is more interesting than any other, at least for me., in case anyone buying wine online these days that hasn’t run into this juggernaut (or who can), is a great online wine store that has really exploded in popularity over the last five years. Virtual Vineyard’s consolidation of many major online wine websites over the last 5 years (, eVineyard, WineShopper, etc), as well as a key partnership deal with Amazon a couple years back shoehorned into the wine public’s minds.

On the consumer front, their prices are usually quite good and they regularly have great deals on many of the products that they offer on their site. They also have a *ton* of great info on every wine they carry, which is a huge plus for me when I’m looking at possible wines that I’d like to buy.

The wine merchant made a new leap into the fermentation tank of wine culture this year with their first ever 100 list. Now, don’t get me wrong, the profusion of wine marketing techniques since the turn of the millennium has bugged me, too (cuddly animal labels, anyone?), but this is a bit different and it really fits into the values that we hold here at This is a list of wines that is created purely by us, the consumer. There is no other criteria. It is truly the open-source top 100 wines (from of 2007. This is a really neat concept and I hope that they continue to do this each year.

Look for these 100 wines on WineLog as we get them uploaded by Monday 12/10/07. They’ll be tagged with “2007wine.com100“. Enjoy!