Archive for April, 2012

Show Off Your Terribly Awesome Wine Slogan For A Chance To Win A Wine Tee From!

Vinted on April 3, 2012 binned in giveaways

It’s been a while since we’ve done a giveaway, and so when I was contacted by to potentially partner up and give away one of their wine-themed t-shirts I couldn’t resist.

This is primarily because they combine wine with one of my closet indulgences: slogans so bad that they become fantastic. I’m not at all religious, but I’ve long been fascinated with the epically, awesomely terrible slogans posted on church billboards; they are just so heinously good (if that makes sense). For example, some gems that I’ve encountered during my driving travels:

“If you give the devil a ride, sooner or later he’s gonna want to drive.”

“God doesn’t want shares of your life; He wants controlling interest!”

“God answers ‘Knee Mail’”

That last one is sooooo wonderfully terrible!

Anyway, you’ve got a chance to win a free, customizable wine t-shirt from just by commenting on this here post! To maximize the fun (for me, anyway!), to become eligible you need only comment here with your favorite terribly awesome wine slogan. Ideally, you’ll come up with puns as wonderfully bad as the ones those churches are able to churn out, only wine-related.

I’m thinking along the lines of “Making good wine is a skill; making fine wine is an art; unless your name is Rudy Kurniawan, in which case it’s probably a federal offense!” or “I once had budding career in wine growing, but the bad economy green-harvested it.” You gotta admit, those are so bad that they could become endearing… anyway…

In one week I will randomly select a winner from the commenters, and contact them via email with the details on how to claim their Tee.

So get commentin’ and show off your creative side!

Cheers – and good luck!




Monday Mini Wine Reviews Round-Up For April 2, 2012

Vinted on April 2, 2012 binned in wine mini-reviews

Uhm, like what is this stuff?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine sample tasting notes via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be fun, quickly-and-easily-digestible reviews. Below is a wrap-up of the twitter reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find them so you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 09 Graf V. Schonborn Silvaner (Franken): Vibrantly poised to unleash its tropical, pithy kung fu on some nutty, spicy kung pao chicken $16 B >>find this wine>>
  • 07 Ernie Els Signature (Stellenbosch): Like combining a good golf game, a heavy steak dinner & chocolate dessert all at the same time $95 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Von Holt Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Entertaining juggling act of berry compote & savory structure. $30 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 07 d’Arenberg The Custodian Grenache (McLaren Vale): This custodian has tight leather grip; in fact, he’s kind of chocking me…! $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Maryhill Viognier (Columbia Valley): Vibrant enough to feel right at home in Virginia; lot of refreshing pear for not a lot of $. $13 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 05 Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley): The Duchamp painting of Oz Semillon; angular, seductive & with undeniable merit. $45 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 HobNob Pinot Noir (Vin de Pays d’Oc): Complex it ain’t, but quaffable it is; just bring your berry sweet-tooth & you’ll be fine. $11 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 HobNob Cabernet Sauvignon (Vin de Pays d’Oc): A dollop of spice doesn’t take the sweetness out of those sweet plums, alas. $12 C+ >>find this wine>>
  • 07 Signorello Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Lacks not cassis, or power, or earthy funk; but beware you the food pairing! $55 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • NV Casa Rosa Cornicelli Brachetto (Piedmont): Like a loud party or a box of Little Debbie’s; endearing once you get past your hangups $13 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 06 Travaglini Gattinara Riserva (Gatinara): Pleasing to behold, & poised to mellow with (a lot of) time, like a finely-grained wood. $59 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 05 Travaglini Gattinara Tre Vigne (Gattinara): Earthy & old school enough that the tannins will rap your fingers with a hard ruler. $48 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Wente The Nth Degree Chardonnay (Livermore Valley): Tropics, cream & spiciness of substantive Chard, now available w/out the fat. $33 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore Valley/San Francisco Bay): Competing w/ S. America in tastiness & $? Nice work! $15 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay (Livermore Valley/San Francisco Bay): Balanced, racy, tropical & ruining the curve for underachievers. $13 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Murrieta’s Well The Whip (Livermore Valley): A sophisticated dominatrix, carrying loads of aromatic flowers in the other hand. $19 B >>find this wine>>
  • 05 Domaine Carneros Le Reve (Carneros): The wedding cake of domestic sparklers; gorgeous, layered, & stunning just to take it all in. $95 A >>find this wine>>



Breaking News! Steve Heimoff And I To Swap Gigs!

Vinted on April 1, 2012 binned in wine news

In this special weekend edition of, I have some epically gargantuanly stunningly-hyphenated-made-up-adverbially BIG news to share with you all.

Steve Heimoff, of Wine Enthusiast Magazine (not sure if it’s the English or Mandarin version… but sh*t, I’d better find that out REAL soon) are SWAPPING GIGS.

Yes, ou’re reading that correctly. Steve Heimoff will now be writing the Wined Down With Joe Roberts column on, and I will be taking over Steve’s California wine beat for Wine Enthusiast.

As part of the move, Steve and I will also be swapping blogs, and so you will find Steve writing about writing about writing about wine here, and over at Steve’s website I will be penning my normal shot-from-the-hip missives about the wine world that actually sound like they were, indeed, shot by something and then left to rot.

I wanted you al to be the first to know. Only you’re not really the first to know… there were, like seventeen lawyers who knew before you did, and then there’s the editorial staff at WE and, and around eight or so of Steve’s neighbors in Oakland, who all knew before you did. But you’re, like, the thirty-fifth person to know and that’s meaningful to Steve and I, because I was 35 years maybe when Steve and I first met. Look, just go with it, okay?

I realize that this will come as a great shock to many of you, so it’s important that you understand the rationale behind this joint decision by Steve and me:

  • Talent: Steve and I are writers who can distinguish between when it is and is not grammatically correct to use the phrase “Steve and me.”
  • Work-Life Balance: We figured it would take a while before either WE or noticed, since we both like to work remotely.
  • Because We Can: We’re both, like, super-important in the wine blog world and this is, in fact, a childish attempt by both of us to lord our power over the minions.
  • Intangibles: We’re about the same height.
  • For The Good of the Land: Steve is less dangerous for the Playboy Playmates, and I’m less dangerous for Wine Enthusiast.

See you over at, people!

Cheers – and check your calendars!

p.s. – Mad, mad love, respect & appreciation to Steve, who had no idea I was doing this but I strongly suspect will take it with good humor (what’s Mandarin for “humor”?).




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