Posts Filed Under giveaways

Should America’s Native Grapes Be Saved? (The Wild Vine Giveaway!)

Vinted on October 7, 2010 binned in book reviews, giveaways

This week, we’re giving away a hardcover copy of Todd Kliman’s excellent The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine (of which I received more than one sample copy) to one lucky commenter (that could be YOU).

I should start by saying that The Wild Vine is everything that you’d want out of a good wine book; better stated, it’s everything that you’d want out of a good book, period.

There are compelling characters.  There is a stellar narrative voice.  There’s an underdog story (a few, actually, interwoven) that make you care.  There is conflict, perseverance, and in some ways, triumph.

I’m just not entirely convinced that the story needed to be told – at least, part of it, anyway.  I’m glad it was told – and in such gloriously talented fashion; I’m just not sure I “get” the importance of the tale, mostly because the heart of the story in The Wild Vine is the near total disappearance of one of America’s most seemingly promising, and at one time certainly most successful – native hybrids, the Norton.

The book takes us on tangents as wildly diverting as the un-pruned tendrils of a Norton vine: from the early 1800s near-suicidal despair of Dr. Daniel Norton (who by all reasonable accounts appears to be the originator of the Norton grape that bears his name) to the crowning of an American Norton as one of the world’s greatest wines in a late 1800s Austrian wine exhibition, to the near singly-handed modern resurgence of the Norton grape in its spiritual and genetic home in Virginia at the dedicated hands of Chrysalis Vineyards transsexual owner, Jenni McCloud.

As you have probably discerned, The Wild Vine is not without (major) drama.  And while some might bristle at Kliman’s extensive use of fictional historical narrative to get inside the heads of the book’s decidedly non-fictional characters, and others might give up on the extended storyline (Kliman literally waits until halfway through the book before posing the question of why the Norton practically went extinct), those who stick with The Wild Vine all the way through will be well-rewarded.

There’s just a part of me – the part that’s tasted some nasty versions of wine made from Norton grapes – that wonders if the grape should have been saved.

(for details on how to win a copy of the book, read on…)

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Do You Care About Vintage Charts? (Wine Spectator Giveaway)

Vinted on September 20, 2010 binned in best of, giveaways

You may have noticed that Wine Spectator has been advertising here on I know, right?  The temperature in Hell may just have gotten a couple of more degrees below freezing.

WS are pushing their new iTunes vintage chart app, and part of that push involves a month-long ad stint here and on other on-line wine publications/blogs. Me being me, I asked them to sweeten the deal and as such this week we are giving away a one-year subscription to Wine Spectator (print or on-line), a $49.95 value

I think I just heard teeth chattering by another lost soul in Hell… [though I should note, before you or the FTC send me any flaming e-mail, that this post is not sponsored, I worked with the WS reps to concoct the giveaway idea].

Anyway, here’s how the giveaway works:

  • Leave a comment here telling everyone what you think about vintage charts: are they useful? overrated? essential?
  • In one week, I will randomly select a winner from the commenters to walk away with a one-year Wine Spectator subscription!

I’ll kick things off by talking about my view on vintage charts – but first, I probably need to clear the air about how I view Wine Spectator in general, because right now that air seems to be a little smoky

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1WineDude Giveaway! Classical Music Hottie Edition!

Vinted on September 8, 2010 binned in giveaways

It’s time for another giveaway here on – and for this edition, we are teaming up with Sony Music to deliver you some Classical music goodness for your aesthetic imbibing pleasure!

Oh, I should mention that one of the Classical CDs we are giving away features the conducting prowess of A TOTAL HOTTIE.

The featured hottie is Alondra de la Parra, a young Latin-American phenom who has been tearing up the Classical music scene lately.  According to her website:

Among her recent conducting highlights have been performances with the symphony orchestras of Houston, Phoenix, Columbus, San Antonio and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, as well as conducting concerts at the New Hampshire and Colorado Summer Music Festivals. This past summer, she led the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole where they collaborated with violinist Sarah Chang and actor Robert Redford, and at Vermont´s Music Festival of the Americas at Stowe.

That’s right, Napa peeps – next July you can go to the festival yourselves and try to get her to pay attention to you (good luck with that).

Anyway… our giveaway today features Alondra’s latest release, My Mexican Soul. We’re also including some amazing piano-prowess kick-ass-ness from Lang Lang – Live In Vienna – in which he takes on works by Beethoven, Albeniz, Prokofiev and Chopin.

You know the drill – you leave a comment, and a lucky winner who will receive a copy of both double-disc CDs will be selected at random in one week’s time from the commenters. Leave a comment and tell us your favorite (or least-fave!) Classical music artist, composer, or work to spin when you’re unwinding with a glass of vino.

To get us started, here are my picks…

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