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Hockey or Hokey? NHL Alumni Wine Series

Vinted on December 23, 2009 under California wine, commentary, pennsylvania, PLCB, wine products

Earlier this week, I could have had wine signed by Philadelphia Flyers bruising legend Dave “The Hammer” Schultz.

Dave’s wine, that is.  The Hammer Chardonnay.  Given Dave’s playing reputation as an enforcer, I’d hope that this Chard packs at least 14.5% abv and is an oak & fruit bomb that will knock you squarely on your ass after two glasses.

[ Editor’s note: I met The Hammer once.  He’s a very big and imposing man and I want to make it very clear that I am not making fun of him.  Thanks. ]

Dave’s wine is part of the NHL Alumni Signature Wine Series – wines that bear the picture and signatures of hockey greats like Gordie Howe (another Chard bottling), Wendell Clark (a Canadian-only Merlot) and Pat LaFontaine (a CA Cab) – the proceeds are divvied up among a few charitable causes:

There are three charitable components to the NHL Alumni Signature Wine Series™ wine program. First, a portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold will be donated to the charity of each player’s choice. Second, each of the teams’ Alumni Associations will receive a portion of the proceeds to be further donated to the charities of their choice. Finally, a portion of the proceeds will also benefit the NHL Alumni Association’s “Hockey’s Greatest Family Fund” which helps bring together former players to support charitable causes, assist former players in life after hockey and generally promote the game of hockey.

The wines are made by Ironstone Winery and distributed via MyWinesDirect.  I haven’t tried them yet, and I’m not holding my breath over it, either – both Dave Schulz and Bobby Clarke are legends in Philly, but thanks to the Communist-like liquor sales setup in the Flyers’ home state, those living in PA won’t be able to have the wines shipped to them. Oh, the irony

Personally, I view this as a logical guy response to Paris Hilton’s wine-in-a-canWhat do you think about celebrity wine and the NHL series?  Let’s hear it in the comments!

Cheers!

Welcome New Sponsors: Metal Imagination (Shameless Plug)

Vinted on December 15, 2009 under wine products

Yeah, yeah, I know… but I so infrequently plug sponsors on 1WineDude.com that you ought to cut me a little bit of slack, especially considering that this new sponsor could be a source of some pretty decent holiday gifts for the more-nice-than-naughty wine lovers on your list.

Metal Imagination has joined the list of blog sponsors here, and while I’ve yet to try their products, a brief glance at what they have to offer on their website reveals some pretty interesting gifts for those who dig wine and dig the metal look.  I mean, they’ve bent metal into a Labrador retriever wine bottle holder, for pete’s sake – that’s just friggin’ cool.

Anyway, here’s a bit of history on MI:

An exclusive authorized dealer of H&K Sculptures, Metal Imagination offers wine bottle holders, business card holders, and metal sculptures recognized around the world. A light, tasteful European style whimsically depicting American style, the handcrafted artwork is the vision of German sculptor Guenter Scholz. Since 1997 the environmentally friendly sculptures possess a uniqueness and capacity for personalization second to none.

Introduced to the United States in 2000, the unique gifts from Metal Imagination have served a practical and artistic purpose to thousands of customers. Perfect for any holiday, corporate event, and any other occasion imaginable, personalized wine bottle holders and metal sculptures offer recipients a gift beyond the scope of the obvious. Depicting facets of American life including transportation, professions, and animals, hundreds of models are available with new models being conceptualized and created year around.

OK, shameless plug thus endeth.

Coming in two days – the 1WineDude.com Top 10 Most Interesting Wines of 2009!

Cheers!

(images: Metal Imagination)

Do You Care About Wines You (Probably) Can’t Have?

Vinted on August 5, 2009 under twitter, wine products, wine review

Damn my over-processing brain.

I was going to write about two wines that I tasted last week while I was in in Napa & Sonoma for the Wine Bloggers Conference… technically I was actually (sweltering) in Tacoma when I tasted them, but I received the wines in Napa & Sonoma…

Anyway, I was going to write about these wines when my ever-processing, never-lets-me-rest brain decided to switch it up on me.  Now, it turns out I’m writing about not getting these wines. Or, writing about writing about not getting these wines.  This will all clear up in a minute or two.  I think.

The wines in question are C. Donatiello’s Rose, and the new 2006 release of Prime Cellars’s Cab.  Both of them are very, very good wines, the kind of wines that I want to get to know and want others to get to know – small production, interesting, made by up-and-coming, passionate winemakers who are tweaking things, trying to find the right balance and improving their wines early on with every vintage.

The thing is, I’ve been wondering if I should write about these wines.

Because chances are that you can’t get them…

Read the rest of this stuff »

Have Bottle, Will Gag (Reviewing Etching Expressions Custom Wine Gifts)

Vinted on June 17, 2009 under wine products, wine review

UPDATE: Etching Expressions contacted me in the Summer of 2012 to indicate that they offer a lot more wine choices now than what was chosen to fill the sample bottle sent to me when I penned this review back in 2009. From the looks of those choices (and the pretty reasonable prices at which some are offered), it’s probably worth taking a second gander at the options.

A little while ago (ok, well, probably longer than that… I’ve been busy…) I took part in a promotion to sample a bottle from a company called Etching Expressions.

Etching Expressions offers an interesting gift idea: customized bottles of wine (prices starting around $65), where your customization is actually etched into the wine bottle glass itself, making for a possible conversation-starting keepsake after the vino inside is long gone.

Etching Expressions sent me a bottle of what I think is their house Cabernet, inside of a very cool bottle that sported an etched version of my “Wine Rules” T-shirt logo.  In terms of the bottle, I was mightily impressed – the etching job is top-notch (not that I’m a glassworks expert, but it wasn’t flawed in any noticeable way), and it looked very, very cool.  There’s no question that this sort of gift is going to get tongues flapping at a dinner party.

As for the wine itself… here’s how my sample was described on the Etching Expressions website:

California Blended Cabernet Sauvignon: A little tannin in the nose, along with plum and berry. A dash of vanilla? The taste is light for a Cab, but has a nice balance between fruit and tannin.

The wine wasn’t flawed in any noticeable way, unless you’d categorize being unbelievably bad to the point of undrinkable to be a flaw.  For me, there was no question that this sort of wine is going to get tongues flapping at a dinner party – as in gagging-flapping.

This was one of those rare moments when I actually hesitated after smelling the wine, uncertain as to whether or not I should even let it hit my palate. In terms of what I can tell you about the wine without using expletives, “thin & acerbic” comes to mind.  So unless you want to seriously piss off your friends, family, boss, etc., you’d do well to pick one of the brand name selections and avoid the house wine options if you’re considering going with an etched bottle of wine as a gift option.

Cheers!

(images: 1WineDude)

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