Classy Openings, Surreptitious Sipping (September 2015 Wine Product Roundup)

Vinted on September 30, 2015 binned in wine products

Since closing out my Answers.com gig back in June of this year, I have found myself still inundated with wine product/accessory/gizmo samples (I’ve totally given up on trying to keep samples to a manageable number), but without a convenient (and conveniently highly trafficked) outlet with which to share the better or more interesting of those products.

And so I’m breaking a loooooooong streak of avoiding wine product mentions here on 1WD, so that I can give you a gander at a couple of the vinous accessories that tickled my… whatever it is for wine geeks that gets tickled when they get to play with accessory samples.

Barvivo

Barvivo (image: Barvivo)

Barvivo

First up is a corkscrew, which at first blush sounds boring, but I’ve personally been fascinated by these bizarre more-or-less-single-purpose tools ever since researching their surprisingly interesting backstory for a PUBLIX Grape article I penned last year. Right now, I’m full-on a fan of the “hinged” waiter’s friend style of corkscrew, so I was pretty jazzed to try out a sample of Barvivo’s take on that design. This little number works like a charm, has the double-hinge action that I’ve grown to find invaluable, and it looks classy as hell.

I’m not accusing them of slave labor, but I’ve no idea how they managed such high production quality for such a low price. As of the time of this writing, they’re offering a coupon deal, which makes the corkscrew a total steal.

Vivajennz

When I was contacted by the founder of Vivajennz, I wasn’t sure what to make of the idea of her product, which is basically an “up-style” of wine in a bag. “This is either going to be brilliant,” I thought, “or completely stupid.”

Vivajennz

Surprise! We’ve got vino, beeatches! (image: Vivajennz)

Turns out that the result is somewhere in between, but I’m finding that I like the idea of the messenger-bag version of this wine tote more and more. The short version of the story behind Vivajennz is that instead of using a collapsible pouch for transporting your favorite vino to an event or gathering, you instead put it into a pouch, to which a dispensing nozzle/tap is affixed, and which all fits into one of the stylish, insulated bag designs. Open a flap on your way-cool bag, and take a tap to fill a glass; and boom, presumably, you’re the hit of the party.

The overall design isn’t the most practical, but I really like that the bag does double-duty (in the case of my sample, the messenger bag is perfectly capable on its own for acting as, well, a messenger bag, and it looks great). Might be worth checking out for the style lover / wine guzzler in your life.

Cheers!

4

 

 

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 28, 2015

Vinted on September 28, 2015 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week, along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 10 Rockfall Christopher's Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): Mountain fruit hitting complex high notes, the highest yet to come. $100 A >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Wakefield St Andrews Single Vineyard Release Cabernet Sauvignon (Clare Valley): Chocolate and herbs as main course; and it works. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Wakefield Estate Riesling (Clare Valley): Clare goes all tropical, while losing almost none of its steely stare's power and focus. $17 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Donnachiara Aglianico Campania (Montefalcone): Cherries & brambly blackberries in abundance, all of which are gettin' wild tonight! $12 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Donnachiara Fiano di Avellino (Montefalcone): If the temperature is 75F or above, I dare you to NOT drink the hell out of this. $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Bonny Doon Vineyard Clos de Gilroy Grenache (Monterey County): GMS! Gimmie Some More! GMS! Gimmie Some More! Ok, just pour already $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Riserva Trebbiano (Trebbiano D'Abruzzo Riserva): Lavender & honey? F-ck yes, sign me up for that, please $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Emblem Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Syrah & Zin up in the mix? Shut up, you'd suck it right down if you didn't know. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Ronco Calino Brut (Franciacorta): Needs to overcome its shyness, as there's much intriguing stuff underneath that delicate surface $29 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Pennsylvania’s Latest Attempt To Alienate Its Wine Lovers

Vinted on September 23, 2015 binned in commentary

glorious plcb

In what apparently is Pennsylvania’s latest attempt to prove that it is, in fact, the single worst state in the Union for wine lovers, a recent ruling by Chester County Judge Edward Griffith has put the kibosh on saving a few thousand bottles of wine confiscated from resident Arthur Goldman (who was caught in a sting operation and charged with buying wine outside of the PA state monopoly system, and selling wine in the state without a license). Sorry, but getting angry makes me write run-on sentences, ok?

Through the ruling, the judge Griffith has paved the way for dumping of the confiscated wine (much of which is top-notch stuff), pissing off the state’s wine lovers. The ruling also denies a request by nonprofit Chester County Hospital to have the wine sold to benefit the hospital (presumably, pissing off everyone else in the state, too).

A quote from the judge:

“Since the liquor code makes no provision for condemned wine to be sold for any purpose, the wine may not be delivered to a hospital for sale.”

We cannot fault the judge for upholding current law, since that’s his job. And that law – the PA liquor code – exists, in theory, to control the flow of alcohol in Pennsylvania, and, you know, protect the children! Like the children that are served by… Chester County Hospital!

Ostensibly, however, the PA liquor code seems to be more and more a vehicle to protect the money coming in to the state’s coffers from the alcohol sales controlled by the PA Liquor Control Board. You know, the same board that serves PA’s wine-buying public by spending taxpayers’ dollars inefficiently; instituting expensive, failed initiatives that it’s unclear are even wanted by its customers; selling wine that has been shown to have high levels of arsenic; and committing fraud.

In other words, I don’t think that Pennsylvania is going to be upgrading its wine consumer advocacy grade of “F” anytime soon.

Cheers!

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