During the month of November, we have teamed up with WineFridgesPlus.com to offer you a (literally) cool giveaway!
From now until December 1, 2010, you’ll get 10% off* any single-item built-in wine fridge purchase of $50 or more (*some new-fangled legalese restrictions apply, of course – we’re not that good – see details below) from WineFridgesPlus.com.
At the same time, you can also enter to win a VinoTemp single-bottle wine chiller at http://www.winefridgesplus.com/giveaways (the prize will be awarded after December 1st – check the link for full details)!
Depending on your wine storage needs, this could end up saving you up to $500 so it’s worth checking out.
My take on wine fridges is that you’re better off going high-end with a unit that controls both temperature (obviously the most important, especially for those of you without a cellar) and humidity
(fridge air tends to be dry, which can affect cork closures, though I never once had an issue with this with my relatively low-end wine fridge when I had it running for several years) – a quick look through the WFP offerings shows a few that have humidity reservoirs like this model.
All in all, I’d still opt for an underground cellar over any other wine storage system, but if you try that route in many parts of the U.S. or U.K. you will end up with a swimming pool underneath your house, so I understand the need for these things. Some of them also pack anywhere from 50 to 200 bottles in a relatively small amount of space, which is great if you are limited in available wall/shelf space.
Another thing to ask about is how the wine fridges regulate temperature – some winemakers with whom I’ve discussed this topic have argued that constant small temperature swings are almost as bad for wine storage as quick dips/spikes in temperature; ideally you’re looking for something that performs temperature stability in the gentlest ways possible.
The WFP item that filled me with the most G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome, the name we in the music biz give to that feeling that compels you to keep buying gear/gadgets/instruments/what-have-you, despite the pleas to the contrary from your inner conscience and probably also from your significant other) was this wall-mounted thermoelectric wine cooler. That kind of thing just screams “wine badass” the same way that having a pool table screams “man cave.” No idea if it’s any good (or not), I just know that the pic makes me want it (sad, really, I know).
Anyway – full details on the discount available after the jump.
Would love YOUR thoughts on using wine fridges, and if you take advantage of the discount please check back in and let us know how it goes!
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In today’s episode of 1WineDude TV, I offer my take on the new trend in in-home wine tasting – T.A.S.T.E. sample packs – using Blackbird Vineyards’ “Flock Box” as my primary target specimen. In fairness to Blackbird, their wines are, for the most part, superb and you can read my takes on some of their recent selections after the jump.
The Pros: the tasting kits work, and the wine quality from them is pretty much 100% (though they are NOT designed for aging); they’re also a good and inexpensive way to sample a wine portfolio, and they score high on the coolness factor.
The Cons: a 1.69070114 US fluid ounce pour is not a lot to go on when you’re trying to give a wine serious attention (and it’s probably not enough to get a Barbie doll drunk).
What do you think?
Are these new T.A.S.T.E. sample packs good, bad, or just plain scary? Also, please don’t comment on my orange sweater, it’s almost Halloween for Pete’s sake…
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Master of Wine and Certified Wine Educator Tim Hanni has been lighting up the on-line wine world this week.
More specifically, what’s been lighting up the wine world is the release of a report of highlights from a study of wine consumer taste preferences that Tim has co-authored with Virginia Utermohlen, MD.
Titled “Beverage preferences attitudes and behavior of sweet vs. tolerant wine consumers,” the sixteen page report is getting a hell of a lot more than sixteen pages worth of discussion, as it draws conclusions from a series of studies that focus on the market of wine consumers and how they taste – conclusions that challenge the conventional notions of how (or even if) wine can be judged objectively and empirically, and just how wrong the wine industry might be getting it in how wine appreciation is taught.
In summary, Tim’s report might just be the hot topic of the wine world right now, with several wine personalities from Jeff Lefevere to Steve Heimoff to Jancis Robinson chiming in with their (mostly fascinating) interpretations of Tim’s results.
As you might expect from someone who has been in the wine and food biz for over thirty years, and who was one of the first Americans to become an MW, Tim is not shy about is views. In fact, he’s been an active participant in the fray and debate about the results of his study since its announcement (for a great example, see GoodGrape.com’s take on the report, which is one of the best overviews on the topic published to date, and contains fascinating tête-à-tête reading in the comments from Tim and others).
Clearly, based on the reaction to the report so far, Tim’s views – and the manner in which he presents them – can be polarizing. As Tim put it in one of our email exchanges, “It is intriguing to me how the idea that people are different and that the topic of sweet wine and defense of sweet wine consumers can generate so much hostility.”
Are the debates missing the point? Maybe. According to Tim, it’s not whether or not sweet wines are better or whether or not those that prefer them are superior tasters, but that there are significant differences in how we taste wine and food that is important: “This is a quote from Jancis Robinson MW from 4 years ago,” he told me, “when I had my scientific mentors, Dr. Chuck Wysocki from Monnell Senses center, Michael O’Mahony form UC Davis, present data and conduct demonstrations at the MW symposium in Napa:
‘The main point of the session was to suggest that there are all sorts of populations of people who will perceive wine differently, thanks to our own sensitivities and preferences, and that the wine business is crazy to act as though one message, or even one sort of wine, suits all.’“
I had the opportunity to ask Tim about the study, his work with Virginia Utermohlen, and his views on how to bring the power back to the wine consumer people. Whether you love or loathe Tim’s take on wine tasting preferences, few would challenge Tim’s passionate zeal for championing the empowerment of wine consumers, and I suspect few would find the following interview responses from Tim anything less than fodder for compelling wine conversation.
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