Two Badge-Worthy (And Cheap!) Whites

Vinted on September 10, 2010 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, wine review

Ok, so one of them isn’t that cheap… and come to think of it, the better term is inexpensive because neither of them are cheaply made… whatever, you’ll get what I mean…!

Anyway, we’ve got two badges to hand out this week, both to whites from the sample pool that really impressed me.  Here they are, with twitter mini-review attached (along with more expanded thoughts):

1WD_Badge_Crowd_Pleaser 2009 Aveleda Alvarinho Vinho Branco (Regional Minho): Accomplished, accessible but slightly more serious big sister of Vinho Verde. $11 B+ #

Hot damn, Portugal has been coming out swinging lately and this white is no exception – it’s got enough citrusy perk to please the foodies, enough fruit to attract the casual sipper, and enough seriousness to make the wine geeks do a small double-take-head-fake after trying it.

1WD_Badge_Kick-Ass 2008 Fess Parker Ashley’s Chardonnay (Santa Rita Hills): 3 words – Home [insert declarative expletive of your choice here] run. $28 A- #

This wine has its fair share of admirers in the wine media and, well, I’m late to that party but can now tell you that they are spot-on. It’s rare that a big-ass Chard gives me enough depth and complexity to want to sit back and contemplate it (usually, big-ass Chards make me want to step back and pour them down the kitchen sink). But this one… this one delivers, nearly brilliantly and for a price way under what they could be charging for it if the label read “Napa” instead of “Santa Rita Hills.”

Cheers!

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Are Wine Clubs A Good Buy? (1WD on Mint.com)

Vinted on September 9, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, PLCB, wine buying

I was recently interviewed for an article that appeared on financial management website Mint.com’s Frugal Foodie blog, titled Will Joining a Wine Club Make or Break Your Budget.

The topic (obviously) was the potential financial implications of joining a wine club, and how to find the right club without getting fleeced. This was strange one for me; although (obviously) related to wine, the only experience I have with wine clubs is (enviously) assisting other people in selecting the best ones to fit their wine goals and budgets.

Wine Clubs: Minty fresh?That’s because I live in the Communist-wealth of Pennsylvania, whose state-run monopoly of alcohol sales and distribution essentially make joining a wine club, for me, impossible (or, at best, economically infeasible).

My basic take is that it’s probably never been easier to find good deals on a wine club.  Why?  For one, there’s a great deal of competition, despite the strange archaic state of  U.S. alcohol shipping laws – and there are even a good number of international wine clubs cropping up.  The other factor possibly fueling high competition and good deals in the wine club space is that there’s still a glut of wine inventory that has built up due to the down global economy.  My guess is that people can wheel-and-deal their way to some sweet buys with those wine clubs – at least until the market picks up.

One of the key differentiators (if not THE key) between wine clubs is customer service.  Given the level of competition, if a wine club isn’t willing to customize for you then it’s probably not worth giving them your hard-earned cash.

Many of you out there will have much more practical experience than I do with wine clubs.  Are you a wine club member?  Have you ever had to ditch a wine club?  Shout it out in the comments!

Cheers!

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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 1WineDude.com – 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…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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