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.
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!
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 »
This Summer has been a season of meteorological discontent in the greater Delaware Valley. The (multiple) successive (and repressive) heatwaves might actually make the local wines interesting to taste once they’re finally bottled, but it hasn’t exactly jived with the tastes of the rest of us.
In other words, it’s been too f-ing hot and miserable around here lately!
So, I for one will be very, very happy to see Summer hightail its sorry ass out of here. To celebrate this Summer’s pending death, and of course the rise of Autumn (and therefore also the hallmark of Steelers football), I recently raided the sample storage and pulled out a bunch of Rosé, because it reminds me of blood and when it comes to this Summer, I’m definitely out for its blood. The outcome of all of the vinous bloodshed is an overview of Rosé production (and a few reasonably-priced picks) that I penned last week over at Table Matters.
The good news is that the current state of international Rosé remains interesting, vibrant, fun, and for the most part affordable. If you’re a Rosé fan, it’s a good time to be alive; if you’re not yet a Rosé fan, it’s a good time to get your act together and try some because very, very good and varied examples are being made all over the world right now.
My reviews from the Rosé sample raid are below after the jump – along with a couple of badges for two standouts among the mix…
Read the rest of this stuff »