Articles Tagged wine product review
Closing out the fourth month of 2017’s spin around the sun here on 1WD means that it’s time for the monthly look at the wine product samples that we can’t drink (at least, not without the use of a blender, and not without probably being rushed to the hospital afterward).
For April, I’ve got only one recommendation, and once again it’s a wine book (because, hey, the market needed more of those, right?): Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan’s Rosé Wine: The Guide to Drinking Pink (Sterling Epicure, 184 pages, about $20).
Full disclosure: I consider Simonetti-Bryan to be like the childhood tomboy friend that I never had, and drink rosé wines all year long (and think that you should, too); so my take on this MW’s latest written release might be a tad biased.
In any case, there’s a lot to like about Rosé Wine, starting with the attractive layout and the hold-it-in-one-hand-while-drinking-a-glass-of-rosé-with-the-other design. This is a book very much geared towards beginners who love rosé, and want to take a deeper dive into it without getting the mental bends. A good portion of the book is devoted to understanding how rosé wine is made, why it’s popular, and what to expect from the various sub-styles on offer in the market (with solid recommendations in each that helpfully include label shots).
Simonetti-Bryan is a bit of a self-professed geek, and it’s nice to see how deftly and entertainingly she weaves that geekiness into the sidebar elements of Rosé Wine. For example, she offers advice on the proper use of the word varietal, facts and figures on moderate alcohol consumption, tidbits on wine region trivia, and results of wine-related scientific studies, all in helpful contexts and in a decidedly non-douchebaggy writing voice.
Is Simonetti-Bryan cashing in on the current market love affair with rosé with this book? Sort of, but that’s a minor cavil to levy against Rosé Wine, particularly when you consider how helpful and entertaining it will be to the novice rosé fan (and when you consider just how little coin wine books net for their authors in general).
It’s once again time for the monthly wine product roundup here on 1WD, in which I delve into the sample pool of wine-related items that cannot actually be physically absorbed without serious risk of injury or death. Kind of like the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Anyway, this month brings us two totally-unrelated products, both of which I can recommend, but not without caveats (because, hey, that’s just the kind of gal that I am).
image: BalVino Productions
The first item comes to us courtesy of BalVino Productions who, incidentally, are also offering a 10% discount on orders for 1WD readers (if you use the promo code 1WD2016 when ordering before December 31, 2016). BalVino is a family outfit run by Jeff Burnett in Indiana, who crafts those insert-the-wine-bottle-neck-into-the-hole stands that can then be balanced if set on a flat, level surface.
Despite the too-clever-for-its-own-good company name, I thoroughly admired the quality and craftsmanship that went into the samples of the BalVino ($15.99 – $39.99, depending on the model) sent to me (one of which has a slot with a waiter’s friend corkscrew cleverly attached via magnet inside of it), both of which were hewn out of gorgeous cuts of wood. Personally, these types of balanced holders scare the bejeezus out of me, because I’m constantly worried that I’ll knock them over, but it takes a really good shove to get these things tipping if properly used…
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extend my procrastination streak gather together my notes in anticipation of (finally) getting around to writing up my most recent wine jaunts, I figured I’d get a jump on the wine product roundup for May (part of my monthly attempt to put some wine product samples through the wringer).
First up this month is the Premium version of Bacchus Break, a set of two stemless, flexible – and presumably unbreakable – wine glasses made from silicone (about $18). The product tag line, appropriately, is “because drunk people drop shit.” And, indeed, we do.
I love the concept of this sort of product; ideal for casual parties (especially outdoor gatherings), I’ll take a properly (tulip) shaped wine glass made of just about any inert material over a standard-shaped glass or cup, any day. The Bacchus Break glasses provide that, once their silicone-rubbery-smell dissipates (which, for me, took several days). Light, and flexible to a fault, you’re not going to be able to break these things; and the Premium set includes an expandable bag for holding wine, something of which I’m also a big fan (because they’re so much more cooler-friendly than bag-in-box or glass packaging).
The flexibility comes at a cost; two costs, actually. First, the rim of the glasses is a bit thicker than is ideal for wine imbibing. Second, the glasses seem almost too flexible; they don’t feel sturdy in the hand, and require a gently touch (lest you grab it too forcefully and create a sort of juice-box-squeeze mess). In my experience, the similar Govino products perform slightly better; they are more apt to break if you step on them, but have a nice balance between flexibility, rigidity, and size (the new 10oz is a particularly good choice for bubbles, by the way).
Next up, something for your reading pleasure…
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Forthwith, I present the March 2016 wine product roundup, this time on time, but only juuuuust!
This month, I’ve got two items from the sample pool to present, one of them a bit of a miss, the other potentially a hit (in both the it-totally-works and the painful-punch-to-the-gut senses of the word, which will make more sense in a minute or two).
Dialing it up? (image: sponti.com)
In terms of the near-miss, we have Sponti’s Catalyst Ultimate Wine Server, which as far as I can discern is not yet available for purchase. The idea behind the Catalyst is a combination of wine pourer and aerator, only the aeration is adjustable thanks to a nifty little dial on the back of the pourer.
As a pourer, the Catalyst works as well as any similar in-bottle-pourer, minimizing post-pouring-action dripping. As an aerator, I get decidedly mixed results from the thing. The adjustment of the dial is easy, but I had two issues with that: 1) the lower settings seemed to do very little in terms of actually impacting the aromas and flavors of the wines on which I tried it, and 2) it’s easy to go a bit wild and end up turning the dial so far that you loosen it entirely (adding a simple plastic notch in the design might prevent this, but might complicate cleaning the unit if it prevented the dial from being removed).
It’s easy to clean, but its plastic design also feels a bit on the cheap side. I’d have to wait and see the final price, but generally speaking I think more works needs to be done to tweak this item.
Now, onto the Potent Hit portion of this month’s round-up…
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