Articles Tagged wine products

Pricey Reservations (July 2018 Wine Product Roundup)

Vinted on July 12, 2018 binned in wine products

This might be one of the earliest monthly wine product samples roundups here on 1WD, but I’m tending to a sick kiddo at the moment, and figured that I’d use the limited available writing window give you the lowdown on a couple of rather not-so-inexpensive wine products (no book reviews this month!) before I accidentally kill the brain cells housing my thoughts on them while they were still fresh in my memory.

The Wine Glass 1 Collection

Image: richardbrendon.com

First up is “The Wine Glass” ($112 for a set of 2), part of the 1 Collection, a collaboration between British Master of Wine (and friend of 1WD) Jancis Robinson and Notting Hill native designer Richard Brendon. The idea behind the glass, as per its creators, was to create a drinking vessel that can be used “for every wine, whatever its colour, including sparkling wine, port, sherry, sweet wines and anything else you want to savour and enjoy to the fullest… specially designed to maximise your enjoyment of all wines’ aromas, flavours and textures in the most practical way possible.”

That’s a lofty goal, and one that, in my testing experience, the glass mostly achieves. While I found it a bit large for dessert and fortified wines, it does a fair job on those, and an exceptional job on anything bubbly or still. Robinson describes the style as “gossamer-thin” and she’s right – The Wine Glass is so light that you might forget that you’re holding anything at all when it’s in your hand. This comes with the anxiety that it might break easily, but for its lack of thickness it is surprisingly durable, and handles stints in the dishwasher with ease.

It’s also a stylish item, and for that you are paying a dear farthing, my friends, at about $56 per stem. Is it worth it? I have serious reservations about answering that question in the affirmative; while The Wine Glass is superior in almost any measurable way to most of the stemware available designed for everyday use, it’s simply too luxurious an item to fit into such a category. This is especially pertinent considering that you can get nearly the same durability, style, and all-in-one applicability from Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson‘s The One stemware line, which currently goes for under $30 a pair. And lest you think $15/stem suggests an experience fit for inferior sipping, when I sat for the 2010 Romanée-Conti vintage tasting in NYC, they used Andrea’s glasses…

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The Shady, The Free, And The Godforsaken (May 2018 Wine Product Roundup)

Vinted on May 23, 2018 binned in wine products
Godforsaken Grapes

image: amazon.com

It’s time once again for our monthly roundup of those wine-related samples received here at 1WD HQ that aren’t actually wine. While the last few months have focused on wine book releases, this month features… well, a wine book release, but also some other stuff that involve your wine-lovin’ eyeballs.

First, let’s get the book thing out of the way; my friend and fellow Philly-area-drinks-type-guy Jason Wilson has a new tome available for your reading pleasure: Godforsaken Grapes: A Slightly Tipsy Journey through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine (Abrams Press, 320 pages, about $20).

The premise of Godforsaken Grapes is that it’s a wine book that isn’t really a wine book, focusing on fine wine grapes like Ramisco, Bastardo, and Mencia that just don’t see the luv in terms of production volume, mind-share, and media coverage. The book also favors a quirky travelogue format, offering chapter titles such as Chateau du Blah Blah Blah, How Big is Your Pigeon Tower?, and The Same Port Dick Chaney Likes; so you know at a glance that you’re in for at least a little bit of Gonzo-style journalism. In other words, regular 1WD readers ought to love this tome.

www.freeart.com

image: freeart.com

Next, we move away from books but stay on print in what might be one of the stranger recommendations for me to have made in the wine product roundups; at least, until we get to the last recommendation in today’s post. I was contacted several weeks ago by the folks at FreeArt.com, who sent me over some of their free wine prints for consideration (the only difference between you ordering the free stuff and me ordering it is that I didn’t have to pay any shipping because review guy!).

There are thousands of wine prints available on their site, with the deal being that they will not charge you for the smaller sizes of said prints (but will charge shipping, framing, etc.). Granted, there’s a lot of filler/fluff among those images, but some of them are pretty badass, and the quality of the prints is very, very good. If you’re looking to round-out the decor for your cellar, or are a winery looking for tasting room art on a budget, this could be an interesting (and cost-effective) way to go…

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In Search Of… The Not-So-perfect (April 2018 Wine Products Roundup)

Vinted on April 25, 2018 binned in wine books, wine products

It’s time here on 1WD for entry in the ongoing wine product sample roundup articles series, in which I try out samples sent to me that are not directly vinous / edible in nature. Once again, I’ve tried to whittle down the pile of wine-related tomes cluttering my office floor, but I also managed to have a sort of battle with (yet another) wine opener-type-thingy…

The Search for Good Wine

image: amazon.com

First, there’s the book: The Search for Good Wine: From the Founding Fathers to the Modern Table, by John Hailman (University Press of Mississippi, 301 pages, about $29). Hailman has been a wine competition judge, has authored a couple of other books, and had a nationally syndicated wine column; The Search for Good Wine pulls from the latter, which is the both the book’s strongest asset and (for me) its greatest source of consternation. This is a compendium of Hailman’s well-written, often witty, more often informative, and always accessible column essays, organized into four main categories (people, places, tips, and humor). They are good reads. The trouble is that (too) many of the essays employ relative references (mostly regarding time), yet lack details about when they were written and published. Not a big deal, until you hit the twentieth or so relative mention, at which point the editor in me (and maybe in you) will want to scream. Anyway, it’s solid work if you can get past that possibly-not-so-minor cavil.

Finally, we have my run-in with Vineyard Elite’s “The Perfect Wine Opener” (https://theperfectwineopener.com, $69.95). With such a haughty moniker, and a price to match, you’d think that this thing would work exceptionally well. And you’d be very, very wrong (based on my usage trials, anyway)…

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Wine And Place And Threats (February 2018 Wine Product Roundup)

Vinted on February 21, 2018 binned in wine books, wine products

For February’s wine product sample roundup (in which I cast a critical eye on wine-related stuff that isn’t actually wine), we once again hit the book shelves, with some mixed but ultimately geekily fascinating results…

Shadows in the VineyardFirst up is a long-overdue mention of Maximillian Potter’s account of the train-wreck-style-too-crazy-to-look-away story behind the 2010 threat to poison the vines of Burgundy’s La Romanée-Conti, which produce some of the most sought-after and expensive Pinot Noir wines on the planet (interestingly, the vintage under threat was the same one that I reviewed and – SPOILER ALERT! – everything turned out okay). The book is titled Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine (Twelve Books, 289 pages, about $10), and if that subtitle sounds a bit fawning, it’s also an accurate indication of the book’s only real flaw.

Potter’s an accomplished and experienced former staff writer, and he knows both how to spin a yarn and how to meticulously research his topic, both of which come together masterfully in Shadows in the Vineyard. Be forewarned, however, that Potter also falls into the same trap that has snared countless others who’ve mentioned this fabled Burgundian top-tier producer, which is to mention so often that its wines must be the world’s best that your facial muscles might get a bit tired from all of the ensuing eye-rolling. I mean, we get it already. But in terms of entertaining wine-related reads, this is a top-notch tale…

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