Happy 3rd Birthday Vivi’s!

Well, my blog is growing up so fast…>sniff sniff<…

First, let me apologize for the bit of a hiatus. There’s just alot going on. I have development working on Wine Life Today, working on things with our friends at WineQ, a couple of major intiatives at my day job, construction at our house, and the best news of all…we are expecting another little addition to the family! So as you can imagine, I’ve taken a brief hiatus from my normal blogging but I have a backlog of great wines to review including a wine AND recipe combo from Wolf Blass!!!

So thanks for everyone’s support, well wishes, requests for more posts, and everything else. That past three years have meant alot to me in my wine adventures

and I owe a great deal of that to the community that supports this blog.

Keep the notes coming and as soon as life gives me a chance to take a breather I’ll be back on this microphone tasting, pontificating, and just generally yapping to all the wine lovers out there! Stay tuned!

Partnering up with WineQ…

I’m diving right in.  Joining the team at WineQ.  Adding my Silicon Valley tech experience and passion for wine to the heavy hitters at WineQ.  What?  Why?  Thats an easy question to answer…

I’ve spent the better part of the last two plus years blogging about wine, the wine life, and everything wine related.  Its a passion, a love, an…addiction?  Maybe.  But I think more of an obsession.  Even the day I put this blog up I wrote about my exploits in wine and my intention for this blog right on our first about page:

My wife and I started Vivi’s Online as a prelude to our bigger wine business ventures. (Stick around and you’ll hear a lot more from us on that front!!!)…

Well, that time has come.  I’ve sifted through alot of sites about wine, drank alot of wine, and spent my life in technology.  From my first Commodore 64 and Atari game system to the iMac I just

ordered.  From the first Geyser Peak Merlot that knocked my socks off, to the Navarro Pinot Noir I drank last night.  Through it all I always wondered, “how can I apply all this tech experience to this wine obsession?”…”what will be technical enough to keep that part of Joel excited yet somehow incorporate wine?”.  But most importantly “is it possible to combine a ton of tech experience, a love of technology, and a passion for wine?”  In effect, marry the two things I can actually spend all day thinking about and have it energize me.

Well, it seems in WineQ, I’ve discovered a wine business that aligns with my own wine values – to find the best wines not just the most expensive.  I’ve discovered a technology business that aligns with my own technical values – innovative technology applied to a real problem with a drive to continue innovating; actually doing something with the innovative technology and not technology for technology’s sake (a BIG problem with the whole Web 2.0 and Wine 2.0 craze).  I’ve discovered a business that promises to fundamentally change an industry using great technology.  This paragraph is very Zen for me!

WineQ offers users the ability to create a queue of wines they want to purchase, and then set up the frequency and quantity of wines received per shipment.  In addition, shipping is free for WineQ

members on orders above $35 – not “free on full case orders” or “free on 6 bottles” – free over $35.  You can have many wines from a variety of wineries all shipped for free.  You can have a single $35 bottle of wine shipped for free.  WineQ is redefining what one should expect from a wine club.  And there is so much more to come, I wish I could blurt it out but I’ll keep it under wraps for now.  Lets keep it at we’re focused sharply on creating the ultimate online wine experience…if there is something about buying wine online that doesn’t appeal to you, we’re probably working on a way to fix it as we speak.  I’ll definitely update more as things progress.  Lets just say I probably won’t have to post about it here for you to hear about whats going on with WineQ…I will, you just may not need me to…

After working with the WineQ team for a while (as I’ve done with many out there) it became obvious that this company has the potential to do something special and its ready to go to the next level.  Innovative technology, top-flight operations, and wineries signing up left and right, this is going to be fun fun fun! 

So with that, I’m joining WineQ.  Together the goal is no less then to build the premier wine experience on the Internet.  Have a look at the site, feedback is always welcome.  As always, Enjoy the Wine Life…

By the way, I Q do you?

Happy 2nd B-Day!!! Vivi’s is a toddler!

Vivi’s Wine Journal turns two years old today! Its really been a tremendous amount of fun for me and my wife, Kelly. We’ve met a very large assortment of people with a shared passion for wine over the last two years as a direct result of our blog. Wine producers, retailers, distributors, artists, press folks, the list goes on and on.

One of the greatest joys has been growing up with the entire wine blogosphere. What started out as an interesting way to enhance our wine knowledge and share what we know with a world that consisted of 20-some-odd blogs has grown into a community of wine lovers whom I communicate with regularly and to countless wine blogs with great information, recommendations, and even some new sites have spawned around the wine blogosphere.

We’ve seen wineries start blogging and wine startups spawn documenting their work. Its all great stuff.

Tonight Kelly and I will crack open our last bottle of 2003 Ballentine Zinfandel Port in celebration, on of my personal favorites, and toast the wine blogosphere and all our new friends. Sometimes its not easy to keep it up but almost everytime I start to get a little down on it I recieve an e-mail saying that Vivi’s inspired them to try wine, start a blog, look into a particular product, etc… and thank me honestly. Its very gratifying to know that what we write about helps people out.

With that, CHEERS to the wine blogosphere!

Enjoy the Wine Life!

Wine Life social news site

So with idle hands we’ve done it again.  I worked with Kelly to pull together a news site that combines wine fanaticism and Digg.com functionality.  Its now ready for public Beta testing!

The project is called “Wine Life Today” and is wine news for wine lovers, by wine lovers.  With this site, the community has editorial control!  What that means is “Front Page” news is determined by articles that the community likes best.  Its simple, you can review submitted article and vote for them.  Once they recieve enough votes, they make it out of the newsroom and onto the front page!

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Wines with Zing! for Spring – It’s Time for Sauvignon Blanc

Article contributed by Eve White

The flowers are blooming; the sun is shining. This is the season to start thinking about Sauvignon Blanc. Maybe it is the renewal of nature that signals my return to wines from the sauvignon blanc grape, or maybe the warm air prompts me to move from the deep reds of winter to a chilled white wine. Whatever the reason, this is the season for these lively wines with a zing of acidity and melon fruit flavors. In the New World these lovely white wines, ranging in color from straw yellow to pale yellow-green, are produced from Chile to New Zealand to California . Here they exhibit an herbaceous quality with lively citrus or melon fruit flavors. Sauvignon blanc, also known as Fume blanc in California , may confuse consumers because of the different names it carries, but don’t be confused. Buy a bottle, pour a glass and sniff. Ahhhh! It reminds me of freshly cut grass on a glorious spring day.

In France’s Loire valley, the wine named Sancerre is made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape grown in the chalky soils on the banks of the Loire river. This wine is a delight, offering distinctly different characteristics from New World sauvignon blancs but the similar freshness of bright fruit and intense flavors. The pronounced minerality of this wine is the signature of Sancerre, and is sometimes described as smoke or gunflint. An appealing steely flavor, it excites the mouth and imparts a racy quality to the wine, leaving you wanting more.

Pair these winning whites from the New World or Old, with shellfish or serve them as sippers with a selection of appetizers. You will delight in the sensations ranging from grapefruit to melon, herb to mineral and your taste buds will thank you.

Continue reading “Wines with Zing! for Spring – It’s Time for Sauvignon Blanc”

Wine Storage Basics

Fine and Everyday Wine CellarTips
contributed article by Eve C. White

For a wine novice or connoisseur, proper wine storage is extremely important. You don’t need to spend a fortune to keep your wine in top shape – even your precious California cabernets, however, you may prevent some major disappointments if you remember these wine storage tips.

Your storage options may be limited by space or budget, but whether you opt for a rack in the back of dark closet, a wine refrigerator, or (sigh) a custom-designed, humidity controlled walk-in cellar, regulating the three most important conditions, temperature light and humidity, will be imperative to wine storage success.

The key to proper long-term wine storage is to consistently regulate temperature, light and humidity. Temperature is the most important. The ideal temp for wine is 55 F, although a range of 45-65F is acceptable and easily maintained. Colder temperatures will slow the aging process while warmer temps may actually promote premature aging. A constant temperature is key as rapid fluctuations increase chances that air will get past the cork as the wine expands and contracts in the bottle. If enough oxygen reaches the wine, it may prove fatal for your juice.

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Make Mine Italian

This contributed wine review comes to us from Eve C. White at PersonalCellar.com

Make Mine Italian
Wines from Tuscany and Piedmont
by Eve C. White

A modern renaissance of winemaking in Italy is making wine lovers and critics stand up and take notice. In the 20th century, wine in Italy frequently meant low-cost, low quality and high volume – think straw covered bottles – with little to get excited about. However, things have changed in past 25 years and thanks to new laws further regulating Italian vintners, the standard of winemakers in that country is reaching new levels of excellence.

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What do you bring?

This article was contributed by Steve Goodman, Owner and operator of WineFetch.com

When you are going to someone’s house, what wine should you bring? A Sancerre or a Pinot Noir? A recognizable wine or one that even a wine lover might have to look up? Its a tough question, but here are some simple things to think about.

First and foremost, you have to decide whether you want to bring a red or a white. I’d say you can never go wrong in bringing a red, but there are times that a white may be appropriate. The person you are bringing the wine to might love whites or it might be a hot summer day and a crisp white might just do the trick. If you’re not sure, I’d stick to a red but there are a couple of other things to think about.

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Happy 1st Birthday to Vivi’s!

Today, August 18th 2005, Vivi’s Wine Journal turns 1 year old!  What started out as a way to just talk about wine topics and write about wine and wine related experiences in a way that would help my friends understand why Kelly and I love the wine life so much has turned into a community site with a steady flow of visitors from all corners of the world.  This has been a great experience for both of us and really been more rewarding then I had ever imagined.

In life, the ideal “job” is one that can combine something you do with something you enjoy.  Vivi’s is definitely “work” but it doesn’t feel that way so much.  Kelly and I both have enjoyed the last year doling out and receiving advice where we could, meeting new people, and learning about wine while we do things to expand on Vivi’s content for the community.  Now that I have a taste of what it means to be doing something purely for the enjoyment and art of it the last step is to figure out how to get that same experience out of a career – wouldn’t that be cool.

In the mean time we’ll continue to get our fix from bringing our wine life experiences to you through Vivi’s.  Here’s to taking the time out to Enjoy the Wine Life!


True Value in the Languedoc

Simon Thomson, Managing Director of UK-based Talking Wines Ltd., is on a perpetual quest for good value wines and contributes this article to Vivi’s on his findings in the Languedoc region of France.

Enjoy the Wine Life!


My continuous quest to find interesting good value, quality wine recently led me to the Languedoc region in the south of France. I visited at the invitation of a French wine agent based in Carsassonne who represents a number of independent vineyards in the region. I spent a hectic but very pleasant few days with Jerome driving me from one vineyard to the next. The tasting was non-stop and many of the wines were of excellent quality.

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