Now that’s service! – KandL Wines

I think this is what blogs were made for – reporting experiences and word of mouth things. So I’m going to relay a story and I hope every wine retailer makes a note of it (hell, every retailer should make a note of it).

I shop online for wine all the time and have done so for years. One of the many advantages to living in CA. K&L Wines, a retailer based in California, has a great selection and often when I use or I get results from K&L because they’re pricing is spot on as well – usually among the most competitive.

Recently I was restocking some of my classic party wines – Sokol Blosser “Evolution 9” and (dark chocolate fans listen up and take note) Justin “Obtuse” Port. We’re going to have visitor during the holidays and these are both reasonably priced crowd pleasers. I ordered a dozen bottles and used a shipping option that they offered that wasn’t FedEx or UPS. It was “Golden State Overnight”. It was cheaper than FedEx ground or UPS and, as the name implies, “overnight” deliver no less. This is great news b/c if there is a downside to online wine retailing its the shipping (whom ever figures out the scheme to make shipping free or very cheap will make a boat load of money on volumes…just from ME!!!).

Continue reading “Now that’s service! – KandL Wines”

Grape Varietal Chart is a cubicle must-have

Here is a camera-phone picture of my new cubicle as I’ve re-joined the cubicle nation as a Sr Manager of Cisco Systems. I’m a habitual start-up person with a wide range of skills (if I do say so myself) but navigating a huge company is a skill unto itself.

To ease that transition I am using my DeLong’s Wine Grape Varietal table. As you can see its prominently displayed on my pod’s wall (Cisco is very egalitarian when it comes to offices I must commend them for that). This is a must have when you work in an environment where interaction with others is necessary (often in startups you’re doing less coordination and politic’ing and more content generation). Why is it a must have? Wine is a common thread among a wide variety of people. I’ve learned that through this blog over the last couple of years. With this setup in my cube, I have a constant source of conversation starters. In the three weeks that I’ve been here I’ve had casual conversations with multiple people of varying wine levels and have concluded a few with “we should go for a glass of wine one night…”.

Connecting on a personal level through a common interest is not the easiest thing in huge companies like this so I have to send some thanks to DeLong for creating this excellent conversation starter!

Enjoy the Wine Life

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!


Wine Gadget – “Unbreakable” Wine Glass

Big time quotes around “Unbreakable” here because that is clearly marketing but Schott-Zwiesel has a wine glass that is break resistent and dishwasher safe while being as delicate and clear as your high-end Riedel glasses.  Now if you’ve never broken a wine glass I can say two things about it –

1.  The “finer” wine glasses break easily.

2.  If you drop one it doesn’t break, it explodes!  I’ve found shards of glass 15 feet away after dropping a wine glass.

The Schott-Zwiesel Tritan glasses


 are fairly reasonable in price at about $65 USD for a set of 6 when you consider comparable Reidel


glasses can run you almost twice that much.  And why pay double for more delicate glasses?  The only thing more hotly contested than cork versus screwcap is the allegation that the glass makes a huge difference in the taste…the shape, sure, but the actual glass?  C’mon.

So for a reasonable price you can get break resistent, dishwasher safe wine glasses.  Sounds like a deal to me!

[thanks to Andrew at Spittoon for catching this one]

Wine Gadget – Personal Aerator – Does it suck?

Found another wine gadget that, while I haven’t used it, I’m pretty skeptical about.  Its the WinePrism by O2 Essential Ideas out of Napa, CA.  Billed not as a replacement for casual wine drinking but a tool to enhance flavors for serious tasters, the WinePrism is (according to their website):

Through a small aerating hole, air and wine are combined in the glass stem allowing the connoisseur to evaluate wine more precisely and consistently than by the common method of drawing in air by the “reverse whistle” technique.

In English – its a straw…with a hole…

But what’s the use?

Continue reading “Wine Gadget – Personal Aerator – Does it suck?”

Handy Wine Tasting Pocket Guide

While participating in our favorite Australian Wine Forum I met Glenn Green, an independant consultant winemaker and creator of a great little wine tasting guide which he appropriate calls “The Essential Wine Tasting Guide“. While the name is a mouthful and with my marketing background I probably would’ve steered him toward something with less syllables, this little pocket guide to wine tasting truly is handy to have around.

Continue reading “Handy Wine Tasting Pocket Guide”

Wine Gadget Extraordinaire…update

Everyone’s aware of our previous article launching the Enomatic system (it was picked up in several publications and generated thousands of hits). Well, just to keep it update and fresh, the company contacted me to let me know there is an actual stateside distributor called Rinaldi Distribution, Inc. and the main Enomatic site is at here. Still the ultimate wine gadget and our favorite gadget find. With a stateside distributor I’m sure you’ll see automated wine tasting cropping up in a wine business near you soon.

…and thats a good thing…

Wine blogs are anxiously awaiting their arrival…Enjoy the Wine Life!