WBW#43 Announced:….and breeeeeeath….

Wow, when I thought about this theme for WBW (which I signed up for about 18 months ago, btw) I had no idea how badly I was going to need this or how cathartic the topic would be for me.

I believe in balance in life. Truly. I think you must or you won’t survive. That doesn’t me you’ll never get ahead because you take too many breaks, but there must always be balance. I can work like a maniac for days at a time, but not without something to ground me, my kids, my wife, and of course wine!

So that’s where I derived this theme idea. Wine is part of my life. Even when I ran into health problems with my cholesterol some years back, the doctor said I’ll need medication and probably cut out wine…wrong on both points my drug-company influenced friend. See, wine is part of the Yang to my everyday Yin. I love it and its such a part of my life that I believe that when I have that glass, at the end of the day or sometimes at the end of an intense week, my mind and body just release and relax. I never get hammered on wine and no other spirit signals my body to transition to “relax” so its not the alcohol as some may argue. It is the act of drinking it and the memories and good times the wine brings to mind that just lets me drift away.

I think there are enough people out there who know what I’m talking about which is why I chose this theme. Comfort Wines – choose a wine, any wine, that you love to unwind to and tell us about not only the wine but what makes the experience special and relaxing for you!

For me, I’ve just finished a home improvement project (literally getting sign-off from the city in the next week), launched the OpenWine Consortium social network, got my car repaired after an accident, and my second daughter is due March 4th (with WBW#43 due March 5th!). So I’m pretty sure I’ll have a good experience that I can try to convey for that Wednesday.

Remember, I believe in enjoying the Wine Life so if wine is part of a relaxation routine for you lets hear how you unwind – whether is in front of the TV or on the roof of a villa in Spain in front of a grill. Lets paint some mental pictures of tranquility for everyone to read and enjoy. Maybe some of us will have a couple “oh man, I totally have to try that” moments!


Barreto Cellars “Vinho Tinto” is a winner!


Got a recent WineQ shipment but I’ve been a little delinquent in parlaying my latest finds (and posting them to my account). In case you don’t know, WineQ is a site that allows you to create your own wine club in Netflix style. More and more social aspects are being added that get me really excited, but more on that later. For the sake of full disclosure, I’ve worked with them on their business plan and funding plan as a consultant but beyond that, I’ve been creating my own club for over a year now and absolutely LOVE to see the box with that little green sticker waiting for me to open it.

Anyway, the latest tasting note is Barreto Cellars’ “Vinho Tinto”. According to the site:

Barreto Cellars is a Central Coast Winery dedicated to producing premium-quality wines featuring grape varietals from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). Having relatives who migrated to America from these regions, we have a strong connection and desire to develop wines utilizing these varietals, a number of which are grown in small amounts in select vineyards throughout California.

Vinho Tinto is a winner. Big and bold from the deep purple color straight through to the nutty/pepper finish, this wine is one you’ll enjoy if you are a CA style wine drinker. Cedar and cherry on the nose with a FULL bodied cherry and almond taste (my wife argues with me on those tastes but thats the great thing about a complex wine!). The crowning achievement of this wine (IMHO) is that all this CA goodness was accomplished with Iberian varietals! Bravo!

This retails on WineQ for $17.99 which is a complete steal for this wine.

Enjoy the Wine Life!

vReview #2 – Winespies.com

Second edition of Wine website video reviews – what I’ll call vReviews for short – comes with my first impressions of Wine Spies. Wine Spies contacted me to see if I would review their site. Here is a First Impression review – a review no longer than 5 minutes to give my raw, unadulterated reaction to the site.

I think, as a marketing professional by trade, that the first encounter with a site is hyper-critical. If you don’t convey your value within the first 5 minutes of a visitor (in this case, me) then it would be a little much to expect that visitor to come back, let alone spend money on the site.

Have a look at my first impression review of theWineSpies.com, vReview #2.

With this review, I’m also going to start a rating system. Rate 1 to 5 stars. Check out the video to understand why I give WineSpies.com 3–Stars. For reference, that means I may come back and make a purchase but I’m not over-the-top compelled to try it out.

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!

Snooth.com to Wine-searcher.com: “The end cometh…”

I was recently invited to the private Beta of a new wine search site called Snooth by Philip James, the site’s CEO.  Snooth is a New York-based site that, very broadly, is a search engine for wines that combines searching wines and retail DBs, compiling of wine reviews/ratings into a composite “Snoothrank” rating, and social networking (friends, etc…).  You can find more of the Ps and Qs from their press release a couple months back.

The interface is slick and with funding on the order of a few hundred thou I wouldn’t expect anything less (because I’ve seen similar done with far less).  Lots of Ajax stuff to make the surfing smooth and overall a good

user experience.  I did my surfing in a place with Tier-1 connectivity to the Internet (i.e. multiple gigabits/sec) so my surfing experience my be skewed by the fact that speed is more processor constrained than connection constrained.

Continue reading “Snooth.com to Wine-searcher.com: “The end cometh…””

1000 Best Wine Secrets…maybe

I recently received a copy of the book “1000 Best wine secrets“, a book that proclaims to contain all the information novice and experienced wine drinkers need to feel at home in any restaurant, home or vineyard.

Well, I can say that its a pretty quick read, structured literally as a list of quick blurbs about wine. I was able to consume most of it on a flight from San Jose to D.C. Its structured so that you can read sections out of order, skipping to which ever section sounds interesting.

I actually found the tips about wine, tasting, storage, etc… pretty useful, to the point, and full of very relevant information. The “Old World” wine sections (about French, Italian, etc…) were informative but re-confirmed exactly why I can’t get into those wines. Even in a quick, easily absorbed book like this, there’s no short cut to learning about Old World wines. You flat out have to read and remember a bunch of random French regions and their associated wines. Now this book did give me a picture of how that could be interesting by outlining a little bit of what to expect from each region, but there’s no way I’ll remember it without some serious study (and wine is a love and a hobby – I commend this book for trying to create a basic outline but, through no fault of its own, it falls short).

Overall, this is a good reference book that probably could’ve been broken up into multiple smaller reference books and made more money. At $12.95 USD retail, its probably worth having around to read and reference.

Enjoy the Wine Life!

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