YOU KNOW YOU’RE ON PAGE ONE, WHEN….
around for the very first days of WinoStuff, but it was close.
It was at a Thanksgiving holiday feast at the WW Estate that Wino John
told me about his site and suggested that I might be interested in helping out. The Christmas break was slow that year and I used my vast
network surfing capability to find websites for vineyards around the world and
add them to our treasure trove of links. Quickly,
I realized that WJ and Wino Bob were getting the fame with their regular advice
to the wine lovelorn and I lobbied WJ for my own irregular column.
I’ve tried to lobby other good friends of mine to contribute and
succeeded in getting Wino Mike to contribute for a while….but, unless he gets
back into the writing mode, we can’t keep the crowd that he attracts happy for
too long (if you know what I mean). Being
Captains of Industry during the daytime, WJ and I have tried to solicit a writer
of female persuasion (oops, that’s what Bob does all of the time) to diversify
our pages. Wino Diana, a friend of
Sometimes a Wino Sharon and me, has promised to contribute material but she’s
too interested in that world class wine consumption title.
So, ladies, we’re looking for diversity and if anyone out there would
like to try their hand at irreverent and irregular scribing, we’re looking.
Reports magazine provided a column on wine bargains this past month (that
would be the December issue). It
was notable that they only provided bargains in the Merlot and Chardonnay
varietals (confirms other evidence of the conspiracy plot to keep Cabernet
prices high). The best buy among
Chardonnays was Yellow Tail from Australia.
At $7 a bottle, it was rated #3 behind Chateau Souverain (from Sonoma
County) and St. Supery (Napa) which were $14 and $16 per bottle respectively.
The best buys among Merlots were Concha y Toro (from Chile) at $9 per
bottle, Sterling Vineyards (Napa and $23/bottle), Yellow Tail (Australia and $7
per bottle), and Bogle Vineyards at $10 per bottle.
Charles Shaw Merlot made the rankings and given its price at Trader
Joe’s stores ($2, hence the nickname, Two Buck Chuck), may be the best buy of
all. The same article rated three
wine chillers (great, I provided a review of these for 'Stuff almost three years
ago) and confirmed what I thought: Sub-Zero
at $2100 is the best, but the Haier (made in China) at $285 isn’t bad and
beats the ULine at $900.
This is the
time of the year where we start receiving boucoup merchandise catalogs in the
mail. And, if you ever happen to
order from one of them, you might receive 10 from the same merchandiser.
Anyway, I’ll report next time on my top 10 gift ideas for winos.
Meanwhile, I’m looking for the catalog where I spied my perfect
inexpensive gift. For months,
I’ve eyed the Big Bold Red Glass by Spiegelau.
This glass will hold a full bottle of wine (that way, WB can say that he
only had two glasses). It retails for $99.95 at most wine joints, but I saw a non-Spiegelau
glass for $19.95. I’d rather buy
the non-crystal one for my wino buddies (sorry, WJ, but you’re getting the
non-crystal if I can find it). Winos,
email me if you can find the $19.95 version.
I think the wife threw out my wine catalogs while in a cleaning frenzy.
I received a
flyer from one of my favorite retailers in Maryland, WinoStan of Midway Discount
Liquors in Joppa, MD (www.midwayliquors.com).
WinoStan used the wino term probably before we did.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think he used the term wino because most of his friends didn’t think
anyone other than winos drank wine (Stan comes from the old school).
Anyway, Stan’s flyers usually portray his Top 12 as a sampler case.
I thought his most recent sampler was probably an accurate portrayal of
what’s happening in the affordable wine market these days.
Park Shiraz 2002 ($7.99/bottle) – Australia
Garnet Carneros Pinot Noir 2002 ($17.99/bottle) – California
Macul Dona Isidora Riesling 2002 ($7.99/bottle) – Chile
Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc 2002 ($8.99/bottle) – France
M Mumm Napa Non Vintage ($16.99/bottle) – California
Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($12.99/bottle) – California
& Tate Gnangara Unwooded Chardonnay 2003 ($9.99/bottle) – Austral.
Rioja Bodegas Biurko Gorri 2002 ($9.99/bottle) – Spain
Gruner Veltliner 2002 liter ($10.99/bottle) – Austria
Pinot Grigio 2002 ($13.99/bottle) – Italy
Solyss Negroamaro 2002 ($12.99/bottle) – Italy
Rouge Cote de Gascogne 2002 ($8.99/bottle) – France
I was surprised
to see three of the 12 from California, but they were among the most expensive.
No single digit wine prices from there. Of the remaining wines, two
selections were from Australia, two from France, two from Italy, one from Spain,
one from Chile, and one from Austria. The
market is expanding and your ability to track it all is diminishing as the
market expands. That’s why you
need a retailer you can trust, or a savvy advisor such as Wino Bob. Either way, if you buy a wine from Stan and you don’t like
it, he’ll take it back. If you
don’t buy these from Stan, don’t ask him to take them back. Meanwhile, check out his recommendations and prices and drive
to Joppa. It’s just across the
border from the states of Pennsylvania and Delaware.
November 16, 2003