Bidding is Now Open!

All Materials Courtesy of Morrell & Company Fine Wine Auction

All Materials Courtesy of Morrell & Company Fine Wine Auction

    Have you ever wanted to bid on a great bottle of wine offered at a wine auction but could not stand the thought of sitting in a room filled with wine snobs while holding a little paddle with a number on it.  If your answer is yes then you are in luck because Morrell & Company Fine Wine Auction is conducting an internet only auction on Wednesday February 27th at 10:30 a.m.(EST) on their website www.morrellwineauctions.com.   Bids may only be placed by absentee bid and live bid.  Absentee bids may be placed now and the live bidding will be available online at the commencement of the auction.  To participate go to the website and register, peruse the catalog of offerings then place a bid if you find something you like.  If you intend to bid live, Morrell recommends using their Live Bidding Simulator to check your computers compatibility to prevent any issues when live bidding starts.  Need more information? Call 212-307-4200 

Mad Dog 20-20

MD 20-20  Photo courtesy MD 20-20

MD 20-20 Photo courtesy MD 20-20

     When you are out with friends and want to make them laugh, you might want to ask “Should we get a Pinot, Cabernet or maybe a nice bottle of Thunderbird or Wild Irish Rose?”  This will surly elicit the polite knowing snickers of someone who has sipped from a hi-proof wine bottle in their youth.  These wines have been around a long time and they will not be leaving the shelves anytime soon, much to the dismay of the fine wine crowd.  The names are iconic and well-known to the entire vertical scale of American culture.  The names include MD 20-20 and its many classic fluorescent manifestations starting with Banana Red, Electric Melon, Orange Jubilee, Peaches & Cream, Strawberry-Kiwi and  Red, also equally notable are Richards Wild Irish Rose and Night Train Express but the granddaddy of them all is Thunderbird.  I was very disappointed recently to learn that Boones Farm Strawberry Hill and the multitude of flavor choices it spawned was in fact a malt beverage!(Is nothing sacred these days).  We laugh about these products but they are still here because they provide a steady and reliable revenue stream to their producers unlike the Fine Wine business that is at the mercy of harvest quality, the skill of the wine makers and the opinions of the critics.  With that in mind may I suggest that it may be time to roll down the top of your paper bag, crack open the screw top and ENJOY!!! 

DaVinci Chianti D.O.C.G.

DaVinci Chianti  Photo Courtesy  DaVinci Wines

DaVinci Chianti Photo Courtesy DaVinci Wines

     I like to try new wines but I also like wines that have a proven track record of high quality and consistency.  DaVinci Chiantis are all in this category because they always provide dependable results at a fair price.  DaVinci Chianti D.O.C.G. is the lowest priced offering from the DaVinci family of wines selling at the P.L.C.B. store for $10.99 (product code 9380) which is a $4 savings from the retail price.  This Chianti is made from 90% Sangiovese grapes and 10% Merlot grapes with produce a medium weight wine with a deep crimson color.  The grapes are crushed and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and left to ferment to a dry wine for eight days, then 15% of the batch is aged for six months in new and used American oak barrels to add complexity.  When recombined the resulting wine exhibits jammy flavors of ripe plums, cherries and red fruit along with round tannins that linger in a soft peppery and mineral finish.  The traditional pairing of pasta and meat dishes work well here and remember to serve this wine at slightly below room temperature to enjoy its complete taste palate.

Gifts for the Wine Lover

 

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      Buying a wine related gift for a lover of wine can be a daunting task because I have found that they have a very well-defined idea of what they like and dislike.  Wine drinking has a limited need for accessories beyond the basics of a bottle of wine, a corkscrew and the proper glass for the wine in the bottle.  Buying them an unfamiliar bottle is a gamble, they may love it or an equally possible outcome would be that they hate it. 

      A red wine drinker can’t deny that aeration helps loosen a tight wine and a Vinturi Areator is the quick and easy way to open a red up ultimately bringing out its hidden character.  Cheese & Wine  A Guide to Selecting, Pairing and Enjoying, by Janet Fletcher and published by Chronicle Books is a classy book with excellent photography and descriptive text.  This book is a guide to all the well-known cheeses and their origins, production and wine pairings as well as many more obscure examples.  Lastly, Kevin Zarley’s Complete Wine Course 2012 Edition is the latest update of a book that is the standard by which all others are judged.  This is a great gift for the novice as well as the enthusiast because there is always something exciting to learn. 

     All of these gift suggestions meet my criteria of being easy to wrap, fitting nicely under the tree and are readily available online.  Good Luck with the rest of your Christmas shopping list. 

To Age or Not to Age

     When I was growing up I can remember old Hollywood movies of  G.I’s in WWII finding wine cellars in french chateaus that were filled with cobwebs and dusty old wine bottles. It was from those images that most of us got the idea that any wine just got better with age. That idea just isn’t true. The truth is that wines are like people, they come into the world young and underdeveloped. The next phase is the prime years, that is when they have achieved the most character and depth of flavor. Finally they reach a stage that is past their prime and go down hill from there. Most wines are made to be consumed within 2 to 3 years from their production. The time frame from harvest to your glass has so many variables that it is mind-boggling. Every wine maker has a vision for each wine that they will make and this plan is fluid so that adjustments can be made as needed. I would say that any wine you buy today is ready to drink and enjoy because it wouldn’t have been released if it wasn’t. You can find vintage charts online that will tell you if a wine is ready to drink and the time horizon for its prime years. Now take that bottle  your Great Uncle Joe brought back from the war and clean it up and use it as a decoration.