LED Lighted Wine Glasses

LED Wine Glass     Have you ever had to serve wine at a party or at a casual gathering and couldn’t use glass stemware?  If you said yes, then this product maybe the answer to your problem.  This isn’t your ordinary plastic wine glass by any stretch of the imagination.  This lighted wine glass has 3 LED’s that combine to make 7 different colors plus a continuous sequence mode that displays every color.  But wait there’s more, the bowl and base are removable for cleaning and the best feature of all is that “Batteries are included”.  I have found that people are amused by changing the stem color with the press of a button located under the base and the different color choices replace the need for wine charms to identify a guest’s personal glass.  These glasses are relatively inexpensive allowing guests to take them home with them thus eliminating the need to wash glasses at the end of the event.  They can be found online at several suppliers in small quantities or in bulk.  

A to Z Rose

Photo Courtesy: A to Z WineWorks

Photo Courtesy: A to Z WineWorks

     With summer fast approaching I have decided to revisit a recommendation I made last year for my favorite summertime wine Rosé.  This wine is a perfect fit for an idyllic afternoon spent sitting on a blanket spread out on a lush green lawn under a shade tree with a picnic basket full of artisan cheeses, fresh fruit and a loaf of hard-crusted bread.  I like this Rosé because it is full of flavor and made to please with a slightly complex mid-palate that remains bright and juicy while filled with a virtual produce stand of red fruit flavors.  A to Z Rosé first catches your eye with its beautiful magenta color then tickles your nose with the aromas of strawberries, red currants, raspberries, peach and watermelon while finally winding it all up with a crisp clean finish.  There is no wine as closely associated with summer as Rosé, so when you pull out the shorts and sandals add in a bottle of Oregon-made A to Z Wineworks Rosé, you won’t be sorry you did! 

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!!! 

Something Different

Pinot Grigio

2011 Volere Pinot Grigio

2011 Volere Rose

2011 Volere Rose

     I have to tip my hat to Volére for the imaginative packaging of a box wine trio that was perfectly timed for the holiday season.  The wine business is extremely competitive and it is very hard to grab a consumers attention but this innovative idea does just that.  Volére has packaged three selections in a box that looks like a designer purse with details which include a color coordinated handle, hang tag and a zipper printed on the top of the purse.  The box contains 1.5 liter of either a 2011 Pinot Grigio, Rosé or Red Blend and is list priced at $14.99.  My wife purchased a few as hostess gifts that she will give out this holiday season.  I forgot to mention that the spout pulls out of the end of the box/purse, so it can serve on the go or from the shelf of your refrigerator.

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.