Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sue your wine store!

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Wow, love this story.

Store promotes wine, tells guy he will love it. Guy buys 6 bottles. Guy hates wine, tries to return it. Store says no returns. Guy says what was in the bottle wasn’t what you promised would be in the bottle; give me my $ back or I sue you. Store says go ahead, try suing me. Guy sues. Guy loses. OUCH!

See it here: customer-who-didnt-like-wine-loses-case

What is the moral of this story?

Don’t buy your wine based on the promise of a store/salesperson/critic.

Taste it first (when possible).

If you can’t taste it, well there are smarter ways to buy wine than trust some dude who may know more about wine than you, but that dude doesn’t know more about YOU than you. So how???…I’ll show you soon…

Coming Soon (to a location near you)

Cancer prevention; red wine & aspirin

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Just saw a report that I thought to share. I’ve read about the hazards of pain killer ibuprofen, especially when mixed with alcohol. So I was please to read this report about aspirin & red wine. Hard to say what the next study will show, but this report has me thinking about washing down an aspirin with a nice glass of red tonight…

Happy red wine & aspirin tasting!

Wine fridge – which is the best (technology)?

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Amazingly it has been almost 1 full year since my last post. That isn’t because I don’t have wine related thoughts/stories/opinions to share. I guess it is a bit like staying in shape. When its a regularly engrained part of the day it is easy to stick to. Once a person starts putting off the regular runs or gym visits (or in this case blog posts) it can be real tough to get back into the swing of things.

But today I want to write a short post about wine fridges. I currently own 4 of them. Occupational necessity I guess. The first one I bought was a simple 12 bottle unit. I don’t recommend this one for anyone other than beginners if for no other reason than you will outgrow it very quickly. Mine is sadly rotting away in storage somewhere.

The second one I bought is at my folks place in the suburbs. It is a 120 bottle compressor unit that has worked great since the day I got it…even if I did outgrow that one pretty quickly as well.

I have since gotten two new fridges and these are the ones I want to write about today. The first is a cool looking thermoelectric fridge. And the most recent one is the New Air 33 bottle compressor wine cooler.

I am writing about these two as they are the ones I have in my small NYC apartment and you may have noticed a difference to them I included when I named them. The cool looking one on the right cools the air inside through thermoelectric technology while the New Air model uses the standard refrigerator technology know as the old compressor.

I am not a technician nor do I play one on TV. But the fact is my thermoelectric one has broken down a few times and I’ve tried repairing it each time. The repair isn’t too tough for those who are adventurous, but sadly each time I repair it, it works for a few days/weeks/months and then breaks down again.

The compressor fridges on the other hand I’m sure break down as well. And the repair might not be as easy. But I’m happy to report that I have never been faced with the scenario as mine just keep ticking & working like a charm.

So Wine Tasting Guy here reporting that the New Air 33 bottle wine Cooler is a winner and if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive cooler to keep your wines (or at least about 35 of them) in the proper temperature this is a purchase that I think you will be pleased with.

As always HAPPY WINE TASTING…(& be on the lookout for my next new project to be released soon….)

Stop wasting wines

Friday, January 25th, 2013

There are many things to do to prevent “leftover” wine from going bad, but to check out what I believe to be the most practical/easy/EFFECTIVE way to do it, check out one of my favorite YouTube videos…starring….ME 😉
What to do with “leftover” wine


Viruses & phoney wine

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

OK, I have slacked of late.  Based on my blog stats it seems I slacked SO much that I have even lost some readers.  I hope you will forgive me and come back for my uber compelling wine prose.  I’m full of excuses.  It is my busy season (50% of kosher wine is sold in the 4-8 weeks leading up to Passover).  I’ve been traveling all over the place – I’m actually writing this from Logan International Airport in Boston (my flight is delayed or I would not have even had a chance to write it).  And about 20 minutes into a post this past Sunday night, my computer was taken over by a nasty virus that my fabulous IT guy has not been able to fix (yet – I hope).

But you don’t want excuses.  You want action.  The latest wine related story of interest relates to FAKE PINOT NOIR.  Huh?  What is fake Pinot Noir?  When I was working in Napa winemakers told me about “hiding” merlot in their Cabernet, but here it seems bulk wine producers were actually trying to pass off a merlot (blended it seems with Syrah) AS ACTUAL Pinot Noir.

The wine in question is E&J Gallo’s “Red Bicyclette”.

Apparently Gallo paid these 8 growers & bulk wine producers from the Southern France Languedoc region in excess of 7 million Euro for said fake wine.  On the bulk level that amounts to…well, a lot of cheap wine.  Oh, and this scam had apparently been going on for over 2 years.  So if you had this wine – you might have been PINOT-ed!

Whether it is fake expensive Bordeaux, fake Brunello or fake Georges Duboeuf wine, it seems pulling the wool over unsuspecting wine drinkers is easy enough.  Apparently testing wine to determine exactly what it is can be difficult, costly & inaccurate.

This makes me think more and more that if you tell consumers that a wine is highly rated or very expensive that they will (as has been scientifically proven) believe that it is a good wine.  I’m not saying you can give a regular wine drinker crappy wine and expect him to believe it is a first growth Bordeaux.  But I do believe that it is further proof that the line between a very good and what some call “great” wines is a very thin line indeed.

Happy who knows what the heck you are drinking wine tasting!


Bad wine – what to say (or not say)?

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

We live at a time when there is lots of good wine on the market.  Modern technology and competition have respectively both enabled and forced wineries to make wines of high quality.  Even the cheap (budget) wines out there are drinkable.  But what about those are just plain bad?  As a wine writer and aspiring wine V-logger how do I handle the issue of reviewing a bad wine?  How do the PAID wine critics face themselves after announcing to their readers that someone’s hard work is crap?

For the most part, I have tried to follow the old adage; “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  If I thought a wine was bad, I would simply say NOTHING.  Don’t write about it.  And even if I thought a wine was mediocre, I might write the positives about the wine, and skip the mediocre parts.  But does this hurt my credibility?  Can I be taken seriously if I only have nice things to say?  What of the controversial wine panning?  Dare I potentially burn bridges out there?  Will I piss people off if I say that I think their wine sucks?

An argument can be made for both sides.  But I think the reality is that I can not play both sides of the fence.  And things have gotten even murkier…I am now working within the industry for an importer/manufacturer/producer of wine.  Even if I managed to somehow remain unbiased, I think my employer would be pretty pissed if I had anything bad to say about their wines.  And they would have every right to feel the way they did.

Moving forward, as I figure out how to VLOG (uploading & editing video can’t be THAT hard, can it?), I will start regularly popping corks (twisting caps) on bottles that have been sent to me over the past few months.  Though I am sure these people aren’t gonna thank me if I have less than complimentary things to say, it will be hard to hide my expression on video.  So I guess that will keep things REAL.

And as to the wines I work with, well, I’ll try to include a disclosure of sorts as the industry is attempting to move to greater transparency & I believe I must play by the rules if I want to maintain professional credibility.

On an only somewhat related note, I would be remiss if I did not mention a big event taking place tomorrow night.  I have helped out a bit in the planning of this event.  It is the big KOSHER RESTAURANT & WINE EXPERIENCE.  This is the 4th year this annual event is taking place.  This year there will be about 20 food purveyors to go along with the 40+ wineries.  The response has been tremendous.  Looks like another sellout.  Shoot me a message and introduce yourself if you will be there.  We’ll have a drink…on me;)

Happy Wine Critic free wine tasting!


Road to recovery

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

It has been 10 days since surgery and all seems to be going well.  Pain is subsiding, I’m not in a cast & I get my stiches out in 2 days.  Is it possible I may be able to bath like a human being again soon??  I understand that if I commit to babying the wrist and remaining in my wrist gaurd that the doc may not require a new cast.  WOOHOO!!!  Two handed showers, here I come!

wrist gaurd

So wrist stuff is going well Wine Tasting Guy, but what up with the wine????

Plenty of wine stuff to discuss.  And staying close to the heart, it is all Israeli wine related.

This past Friday night I opened up a couple of Bordeaux style blends from Israel.  Both were from the 2003 vintage and both considered to be top notch wines from value wineries.  I’m excited to report that both were showing complex secondary characteristics and were drinking quite beautifully.

Though the two have nothing to do with each other (Israeli wine & mevuhal), I just heard about some new MEVUSHAL Israeli wines hitting the market.   Anyone who has followed my posts over time knows that I take issue with mevushal (flash pasteurization) wines (why would anyone want to heat up a wine?).  That said, for caterers & restaurants, places where ONLY mevushal wines are allowed, new quality Israeli offerings are welcome news.  I’ll report more as soon as I’ve had the chance to try them.

Finally I want to let you know about a wine tasting event TOMORROW night.  Some information about the event can be found here.  In a nutshell I’ll be leading a tasting of high end, small batch Israeli wine.  Hard to find wines from Saslove, Sea Horse & La Terra Promessa wineries will be tasted.  And as an incredible bonus,  Chef Eran will be pairing these Mediterranean beauties with his exquisite cuisine.  The tasting has only 5 spots left (as of this writing) so please RSVP ASAP if you’d like to join us.

Happy two-handed Israeli wine (dare I say even mevushal) tasting!


NON-wine alcoholic options for Passover

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Here is an interesting article written in the LA Times about your alcoholic options (outside of wine) for Passover.  Oh, and the author quoted some guy in his article who seems real excited about the kosher for passover tequila.  Wonder who that guy could be…


Happy Passover (tequila/vodka) tasting!


Grocery store wine in NY State

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

I spoke with an industry contact recently who told me how busy he has been lately.  I told him I was happy to hear about his being busy as I believed that was an indication that business must be good.  He proceeded to tell me that he is working with a coalition to oppose a proposal to allow the sale of wine in grocery stores.

He made me aware of some lobbying efforts taking place in Albany on February 25th against the proposal and encouraged me to speak out against the proposal.

More information can be found on their website “The Last Store on Main Street”.

I must admit that I am not sure how I feel about all of this.  I have heard arguements advocating both positions and they each make sense.

That said I am a big advocate of the little guy and believe that a part of the economic crisis we are presently facing has to do with large corporations/banks spending frivolously to expand and put the little guy out of business.  I have seen what this effect has had on commercial real estate prices in NYC and this legislation seems to perpetuate this trend.

While massive selection at the big liquor stores is nice, and low prices one can expect in supermarkets (should the proposal pass) are welcome, I do think that this will make business even more challenging for the mom and pop shops and if this forces their closure I will miss them and their personal charm a great deal.

Please get informed about this important pending proposal either via the “Last Store…” webpage or any other means.  And then contact your elected officials and make your voice heard.

Happy initiative taking and wine tasting (purchasing) the way YOU want it!


TV Time – part 2

Friday, January 9th, 2009

so TV Time part 1 was dominated by TV talk.  And I really want to get away from any non-wine related writing.  That said, I can not resist a quick follow up.  After doing some wine sales out in Brooklyn this week I stopped by some friends who moved out to hipster Brooklyn.  It is a cool area and they have a great place.  And it was really good to see them and their young daughter.

BUT, I write about the experience as my visit came with a bonus.  They had just a few days earlier purchased a new TV stand.  Which means WINE TASTING GUY got a TV stand hand-me-down!!!


And following up on the wine, I did in fact open the Spanish Garnacha last night.  It was NOTHING like the Australian Grenache.  The Spanish wine (a 2005) was awarded 91 points by Robert Parker.  So yes, it was VERY extracted.  It was a little “hot” as well (“heat” is a term used when the alcohol in a wine in high and out of balance with the rest of the wine).  It did have nice fruit, but overall it is a wine style that I have gotten away from of late.

A final note about the wine is that there were large chunks of sediment.  While this is not unusual for a wine that was likely unfined & unfiltered, to have such large chunks in a relatively young wine seemed a bit unusual.  It is possible that the bottle I opened came from the end of a bottling “run”.

Have a fabulous weekend everybody & happy different varietal wine tasting!