March 31, 2009

Wines for the Recessionita - 1/2 Price Bottles!

The proof is in the pudding! Even restaurants are catching on to the Recessionista trend and I think we should attribute it to our own financial wine wisdom (afterall, you must give credit where credit is due, right?)

The Palm Restaurant is kicking off "Wine Down Wednesdays" now through May! So what exactly does that mean for you... 1/2 price bottles!! Yummo! So if you're used to throwing back a Ben Franklin on a bottle, it'll now only cost you a Ulysses S. Grant. Seriously, their entire list of wines by the bottle are half off all day and all night every Wednesday through May.

Now that's my style for "winding down" and lucky for me I have a participating Palm location just 1 block from my office. Happy hour anyone?

Participating locations include:
  • Atlanta
  • Atlantic City
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Miami
  • Nashville
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Juan
  • Tampa
  • Tysons Corner -Washington DC

WannaBee Alert: Vibrating Corkscrew Gaining Buzz…

Everyone deserves a good screw…corkscrew that is. And with an influx of screwtops on the market, encouraging Millenial drinkers especially to get their wine kicks by “capping off,” it’s easy to see why corkscrew designers are searching for creative new innovations to prevent from being dry-humped by the rising popularity of these EZ-to-open bottlings.

In fact, one new design firm has taken matters into their own hands by combining one of the most popular wine-opening devices with the practical ease and sensuous appeal of use of, ahem, a sex toy sharing its same name.

Not your ordinary Peter Cottontail, the new JackRabbit is a mechanical device mimicking the traditional Rabbit Corkscrew by Metrokane (alas, my favorite wine instrument) and, the most infamous sex toy made popular by the ladies of Sex & The City, the vibrating Rabbit (ha, you thought I would actually comment here!)

Like the original Rabbit, the new JackRabbit is made of pastel pink gunmetal and comes complete with a cutter, extra spiral, wine pourer and stopper. However, instead of using your man-power to pop open your grape juice, all you need are three AA batteries to get the job done for you.

The JackRabbit was introduced at a recent wine tasting held in New York City where various winos (myself included) had the opportunity to test out the new technology. And whether you think it’s a raunchy idea or not, the JackRabbit is already spreading as fast as an STD on New Years. Don’t believe me? Check out what some people are saying: 

  • “I’m a man that appreciates holding power within my hands."
  • “I could easily slip the JackRabbit in, and it did all the work for me.”
  • “If drinking wine were sex, the JackRabbit would be my orgasm.”
  • “I barely had to lift a finger and in a matter of seconds, out popped a juicy white.”

My thoughts? Let’s put it in perspective… when my roommate asked me what I had told my family I wanted for Christmas, I said, “I asked for a Rabbit.” She looked at me hesitantly and commented back, “I can’t believe you asked your mom and dad for one of those! Isn’t that a little inappropriate?” Alas, the idea is definitely there from a marketability standpoint. We are a society who yearns for everything to be conveniently at our fingertips, not to mention we are driven by sex and alcohol. So why not combine all those attributes to fill a consumer need? Who knows – it could serve you in more ways than one… and we all know that both always yield a fine glass of wine in the end.


(…although I’m not going to discredit any company that ever decided to create such a device… there’s definitely and idea here, people J)

Looking for a few more chuckles this April Fools? Check out, which includes various parodies written by winos all across the land (or follow the huge button for Dreg's on the top right side of the homepage).

March 30, 2009

BUZZ Alert: Curtis Stone Book Signing

William Sonoma is on fire with their events this week! If you live in California, check out this local book signing and cooking demo from Chef Curtis Stone.

Where: Williams-Sonoma
1802 Redwood Highway
Corte Madera, CA
(415) 924-6799

When: Friday, April 10, 2009
12:00pm to 2:00pm
About Curtis: Named one of People Magazine's "Sexiest Men of 2006" (right alongside George Clooney and Brad Pitt, mmm!) Curtis began cooking at the age old 5 years old. An Aussie native, Curtis can currently be seen on Take Home Chef on TLC.

March 29, 2009

Wines for the Recessionista - Bottle #3

As if we didn't know we were already on the right track, a survey just released this week by Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. shows that consumers are enjoying wine and spirits as they take a break from depressing nightly news segments, rally cries for economic help by our President, and the ever-present layoffs happening nationwide!

The survey found that 88% of consumers consider wine and spirit beverages an affordable luxury. Of which, 50% said they are beginning to host parties at home vs. going out to save a few dollars (Are we smart of what? Refer back to Wine Recessionista Tip #2!)

So in light of this new research, we've decided to throw out the best penny-pinching wine on the market... the "2 Buck Chuck" - this wine's so popular it even has a shirt made after it! 

Charles Shaw Wine (aka "2 Buck Chuck") is produced in California and exclusively sold at Trader Joe's (and I'm pretty sure its the most often purchased wine by my friends). They have a wide variety of selections including reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Merlot, as well as white like White Zin, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. 

Now, I'm sure Robert Parker would agree that you can't compare the "2 Buck Chuck" to, oh say, a '73 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, but considering its budget-friendliness, these wines actually aren't too shabby, and most of them have pretty decent flavor. Think about it this way... when you dine out, you often say, "Oh that was/wasn't worth the $15 I spent on it," right? For $2, I think you can take one for the team and at least give it a shot... you actually might be pretty pleased with what you find.

Charles Shaw Wines are sold for $1.99/bottle, but note that depending on the market the price may be as high $4/bottle. 

March 25, 2009

Wines for the Recessionista - Bottle #2

Dare I ask the inevitable? Have you been frugal today? If so, great work! You're well on your way to becoming a "recessionista." And given our theme for the week, I figured it was time to drop a few pointers on how to best utilize your cash flow on the vino. So without further ado, I give you the... 

Top 3 Ways to Become a "Wine Recessionista":
1) Pack your lunch. Use the $10 you would have spent for an after-work sippity-sip. 

2) Pass on the after-work cocktails. You can easily drop $50-$100 on a "intoxicatingly" good evening out. Instead, pick up two inexpensive bottles of wine and ask your friends to come to your place... it's just as social!

3) Scaling down, doesn't mean having to go cold turkey. If you're someone who appreciates lavish wines, find some without the lavish pricetag. Check out WineWoot! Every week, they uncork some ridiculous deals on wine and wine products (I just got 3 GunBun Reds for $59!) Seriously, their one-time prices put the rest of internet wine distributors to shame.

So that brings us to today's "recessionista," which will make you want to walk along the beach, with the sand between your toes. Why? Because it's Barefoot! This garage-wine startup has grown into a economically attainable vino empire, offering a variety of bottles, from Zinfandel and Pinot, to Muscato and even bubbly. 

My personal pick... Barfoot Chardonnay, and it's a perfect selection, given its peachy properties, for spring time, especially when you drink it chilled! Like most Chards, this is a lighter fare option, and its golden sunset color mimics its taste. While ripe peaches are abundany, you'll also probably notice a honey flavoring atop the fruitfulness.

... and it retails for just $5.99/bottle - how can you pass that up? You could buy two - responsibly drink and still be fiscally responsible! 

WinoBee's on Facebook!

It began with a blog, and furthered with the Twitter revolution... now, its only appropriate has expanded its hive onto Facebook! As a fan of our page you'll be able to stay in tune with all the latest BUZZ - from wine industry happenings to fun food and wine events, and of course, great wine suggestions!

So, what are you waiting for? Join our swarm at: 

March 24, 2009

Wines for the Recessionista - Bottle #1

In honor of our lovely economic climate, and our President's plea for help tonight, I've decided to be a good samaritan and help my fellow WinoBees with a series I like to call "Wines for the Recessionista." 

But what's a "recessionista?" Seriously people - do you live in a hole!? This term is getting dropped all over the place given all the financial hardship we are facing. It refers to someone who is a magnet for a good deal (or at least is learning to find them). A recessionista knows how to stick to a tight budget, but still be trendy and social during these hard times. So if you're not one already, consider this your training:
  • POINT #1: The worst thing we can do in a recession is cut back on spending, which means there's no reason we should alter our drinking habits either. 
  • POINT #2: Instead of dropping copius dollars for a fancy-pancy bottle of wine, its time to get the better bang for your buck. And just because you're not dishing out the cash, doesn't mean you have to compromise on the taste! 
Get it? Got it? Good. Then, welcome to Wines for the Recessionista Week! Over the course of the next few days, we'll be highlighting a few selections that will get you nice and toasty without burning a hole in your wallet. Our motto: In the worst case, if you're gonna be broke... you might as well be drunk! So let's get started...

Recessionista Bottle #1: 
Our first selection comes from one of the most budget-friendly critter wines on the market. The infamous kangaroo on the bottle is a sheer icon representing the Casella family's dedication to producing great wine that never lacks great flavor. Their Shiraz is seriously one of my favorites- can't tell you how many bottles I downed during my days on a college budget (which is pretty parallel to that of a recessionista these days). It boasts a variety of berry aromas, with underpinnings of both spice and vanilla. You'll likely taste some cherry and strawberry, but for the most part this wine is well-balanced (not too fruity) and airs on the medium-bodied dry side. The best part... only $6.99/bottle!

Buzz: Tom Colicchio Book Signing

Calling all NYC WinoBees!! If you haven't already heard, Tom Colicchio is doing a book signing and panini sandwich tasting at the William-Sonoma store in Columbus Circle. Details are as follows:

Where: Williams-Sonoma
Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY

When: Wednesday, April 1st at 6:00pm

Come out and grab Tom's new book, 'WichCraft, meet the leading man himself, and take home new ideas for cooking and entertaining.

March 20, 2009

WinoBee BLENDS with The Second Glass!

We're excited to announce that WinoBee is now contributing to The Second Glass! Unfamiliar? Similar to our own mantra, The Second Glass is a print and online wine magazine that aims to demystify wine and help everyone from the occasional drinker to the everyday buyer, further explore the world of wine... in an unpretentious way!

And what better what to spring into... well, spring, than by checking out Stacy's first article about the best 4 white wines to help jumpstart the warm weather:!
What wines are you gearing up with? Post a comment!

March 16, 2009

Wine with No Sugar??

I must say that my weekend included a failed attempt at retracing my college days. I was with a few folks I studied abroad with back in 2005 (wow, I just dated myself) and we popped some Korbel champagne (c'mon, in college it was considered an upgrade from the $2.99 bottle of Andre most people tossed back). Let's just say I taught myself a lesson -- life is too short for bad wines!

Along the same line, I received a tip-off from the infamous Hungry Girl newsletter today about Slender Wine - its a new wine sweetened with  0-calorie Zerose®, a natural sweetener with zero calories, a zero glycemic index, zero carbs, and zero fats. They claim to be the world's only sweet wine with no sugar and no carbs.

Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture? First and foremost, wine is something that is suppose to be appreciated. And while many of us like to drink mass quantities during a single sitting, there's also the handful of us that partake in a respectable glass because its a simple indulgence. 

Second, sugar is debatably the most important part of the winemaking process. It plays a crucial role in the wine's sensory characteristics and how it interacts with other particles, like tannins. Not to mention it's a key component of the fermentation process - the yeast metabolizes sugars for energy in turn producing alcohol as its byproduct. Hello... alcohol!

Bottom line.. if you're looking to slim your waistline, here are a few tips that might get you further than a good marketing scheme:

  1. Don't drink alcohol period. Or at least drink in moderation.
  2. Go for a red wine over a white. In general red wines have very minimal sugar. 
  3. Key terms on wine labels can indicate whether your wine will be sweet or not. Look for "dry" or "semi-dry" which usually mean the wine has less sugar. 
  4. Or you can rebel and try out Slender by purchasing at Chateau Thomas Winery
... perhaps I'm just being overly skeptical? What are your thoughts? Post em' kids!

March 12, 2009

Buzz Alert: 25% off St. Supery

From now until March 27th, St. Supery is offering 25% off any of their wines. AND... if you buy 6 or more bottles they'll include the shipping! Visit St. Supery and use coupon code “Winters Chill". St. Supery is noted for their superior sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignons, but my preference goes to their meritage collection... try Virtu (if you love white wine) and Elu (if reds are more your style). 

March 10, 2009

Gundlach Bundschu Poetry Slam

Anyone know what tomorrow is? Well, if you are a wine know-it-all (or just a know-the-right-people-kind like we do) you probably have heard that is the 151st Anniversary of Gundlach Bundschu Vineyards. That's right, back in 1858 (sheesh, that seems like some time ago), Jacob Gundlach signed the deed to this well-know estate and the beginning of the Bundschu's love affair with the land and the vine began.

To celebrate the occasion, I'm helping Gundlach spread the word about their poetry-slam contest by encouraging each of my WinoBees to submit a brief explanation to the site(in 151 words or less) stating why you are passionate about wine . A handful of winners will be chosen and awarded delicious prizes (you know what the means kids, uncork some celebration!). Runners up will gain Gun Bun infamy by having their work published on the vineyard's web site and in print.

Visit the Gundlach Bundschu website on Thursday, March 12th for full disclosure on the contest and to get your poetry on. And if you experience a mild case of writers block, just think about how freely the words will flow after a few glasses of your favorite Cabernet. Always does the trick for me!

... and speaking of winning free stuff, if you haven't already entered our "Hoppy Easter" giveaway, you should! We have a Metrokane Rabbit up for grabs, and entering is easy. Check out the rules via the link above and submit, submit, submit! We have some great entries so far and we're looking for more!

The Buzz: American Pinot Noir Tasting with Jordan Mackay

I'm starting to think that Twitter Taste Live is going to take over the world (sort of in a Google/Facebook type of way)... and I LOVE IT! I love it almost as much as I love overusing the ellipse and sippin' on a fabulous Pinot Noir, which leads me to my segway...

For WinoBees needing a little sumpin-sumpin' to do this weekend, wine writer extradonaire, Jordan Mackay (who wrote “Passion for Pinot: A Journey Through America’s Pinot Noir Country”) will host an online winetasting of American Pinot Noirs this Saturday, March 14, 2009, at 8 p.m. EST.

Wine lovers are encouraged to join this interactive, educational wine tasting event via Twitter Taste Live. How's it work? A live video stream at will allow tasting attendees to follow Mackay’s educational tour through the finest Pinot Noirregions of California and Oregon. Participants can also ask questions through the Web site’s real-time Twitter feed.

For Pinot lovers in the San Fran area - you can simply drop $5 and meet Jordan in-person at The Jug Shop from 5 to 7 p.m. PST. RSVP by e-mail at

Jug Shop
1590 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 885-2922

Bottoms Up!!!

March 5, 2009

Burgundy Week: Meursault “Perrieres” 2003 Premiere Cru Maison Louis Jadot

Wines from “Perrieres” tend to mimic the stony, chalky soil of the land there and have more mineralistic properties. Being subjective, I’m sure there are many wines from this area lending more to the floral side, or even some with a more pleasurable tastes... but that wasn’t my experience with the Meursault “Perrieres” 2003 Premiere Cru from Louis Jadot. 

Now I must admit, I tend to be partial to Luis Jadot wines, particularly the moderate priced Pinot Noir (future review to come on that one), but to my dissatisfaction this particular wine just didn’t hit the spot. 

Call me a cheap date because I would opt for the inexpensive over the pricey (or at least in this case – bring me a Joseph Phelps Insignia, and I may re-evaluate), but everything about this wine seemed off. From its bacon-like smell, to its intensely woody flavor, the easiest way to describe it is…mmmm… complex. In a nutshell, if “going green” were a wine, this would be its sister. Pure earthiness hints coupled with a high acidity left my your tongue feeling a little chalky, and when it comes to wine… I pass on grass.

What to Pair: Fish with Light Sauce

Estimated Cost: $80/bottle

Where to Buy? Save your cash flow

March 4, 2009

Burgundy Week: Chablis “Blanchot” 2005 Grand Cru, Domaine Robert Vocoret

Ok, so clearly “Burgundy Week” has become more like “Burgundy-over-the-course-of-a-week-plus” - but there is no shame in that, right? I mean not only do we have fancy wines to share, but we also can’t lose sight of the important wine news happening around us, and of course the part where we need to “do our homework.” At least that’s my justification…

Nonetheless, we always come back to where we start! And that leaves me at Burgundy Wine #3, which comes from Chablis. Let’s get our math on with a little equation for this next review:

Chablis + Grand Cru = Delicious

  • Chablis, in a nutshell, is the Arc De Triomphe of the Burgundy region. Its debatably the most world-renowned region for its white wines (*cough, chardonnay, cough*). While the village is teency-meency, the grapes it produces are hardly so. In fact, they tend to be abundant with flavor, straw-like in color and often minerally.


  • Blanchot is a 29-acre grand cru vineyard (one of seven in the region) and it produces a nice Chardonnay! Time to whip out our notes from the Wine Hive – what is Grand Cru? Well, in simplest terms, Grand Cru means "great growth" in French. Its a regional classification that designates a vineyard which has a favorable reputation. Keep in mind though, that its not speaking of the wine itself, its speaking of the potential of the site. Still not a bad tagline to have on the label!


  • Domaine Robert Vocoret Chardonnay exhibits a delicate, yet fruitful bouquet, combined with a crisp, lively acidic taste that leaves your palate with a bit of a bite. You may taste hints of unripe pear, or even honey and green apple, but overall this wine is quite balanced and leaves a rather longer finish than most whites.

What to Pair? A Semi-Soft Goat Cheese

Estimated Retail: $40/bottle

March 2, 2009

Recent Buzz: Drinking Wine Lowers Risk of Barrett's Esophagus

We all know that drinking wine has been linked to different preventative health measures, keeping in mind that moderation is key. To add to the mix (and justification of why we drink), Kaiser Permanente released a study today showing that drinking wine can lower your risk of Barrett's Esophagus, a precursor to the nation's fastest growing cancer.

The study examined 953 men and women in Northern Cali (between 2002 and 2005) and found that people who drank one or more glasses of red or white wine a day had less than half the risk (56% reduced risk) of Barrett's Esophagus. There was no reduction of risk among people who drank beer or liquor - pretty substantial if you ask me!

Keep in mind my WinoBees, that the study showed a more "protective" effect when just one or two glasses were consumed per day... it doesn't increase with consumption. So whether you're tipping a bottle or tipping a glass, you're still gonna have the same effect. At least its a positive one... DRINK UP!

About Barrett's Esphogus
Barrett's Esophagus is a precursor to esophageal cancer, the nation's fastest growing cancer with an incidence rate that's jumped 500 percent in the last 30 years. Barrett's Esophagus affects 5 percent of the population and occurs when heartburn or acid reflux permanently damages the esophageal lining. People with Barrett's Esophagus have a 30- to 40-fold higher risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma (a type of esophageal cancer) because the Barrett's Esophagus cells can grow into cancer cells.

Because there are no symptoms or warning signs of Barrett's Esophagus, people discover they have Barrett's Esophagus when an endoscopy for anemia, heartburn or a bleeding ulcer reveals esophageal cells that were damaged, then changed form during the healing process. Currently nothing can be done to treat Barrett's Esophagus; it can only be monitored.