Archive for the 'Polls' Category

Mimosas, champagne or prosecco?

mimosaThe always erudite Eric Felten bemoans the Mimosa, “the official semi-alcoholic drink of brunch” as “an ordeal.” True enough because of OJ from a carton and cheap, off-dry bubbly. Then he spells out his recipe for success with the drink: freshly squeezed orange juice and good dry champagne.

In my limited cocktail making, I have come to learn that the fresher and better the ingredients, the better the cocktail. But I’ve also learned that there really aren’t that many great wine cocktails. While I agree in principal with Eric’s suggestion for the Mimosa makeover (though his suggestion of Veuve Clicquot is hardly the driest champagne around in these days of brut zero), I can’t bring myself to put OJ in my Bollinger (his second, and much better, champagne suggestion). If I have a fresh OJ and a glass of fine champange I’d rather enjoy them separately and never the twain shall meet. For me, it’s a nice dry cava or prosecco that is the best way to go with the fresh OJ in a Mimosa.

What do you say? Is the Mimosa where you’d put your Bollinger?

Poll now closed

Image: istockphoto

Poll: Styrofoam or cardboard for your wine shipping?

“I have too much Styrofoam.” That was the “problem” that a wine writer confessed to while introducing himself at a recent wine writers conference.

There comes a point in the wine lovers’ evolution where getting wine from the local store just won’t suffice. We want a certain bottle, sometimes from the winery or sometimes from a store that offers a better price. So we have the wine sent by UPS or FedEx.

Of the boxes I receive, about half are filled with Styrofoam and about half with cardboard inserts to protect the bottles during transportation. In honor of Earth Day, which is the “greener” material?

My collaborator Pablo Paster calls it “a philosophical choice.” That’s because Styrofoam is much lighter than cardboard thus the box emits fewer greenhouse gases during transportation (though its manufacture emits 8.6 times the equivalent amount of cardboard says Pablo). Even though it can be recycled, it rarely is; new polystyrene is so cheap to manufacture. Thus it ends up in landfills where it takes up a lot of space and needs hundreds of years to break down. Cardboard can be recycled more readily. Both can be reused but probably aren’t reused more than once or twice.

Since I’ve expressed my opinions about the dreaded Styrofoam before, I’ll put the question to you: Which packaging material do you prefer, cardboard, with higher GHG transport emissions today, or Styrofoam, which doesn’t biodegrade?

Spot the spoof: NC, Bastianich, The Office, auction spree, Kosher

michael_the_officeThe response was great to the last “spot the spoof.” So we bring it back! Which one of these items that appeared since the last edition is not true?

* A commentator on the Today show declared the wines of Napa “out” and those of North Carolina in. “This is what’s going to be hot this year.”

* Michael Scott on “The Office” had wine at a dinner party and described it as having “an oaky afterbirth.”

* An anonymous Chinese collector purchased 27 bottles of Domaine Romanee Conti at auction for record-breaking $5 million.

* Restaurateur Joe Bastianich picks the wines to serve Pope Benedict XVI at two dinners in NYC and has the moxie to pour four of his own wines.

* opines “kosher wines don’t suck anymore.”

poll now closed

Wine Madness: the Finals!

winemadness.jpgWine Madness continues to the Final Four! Thanks to your comments, we now have the finalists! Vote here and now to decide the winner! (We are dispensing with the semifinals and the final four will be ranked in their vote order here.)


UPDATE: poll closed: The wine with the most votes as of Monday April 7, 11:59 PM will be declared the winner!

See previous rounds

Poll: How do you sort your surplus wine


Food & Wine dishes up a particularly meaty issue for wine lovers this month. One feature that caught my eye is a wine cellar design guru who says he likes to divide wine cellars by region, sometimes even one room for each region (wowza).

Is that how you organize your surplus wine inventory? Have your say in the latest poll!

poll now closed

image by Eole

Big glasses make you drink more: poll

Oversized wine glasses in British pubs cause worry among pols, health officials,” blared a headline in the NY Daily News. I have to admit that when I saw that, I feared that there had been a Riedel war in a London pub, perhaps a jousting match with broken stems.

But it turns out that “big glasses” are being blamed on binge drinking! Roll the tape:

“The glasses are larger and the wines are a lot stronger. It’s a minefield for anyone trying to keep tabs on what they’ve had,” said Srabani Sen, head of Alcohol Concern, a charity.

While binge drinking is no doubt unfortunate and apparently has risen to worrying levels in Britain, are big glasses to blame? Have your say in the latest poll!

poll now closed
UPDATE: now with intel from London in the comments – Golly and StuckatLGW
Image: John Joh, with permission

What women don’t want…

French wine marketers have been rightfully pilloried for not knowing up from down in terms of marketing low- to mid-range wines. And now for something completely different: Wine for women. Roll the tape:

“We offer different wines to drink for a variety of occasions, whether it is a girls’ night out, individual tasting pleasure, a romantic dinner, after love making, or a business success.” [WineSight brochure via Decanter]

“After love making”? Zey are so French! Does a man need a separate bottle for such an occasion, a big zin?

And isn’t this deja-vu? Oh yes, Beringer rolled out “White Lie” a few years ago, which, mercifully, cannot be found now. And a magazine called Wine Adventure, marketed as “the first ever wine magazine for women,” barely lasted a year after its 2005 roll-out.

No matter. British retailer Marks & Spencer seem to think marketing to women will aid the sales of a pink port for “ladies.” Have your say about gendered wine products in the latest poll!

poll now closed

Related: “Mourvedre: the next big red?

OMG The stock market is crashing! Recession is nigh! Whither wine? Poll


“World Markets Plunge on Fears of U.S. Slowdown” was the headline from the NYT site yesterday. Lovely! Time to buy gold, everybody! (Oh wait, it’s already at new highs.)

The good thing about wine is that you always need it. As Napoleon is reputed to have said about champagne, “in victory you deserve it; in defeat you need it.”

So how will a declining economy and stock market affect your wine purchases? Have your say in the latest poll! Feel free to hit the comments if you have more to say than the choices shown here.

On a related note, how are those importers feeling about raising prices thanks to the falling dollar? Ouch. Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

UPDATE: a Reuters story on the weak economy and the fine wine market quotes several prognosticators–including Dr. Vino!

poll now closed


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