Archive for the 'wine picks' Category

Wine under $20: Clos de la Roilette 2014


Who doesn’t love a good wine under $20? I have a doozy here for you this Friday: Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie, 2014 (find this wine).

I’ve been a fan of the producer for a while. We recently uncorked a 2009 “cuvée tardive,” a barrel-aged selection from their old vines sprinkled in the manganese and clay soils of Fleurie. It was drinking superbly. A few weeks later, with that 09 still on my mind, I stumbled on the current release (2014) of the “regular” cuvée, which is aged in large foudres after a semi-carbonic maceration. We popped it and it was a joyous addition to the last weekend of summer (yes, a couple of weekends ago). With ebullient dark fruits and enlivening acidity, the wine gives the highest distinction to “gulpable” Beaujolais. A steal at $17.99.

Amazon tests one-hour wine (booze) delivery


Amazon will bring booze to your door in an hour.

It is pretty amazing, even for the logistics champion. I mean bringing anything to your door that fast is pretty astonishing (why ever leave?) but wine/beer/liquor? Some people might become hermits.

The service is currently available only in the Seattle market. Delivery in an hour carries a $7.99 surcharge; delivery within two hours is free. There’s a limited number of products available but does include things as diverse as TVs and some groceries.

The folks at Geek Wire tried it out. They paid for the hour delivery and placed their order for a bottle of Absolut vodka, some orange juice, a six-pack of beer, and some chips. How did it go?

“Thirty-four minutes later, we were pouring screwdrivers in the break room.”

Impressive! Now just throw in some trousseau and you get the wine geeks clicking on the app. And bring the drones! The service delivers from 8 AM – midnight.

Amazon Prime Now is available (sans alcohol) in New York City, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and various other markets.

“Amazon expands Prime Now, offers U.S. alcohol for first time” [Reuters]

Pop: Champagne delivery in 10 minutes

Have you ever urgently needed a bottle of Champagne? How about one delivered to you in 10 minutes?

Well, for all your romantic, corporate celebration, and dinner party needs, if you live in London, you are in luck. And, in a surprise, there are no drones involved! Gett, a ride hailing app service, is debuting the Champagne delivery within a limited part of London and only one brand of bubbles–Veuve Clicquot yellow label. The price is £50 ($75), apparently not that much of a markup over retail but still overpriced for mediocre champagne, and it does include two flutes. Interestingly, Gett will be using cabbies-in-training (who are studying for the notoriously difficult exam that black cab drivers must pass in London) to perform the deliveries on scooters.

The only crucial question: will it be chilled but not shaken?

Could this come to the US? It’s possible but it would vary by location since different municipalities have different rules and regs governing the sale of alcohol. But where there’s a will, there’s possibly a way!

HT Business Insider
Photo: Gett



Jill Bernheimer, the owner of Domaine LA in, well LA (6801 Melrose Ave) posted this vinous tribute to SCOTUS today on Instagram. Brilliant!

Q&A: Jean-Marc Roulot

roulot_meursaultI met up with Jean-Marc Roulot recently. Not only does he make the excellent wines at Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault but he has pursued a parallel acting career, with 52 credits to his name including Haute Cuisine (fire it up on Netflix during this blizzard).

In case you missed it, you can check out the Q&A I did with him over on

Next NYU wine class starts Feb 4

wine_barrelsMake good on your new year’s resolution to learn more about wine and sign up for my next wine class at NYU. It’s open to all adult learners and, fear not, there are no grades so you don’t have to worry that your parents will be disappointed if they were to see a bad grade in a wine class on your transcript.

The course meets six consecutive Wednesday evenings, starting on February 4. We will explore some basics, including how to taste as well as understanding France and the US. We will also explore hot-button issues and topics, such as natural wine, wine auction markets, the role of critics, and how to navigate a wine list with confidence and style. Each class will have a tasting of at least six wines.

So what are you waiting for–sign up now! Hope to see you there.

Wine picks from my NYU class

In my six-week NYU class ended recently. In the class, we taste six wines (blind) around a certain theme every week and I poll people on their visceral reaction to each wine before we discuss it. The wines that have weak polling numbers have to be put out to pasture or run for election in marginal shops where the mere act of getting a placement will be given polite golf claps. But the wines that poll well–generally 90+%–have the power to sweep, scoring huge wins at cash registers at wine shops across the land. I try to post the winners on my instagram feed after each class.

In the photo above, we had the highest percentage of unanimously liked wines in any class of the semester. Our theme that evening was the wines of America. We kicked off with the Roederer Estate Brut from Anderson Valley that was greeted with a roomful of thumbs up for bubbles and balance (and, perhaps, because it was the first wine after work). [Find Roederer Estate at retail] The next unanimously liked wine was the Copain, “Tous Ensemble,” Syrah 2011 for its elegant flavors and complexity. [Find Copain Syrah at retail] Finally, the Ridge, “Three Valleys,” 2011 got thunderous applause, perhaps because it was poured last but more accurately because it yet has good intensity and mouthfeel without the high octane rating that accompanies most California Zinfadel (the three Valleys is actually a Zinfandel-based blend, and the other grape varieties may also help the freshness of the wine). Oh, and they loved the price, rolling in in the low $20s. [Find Three Valleys at retail]

Wine around $20: Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble

The signature characteristic for syrah from the Northern Rhone is an alluring savory character with a note of black olives. This Copain Syrah, “Tous Ensemble,” 2011, comes from three vineyards in Mendocino County and sees nine months in neutral oak. It’s in the Northern Rhone vein, favoring restraint instead of anything over the top–no “gobs” of anything here. It’s not that California syrah has to ape France; it’s just that Wells Guthrie of Copain favors that style, as do I.

I poured this wine at an event recently and it was very well received; I bought it again for $24 and it was a superb transition to fall with richer foods and cooler weather. And at $21.60 on the case, it is one heckuva a good wine for the price.

Find this wine at retail


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