Starbucks Ads Wine To Menu at 15th Ave


Forego that afternoon cup of Joe for a more relaxing glass of wine at Starbucks 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea. The Uber Caffeine dealer opened it’s first location under the new name and will serve from a rotating wine list priced from $5- $7 a glass and beer offerings from $4-$5 at 3 test stores in Seattle.

‘Starbucks decided to build a new type of coffeehouse that would serve customers throughout the day, and in the true spirit of a traditional coffeehouse this store would serve beer and wine’

This coffeehouse design is reminiscent of a European mercantile and draws inspiration from the original Starbucks location opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market 38 years ago. It’s eclectic and raw, featuring locally sourced and reused materials that are one-of-a-kind.

They decided to offer the following wines to start:

Gruet Blanc de Noirs, New Mexico
2007 Wallee Brook Pinot Gris, Oregon
2007 Drouhin Macon-Villages, France
2007 Delas Cote du Ventoux, France
2006 DeLoach Cabernet Sauvignon, California

and the following beer:

Stella Artois
Red Hook Brewery

Slim Chance

Widmer Brothers

Broken Halo IPA

Alaskan Amber

The overall idea seems good, building these stores on is what people original wanted in a coffeehouse. But can this corporate powerhouse break into the hearts of those who choose local?

The Seattlest [] wrote some first impressions of the store.

15th Ave Fact Page [] [Official Website]

Vinut – Wine Cellar Management 2.0

vinut_screenshotLooking for a way to manage your wine cellar online? You might want to check out the just launched, a slick new web application that is easy to use and accessible via your browser from your desktop or smart phone. The site, available in English and German, is the brain child of Joseph Keitgen, a web developer and passionate Shiraz fan from the Ahr Valley in Germany.

Although some of the edges need a little bit of polishing, the function and simplicity of the site make it very user friendly. Vinut also employs some great features like a printable formatted PDF of your cellar, printable labels, CSV exports, and a search engine that matches your wines with all the data on the winery. Another cool feature is the ability to send a text message to the service when you drink a wine to remove it from your drinking cellar, thanks to a unique label and code that you can place on all of your bottles. Not bad.

For more information, visit

Khaya Cookies – Delicious Treats From South Africa

khaya_cookie_grapeseed_shortbreadSouth Africa has shot onto the scene as a wine making region of note, and now a company aims to expand on that success by producing cookie’s that include ingredients like grapeseeds and Rooibos that, they claim, can be paired with wine. The Khaya Cookie Company was founded by Alicia Polak, an investment banker turned social entrepreneur, who saw a need to help unemployed men and women find jobs, and this company became the vehicle to facilitate that.

Right now the company is running a promotion until July 15th,2009. By buying a pack of cookies you can enter to win your choice of one of three trips to South Africa and support local job creation. Details can be found here.

I was sent a press sample of the Grapeseed shortbread cookies and the following are my thoughts.

Khaya Cookie Company – Grapeseed Shortbread with Currents
Price: $5.75
These cookie’s are dangerous! They are buttery, crunchy, and light bite-sized morsels that are too easy to eat. I found them to be a great pairing with champagne or you might try a buttery chardonay.
The box touts the health benefits of grapeseed powder which is rich in antioxidants, and the package contains no preservatives or additives and zero trans-fats. A product of South Africa.

Available at fine retailers like Peet’s Coffee and Tea or Online at

A Glass A Day Keeps Alzheimers At Bay

wine_glass_flowersAs with all studies of wine and your health moderate consumption is key, this time to reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina found that the participants that had 1 to 2 glasses of wine per day of the group of over 3,000 seniors over 75, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by 37 percent.

Characterized by forgetfulness, agitation and dementia, Alzheimer’s is caused by a massive loss of cells in several regions of the brain.

Not surprisingly, for those polled that already suffered from some form of memory loss, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was doubled if they consumed more than 2 glasses of wine per day.

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