Paris Now Offers Carbonated And Chilled Water Fountains

Will the “Fizzy Fountain” take off in America? Probably not until food coloring and high fructose corn syrup are added. Nevertheless, this is a great idea that gets people to use refillable water bottles as opposed to wasting money and resources on the plastic alternative. This will cut down on the 4.5 million barrels of oil it takes each year to make the plastic water bottles purchased in Paris alone.

Bing Crosby’s Wine Cellar Preserves 1960 World Series Film

Image copyright Bing Crosby Enterprises
Bing Crosby at a game

Ahh the wine cellar, perfect for storing vintage films lost to time, or so the Bill Crosby estate executors found out when game 7 of the 1960 world series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees was discovered perfectly preserved inside the San Francisco residence.

After Crosby viewed the 2-hour-36-minute game, probably in a screening room in the house, the films took their place in the vault, said Robert Bader, vice president for marketing and production for Bing Crosby Enterprises.

They remained there undisturbed until December, when Bader was culling videotapes of Crosby’s TV specials for a DVD release — part of the estate’s goal of resurrecting his body of work.

He spotted two reels lying horizontally in gray canisters labeled “1960 World Series.” They were stacked close to the ceiling with home movies and sports instructional films. An hour or so later, he found three others on other shelves. Intrigued, he screened the 16-millimeter film on a projector. It was Game 7, called by the Yankees’ Mel Allen and the Pirates’ Bob Prince — the complete NBC broadcast. The film had not degraded and has been transferred to DVD.

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Wente’s Day Of Discovery A Success

Day of Discovery Poster

Wente launched their first ‘Day of Discovery‘ on September 4, 2010 with great success! Their motto for the day was “Good wine, good music, good food, good times!” and that is exactly what they delivered. A variety of bands performed all day long from three separate stages. Food and drink were available for purchase and the tasting rooms were open to patrons.

Tickets were $29 in advance and $35 at the door, which may seem pricey if you are viewing this just as a winery event, especially taking into consideration that food and drink were not allowed to be brought in. However, if you view it from the standpoint of attending an all day concert, and especially to Wente’s regular Summer concert series, ticket prices were more than reasonable.

Over all, the event was very enjoyable. The food was prepared nicely and the purchase area seemed well organized. There were plenty of great choices including Burgers, Sandwiches, and Salads, snacks for the kids like popcorn, and a wide array of drinks including Wente’s assorted wines that are always palate pleasing. Tasting room fees were also reasonable ($5 versus places like Napa where you’re likely to pay upwards of $20) and the bands chosen to play were well rounded. Being that this was the wineries first event of it’s kind, with each successive year, I’m sure improvements will be made. For what it’s worth, these are my thoughts on how they can improve:

Wente takes great strides in all aspects of their operations to practice sustainable agriculture. Their website outlines an extensive and impressive list of areas in which they are “practicing what they preach”( A few tweaks, however, to their ‘Day of Discovery’ would enhance their sustainability, such as using biodegradable cups and utensils. Also, water was provided in the tasting rooms and eventually at the end of the food line, but my guess is that many were not aware of it. Why not encourage patrons to bring an empty, refillable water bottle, and provide refilling stations throughout the grounds, which would greatly reduce the amount of bottles that need to be recycled, as well as those that end up in the garbage?

A bit more information could have been provided on the musical acts themselves at the event. Genre, artist bio’s, and the other details would give those that didn’t have the time to visit all the artists websites the chance to plan who they wanted to see a little better, since many acts perform at the same time throughout the day.

This turned into a very nice afternoon of enjoyable wine, excellent live music from some rising talent, tasty food, and great association. I guess they got their slogan right.

Photo Credits: Charles Communications and Kimberly Charles

Disclosure: I attended this event on a press pass

Ratings: Wily Jack’s Latest Releases

Wily Jack offers 3 Wines

Need a good wine to pair with dinner? Wiley Jack aims to fill those boots. The brand that launched less than a year ago by wine behemoth Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines offers three simple wines for only $8 each. An easy to make recipe is provided for each wine, and additiional recipes can be found on the Wily Jack website. The label is great and was designed by Michael Schwab.

Disclosure: These wines were sent to me as a press sample. Please find my tasting notes below.

2007 Wily Jack Cabernet Sauvignon

13.5% ABV
Notes: Raspberry and blackberry notes with firm tannins and a structured mouth-feel. Tons of fruit on the finish that lingers on your tongue.
Score: 88pts (B+)

Recipe: Grilled Steak with Porcini Red Wine Butter

Serves 4

  • 4 –  8 ounce sirloin or rib eye steaks
  • 2 tbsp EVOO (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil as my buddy Rachel Ray would say)

Porcini Red Wine Butter

  • 1 ounce dried Porcini mushrooms (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot (1 large shallot)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Preparation Instructions

Place dried porcinis in a small strainer and briefly rinse under cold water. Transfer to a non-reactive pan with wine and shallots. Cook on low heat until wine is reduced to an almost syrup-like consistency. After mixture cools, place with butter, garlic and parsley in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Cooking the Steaks

Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Lightly coat meat with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill to your desired doneness, about 4 -5 minutes per side for medium rare. Serve with a spoonful of porcini-red wine butter sauce on top Pair with mashed or baked potatoes or oven baked French fries.

2007 Wily Jack Zinfandel

13.5% ABV
Notes: Somewhat hidden aroma with cherry and mineral notes on the palate. Medium to light bodied with a nice simple finish. A little tart but overall a nice effort.
Score: 84pts (B)

Recipe: Winemaker Jason Becker’s Rosemary Scented Tri-Tip

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons steak sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 5 to 10 cloves minced fresh garlic (to taste)
  • 1 beef tri-tip roast, about 4 pounds
  • salt and pepper

Preparation Instructions

Combine and whisk all marinade ingredients into a small bowl.
Trim fat off tri-tip roast; spread marinade evenly on all sides of roast.  Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours.
Lightly season roast with salt and pepper, and grill on barbecue pit (preferably charcoal) over medium heat until your desired doneness, about 35 minutes for a tender and juicy medium.  Remove and let sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing.

2008 Wily Jack California Chardonnay

13.5% ABV
Notes: A very crisp and buttery chardonnay with green apple notes on your tongue. A smooth finish with a clean mouth feel.
Score: 86pts (B)

Recipe: Sautéed Salmon with Lemon-Ginger Wine Sauce

Serves 4

Lemon-Ginger Wine Sauce

  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut in large cubes
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sautéed Salmon

  • 4 8-ounce salmon filets, boneless and skinless
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation Instructions

Sauce: In a non-reactive saucepan on medium heat, reduce the wine with the shallots, bay leaf and ginger until about ¼ cup of liquid remains. Reduce heat to low. Using a whisk, briskly stir in the butter one cube at a time and then strain through a fine mesh strainer into another small saucepan or sauce boat. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep in a warm area.

Salmon: Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper. Pour olive oil into a large sauté pan on high heat and lay the seasoned salmon filets skinned side up. Cook the salmon for 4 minutes on each side.

Ladle sauce over and around the salmon. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables.


And the Winner is….


Mike just won this book!

Congrats and enjoy the book!

Now, since I’m sure there are some who didn’t get their name in, I’ve decided to give away a book a week for the next 7 weeks. Every week you’ll have a chance to win if you leave a comment below on any post from that week. Same rules apply, one entry per person per week, live in the U.S. of A and like to read about wine (or simply fill decorative book shelves). The winner will be announced next week after Monday and have their choice from the following books:

Wine Spectator’s Ultimate Guide to Buying Wine

The Science of Wine

The Best of the Wine Country

The Emporer of Wine

Noble Rot

The Concise Wine Guide

A Vintners Guide to Red Wine

The Contest

This weeks question: How often do you cook with wine? If you don’t cook with wine, why not?

Book Review – The Most Beautiful Wine Cellars In The World

The Most Beautiful Wine Cellars
The Most Beautiful Wine Cellars

What makes a wine cellar beautiful? Is it the design and functionality of the cellar itself? Or, is it the contents within? Some might say that the most beautiful cellars can be found in homes of passionate collectors. But a different take could be those found in the worlds most prestigious wineries themselves. The Most Beautiful Wine Cellars in the World by Astrid Fobelets, Jurgen Lijcops, takes a look at over 60 cellars from all parts of the world. Great photos and perfect for a coffee table.

Since it has been awhile since my last post, are you’re good enough to still be hanging around here, you are eligible to win a copy of this beautiful book. Just leave a comment below and you’ll be automatically entered.

The Contest

What is the most beautiful Wine cellar you have ever seen? (If you can’t think of one, just say something off the cuff like “I eat cheese” and you’ll be entered.)

The Rules

One entry per person please. Comments will be closed after September 20th, and a winner will be chosen at random and announced next week.

Contest sponsored by Winexpression in association with Berkbooks.


Single Serve Wine Glasses – Coming to the USA

Single Serve Wine Glasses
Would you buy wine packaged like this?

The glasses, actually recyclable plastic, come pre-filled with 187ml (6.3-ounces) of Shiraz, Chardonnay or rose and have a peel-off foil lid. They cost £2.25 each ($3.37), which makes them more expensive than buying the same wine by the bottle (four glasses add up to £9, whereas the bottle is £4.50).

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Copa Di Vino Image
Copa Di Vino Photo

[Edit] : Reader Meghan H writes: I recently had a single serve wine in Washington at the Gorge Amphitheatre and it was really good!  I had to look it up, and I found your website on my way there.  It’s called Copa Di Vino  This product is really, really cool.  The glass is a little different, but is a lot more stable than the UK version looks- you could set it on a table and not worry at all!  I think they’re from Oregon, you should check it out.  (also recyclable)

Thanks for the tip Meghan! Please see photo.

Latest Relic Wines Release
Latest Relic Wines Release

It’s an interesting thing, chance. I met Mike from Relic wines while picking up an order from a different winery which shares the same production facility in St.Helena. He was looking through samples he opened to help a chef with pairing ideas for a dinner party that evening. He asked me if I would like to try them, to which I giddily replied yes, since they don’t offer these wines in the community tasting room. He grabbed a box, placed four half sampled bottles inside, and shook my hand: all for a guy who just poked his head in the cellar while his wife used the restroom. I didn’t even tell him I write a wine blog! So, as an addition to my verbal thank you, I figured I’d write my impressions of the wine for my friends to see. I have no idea how much these wines are, but from the look of the website, this is a mail order only type of Winery. If you are looking for a great small production Napa Valley wine, Relic would be an excellent choice.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Rockledge Vineyard Napa Valley
15.1% abv
This is a very aromatic wine with notes of summer berries, cherry, and dust. A great mid palate with a well structured finish that exhibits gobs of fruit and big tannins.
Drink 2012 – 2020
92-94 pts. A

2007 Artifact Red Wine, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot. and Syrah blend.
15% abv
This deep ruby red wine has a fragrant nose of cherry and anise. Chewy tanins and a lingering finish leave you wanting another sip. Very Good.
Drink 2010-2020
92-94 pts. A

2008? Syrah
abv: ?
Inky purple with whiffs of cranberry and raspberry that carry onto a nice palate with firm tanins on the finish.
Drink 2011-2016
90 pts. A-

2008 Ritual, Napa Valley
Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah
15.2% abv
Cherry, blackberry, mineral, and strawberry notes develop on your tongue, fill your mouth,  and end with a medium to full-bodied finish.
90-92 pts. A-


Review: Relic Wines 2007

Book Review – Living With Wine

Living With Wine Book Photo
Living With Wine

Most wine lovers at some time have experienced cellar envy. It could be the contents, the location, or the features of the storage medium, but each has the ability to evoke feelings of envy and inadequacy. If you haven’t experienced that yet, then this book is for you!

This heavy coffee table book boosts beautiful photographs taken by Andrew French of some of the most over the top wine rooms you’ve ever seen. Samantha Nestor guides you through the journey from a beautiful closet cellar, to an outrageous room capable of storing more wine than any one could ever drink in two life times. One bottle a night, times 64 years (average lifespan – legal drinking age subtracted from the average life span), with leniency for gifts and sharing, a family of two would only need around 30,000 bottles of wine. Yet one of the cellars profiled has storage for 10 times that amount! Seems a bit excessive to me.

So the question arises, if you have the means, would you duplicate some of the efforts showcased in this book? After all, one of the great lessons in life is not having to learn from trial and error yourself, but letting others do that for you. So this book could be looked at as a guide to creating your own cellar by duplicating an effort, or pillaging the best ideas from cellars throughout the book. Most have hired professional designers to help implement their custom vision or adapt their style to the space allowed. It all comes back to personal preference.

This must have been a fun book to work on; sneaking into Oenophiles homes to take a peak at what only their closest friends get to see, listening to stories of what intrigued them about wine in the first place and how their love culminated into what you see today. The willingness to share prized bottles always impresses me about wine lovers, and I’m guessing Samantha was able to imbibe on quite a few fantastic bottles through this process.

You can purchase the book from Amazon here:

Living with Wine: Passionate Collectors, Sophisticated Cellars, and Other Rooms for Entertaining, Enjoying, and Imbibing

By using that link you help me pay for this site. Thanks!

Full Disclaimer: This book was sent to me as a press sample

Note to regular readers: Sorry for the absence in posting, those close to me know why. I’ll pick up where I left off. If you’ve been craving more regular wine blogging news head over and subscribe to Dr.Vino, who in my humble opinion is currently the best wine blogger out there.