The VinoVin Members Club!

Rob and I have noticed that as a general rule the wines listed online don’t always offer the value they should.  In fact, when you include shipping (which can get costly) you’re usually paying more. The other big challenge is that you can track your package, but don’t have control over when it arrives.  VinoVin to the rescue.

We’re proud to announce the VinoVin Members Club, an exclusive club that provides 10% off on every order throughout the year on unlimited purchases* plus the ability to have your shipment held at will call at UPS if you have a change in your schedule.

The VinoVin Members Club will cost $99.00 starting July 14th, however, we’re offering exclusive sign-up right now for only $59.00, which means you only need to order wine a few times a year to really take advantage.

How It works:
Click below to buy your yearly membership.  After buying, you’ll receive your very own specialized discount code for 10% OFF on all items for 1 full year, starting at the date of your sign-up.  You can contact us for your order, or put it in on your own.  You’ll be able to include your delivery date request in the notes section of your order, or simply by emailing us at support@vinovinonline.com.

The price will automatically go up on July 14th, so you should definitely act quickly.

 


 

A Brief History of Prosecco

When I say a brief history, we’ll make this quick since its New Years Eve and everyone is more interested in drinking Prosecco than reading about it, but give us just a minute!

Prosecco can be dated back possibly as far back as the 16th century in Italy.  Modern Prosecco is significantly different however from its historical counterpart.  Until the mid-1960’s Prosecco was traditionally a very sweet wine; during the 1960s producers began to make higher quality, dry Prosecco that has grown in popularity to this day.

Prosecco is most commonly thought of as a sparkling wine, however, Prosecco can be sparkling, semi-sparkling or still.  In order for a wine to be labeled as a Prosecco in Italy, it must be made from a minimum of 85% Glera grapes (formerly known as Prosecco.)  Other grapes can be mixed in for the remaining 15%, these often include Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Noir among others.  Wines produced following the same method as Prosecco with Glera but differing proportions are often labeled differently, such as ‘Secco Italian Bubbles‘ by Charles Smith.

Prosecco is often compared with (and occasionally confused with,) the other famous European bubbly wine, Champagne.  We have several recent posts talking about Champagne and method champenoise that you can check out on our old blog here.  The big difference for Prosecco and Champagne comes during secondary fermentation.  Champagnes secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle while Prosecco’s secondary fermentation occurs in the steel vats it ferments in.  This generally leads to a lower price point for Prosecco since it is less expensive to produce.  There are many other differences so this is an overarching generalization, however, the important distinctions have also been highlighted.

Happy New Year!

 

Coombsville, Up and Coming AVA in Napa Valley

It may be unusual for some readers to learn this, but for others, it may be common knowledge.  Napa is probably one of the only areas in the U.S. whose appellations are actually distinctive in terms of terroir.  Coombsville was recognized as an AVA (American Viticultural Area) in 2011.  The valley itself is a bit like a bowl shape, with terroir featuring rocky volcanic soil, little groundwater, and temperate weather in comparison with many other areas of Napa.

Why care about Coombsville? Look no further than the top wine in Paul Hobbs portfolio, a single-vineyard Cabernet that goes for $349.  The region is poised to produce some of the best Cabs in Napa, which is a bold statement.  The climate allows grapes to ripen later into the season and more slowly than other regions, holding acidity and balancing the fruit.   Keep an eye out on this region as the wines here will get more notice as time goes on.

 

Restaurant Wine Lists

A quick and dirty aside on restaurant wine lists.  I was in a restaurant today and saw a great wine list, full of choices.  A few items stood out to me, including a 2009 Brunello di Montalcino for $135.

If this is your kind of wine, I would never discourage anyone from drinking what they enjoy.  That said, a $135 bottle of Brunello from 2009 is not necessarily money well spent.  We’ve talked a lot in our blogs about the value of vintage.  That 2009 Brunello simply is not ready to drink and is from a vintage that is by no means phenomenal.  If the bottle was from an incredible producer, and the year was 2024 instead I would say this is a good value.

Again, since this is quick and dirty.  Our votes on wine lists for restaurants- stick with major wine producing regions like Napa, Sonoma, Willamette Valley, Columbia Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Piedmont, Tuscany, and Rioja.  Stick in reasonable price ranges and focus on what you love.  That’s a quick and dirty aside on restaurant wine lists!

2015 Southern California Vintage Preview

I added a blog post recently on the Northern California vintage for 2015, but a quick recap of that post (or you can read it here)- winemakers expect that it will still be a great vintage despite the droughts this summer, and that trend seems to hold true for Southern California as well.

Yields are down significantly this year, about only half of what they were in 2013.  The fruit produced this season has gone through considerable hardship, which for grapes just like the rest of nature means only the strong survive.  The grapes are smaller this year than years past, combined with the lower yield ensures maximal quality in each grape.

There is one cause for concern that veteran winemakers and growers are saying not to worry about- the vintage ripened very early this year, like several weeks earlier.  The veteran winemakers and growers again assure that this will not impact the quality.  There is speculation by some that early ripening can affect flavor development, although that should not be a concern. Overall the 2015 vintage should be expected to really highlight Southern California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Other pros are saying to keep an eye out and stock the cellar with 2015. Consumers can expect price fluctuations for the 2015 vintage, given that the supply is lower and the quality may prove to be very good.

We will keep you posted for more!

What’s the deal with 2010 Barolo?

What’s the deal with Piedmont in 2010?I don’t want to assume anything about those who read our blog, so I’ll open up with the fact that 2010 was a banner vintage for much of Italy. 2010 Brunello, Barolo, and Barbaresco have all been hailed as one of the best in years, and part of the hype is that many are just being released now due to DOCG requirements. Today I’m just focusing on the 2010 Barolo.

I don’t want to assume anything about those who read our blog, so I’ll open up with the fact that 2010 was a banner vintage for much of Italy. 2010 Brunello, Barolo, and Barbaresco have all been hailed as one of the best in years, and part of the hype is that many are just being released now due to DOCG requirements. Today I’m just focusing on the 2010 Barolo.

So first, why the hype around any vintage? What’s the difference? The short answer is that the difference is in experience- a great vintage or a wine meant to age will drink differently than one meant to be drunk young (which is another article altogether.) What makes a vintage great? In the end, it comes down to the weather and the fruit. There are many other factors of course in play, but let’s not overcomplicate things. The weather in 2010 was superb- allowing grapes to ripen much later into October than in past seasons. The ripening of the fruit into late October, and subsequent harvesting into November allowed the fruit to mature into something that has seldom been seen in the last 10 years (although other vintages have been well received including 2004 and 2001.) Wines like 2010 Barolo continue to ‘soften’ with age.

What makes a vintage great? In the end, it comes down to the weather and the fruit. There are many other factors of course in play, but let’s not overcomplicate things. The weather in 2010 was superb- allowing grapes to ripen much later into October than in past seasons. The ripening of the fruit into late October, and subsequent harvesting into November allowed the fruit to mature into something that has seldom been seen in the last 10 years (although other vintages have been well received including 2004 and 2001.) Wines like 2010 Barolo continue to ‘soften’, that is become less tannic and increase in their complexity with years of bottle aging so long as they are stored well.

The vintage as of the writing of this posting is still available but very scarce, due to its popularity. Fortunately for our readers, we do have a (very) small supply still in stock.

Much of the information in this article was taken from the 2014 article “Your Guide to Top-Rated 2010 Barolo” in Wine Enthusiast by Kerin O’Keefe.

2015 Northern California Vintage Preview

We are looking forward at the current vintages before looking back at the past.  One of the questions that have come up looking at 2015 is exactly how the drought out west would impact Northern California wines.

In general, the drought has caused challenges for growers out in Napa Valley and other regions of Northern California, however, the combination of unusually warm weather and some rainfall has provided what they believe will be an excellent crop still this year.  We have mentioned in previous articles that the hot weather in the growing season can ultimately influence the fruit, tannins, and other aspects of the wine.  In this case, the grapes ripened early, but the sugar content in the grapes did not go excessively high prior to ripening and, therefore, the quality was mostly maintained.

There are other interesting notes, especially to buyers and lovers of Northern California wines.  The growing season and earlier ripening of the fruit have resulted in lower yields, similar to that of France and other wine regions.  The result of lower yields frequently means that grapes are of higher quality. Assuming this is the case, a smart buyer can also surmise that 2015 wines may be more valuable when they are released and in the future.  The bottom line however for right now is to keep an eye out until we have more information.

Hope you enjoyed! If you enjoyed reading this (and who doesn’t love wine!) please share this post, or give us a shoutout on Twitter @dandanwineman.