Keeping wine fresh after opening - Wine Shield versus Vacu Vin

There are limited options of storing a half-drunk bottle of wine at the end of an evening (well, some people)…whose freshness might not make it ’til the next day. I’ve been using the Vacu Vin pump, a kitchen staple for many a wine lover, for countless years. It’s a gadget with a rubber stopper and pump that sucks the damaging oxygen from a half-full wine bottle. You can buy it on Amazon.com for about $12. But a new product called Wine Shield wants a sliver of that wine-saving love.

Read more: Keeping wine fresh after opening – Wine Shield versus Vacu Vin

How to make wine at home for fifty cents per glass - the result

A few weeks ago, I undertook a homegrown winemaking experience with a 64-ounce plastic bottle of Welch’s grape juice, a packet of yeast and two finger crossed that the outcome wouldn’t be completely offensive.

Read more: How to make wine at home for fifty cents per glass – the result

Life in California, part 6: Foodie flush, speakeasys and #WBC11 bloggers

Part 6 in my series of posts about my recent transition from Tampa, Florida to a new life in California. In this episode: lemon cucumbers, farmer’s markets, Bourbon and Branch speakeasy and the wine blogger’s conference.

Read more: Life in California, part 6: Foodie flush, speakeasys and #WBC11 bloggers

How to make wine at home for fifty cents per glass

Let’s face it, with the number of people begging for money even in the Safeway parking lot in Santa Rosa, the economy remains bleak. We all need to save a buck or two and there might be a way to save additional funds by making your own wine. And this method doesn’t involve buying a garage full of equipment or shipping juice across the country.

Read more: How to make wine at home for fifty cents a glass

Survey: Why can't wine bloggers make money with their writing?

Are wine bloggers not raking in the revenue because the critical medium isn’t respected? Are the advertisers not willing to throw cash into the untested waters of wine blogs? Do bloggers simply want to get their thoughts out there, hopefully reaching more than 100 people beyond their circle of friends and family? Or is it that bloggers, who work full time and have families, don’t have the time to devote to generating revenue beyond the piddly Google Ads trickle?

Read more: Survey: Why can’t wine bloggers make money with their writing?

Life in California, part 5: Newfound popularity, food foraging and meeting James Laube

It’s amazing how popular you become when you have a house in northern California. Even one with pink carpet and hideous rose-print wallpaper. I actually underestimated the power of a second bedroom in wine country. Out of the 60-something days in June and July, we have hosted (and will host) 18 nights with various guests, mostly from Tampa. And we love it…it’s like having a little dose of “home” away from “home.” It hasn’t sunk in that we live here yet.

Read more: Life in California, part 5: Newfound popularity, food foraging and meeting James Laube

Wine industry news, tidbits and helpful hints

All the wine news that’s fit for print, from McDonald’s food and wine pairing to President Obama’s wine consumption.

Read more: Wine industry news, tidbits and helpful hints

Seghesio Vineyards sells to Crimson Wine Group: New beginning or horrible ending?

It’s been the talk to the industry for the past several days, the famous Seghesio Family Winery selling to semi-corporate Crimson Wine Group. Seghesio has been growing and selling grapes as well as making wine for over a century in Sonoma County, California. They are the second oldest winery in Sonoma County, after Foppiano Vineyards, where I started working three months ago. Their successful turnaround has been likened to what Foppiano is trying to do now.

So this kind of hits close to home.

Seghesio made news about ten years ago when the younger generation successfully shed the jug wine image and entered the high end Zinfandel elite. They began producing countless high-scoring, popular wines, so I suppose that’s when the money people started paying attention.

Since I work for a family-owned winery, I can see both sides of this story. It’s really, really tough to remain a family-owned winery these days. Consumers want cheap wine and small wineries don’t have the equipment or the economies of scale to create $10 and under wines. Competition is frickin’ harsh and the players grow almost daily. After the Seghesio story on the  Wine Spectator website, plenty of commenters bemoaned the “demise” of Seghesio and the family, but these guys are entering a new phase of life, and now sitting pretty with a boatload of cash. Sure, the Seghesio brand may not ever be the same (although Crimson also owns Pine Ridge and Chamisal and their wine still rocks, so who knows?), but Ted and Pete Seghesio will remain with the winery and maybe pull in a better salary under the new ownership. They’ll be free from the day-to-day drudgery that comes with the stressful, small-profit, fine wine business. It’s not easy work, folks. Read more »

It’s a mad, mad wine world: One bottle sells at Christie’s for $123,000

One bottle of 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy sold for $123, 899 at Christie’s Auction House. France. A bottle of Pinot Noir that likely isn’t drinkable anymore. Sure, it’s the most coveted vintage in history. Yes, it’s from the most sought-after vintage on the planet. And indeed, according to the Wine Spectator, only 600, rarely seen bottles were produced. In addition, it probably has amazing cellar-controlled pedigree but will the U.S. private collector who bought it on May 17 ever open it and enjoy it? Or will he — or she, however it seems doubtful that a woman would do this — sell it later for more, treating the wine like a stock or bond.

Read more: It’s a mad, mad wine world: One bottle sells at Christie’s for $123,000

Life in California: Small town, small wine industry, new winery job

So we’re all moved into the house in Santa Rosa. A house with rose-printed wallpaper and pink carpet (yes, pink), but we’re adjusting to this ghastly decor slowly. Not every box is unpacked yet every bottle of wine now comfortably sits in the wine fridge. Priorities are important to establish.

Read more: Life in California: Small town, small wine industry, new winery job