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Archive for September, 2009

BYOB: Guest Writers Wanted

Do you have an interesting wine related experience or story that you would like to share?  If so, I‘d love to hear about it!


I’m looking for guest writers to share with other readers their own personal WineLife experiences.  Your stories can be about anything from art to winemaking, or anything in between - just as long as it relates to wine.  So sharpen up your pencils and send me an email at if you are interested in sharing your story.  I look forward to posting them.


Wine Review – 2007 Kermit Lynch Cotes du Rhone

kermit-lynch-cotes-du-rhone-2007From: France

Price: $12.99


I have two words to describe this Kermit Lynch selection – classic and delicious.  It’s been a while since I was last wowed by a French red wine costing less than $15 dollars.  I’ll be honest with you; many that I’ve tried so far in 2009 have tasted a little too “au-natural” for my liking.  Most have had a “barn-yardy” quality about them that has made me conjure up images of chicken coops, horse stalls, and bails of hay.


However, this Cotes du Rhone discovery from famed importer Kermit Lynch is a terrific display of how great a wine can taste when given the opportunity to showcase its true terroir (a fancy French term meaning the special characteristics that geography has bestowed upon a wine). 


The 2007 Kermit Lynch Cotes du Rhone red wine is a delicious, natural tasting blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre, with just the right amount of cracked black pepper and other spices to make it very interesting on the palate.  The other element that I loved about this wine is that it leaves the barn on the farm where it belongs – if you catch my drift.   This red Cotes du Rhone also demonstrates old world charm at an outstanding value to consumers looking for the “real thing” in an everyday red wine.


I give the 2007 Kermit Lynch Cotes du Rhone 3 stars out of 4.  It won’t completely knock your socks off, but it will give you a glimpse into how terrific “old world” winemaking can taste at a price level that many “new world” winemakers find difficult to produce. 


If you’re not able to find this particular wine, I would highly encourage you to try another Kermit Lynch selection or to talk with your wine merchant.  Kermit Lynch has a great reputation and a real knack for finding undiscovered gems in France.


WineLife365 Rating: 3-Star

Book Review: Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World

gary-v-101-winesAre You A “Vayniac” Yet?  If you’re a serious wine drinker thirsty for great wine advice, then chances are you’ve either heard the name Gary Vaynerchuk around the water cooler at work or felt his “thunder” as he boldly and energetically voices his strong opinions about every wine under the sun on his video podcast called “Wine Library TV”. 


Gary V., as he is affectionately called, is currently the undisputed champion in the wine blogosphere arena and shows no signs of slowing down.  Legions of wine lovers flock to his site daily to watch him unleash the “thunder” as he calls it.  Viewers are attracted to his entertaining, unique and often times outrageous comments that are a far cry from the old and stuffy traditional wine chatterboxes.  His approach to wine is simple:  He takes out the “foo-foo” Masterpiece Theatre bullshit explanations and uses words that the “Average Wine Joe” can understand.  In other words, he’s fresh, engaging and makes drinking wine fun, exciting, and social – the way it was meant to be.


Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines, follows the same perfect recipe as his Wine Library TV podcast.  He offers readers 101 wine recommendations in a down–to-earth, funny, and easy to understand level.  Through all his years in the wine business, he’s never lost sight of the fact that wine is supposed to be fun and adventurous.


Still, 101 Wines does have a few questionable deterrents, such as the book feeling sort of like a Gary V. sales brochure.   Mr. Vaynerchuk can do more in this case than just tantalize your palate with these wonderful wines that he highlights in his book – he can also conveniently sell them to you on his website because he’s also a licensed wine merchant.  Another thing that bothered me about this book was the fact that so many of these terrific sounding wines are not going to be available in most places because a high percentage of his recommendations produced so few cases.  I mean, they sound very enticing, but how can this book be used as a wine buying guide for everyone, when everyone is just not going to have any luck finding them in their neck of the woods?


All in all, 101 Wines: Guaranteed To Inspire, Delight, And Bring Thunder To Your World, certainly achieves what the title intended in my opinion, with the exception of offering more selections that the general public can actually get their hands on at a price level that most people can swallow.


Kickin’ it in North Jersey – SIPtember Wine Festival!

More than two hundred years ago, London‘s Royal Society of the Arts recognized two New Jersey vintners for their success in producing the first bottles of quality wine derived from colonial agriculture. Today New Jersey‘s wineries continue the tradition of producing high quality wines”.

Having attended several New Jersey wine festivals so far this year, I can honestly say that the spirit and tradition of making quality wines is alive and kickin’ in the Garden State!

On Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th from Noon to 5 pm, the Garden State Wine Growers Association will be showcasing Jersey’s finest at the first annual SIPtember Wine Festival that will be held at Essex County Brookdale Park in Bloomfield, New Jersey.   

Guests attending this event will have an opportunity to sample more than 250 New Jersey produced wines from more than 25 New Jersey wineries. This two-day festival will not only include New Jersey state award-winning wines, but shall also include live entertainment, gourmet food vendors, crafters, and kids’ activities on both days as well.

Admission for this event is $25 a person.  Five dollars from each admission will be donated to the Essex County Parks Foundation of the Essex County Department of Parks, a key sponsor of this festival. 

For more information about this particular wine festival or other upcoming New Jersey wine events, check out the Garden State Wine Growers Association website.



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