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Valentine’s Day!

What better time for a little wine and chocolate? While I don’t need an excuse to buy wine and chocolate, this is one holiday that it just makes sense to go all out and do something really nice for yourself and that someone special.

Here is a great webiste for you to check out:
10% off all Valentine’s Day gift baskets at Wine.com! Enter VDAY10 at checkout! Valid through 2/14/12!  When you get there and decide to buy, tell them The Wine Sleuth sent you!

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2007 Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir

Lucas & Lewellen 2007 Pinor Noir

We are enjoying the weekend and the holidays with the 2007 Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir. The price of this wine is usually out of my league but, Erin, my wine pal was offering a “two for the price of one” on it so I indulged. I got a bottle and also brought home three of its siblings. We will be enjoying it this afternoon with the turkey.

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Do You Drink A Lot of Wine?

I went to the doctor about three weeks ago, and I had to fill out an annual questionnaire about lifestyle, activity, hobbies, etc. I am sure you have filled out these before.

Several of the questions went like this: Do you drink? What kind of alcohol do you consume? How many glasses of wine? How many nights per week? More on the weekends than during the week? How long does a bottle of wine last? Red, White or Rose’? American or foreign? Etc, Etc.

I left it all blank. All of it depended on the week, what was happening in our life, lots of things. We usually have wine three or four nights a week. We have some on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at a minimum. Sometimes on Saturday we have wine or not. It depends on the meal and what is going on. [click to continue…]

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How To Build Your Own Wine Cellar

Have you ever wondered how you could build a wine cellar in the basement?  And what if you don’t have a basement? What about insulation, lighting, humidity, and all of the other problems that a cellar brings?

I have mine in a spare room on the north side of my house. I maintain the temperature at 55 degrees all the time with the help of an air conditioner I have for the summer. It works out pretty well, considering it is sitting in my spare bedroom.

I just wish I had this book when I started to build my cellar. O.K. my cellar is not in the cellar, but you get the idea. This book will tell you where to build your cellar. This could be a insulated cupboard under the stairs, a spare closet, a temperature controlled wine cabinet or a fully constructed basement wine cellar. Find out what solution will work best for you.

My first wine cellar was in a crawl space. It was humid in the crawl space year round and it kept the corks from drying out and becoming brittle. The wine racks I bought were metal and held about 8 cases of wine per rack. I bought three racks, because they were cheaper if I bought three instead of one or two.

Check out this book to see if it will meet your wine cellar needs. You can either click the book above or you can Click Here! Your purchase is covered with a 60 day money back guarantee.  It would be worth giving it a try.

Want to share tips, advice, and opinions?  Why not comment on this article and let other readers know.

Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.? 

Jim Fortune, The Wine Sleuth

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Which Wine Glass Do I Use?

When I was a younger, about the age you are right now, my wine glasses were 4 ounce jelly jars. I used to buy jams and jelly in these jars that had lids that you would need to pry off with a bottle opener. The jar had no decoration on the outer face and the glass was very clear. I was always very careful to gently pry the cover off so I could reuse the metal lid several times.

All of the table glasses we had when I was growing up, as a boy, were originally jam or jelly jars in the 8 or 12 ounce size. My mother used to get her “glasses” this way, so I guess it was just something I picked up. When I was single and got out on my own, I would see these jars at Safeway, and I decided that I would start my glass collection.

When I emptied the jam or jelly, I would wash out the jar and put it on the shelf in the kitchen. People would come over and ask where the glasses were for beer or water or whatever and when I told them, they would always look at the jelly jars and ask, “What are these?” “Those are the wine glasses”, I used to say.

It wasn’t until I went to Italy the first time back in 1999 that I saw the 4 ounce jars again sitting on the tables and being used for wine. They were called wine tumblers. Fancy that. I really like the Riedel tumblers, like these:

These are much better than my old jelly glasses. You know, I gradually broke all but two of the jelly jars and the company that sold them went out of business, so I needed to find a replacement. I turned to Riedel for special occasions. I also had a part time job in college at a restaurant supply store and they sold cheap wine glasses by the case. I got three cases. These lasted for a long time and when I was no longer in college and my collection was getting down, I was on the prowl for more wine glasses.

I went back to Riedel glasses since they seemed to be “the” wine glass to have. I only got six glasses since a case was over $100 and a little too rich for me at that time. (And still is.) These were very nice glasses but they also broke very easily. Pretty soon I was back out looking for wine glasses.

I went into Pier 1 and found a nice wine glass. It was sturdy, low to the table so it would not tip, and fairly thick. I bought 12 for about $1.50 each.

When I was the Wine Editor for Bella Online, I purchased two magnum Riedel glasses for $9.50 each. They have a nice bowl, a not too long stem and a solid base. We do all of our tasting and wine reviews using these two wine glasses.

I have had them for about four months now and so far so good. They are made of glass however. So they are a little more durable than the crystal Riedels I had earlier.

Get two or four glasses. Use them for sipping, tasting and testing. Get a cheap dozen at Pier 1 for everyday use and when friends come over to check out your cellar.

Want to share tips, advice, and opinions? Why not comment on this article and let other readers know.

Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?

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