Personality Gift Guide: what style of wine are you?

grapes Welcome to December! To kick off this festive month, we’ve decided to give you a little quiz to find out what wine style of wine you are. Fresh & fruity? Earthy & spicy? Take our quiz below to find out!

When traveling, you like to

a. Plan everything in advance, with a complete itinerary in hand and each day having a specific schedule, with little wiggle room.

b. Plan most of the trip out, booking rooms and flights and car rentals, making a list of things you’d like to see and do while you are there, though no specific schedule.

c. Kind of play it all by ear. You book the flights and maybe hotels, but plan to book most things while you’re there depending on what is most popular at the time.

d. Buy a ticket or rent a car last minute to get to your destination, bring a tent as you love to camp everywhere you go and plan on staying in hostels and other cool places.

When picking out a restaurant for the evening, you prefer one that

a. Has a menu and wine list online so that you can plan what you’ll order – and you wont’ go without a reservation

b. Has been acclaimed and written up by critics and is a style of food that you like. Hopefully they have a reservation, but if not, you will walk in for a table if they have a walk in policy.

c. Pick a place from the most recent write up in your local paper or magazine and go there.

d. The newest ethnic restaurant

If you had an extra two hours to do whatever you wished, you would

a. Clean or organize

b. Exercise or go walking

c. Read the newest book or see the newest movie

d. Wander around in a new neighborhood or park

Your favorite type of movies are:

a. Classics

b. Dramas and comedies

c. Independent Films

d. Documentaries

Your friends see you as:

a. Fastidious and meticulous in all that you do

b. You have your opinions, but are generally easy-going when it comes to most things

c. Adventurous but down-to-earth as well

d. Completely carefree

If you answered:

Mostly A – you are Light and Crisp – You like a plan and tend to have things in order. Try Sauvignon Blanc or Italian white wine.

Mostly B – you are Smooth and Supple – You like to go with the flow and enjoy life. Not everything must be perfect, but chaos is not your thing, either. Try some Australian Shiraz or red Rhone Blends.

Mostly C – you are Fresh and Fruity – you like to keep it fresh – new things, new places, a bit of adventure, but also with your feet firmly on the ground. Try some good fresh and light Barbera or Pinot Noir.

Mostly D – you are Earthy and Spicy – You like to mix it up a bit – adventurous and curious, you’re out exploring the world discovering your surroundings. Try Carmenere or Spanish reds.

Try some of these new wines from www.wine.com and use code 1CENT on check out now through midnight December 2, 2009 for free (or 1 cent) shipping on any order $99 or more!

Perfect Party Picklist

As we offer you the Cyber Monday deal of 1 cent shipping on $49 or more (enter code: CYBERMON), we thought we’d give you an idea of wines to buy with that great deal! Parties coming up this month? Gifts you need to stock up on? The list below can help.

If you’re in party mode, figuring out what wine to serve can be stressful. You could randomly pick a bunch of wines at the price point you’re looking for and hope everyone likes them, or you could choose some wines from the picklist below, where I highlight some delicious crowd pleasing wines in each price point. From the intimate dinner party to the big bash, pick and choose to make your perfect party case. Your guests will thank you!

Bubbles!

Under $20ariabrut
Segura Viudas Aria Brut – a great alternative to Cristalino, this bottle is beautiful and the wine inside is excellent. Crisp and lingering. Great party bubbly for $11.
Roederer Estate Brut- From the Champagne house of the same name, this is classic sparkling wine from Anderson Valley, California. At under $20, it tastes like a  much higher price tag.

Under $30
Jansz Premium Cuvee Rose – always need a bit of pink! This pink sparkler from Australia is a great wine under $30.

Under $40
Piper Heidsieck – my go-to NV Champagne. This is a lovely mediu m-bodied bubbly for all palates. About $40

Whites

Under $20
Perrin Cotes du Rhone Blanc – Everyone seems to love this wine (including me!). It has great balance, is food-friendly and also delicious on its own. About $11. yalumba y
Yalumba Y Series Great deals on a range of varietals, from Riesling to Viognier to Unwooded Chardonnay. They are usually between $10 and $15 and are perfect party wines.

 

cliff lede sb

Under $30
Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc – one of my favorite California Sauvignon Blancs, this wine is deliciously balanced and complex. A great food wine. A great all-around wine. About $22.

Under $40
Two Chardonnays that top my list – Landmark Overlook and Argyle Nuthouse – these are classy Chardonnays, the Landmark a bit more rich and creamy while the Argyle is slightly more restrained. Both have balance and complexity and length. Great with a pasta or poultry dish with a nice cream-based sauce, or for any Chardonnay lover.

Reds

Under $20
 Club Claret Rouge 2008 – great red Bordeaux wine at $12.99 a bottle. It is a perfect food wine for those dinner parties – not too heavy or dense. Uplifting on the palate. A very cool video on the wines’ detail page to tell you more!
Louis Martini ’07 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon – $15 – this wine is the opposite of the Club Claret – rich and ripe, with sweet tannins and full-body. This is a party wine!

 

Under $30
souther right pinotageSouthern Right Pinotage – I love this wine because it’s different, but still delicious. Spicy but smooth, not lacking in fruit, but with a very cool smoky quality, typical of South African reds. Definitely serve with some food – smoky and meaty would be ideal.

Under $40
J Russian River Pinot Noir 2006 – Ripe and smooth, this is a delicious Pinot Noir to sip throughout the night – with or without food. A sure crowd-pleaser.

Easy Prep for the Holidays

As it sinks in that Thanksgiving is over and you have approximately four weeks (28 days) left until Christmas, you may start to wonder how you will get it all done. No panic necessary! Wine.com is here to help you every step of the way – or of the day, actually. Every weekday, stay tuned to our blog, facebook page and twitter feed to find out helpful holiday tips, great gift ideas, crazy discount deals and more. Our goal is to take the stress away and make your holidays go by with festive ease.

Whether you are plnd_stwship_boxlanning a big bash or something more small and relaxing, we have the wine – and entertaining tips – to go with them. Some pre-holiday tips to get you started:

1. First tip – for those of you who hate shipping fees or minimum purchase amounts required for free shipping, I have one word for you – Steward-Ship. This is your answer to the holidays and beyond. For just $49, you will receive free standard shipping on all your purchases, to any address, for the entire holiday season… and 11 months after that. This is a yearlong membership to free standard shipping. And when you talk about bottles of wine and wine-based gifts, you’re talking heavy. This is the best deal in the wine business right now.

2. Second tip – with that free shipping, find yourself a go-to gift and stock up on a few of them. This way you’ll have a great gift to give to your accountant, your kid’s 3rd grade teacher, your mail carrier or that friend who gives you an unexpected gift and you feel obligated to return the gesture… you get the idea. Check out our gifts under $40. There is a wide selection and they are perfect for all the acquaintances on your holiday list – or the unexpected ones that pop up. From the Tour de France to the Eco Wine Trio to the Organic Food & Wine gift set, you’ve got a gift for everyone on your list. So stock a few in your basement and you’ll feel

3. Final tip – take advantage of our Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals and stock up on all our gifts while we’ve got plenty of stock. Today is a great deal of 25% off some of our popular holiday gifts. Don’t forget, you can shop now and ship later, so you’ll have your holiday shopping done, but the items won’t get to the recipient until you want them to!

So get started! Sign up for Steward-Ship, stock up on some great gifts, use our amazing deals for Friday & Monday, and you’ll feel like you’re halfway there. Starting Monday, we’ll have tips of the day, deals of the day and more, so stay-tuned and happy Black Friday!

What you don’t know about Bordeaux

2 glassesIt’s not all grand chateaux and dusty bottles that need 30 years cellar age. This historical region, which has been making wine for centuries, knows what it’s doing and does it well. Some wines are age-worthy collectibles, but the majority are meant to be drunk now and enjoyed with food. Here are some fun facts you may not have known about Bordeaux.

-The region is made up of 57 separate appellations, or AOCs.

-Bordeaux represents 2.3% of total world wine production

-In 2007, the region produced nearly 760 million bottles of wine. That is a LOT of wine.

-Carmenere, the grape now associated with Chilean red wines, was once a common blending grape in Bordeaux. It grew out of fashion in the mid-20th century and is now almost extinct.

-“Cot” is the local name for Malbec, a grape that is waning in importance in the region.

-A half-bottle of Bordeaux is called a “fillette.”

-The 1855 classification stands exactly as it did in 1855, with one exception – Chateau Mouton Rothschild moved from a Deuxieme Cru (second growth) to a Premier Cru (first growth) in 1973.

Get all the facts you ever wanted to know about Bordeaux at www.bordeaux.com. And don’t forget to browse our updated affordable Bordeaux section at Wine.com. Especially our Club Claret line up.

Introducing Club Claret

My name is Anthony Foster, Master of Wine, and I work with Club Claret. Club Claret is your fast track to the heart of Bordeaux.

We are always in clip_image002touch with what is going on on a daily basis. I don’t live in Bordeaux but I am an eight iron away and get into the region many times a year. Our job is to find you the real deals and not just the icon wines, though we can offer you those also. Why Club Claret? It is a very English name that Allan Sichel put into words so aptly over 50 years ago.

“Claret is a kindly, sensitive, proud wine. It will be charming to all who wish to make its acquaintance. It will reveal its inner-most self only where confidence will be appreciated and respected. Claret, in short, is capable of expressing beauty and truth, to delight the palate and nurture the mind of the philosopher in all of us. It is food to the mind, not a bludgeon. It reveals its secrets slowly, and becomes at once an inspiration to the striving and a recompense to the successful.”

Bordeaux has produced wines since the dawn of its history. The first reports date from the Roman occupation, but it was several centuries later, when the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine (the ancient name for Guyenne) to Henry II of England brought the whole of the province of Guyenne, including Gascony, into the possession of the English kings, that the wines of the country became known in England. Neither vineyards nor wines, however were as we know them today. At least three hundred years were to elapse before the first cork was used, and about five hundred years before wine was put into glass bottles.

The vineyards in those early days were no more than strips of vines in the cornfields, small patches, mostly in the area just to the south of Bordeaux. The wine they produced was light in color, often made from a mixture of red and white grapes, and was drunk young – within a year of being made. It was, at that time, a crime to sell old wine as new. The merchants of the Sénéchaussée of Bordeaux enjoyed the sole rights of selling wine from the Feast of St. Martin until Easter. The wine was lighter in color than that from the southern vineyards, and it is believed that the designation Clairet, by which it was known, is the origin of the word Claret used today. clip_image002[7]

Nowadays the products of the Bordeaux vineyards are esteemed mainly because of their ability to develop in bottle such delicacy of flavor and aroma that not only is the resultant character intrinsically pleasing but also pleasantly intriguing. Not only does it become possible to recognize a particular wine as a personality, but it becomes impossible to analyse that personality, so perfect is the harmony of the component flavors.

The soil on which the vines are grown is poor soil, suitable for no other crops. The vines themselves have, through the centuries, been selected and developed until today each type of soil is planted with the vine that suits it best, each estate has arrived at just the right proportion of the various authorized vines to suit its local climate. The poor soil contains no excess of any one substance; the vine is not too greedy for any single form of nourishment. The wine itself is made with no interference from man; every minute degree of substance in the soil plays its part, unhampered by any excess of sugar or alcohol, in creating such a rhythm and harmony in the resultant wine that a light Bordeaux of a perfect year may live and improve for half a century.

Now come and join me in the ever-growing world of Club Claret, try some of the wines and really appreciate why this the oldest wine region in the world is still first in every wine-lovers mind. Taste the elegance, sophistication and harmony these wines bring to great cuisine.

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