Archive for wine boards


Posted in Info on Wine with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2010 by ballymote

Lots of little events to mention and it’s been awhile since I did this, so here goes. First, it was very sad to hear that Bryan Sikura and Aimee Olexy, the dynamic duo that made Talula’s Table in Kennett Square, PA, the ultimate Delaware Valley BYOB, have split up. The rumors had been prevalent for months but a front page article in this past Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer gave all the sordid details. In fact, I felt it may have gone a little too far. Suffice to say, recent diners are saying that Talula’s continues to shine and gives every indication it’s popularity will continue going forward. We certainly wish both Bryan and Aimee the very best and ideally, if it’s meant to be, perhaps they can find again what they once had.

Another loss, of a totally different nature took place yesterday when the Robert Parker Wine Board closed it’s internet doors to all but paid subscribers. For years it had been a source of great reading on every possible aspect of wine, food and travel. It was a place you could count on to hear first of new wines, wine regions, and opinions of all types. Henceforth, it will cost $99 a year to take part in the dialogue or even read what others have written. It feels like I have lost a friend as I spent many hours enjoying that board.

Saturday, May 8th, the Ninth Annual Philadelphia Wine Festival will take place at the Marriott Hotel. This is an excellent opportunity to sample lots of great wines and enjoy foods from local restaurants. If I were not doing a photography assignment at a friend’s wedding, I would be there myself. Tickets are $125.00 per person or $225.00 for early admittance which allows you to enter 90 minutes early when the REALLY good wines are offered. Here are the details:

Philadelphia magazine and The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Present The 9th Annual Philadelphia Wine FestivalSaturday May 8, 2010 The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Over 150 of the world’s finest winemakers and winery representatives will be pouring their wine at a GrandTasting and an exclusive VIP Tasting.  At the VIP Tasting, guests will sample vintages of some of the most prestigious wineries from around the world in a more exclusive environment than the Grand Tasting. Winery representatives will include winemakers, presidents, and brand ambassadors, all available and interested in discussing your thoughts on their wines. Includes Grand Tasting Admission. $5 Processing fee per order. Admission is limited.    Philadelphia Wine Festival VIP Admission Saturday, May 08, 2010 at 5:00 PM.

Where: Philadelphia Marriott Downtown


When: 5:00pm Sat 5.08.10



The recent earthquake in Chile not only brought death and destruction to the people and structures of the country but it also proved devastating to the Chilean wine industry. The 6.9 tremblor resulted in a loss of over 100 million bottles and an estimated loss of as much as 30 BILLION to the country’s economy.

Wine from Chile has gained great acceptance in this country and despite the tremendous loss, sources say, there will be no noticeable shortage of these wines on the shelves at your local wine shop. The main wine producing region of Chile, the Casablanca Valley, was spared and only small losses were experienced there. The Maule Region was hit the hardest with an approximate 12% of their wine destroyed during the quake.


Now that I have been there and loaded up on my own supply I can tell you that the wine pictured on the right, The 2008 Pillar Box Red, one of the great QPR (Quality/Price Ratio) wines of all time, is available while supplies last at your neighborhood PA State Stores as a Chairman’s Selection at the ridiculous price of $6.99 a bottle. This wine normally sells (and currently sells in most NJ wine outlets) for $12.99 a bottle and that is not a bad buy. You can spend $12.99 for a lot of lesser wines than this one. If I were you, I’d stop reading this nonsense right now and hurry over to your nearest State Store while this yummy juice is still available.


Posted in Info on Wine with tags , , , , on September 30, 2009 by ballymote

wine toastI have decided to add a new section to my blog. Wine forums or “boards” as they are called are great places to learn about all aspects of wine. The two most popular Wine Boards are those found at  Mark Squires Bulletin Board at and wine There are many others but these two are far and away the Chairmen of the Boards. I read these boards often. I don’t post very much myself but I have made both of these websites a big part of my wine education.

From time to time I will post here topics on wine that may be of interest to you. It’s fun to see the diverse viewpoints offered by members of these boards. Here are a couple of topics being discussed in the past few days on these boards.

FREEZING WINE: Rob Liss of California started this thread and this experiment in preserving wine. I have always believed, and many wine lovers share this belief, that almost any wine begins to lose its flavor characteristics pretty quickly after opening and that 24 to 48 hours is about as much time as you can get in truly preserving a wine once it is uncorked. Rob claims that over the past year he has frozen almost all of the top varietals; cabernets, chardonnays, shiraz, pinot noir, and found that even months later they retain almost all of their flavor. Some others were amazed at the results while some agreed that they had found the same success in using that method. Rob claims that only about 10% of the frozen wines fell apart completely. He sounds like he knows what he is talking about and I am certainly up for trying his method with future bottles. Rob says he simply sticks the cork back into the bottle before freezing. When he is ready to drink the frozen wine, a few hours on the kitchen table is all it needs to thaw. He does note that wine lying on its side will thaw faster than a bottle standing upright. See, you learn something new every day!!

Another hot thread is one titled “What Is The Best Marketed Wine In The World?” initiated by John Glas of Minneapolis.  pinot grigio

The majority of votes were divided between Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio and Dom Perignon Champagne. My favorite quote of the many replies on the thread came from Michael Koth of San Pedro, California while speaking of just how bad Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio really is ( a belief I totally share with him) “it’s simply amazing how good people will think a wine is when you tell them it is.”

Lots of talk on all the boards on recent articles in, not just the wine publications but even major newspapers, concerning the recession-driven decline in sales of higher priced wines. It seems like everyone is trying to dump there $50 plus wines. Some of the newer producers may even be forced out of business. This bad news for the winemakers is good news to all of us who might be looking to pick up some better juice for lower prices. Most estimates are that it will be a few years before the market returns to normal. Drink up now!