Featured in this issue

Preview of Version 3.0 of The Personal Wine Curator!

We announced in Vol. 12 of The Blend that version 3.0 of the Personal Wine Curator is coming in the fall. Here’s another preview of what’s to come:

Starting with v3.0 you'll be able to attach PDF documents to any wine. So if you have a PDF from a winery anywhere on your computer, you can attach, reference and view it right from within PWC without having to launch another program.

You'll also be able to store multiple wine labels/pictures.

The wine summary page is totally redesigned and will include your stored images.

And, to go along with our tip this month about backing up your data, you'll be able to restore your backup data with the click of a button!

When A-B-C doesn’t add up: Shopping For Anything But Cabernet or Chardonnay

A highly respectable wine store franchise in California offers on their website a list of their best sellers in both the under $30 range and the over $30 range. Having about a hundred better things to do, we nevertheless caved in to our weakness for diversion and thought it would be fun to analyze the kinds of wines that most people are buying (and consuming that night, if the statistics are to be believed). Given that this store prides itself on diversity of product, the mind races with the question of what their most popular inexpensive reds and whites would be – a few hearty Monastrells or high-toned Grenaches from the many terrific options coming out of Spain, some reliable Côtes du Rhones, a brash and fruity Zinfandel or two, some searingly racy Sauvignon Blancs or Rieslings?

Cork Dorks are well known for scoffing at the quotidian tastes of drinkers of old and routinely set out to forge brave new worlds of New and Old World wines that go beyond the usual Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay – so much so, that a now well known phrase has popped up over the years and is often used as a kind of battle cry: “ABC” or “Anything But Cabernet or Chardonnay!” With more and more consumers expanding their wine knowledge and keeping up with the amazing amount of information in magazines and blogs, one could easily assume that obscure wines and indigenous grape varieties are coming into their own on the international scene. “What’s your go-to wine for a vegetarian meal these days? Oh, Gruner Veltliner? Mine too!”

A close look at the aforementioned wine shop’s toppers reveals something altogether, well, baffling for the oenophilliac. In this highly unscientific survey, out of the ten most popular wines sold for under 30 bucks, seven are made from Cabernet or Chardonnay. For the over 30 dollars set, six of those ten are likewise Cab and Chard based. Two more wines are Chateauneuf-du-Pape, bringing the large majority (15 of 20) of wines sold in both price ranges to a whopping three types of wine. That’s three. As in 3. The world has some 10,000 grape varieties, 5000 of which are well known to ampelographers and maybe 60 of which are commonly known to wine drinkers. Yet, the wines that people like to buy (and presumably like to drink) are seemingly, basically Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. That goes for the bargain hunters, as well as the spendthrifts, the madding crowd, the bourgeoisie and the Country Clubbers. Know your ABCs indeed – perhaps all too well.

The Blend’s Monthly Featured Producer: PAGO DE LOS CAPELLANES

Located in the heart of the famed Ribera del Duero region of Spain, Pago de Los Capellanes derives its name from the chaplains who were given the land back in the 13th and 14th centuries as a way for the villagers to show their appreciation to these men of the cloth for attending to their pressing religious needs. This went swimmingly for the clergymen who amassed a great deal of property over the centuries, until one bad year in 1855 el Presidente confiscated all their lands in a frenzy of anti-clerical sentiment and handed them over to the city council. (That was the same year, incidentally, of the Bordeaux classification, which was very good for the chosen Chateaux and very bad for the unchosen.) Despite the re-assignment of property, being a devout people, the name stuck. (What were they going to call the area, Pago de Los City Council?) A hundred and twenty-five years later, the Rodera-Villa family honored those old priests by naming a winery after them. More than 250 acres of pago are planted to vine, with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot accounting for most of the varieties. The hillside vineyards are made up of clay and limestone, forcing the roots very deep into the ground, which in turn yields very good grapes. The winery keeps their yields well below the limits of the law and their wines reflect the care and patience with which they are made, from their joven to their crianza to their top of the line and highly regarded “El Picon.”

Recommended Wines:

wine labelLow yields and careful grape selection help to make this Ribera del Duero blend of mostly Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) a consistently delicious and well balanced favorite. Small amounts of … yes, Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Merlot round out the blend. The grapes of all three varietals are estate grown and harvested from a soil of clay and chalk. The wine goes through a brief five months in new French oak barrels (thus, “joven” or “young”) before it is put into tank for final blending. What this means for you is a fragrant and clean young wine with floral and red fruit tones, and a pleasant sort of creamy vanilla flavor to go along with it all. The overall impression is full flavored, if medium bodied, and velvety with a nice lingering finish. Pairs well with barbecued ribs, vegetarian chili, Serrano ham, paella, Mediterranean dishes, or Irish stew!

About $17.00 USD. (Importer: Antalva Wine Imports)

Catalog this wine in The Personal Wine Curator cellar software like this:

  • Producer: Pago de Los Capellanes
  • Wine Name/Appellation: Ribera del Duero, Joven
  • Vintage: 2006
  • Varietal: Tempranillo
  • Type: Red
  • Vineyard/Sub-sub:
  • Sub-region: Ribera del Duero
  • Region: Castilla y Léon
  • Country: Spain
  • Body: Medium
  • Distinction: Ribera del Duero
  • Drink after: 2008
  • Drink by: 2014

PWC Tips and Tricks

Backup, backup, backup! We've built in an automatic reminder, but don't wait unitl you see it -- back up your data now... CLICK HERE.

Did you know: Personal Wine Curator Food and Wine Pairing is now available online?

Beginning this week, The Personal Wine Curator’s unique and powerful food and wine pairing tool will be accessible on our website in a “paired down” version for all internet users to access and enjoy. Browsers will be able to generate suggestions with the same features as are used in the software. With over 7,500 combinations, our Food and Wine Pairing tool is a banquet of possibilities. Choose from a list of wine types and see what foods pop up, or select a specific food and make a selection from the list of suggested wine types! Our software users still have a leg-of-lamb up though, with the ability to sort secondarily to really home in on the perfect pairing. CLICK HERE to check it out.


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