Featured in this issue

Looking for a Few Good Accessories?

Our online store now offers Dymo LabelWriter printers and Metrologic Barcode Readers for use with The Personal Wine Curator v3.0. Dymo has been our recommended single feed label printer since we first developed PWC. In fact, we test every label printing function in PWC on Dymo label printers as well as use them for our own wine cellar inventory work.

Additionally, we find that the Metrologic Voyager Barcode Reader works great with the new barcode features of PWC v3.0 and has a high quality-to-price ratio. The Metrologic Voyager is a laser scanner, and consequently reads barcodes quite easily on curved surfaces, such as on wine bottles. Most inexpensive barcode scanners are CCD scanners, which can be unreliable for detecting barcodes on anything other than a clean flat label. Not so with laser scanners. And luckily, this one won’t put a big dent in your wine budget either!

Also, for those of you looking for an elegant and reliable corkscrew, either for yourself or for a gift, we have discovered two that we like so much, we’ve decided to sell them on our website. Made by Pulltex, a very cool company that makes a range of quality wine accessories, the Toledo and Pullparrot corkscrews exemplify the excellence of their product line. Both corkscrews have a patented double lever system that makes them easy and comfortable to use, and they look really great, too.

Finally, The Pulltex Wine Saver is a bottle stopper and a vacuum pump all-in-one! It's a great alternative to the multi-piece rubber cork and vacuum pump systems because you don't have to keep track of those little rubber corks. Check ‘em out: http://www.thewinecurators.com/products_accessories.shtml

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me, One Acre of Grapes…

So just how much wine will that yield? Let’s assume your acre has a vine density of eight feet between vines along the row and ten feet between rows, typical for many vineyards in the New World. If you weren’t too picky, that is, pruning the heck out of the bunches, you might get five tons of grapes. Out of those grapes, you’ll get about 14 barrels of wine, or 800 gallons, or about 4,000 bottles. That means if everyone at your Christmas dinner party had a glass, you could invite approximately 15,950 guests. If you wanted to narrow that down some, you could just bring a case of wine to the party. That would only require 30 pounds of grapes from your five ton harvest. From your 12 bottles you might expect to pour 48 glasses of wine. Still too many relatives at the table? How about just cracking one bottle? That only takes 2.4 pounds of grapes and will yield about four glasses of wine. Four is cozy, but why not have two glasses each and make it an intimate holiday with just you and your true love … in Hawaii? We’re sure your mother won’t mind being left at home.

The Blend’s Monthly Featured Producer: BENOVIA WINERY

Owners Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane started their winery the same way the best wines are crafted – in the vineyard. In fact, they purchased the Cohn vineyard in the Russian River Valley (known for wines from Williams-Selyem and Kosta Browne) and began selling fruit for a few years before finally establishing their own estate in 2005.

Their first vintage release was in 2007 and production has crept up since then. Benovia (which is a conflation of this married couple’s respective fathers’ names) focuses mainly on Pinot Noir, with some Chardonnay and a bit of Zinfandel too, and makes their wines from their own, as well as purchased, fruit throughout the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley.

Joe and Mary scored quite a coup when Mike Sullivan (previously at Hartford Court) signed on as winemaker. Robert Parker named Mike Sullivan one of his Wine Personalities of the Year in 2002, saying “he is a winemaker of extraordinary talent who has been able to capture the full magic of cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and produce Zinfandels that are among the most sumptuous and explosive made in California.”

The winery and property have been going through an amazing transformation since Joe and Mary took over, investing heavily in presses, refrigeration and heating systems, with all aspects of Benovia’s production under their control, right down to the bottling line. It’s not every day one can stumble upon an undiscovered treasure in an appellation as heavily traveled and combed over as the Russian River, but this new venture is well worth watching out for, and considering their small production and large potential, getting on the mailing list as well.

Winery website: http://www.benoviawinery.com

Recommended Wine:

wine labelWinemaker Mike Sullivan says “I've always tried to produce wines that stimulate the imagination of both novices and experts alike.” With his 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot, he has clearly succeeded. Made up of small-block vineyards, this wine is sourced from the Benovia estate vineyard as well as family growers in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, including the Petersen Vineyard in the Petaluma wind gap, where temperatures are quite cool relative to the Russian River Valley. Like any good Pinot Noir, the Sonoma Coast has nice acidity and bright fruit flavors. The tasting notes highlight aromas of red raspberry, sour cherry, and toasted nutmeg as well as cinnamon and allspice. Juicy and complex, rich and seductive, it’s drinking very well right now, and according to Benovia General Manager Bob Mosby in a recent phone conversation “opening up like a butterfly.” Limited quantities of the 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir are still available, but probably not for long!

Pairs well with grilled chicken, bressaola, game birds, smoked ham, sea bass, or just a big chunk of Asiago. About $45.00 USD.

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

  • Producer: Benovia
  • Wine Name/Appellation: Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
  • Vintage: 2006
  • Varietal:Pinot Noir
  • Type: Red
  • Vineyard/Sub-sub:
  • Sub-region: Sonoma Coast
  • Region: California (Sonoma)
  • Country: United States
  • Body: Medium
  • Distinction:Pinot Noir
  • Drink after: 2008
  • Drink by: 2012

PWC Tips and Tricks

Flag wines for any purpose right from the Cellar list ... CLICK HERE.

Did you know: Celebrities have a big impact on wine sales?

Paris Hilton pops up everywhere these days. She’s so ubiquitous, it would hardly be a stretch to imagine her attending the opening of a beer can, or even a “champagne” can, for that matter. In fact, a recently launched line of Prosecco in a can, called “Rich Prosecco,” uses Ms. Hilton as a so called “Market Ambassador” posing nude (though painted gold) in advertisements. Of course, Sophia Coppola, daughter of wine impresario (oh, and film maker) Francis Coppola has been popping open cans of her sparkling wine for more than a few years now (and getting us to drink it with a straw no less). Golfer Greg Norman has been the thunder from down under, rattling the American wine market with his popular Australian and Californian brands. Race car driver Randy Lewis has been finishing first consistently, garnering raves from Wine Spectator for his Napa Cab, Chards and Syrahs. Martha Stewart recently paired up with Gallo to market Martha Stewart Vintage. The late Paul Newman and Rebel Wine Co. rolled out Newman’s Own Wine this year. Italy’s Le Terrazze has a Montepulciano blend named for an old Bob Dylan album, “Planet Waves,” which also bears the singer-songwriter’s signature. And who would dare challenge Mike Ditka for releasing his “Kick Ass Red?” But does all of this celebrity cache translate into actual cash? According to The Nielsen Company (VNUNY), which conducts marketing research, celebrity wines are up nearly 19 percent in U.S. grocery store sales since last year and represent 0.9 percent ($41.8 million) of total wine sales. Roll out the red carpet, ‘cause somebody’s seeing green.

New PWC Community Forum

Communicate with other users of The Personal Wine Curator on our new Community Forum! With our new online forum you can communicate with other people who use The Personal Wine Curator and let them know all the ways in which you take advantage of the many features of PWC. This new discussion site is also a great place to share your thoughts on all things wine. Build bonds with your fellow cork dorks and share your enthusiasm for PWC. View the forum and set up a free membership to post your own threads: http://www.websitetoolbox.com/mb/winecurators

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