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April 2008 - Wine Vin

The Best Articles on Wine Vin

I Love Italian Wine and Food - Tasting A Noble Sicilian Wine

Once again, we are breaking into the series tasting wines from each of Italy?s twenty wine regions. This article examines a noble red wine from the island of Sicily in southern Italy. It is very far from a bargain wine. We were about a dozen to taste it. I?ll be presenting my opinions and those of others.

So far, the wines that I purchased for this series have cost a maximum of about $20. I thought that I should try one at about double the price. I felt that by going to a relatively unknown region such as Sicily I might get a bargain. A lot of wines from the Tuscany or Piedmont regions of Italy cost $40 or much, much more. Such is not the case for Sicily.

Italy?s top of the line wine designation is DOCG, which stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata Garantita (Denomination of Controlled, Guaranteed Origin.) There are no DOCG wines in Sicily. But the formal designation is not very important, many Super Tuscans costing at least twice my budget carry ?inferior? designations. The wine I chose carries the Contea di Sclafania DOC designation, having been promoted from the Sicilia IGT designation. The wine reviewed here is produced by the same company as the white Sicilian wine reviewed in my article I Love Italian Wine and Food ? The Sicily Region. This was no accident. First I bought the relatively expensive red. Then I bought the white wine for about one third the price. This white wine carries the Sicilia IGT designation, but I found it to be pretty good. Let?s take a look at its much more expensive red cousin.

Wine Reviewed
Tasca d?Almerita Regaleali ?Rosso del Conte? Contea di Sclafania DOC 2002 15% alcohol about $38

About 35 years ago, Count Tasca d?Almerita decided to make a flagship Sicilian red wine from two local grapes, Nero d?avola and Perricone. Nero d?avola is a thin-skinned grape that ripens extremely late, perhaps three weeks after Cabernet Sauvignon. Consequently this variety is virtually limited to Sicily. Some think that it is a relative of Syrah. Nero d?avola wines are usually dark and tarry, with lots of black fruit aroma and taste. They are rich and well structured, with firm and silky tannins. Many of the grapes in this bottle came from vines over forty years old. The plants are grown as shrubs, a somewhat unusual practice. This wine was aged for twelve months in French oak barrels, about 60% of which are new. It can be cellared for years. I only wish that I could taste a ten or twenty year old Rosso del Conte.

I?ll spare you the marketing materials and reviews that tend to be very laudatory. Here are the comments from my tasting group.

A bit of black fruit. Highly oaked. Toasted grains, toast, grilled barley. Nervous and wild. Garriga (a mixture of spices found in areas near the Mediterranean Sea). Leather, dried meat, musk, and underbrush. A strong presence. Acidic and tannic, but not very long. Moderately long, fairly tannic. Round. More fruit than oak.

When asked to guess the price, the general consensus was considerably lower than what I actually paid. It?s fair to assume that most of these people would not purchase this wine, even if they do buy wines in this price range. On the other hand, it?s not hard to find reviews on the Internet that draw the opposite conclusion. In fact, every review that I read was more laudatory than my tasting group was. And my thoughts?

Personally, I would rather drink wine with food than without food. There were only a few sips left in the bottle but I was able to squeeze out two pairings. First I tried slow-cooked beef ribs with potatoes and a side of green beans in tomato sauce. This wine was the essence of mouth-filling, a tiny sip enveloped my mouth with pleasure. The wine?s acidity and tannins handled the meat?s fat. If only I had more.

Isola is a Sicilian fresh cheese made from sheep?s milk. The Isola cheese was powerful, strong smelling and strong tasting, especially when you crunched into a peppercorn. The Rosso del Conte?s richness and complexity was quite noticeable in the presence of this cheese. I am glad that I didn?t waste the last precious sips of this wine on a weak cheese.

Final verdict. It?ll probably be quite some time before I buy another bottle of Rosso del Conte. I do think that it?s worth the price, but I can?t say that I got a $100 wine for less than $40. Have you ever done so?

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine website is

Wine Vin and More

Wine Could Reduce High Level of Cholesterol

Cholesterol control could be an enjoyable experience for those who take liquors, as wine is the newly inducted remedy for controlling high cholesterol...

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Wine Vin Items For Viewing

Jumbo Bin 120 Bottle Wine Rack - Natural

Stackable solid pine wood wine rack is jumbo in size and holds up 120 bottles of your favorite wine. Available in four different finishes each jumbo wine rack bin features spacious diamond and triangular shaped compartments to group your wines and for easy access. Includes side support braces to ensure strength and durability. Get maximum storage from floor to ceiling from stacking 2 or more. Easy assembly. Available in Natural Mahogany White or Black . Size: 42'W x 42'H x 9'D

Price: 119.95 USD

Wine Vin in the news

Shaking all over (The San Francisco Examiner)

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 09:38:56 PDT
SAN FRANCISCO ( Map , News ) - Last week, I wrote about bargain reds in the aftermath of tax day, so to be fair, this week I’m going to comment on bargain whites. As we head into warmer weather, I am sure many of you are getting into the mood for white wines. It’s exciting. White wine equals spring.

Women For Wine Sense - Celebrating Women in Wine!

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 15:05:07 PDT
Women For Wine Sense - Celebrating Women in Wine! April 21st, 2008 I consider myself a pretty open minded male of the species and having worked in the wine industry for a while, I have to say, it’s refreshing to see an event that celebrates all of the rising female stars in the wine industry. I attended the first Women for Winesense Grand Tasting last year in San Francisco, which honored Margrit Mondavi and Kathryn Hall. You gotta check out some of the speakers WWS has lined up for this year.

Two new wine shippers created in Napa, Windsor (North Bay Business Journal)

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 17:15:37 PDT
WINDSOR and NAPA – Wineries that want more options for selling wine directly to consumers or trade accounts have two new options.

Melissa and Doug Birthday Party Birthday Cake Toy Giveaway

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 18:42:47 PDT
Melissa and Doug Birthday Party Birthday Cake toy and one on my children’s book blog, One Book Two Book, for a Tessy & Tab Super Starter Pack. You can also follow the link to see a list of all the contests going on as part of the Bloggy Giveaways by the b5media Lifestyles Channel bloggers. Image source: LEGO Tags: Blog Carnival, blog contest, bloggy giveaways, girl legos, lego, Lego pink brick box, legos contest, legos toys, win legos Share This What a fun week we have on tap here at b5m

b5media Giveaways

Tue, 22 Apr 2008 05:18:17 PDT
There will be more giveaways going on throughout the week, so you may wish to sign up for our channel feed. Tree Hugging Family is conducting multiple giveaways Mothering Magazine Subscriptions - Big Green Purse Mother Earth’s Garden - Let it Rot! The Gardener’s Guide to Composting - Leapin Lemur and Penguin Puffs Simply Thrifty - Coupon Organizer- Life Fitness Premium Pulsating back Massager Offbeat Homes - Building With Awareness Guidebook on DVD Hankering for Yarn - Butterfly Earrings

Bloggy giveaways from b5Media’s lifestyle channel

Tue, 22 Apr 2008 05:19:33 PDT
What a fun week we have on tap here at b5media! Especially in the Lifestyles Channel! Many of our bloggers have worked on putting together some awesome prizes just waiting on you to win them! Here are some of the giveaways going on right now! There will be more giveaways going on throughout the week, so you may wish to sign up for our channel feed. Tree Hugging Family is conducting multiple giveaways Mothering Magazine Subscriptions - Big Green Purse Mother Earth’s Garden - Let it Rot! The

Lifestyles Channel Giveaways

Tue, 22 Apr 2008 07:08:52 PDT
Image details: Health Food Junk Food served by The Lifestyles channel is participating in the bloggy giveaways this week. I’m not because I’m not going to be around for the next week and won’t be able to keep up on it, but check out what everyone else is doing and see how you can win! … Here are some of the giveaways going on right now! There will be more giveaways going on throughout the week, so you may wish to sign up for our channel feed. Tree Hugging Family - Mothering Mag

Wine Bottle


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5:15 PM

Wednesday - Burgundy Wine

A Burgundy Wine Artilce for Your Viewing

Why Don't We Use Our Good Wine Glasses?

Why Don?t We Use Our Good Wine Glasses?

OK, ladies... the $64,000 Question (are you old enough to remember that game show)...

Last night I go to pour myself a glass of wine.

I open the cabinet with all my glasses and cups (and yes, my collection of mismatched, dishwasher-banged-up, ratty-looking wine glasses).

I grab a wine glass (it?s a give-away from a Casino), pour my wine and then... stare across the kitchen.

There, neatly arranged behind soft ?back-lit? glass cabinet doors, stand a sparkling array of beautiful wine glasses.

Some handed down to me from my mother. Of course, there?s my good wedding crystal. And others I?ve picked up along the way because ?I just had to have them.?

There they sat (probably needing dusting) because I never used them this Thanksgiving... you know the one time of year we?re sure to pull out the ?good stuff? and set a beautiful table. But not this year (we went out for that Holiday dinner).

So what is it... some generational thing? My Mom only used the ?good china? for special occasions and so did her Mom.

Am I just too lazy to hand-wash the glasses?

Or are wine glasses just like shoes? We buy them even if we don?t need them.

Do I not think a hard day (or any day, for that matter) doesn?t deserve that moment of pleasure when we sip from the proverbial ?glass slipper??

Well, whatever the reason... it all came crashing down at that moment.


I wish you could have heard the sound of breaking glass. My husband sure did!

He comes running up the stairs thinking a small Pacific Northwest earthquake has just hit.

There I stood... with this sheepish look on my face.

I had just pitched every one of my mismatched misfits into the trash... the last one with a tab bit too much ?oomph?. Watching the glass break, I just couldn?t help yelling out, ?Mazel Tov? as I threw my arm in the air!

Poor Ralph... he just shook his head... no questions asked. I?m sure he thought it was, you know, one of those ?hormonal things,? and went back downstairs.

Our New Year?s Resolution: Every time we pour a glass of wine, let?s all resolve to use a different glass. One of the ?good? ones.

The scary thing... how many days will it take ?til you start back through yours a second time?

Happy Holidays, Kathy

Kathy Charlton founded Olympic Cellars Winery became the North Sound?s first woman-owned and operated winery in 2001. Since that time, owners Kathy Charlton, Molly Rivard and Libby Sweetser (known affectionately to locals as the Olympic Women in Wine) have taken the winery in a new direction, turning out award-winning wines and the Working Girl Wine series that supports the physical and emotional well being of women around the country. celebrate the good life !

A synopsis on Burgundy Wine.

Finding A Metal Wine Rack That's Right For You

When you are looking for a metal wine rack, you don't have to look far at all. Today there are many choices in companies, styles, and nearly any other...

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Burgundy Wine Products we recommend

Villagiachi Chianti Classico Riserva D.O.C.G.

The "Riserva" classification is the highest given to a Chianti Classico. These wines must be aged for longer periods and have a natural alcohol content over 12.5% Pierluigi has taken this blend of Sangiovese 85%, Canaiolo 10%, Trebbiano, Malvasia & Colorino 5%, and aged it for 24 months in oak barrels. The wine was then aged a further 12 months in bottle for final 'rounding' of the wine. It is powerful and rich with a scent of violets and ripe fruit. This is a DOCG appelation that bears the "Gallo Nero" seal of the Chianti Consortium. RSCW98 RSCW98

Price: 44.99 USD

Headlines on Burgundy Wine

Teenagers, NYC wine bars, Sarkozy, diseased mitochondria - sipped ... - Dr. Vino

Teenagers, NYC wine bars, Sarkozy, diseased mitochondria - sipped ...
Dr. Vino, IL - Apr 22, 2008
Eric Asimov of the NYT had a thoughtful article in Wednesday’s paper about exposing teenagers to wine in the home. It’s great to see a constructive ...

Microsoft pairs surface computing with wine

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 04:23:26 PST
CNET's Ina Fried sat down Wednesday with Mark Bolger of Microsoft's surface computing team to see what types of applications the tabletop technology could be used for. One of the ideas they've come up with is a system called Wine Bar that would allow a restaurant-goer to select from a restaurant's wine list based on his taste preferences.

Santa Barbara's Brophy Brothers Clam Bar & Restaurant

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 09:59:24 PST
For the best views, freshest seafood and tasty local wines, Brophy Bros. is an excellent place to enjoy Santa Barbara's local culture--and a pretty good plate of oysters.

People Wine
Wine Recipes


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6:54 AM

April - Vintage Charts

A Featured Vintage Charts Article

Wine - More Than Just A Wedding Beverage?

If ever there were two terms that go together, they are wine and wedding. If you really love wine, however, you can make it the centerpiece of your happy day.

Wine - More Than Just A Wedding Beverage?

One of the biggest parties you'll ever plan is your wedding. From choosing the venue, to the officiant, to the food - there are many different decisions to be made. One of the biggest choices you'll have to make in regards to your wedding is the presentation. The presentation can be based on the location of your wedding, the season your wedding takes place in (such as Christmas) or your interests. If you love wine, make it the centerpiece of the experience.

The first thing you'll have to decide on for your wine wedding is how far you want to extend the presentation. A wedding can be simple, just incorporating some different wines, wine accessories (such as glasses and corkscrews) and wine bottle shaped decorations. You can also add some grape-shaped decorations and other grape oriented decorations. If you want to really "pour" it on, you can go much farther.

Other types of wine weddings can include incorporating wine colors into your theme. Burgundy, wine and green colors all work well with wine themes. You can also use different types of wine items to spruce up your ceremony and reception locations. Oak wine barrels can make a great centerpiece when filled with flowers, and wine bottles make excellent candle holders. Real (or artificial) grapevines can be used as garlands to decorate the walls and ceilings of your reception location. Using wine labels as place cards (either affixed to bottles or just on cards) can be another way to bring wine into your wedding.

To top the event off, you can also invite [pay] specialist from local wineries to the wedding. They will bring in various new vintages and provide tastings for you and your guests. Along with this, they will typically provide detailed discussions on the process used by the winery to produce the various vintages as well as providing instruction on the unique aspects of the particular vintages on hand. Take this step and you guest will talk about your wedding for more than a few days.

Picking the right presentation for your wedding can make sure that you will always look back on your special day with fondness have great memories. A wine wedding can be a great way to show your love of the grape.

About the Author

Xavier Moldini is with - a directory of wineries.

Vintage Charts and More

Food and Wine

The perfect combination of food and wine can turn a simple dinner-date into a romantic one, a small gathering or celebration into a fun-filled and mem...

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Featured Vintage Charts Items

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Headlines on Vintage Charts

Six White Wines for Mild Weather

Tue, 22 Apr 2008 20:37:16 PDT
I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck o’ the woods, but here in what’s called the Mid-South, the corner where Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas touch — well Tennessee and Arkansas don’t touch because this big-ass river flows between — the weather is absolutely gorgeous (after inordinate rain), and I wish it would never get hotter, as vain a wish as humankind ever made, because by July here it will be insufferable. Anyway, since the clime is mild and pleasant and enjoyable, I o

Wine Time: Jim Shirley (Pensacola News Journal)

Tue, 22 Apr 2008 22:57:20 PDT
Just the other day, I was at a wine tasting that featured the new vintages from Turnbull Wine Cellars, and Mike Holt from Stacole Fine Wines was expounding on the fine Rutherford-grown grapes Turnbull uses when my friend Percy turned to me and said, "Rutherford — that's cabernet country."

Vintners create trail for wines without the vines along a Ventura County stretch of Highway 101 (Ventura County Star)

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 00:05:08 PDT
Norm Stafford's retirement plans were simple enough: After 35 years with the Ventura County Fire Department, he thought he'd move to Paso Robles and try his hand at growing wine grapes.

Wineology: Oak barrels impart character to wines (Ventura County Star)

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 00:05:48 PDT
A few hundred years ago, before the mass production of glass bottles, wine was sold in bulk and transported in wooden barrels. Merchants, the majority in England, would then resell the wine, keeping it in barrels the whole time.

Refreshment by the case: 12 warm-weather wines (The Charlotte Observer)

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 00:14:11 PDT
Warm weather has me longing for lazy days in the sun, quiet nights on the patio, and of course, good wine. I decided to assemble a mixed case of wine, scavenger-hunt style. My goal was to find 12 delicious spring and summer season-friendly wines. The catch? I wanted wines that were really affordable, the kind you can open guilt-free on a Monday night, so I set a price limit of around $10. Here ...

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS (The Columbus Dispatch)

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 01:22:53 PDT
Wine review

Wine Guy’s Pick: 2003 Martin Ray Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Juice)

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 02:15:34 PDT
A California wine pioneer, Martin Ray produced wines under his namesake label from 1946 until his death in 1976, at which time the brand disappeared...

Wine Magazine


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Posted by Steven Smith | 0 comments