Go Underground for Valentine’s Day! **Giveaway**

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It’s’ almost Valentine’s Day.  You don’t have any thing special planned.  Maybe you don’t have someONE special.  Maybe you don’t care.  But, if you’re like me, you at least want a good bottle of wine and a trashy movie to celebrate the non-event with!  Luckily for you, I’m giving away one $50 gift card so you can check out UndergroundCellar.com! Underground Cellar offers curated, limited edition wines with a twist – you can buy some great wines at great prices, get more bottles for free, and store them offsite with Underground Cellar until you’re ready to drink them.  Pretty sweet right? Some of the current deals highlight some great wines by my friend Jon Phillips at Inspiration Vineyards, where you can get 6-14 bottles, starting at $25 a bottle.  Given the retail value of these babies, that’s a sweet deal.  The twist on these deals are the sweet “Upgrades”.  If you purchase wine, you unlock upgrades.  There might be 2 upgrades, or there might be 6.  These are limited quantity wines that Underground Cellars has specifically curated for you based on your buying patterns, and when you buy bottles from a collection, the bottles you purchased, which are selected from the offering pool, are upgraded to the special wines – for free.  Surprise!  Looking for some international flair?  Check out the Premium Whites selection, where if you purchase some yummy Sangiaciamo chardonnay, you just might take home a rare Chateauneuf blanc or a Kistler, highly coveted and very rare, chardonnay. Underground Cellar offers everyone the option of storing their wine purchases in CloudCellar, a state of the art Napa wine cellar. Instead of choosing a shipping address at checkout, a customer can select CloudCellar and hold their wine there for as long as they’d like. When your CloudCellar has 6 bottles, you can ship your wine for only $5… and when you’re up to 12 bottles, the box ships for free. That’s great if you live in an extreme temperature zone and you don’t want to ship in the dead of winter or height of summer. Want a chance to try it out for free? Answer the trivia question in Rafflecopter below and enter to win a $50 gift card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Google

Finding wine online

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I love to shop.  I like to shop for clothes, I like to shop for bags, I like to shop for wine!  So where does a wine blogger shop for such libations?  Well, a few places actually. First and foremost, for more expensive wines, I really want to taste it before I buy it; so in this case, I’d go directly to the winery or shop where I can try before I by.  this is the best way to get a 100% guarantee that I’ll like the wine.  But what if there is a new wine that I am interested in but don’t know?  In that case, I’ll go to a trusted source or a friend.  But still, I hesitate to do that for anything over $30 for one simple reason – everyone has a different idea of what is good.  Just because you like something I don’t like, doesn’t make it bad, it makes it stylistically different enough that it’s not my thing.  Of course there are those rare bad wines but… So how does one find new wines?  My favorite thing right now is to experiment with less expensive wines.  With a plethora of online retailers and wine shops popping up, sometimes it’s hard to navigate the best place to shop.   My favorite e-tailer right now is Invino.  Based in the town of Sonoma, the heart of the rich region, this dynamic team finds wines from all over the world and gives us some amazing steals.  Many wines are up to 70% off of retail.  Wines are hand picked, and the small lots are a great value.  I’ve seen some of my personal favorites at steep discounts, as well as interesting new discoveries.  With new offerings every day, each wine is available for 24-72 hours.  The best part about what Invino does is that if you purchase a wine, they keep some of the stock on reserve so you can repurchase if you like it.  I tend to order 1-3 bottles of a new wine, and then go bakc for more if I really like it.  Wine have excellent QPR, and I have an secret weapon – a friend and fellow wine professional is their wine buyer and so I know if something is offered, it’s going to be great!  I recently purchased a variety of French and Spanish Grenache based wines to fill out my Rhone stock.  The Grenache Blanc I purchased is something I’ve seen at many retail locations for at least $3-5 more. Occasionally, there are some really interesting wines at BevMo.  During the 5 cent sale, where you buy one bottle and get the 2nd for five cents, you can get some great deals.  Armed by insider knowledge (and a friend who works there occasionally), I can aim for a few specific finds that are tried and tested like Fort Ross Pinot Noir, or some great inexpensive bubbles.  With prices ranging from $10 to $40 for two bottles, I can pick up a […]

Let's go shopping!

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I can’t believe it’s this time of year again!  Here we got, out of the harvest festival season and in to the holiday shopping season.  To help you facilitate this, the SF Vintner’s Market is back with their Harvest in the City event at Fort Mason, November 20th & 21st. At this HUGE try & buy wine event, you can taste wines from all over California.  You just simply, taste, mark what you like, and buy it on your way out!  A novel idea in 2009, now, there are several events that do taste & buy, but this is a one of a kind gem that brings together wineries from all over. The brainchild of Cornelius Geary and Jeff Player, founders of Wine 2.0 and RadCru.com, this event promises to be a good time.  With the economy still in the dumper, smaller wineries struggle to get their wares of there.  These event will get the winemaker closer to the customers, and allow us to buy what we like without searching out after a tasting.  In addition to the winemakers at many of the winery booths, we’ll be hosting a special section for “Major famous” winemakers and wine industry celebs where you can get a few minutes of personal time and a quick picture with the winemaker! Some of my favorites are pouring, including Grey Stack, VinRoc, and Modus Operendi, plus a ton of other producers that I loko forward to discovering. Tickets for the SF Vintners Market are $40 each day for General Admission, or $80 for a VIP ticket which allows you access to a special VIP section, pouring wines that are over $50.  But you, my gentle readers, are lucky.  I have a super secret discount code that will get you $10 off each day, or a huge discount of $40 off the Bounty Hunter All Access Pass, which gets you in the entire shebang. Just enter “thea” in the discount code section and you’re set! Hope to see you around, and I’ll be tweeting live under #SFVM10 (or something) to report on my likes & dislikes. Happy drinking!