30 Mar 2011
Save for 12 months on everything at Nectar Tasting Room. For just 10 days you have the opportunity to join the club that keeps giving and can provide you as much savings as you can handle. Join the growing club of satisfied members.
Enjoy the following membership privileges for only $39 (regularly $75)
- 10% off of all bottle purchases (no minimum required)
- 15% off of all case purchases (average savings of $45)
- Complimentary tasting bar flights (regularly $5)
- ½ price admission to The Final Sip, our weekly wine party
- Invitation to exclusive events
Visit the “DEAL PAGE” to buy the deal today!
The “deal” kicks in after 20 people have purchased it so please help us spread the word by sharing this post! Copy and paste the following text to your Facebook or email this to your wine loving friends.
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47% off of Nectar Tasting Room membership – 12 months of savings, 12 months of wine deals. Get the deal through GROUP DEALS today! Deal ends 4/8 http://drinknectar.com/2011/03/30/47-off-of-club-nectar-membership/
29 Mar 2011
Guest blog post by Nan Gibbons
As a female fitness trainer, I am often asked for advice about foods and drinks which are beneficial to your health. In this day and age, when health insurance is more important than ever, my clients count on me to offer sound advice for healthy living. Many of my clients are surprised to hear me say that certain red wines, in moderate amounts, can be very good for your body. Compounds found in red wine, called antioxidants, are very healthy for your heart. They raise your good cholesterol and help prevent clogging of the arteries. Certain red wines are beneficial to heart health due to flavonoids and a compound called resveratrol which is found in high quantities in darker red wines. Antioxidants in red wine, named polyphenols, help safeguard the artery lining in your heart. A certain polyphenol known as resveratrol is getting a lot of attention for having healthy benefits.
Resveratrol is a very important ingredient in red wine. It protects blood vessels from damage, lowers “bad” cholesterol and protects against blood clots. It also reduces inflammation and helps prevent heart disease, one of the leading causes of death today. In my travels, helping my clients to become more healthy and fit is top priority. Here’s the most important fact I tell all of my fitness clients. The antioxidants, especially resveratrol, are found primarily in the skin of the grape. Darker wines, such as Cabernet and Merlots, have been exposed to the grape skins longer. So what does all this mean, you ask? Darker wines are healthier than lighter ones. They contain much more of these wonderful, healthy components. The darker the wine, the healthier it is. Blush wines are only briefly in contact with the grape skins, and therefore are not as healthy.
So which wines should you buy? The world’s healthiest red wines have the greatest amounts of potent heart healthy polyphenol antioxidants, especially resveratrol. The healthiest wines are imported from the region of France. Studies show that the population in Southwest France has an extraordinary lifespan. Wine from this part of the world is significantly higher in polyphenol antioxidants. As a matter of fact it has over 10 times more. The type of grapes and traditional wine-making skills of the French southwest winemakers creates a higher level of antioxidants, especially compared to contemporary, light, everyday drinking red wines.
Mayo Clinic article regarding wine & health - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089
Studies regarding wine & heart health: http://www.winesummit.com/documents/frenchparadox.pdf
About the Author
Nan Gibbons is a fitness expert and advisor. She spends her time traveling, cooking, and running the beach with her lab mix Cody. If you can keep up, follow her on twitter: @healthnut2011
24 Mar 2011
Email – “Wanna drink some Bordeaux?”
Response – “Duh, winning!”
Email – “Okay, we’ll send ya some to drink online with other blawgers and the Frenchies.”
Response – “Killer!”
This is a rough synopsis of the interchange that happened between Balzac Communication and Marketing and Nectar Wine Blog (me) a few weeks back. I love Washington wine, but I’m always looking for opportunities to expand the travels of my palate. Being that the event was on a Friday night, I was running the risk of being called away by paying customers but anticipated a 4pm start time to be plenty doable.
Joining me for the tasting is one of the wine slingers at Nectar Tasting Room, Ben Hilzinger (affectionately known as Benny by all the adoring 21-24 year old lovelies that come in every Friday and Saturday). Ben is passionate about wine and has a voracious appetite for wine knowledge and experience. Alongside my tasting notes are some of Benny’s poetic ramblings.
A brief Bordeaux lesson;
- Southwest corner of France
- Wine history dating back 2000 years (thanks Caesar)
- 700 million bottles of wine produced
- Strictly controlled and regulated
Just like in America, wines in Bordeaux range in quality and price. Tonight’s tasting involved five wines from the Bordeaux Superieur AOC. Wines from this appellation come from mostly older vines and most be aged a minimum of 9 months. All five wines tasted range in price from $13-$16 (a bargain for most any region).
“If you want to earn the Bordeaux Supérieur appellation “stamp of approval,” you have to comply with particularly strict winemaking conditions that give an optimum expression of the terroir.”
The NectarView – A Trip to Planet Bordeaux
I had no idea that Bordeaux was its own planet, but I was really excited for the journey. Uncertain if we traveled by space ship or just virtually through enotravel, I figured I better strap in for the journey. My previous experiences in this price range of French wine left me thinking of trips to my grandma’s house and the smell in the 100 year old basement mixed with a little dirt and mushroom.
Wine #1 Chateau La Gatte La Butte 2006
This 100% Merlot really took me by surprise with its strength. A strong sense of place comes through in both the nose and the palate. The wine seemed a little uptight. @PalatePress said it best with “This will be better tomorrow. Too tight. The wine needs a Manhattan, a massage, and a good night’s sleep. Needs to relax.” The wine is reminiscent of dust covered cherries with a hint of pencil lead. Score this one 3/5.
Wine Slinger Ben – Wed dog nose, well structured, opens up in the back end…”I could sip this.”
Wow, he sure waxes poetic on that one…
Wine #2 Chateau de Lugagnac 2008
A 50/50 split of Cabernet and Merlot from 40+ year old vines, the vineyards sit on soils of iron bearing clay and chalk. While at first I didn’t think the Lugagnac was as well structured as the first wine (thanks @suburbanwino for calling me out), the wine opened up as it sat in the glass while I tended to a patron. Once back to the wine there was an overwhelming amount of plum on the nose. The wine had a nice fruity front but a very hollow mid-plate. The finish was a little tart. Not a favorite of mine 3-/5
64% Merlot and 36% Cabernet. The Quancard was not a favorite among several of the tasters. For me I got a little busy during the tasting on this one and couldn’t give it my full attention. My buddy @winefoot says, ” 2008 Chateau Terrefort-Quancard – rather tart for me- rhubarb, cherries, white pepper, bubble-gum and chalk dust.” From @skovi “The 2008 Terrefort-Quancard is definitely earthy; I get forest floor, tobacco, dry fruit, but not a long finish.” No score.
Wine Slinger Ben – Subtle nose…not too fruity, lingering finish, approachable earthy finish…wee bit spicy.
Wine #4 Chateau de Parenchere Cuvee Raphael 2007
A blend of 60/40 Cab/Merlot, the Parenchere had a full nose of mint, coffee, dry fruit and tobacco. Great structure on the palate with a great deal of layers. The wine is complex and needs to lay down on the couch for an hour session while I uncover the layers. At this price point, this is by far the best wine of the night. Tweet from @cellarmistress “I still can’t get over the muddy, sexy barnyard nose on this thing! Makes me want to mudwrestle! (only kidding!)” 3+/5 (big score for the little price.
Wine Slinger Ben – Wholly shit dude, this is good. Wow!
…again, the boy has a way with words that will make your knees buckle.
Wine #5 Chateau Penin Tradition 2008
While there was a mix up in the tasting (some had 08, some had 09), I had to just drink what I had…bummer. 90% Merlot, 5% Cab and 5% Cab Franc; Ben and I disagreed slightly on the wine. For me there wasn’t a ton of depth and character. It smelled nice and nice a nice flavor but the complexities were missing. Seemed reminiscent of a new world wine with berry fruit and smooth vanilla flavors. 3/5
Wine Slinger Ben – Loving this wine, buttery morning toast, great dimensions and balance, warm & inviting, great wine to pair with food and/or stand alone.
To summarize, the overall impression of Planet Bordeaux tasting was excellent. The value to price ratio left me feeling more confident of my next French wine purchase. Now, if only we could get those Frenchies to Americanize the labels so they’re not so intimidating to the average consumer.
Other Post Recaps from Friends
The Wellesley Wine Press http://www.wellesleywinepress.com/2011/03/bordeaux-tasting-reveals-affordable.html
22 Mar 2011
“What happens when we live in the word of mouth world? What happens when brands can be humanized? There is enormous ROI in a tweet.” ~ Gary Vaynerchuk; ‘The Thank You Economy.’
I want to personally thank Gary Vaynerchuk for the success of DrinkNectar.com, Spokane Wine Magazine and Nectar Tasting Room. 15 months ago, Gary’s book Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash In On Your Passion, was the catalyst for everything I’m doing now. The concept was in my head, the business plan was written, and the timing was always considered, “sometime in the future,” until reading ‘Crush It.’
In summary, Crush It is:
- You can brand yourself using social media tools
- Using a blog as a central source is the best strategy
- Content is king
- Content, Conversation, Share, Care
As I started implementing the strategies presented in Crush It, I was blown away by the results. In a few short months my personal brand grew and many opportunities began to present themselves. Just three months into my experiment I was offered the opportunity to write a few articles for Gary’s web site Corkd.com. In April, 2010 I was asked to write on a regular basis for the revamped Corkd.com. While I couldn’t commit to as many articles as Gary was looking for, I was happy to provide one post per week as my time allowed.
We are living in an amazing time. Brands have the incredible potential of affordably engaging with hundreds (even thousands) of customers. The world is getting infinitely smaller as word of mouth marketing goes viral with Twitter and Facebook. When starting my social experiment, I remember the looks on people’s faces. “You’re going to do what with what?” Gary, THANK YOU. Thank you for sharing your personal experience in a real world way.
I also want to say congratulations, Gary, on the 1000th (and final) episode of Wine Library TV. The show thatstarted it all and inspired hundreds of wine bloggers (including myself) has left its mark as it changed the wine world. Not one to stay static, the incredibly energetic Vaynerchuk launched his new venture, DailyGrape.com the same day as the wrap of Wine Library TV. Daily Grape provides a daily dose of wine education and recommendations from Gary. The site is accompanied by a free iPhone app (other platforms coming soon). Right now, content is light but each day brings something new. At this rate, Gary will hit 1000 Daily Grape episodes in mid 2014.
AUGUST 23 UPDATE
Today, Gary announced his retirement from the daily wine video. Gary has been such an inspiration to so many people (me included). While Gary will still remain in wine with Wine Library and other ventures, he will continue to work as a marketing consultant, public speaker, author, wine educator and more. Thanks, Gary, for all your dedication and inspiration to the wine world!
In addition to all the big changes at the Vaynerchuk empire, Gary’s new book, The Thank You Economy arrived in stores in early March. Watch Gary explain, The Thank You Economy Book.
21 Mar 2011
Guest blog from wine slinger Ben Hilzinger
Anyone from the smelly shmuck sitting beside you on the bus to the overworked soccer mom behind you in line at the shopping mall would agree that in order to taste wine, you must drink it first. Not everyone, however, understands that drinking doesn’t necessarily mean tasting. For those who do know the difference, wine tasting, as an event, can be very intimidating. Ever since a banished, suicidal harem to the King of Persia drank a bottle of spoiled grapes labeled “poison” only finding the effects changing her mood completely, winemakers have allowed customers to sample and/or taste their wines. Many young people, including myself at one point, find the whole ordeal to be comedic, pretentious and aimed towards high-class folk with a dictionary full of terms and references to pull out their bums proving they know a thing or five. Don’t believe this! If one has the ability to enjoy drinking wine, one has the equal ability to enjoy wine tasting. Here are a few helpful hints to those anxious first-time tasters that will hopefully make the experience more enjoyable and allow you to get the most of out every minute!
1. Check business hours!
There’s little more embarrassing than setting time aside to go to the tasting room of your choice only to be greeted with a locked door and the inevitable “@$#!” moment. You’ve already made the first step; don’t dampen your spirits by feeling more out-of-place by messing up the hours. Most wineries are open 12-5 on weekends with many open on weekdays as well.
2. Buddy system
This is the Boy Scout in me talking, but don’t go alone! Wine tasting should be an occasion shared with a friend, and who better to compare verbal notes with than someone you know. No one behind the counter should ever tell you what you WILL taste (I find it to be condescending), but talking with a friend about what you DO taste will make you more confident and willing to make more judgments for yourself. Did I mention it is one of the best afternoon date ideas?
Throw any preconceived notions about the wine out the window because high or low expectations will ruin everything. Don’t expect to be blown away, but don’t always rely on what you think you already know; the experts tend to do this from time to time reinforcing the popularity of blind tastings among the elite. A great deal of passion and hard work is put into every wine you’ll taste so taking the time to listen to what the employee has to say (whether it be history, knowledge about the varietal, and/or reasons the winemaker chose the grapes he did) will make the experience uber times more satisfying.
4. Know the five S’s of wine tasting
- See-inspect the wine for color, legs, viscosity…this will make you look cool, I promise.
- Swirl-oh yes, the swirl that every outsider sees as useless and, perhaps, the most pretentious part about wine-tasting. It coats the inside of the glass causing more surface area for the wine to flirt with the air and, ultimately, allowing the aroma to smack you in the face.
- Sniff-Don’t sip yet!!!! Whew, did I catch you? The nose will tell you more about the wine than ANYTHING ELSE. Trust me; take a good 15 seconds just smelling the wine before you ever let it touch your palate. Most tastes are going to spill their beans in the nose.
- Sip-Ok, now drink! Let it coat your entire tongue and suck in some oxygen ever so softly. Mimicking gum-chewing works best for me to bring out the most flavors.
- Savor-Close your eyes and enjoy. This, of course, is the plot of the entire movie! Now to spit or swallow is another question for another day. Keep those minds clean!
The worker pouring the wine is there for a reason, so bombard them with questions and if they give you lip just tell them I said it was ok. Most, if not all people involved in the wine industry are there because they love everything that IS wine. I’ve never met a wine worker who rolls there eyes at any sort of inquiry. The more you ask the more you’ll know (thanks ma!).
All in all, no expert can tell you what you will or won’t like because only YOU can truly make that decision. In the same token, no one should ever make you feel like you don’t belong at a tasting. Recently, I walked into a local winery with some tattered jeans and shirt I bought from Value Village only to be written off as just another frat boy looking for a mid-afternoon buzz. I knew my place, however, and within minutes of asking enough of the right questions about the wine (and using the five S’s), the man changed his tone completely. You were born to be wine-lover! Support you local wine scene and taste at every single place you can!
Ben Hilzinger is a wine slinger at Nectar Tasting Room and at the Arbor Crest Winery. During the day he masquerades at Lindeman’s bistro and coffee shop on Spokane’s South Hill. In the evening Ben dons his rock star cape as a drummer for a local band. Ben hopes to share the love of wine with his generation and has aspirations to be a wine maker.