Episode #53 Smith-Madrone Winery

Big wine, small lot, Napa vineyards, small price. Looking at the Smith brothers, you might mistake them for iron workers in Pittsburgh or mine workers in West Virginia. One sip of their wine and there is no mistaking that Stuart and Charles Smith are definitely wine makers! Planted in 1971 Smith-Madrone Vineyards sits on 200 acres of steep hillside on top of Spring Mountain in Napa Valley. The vineyards consist of 13 acres of Chardonnay, 13 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 7 acres of Riesling. With less than 5000 cases of wine made each year, attention to detail stands out […]

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Deal Found for Bargainistas

Last night I dumped a wine down the drain. Even at $3, the wine was not a good deal. Grocery Outlet buys wine that wineries are moving prior to new releases. From the Bargainista Blog: These overstocks are most of what Grocery Outlet buys.  The wine can be from the winery, importer or distributor.  Past vintages are opportunistic buys, because once a vintage has been replaced by a newer vintage, the salespeople stop showing the older vintage.  Older vintages become a storage expense, not a sales opportunity.  Wineries, importers and distributors have money tied up in this stock.   To quickly […]

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Episode #38 Cleavage Creek Wines

“My wife died for no damn good reason.   It’s time to do something about this.” – Budge Brown, Owner of Cleavage Creek At an age when most men have earned the right to retire, 77 year old Budge bought the Cleavage Creek label with one goal – fight breast cancer. After his wife of 48 years passed away, Brown was “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.” Every year 40,000 women die of breast cancer and 130,000 are diagnosed. The passionate act of making wine has led to over $73,000 in donations to Oncology Research Centers, medication, […]

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Pitchers and Catchers Report Under $10 Challenge

  Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training this week. Why does this matter? It means spring is here, regardless of what the groundhog says, and that grilling season is right around the corner. The Mariners have added Cliff Lee to their pitching rotation and ‘game maker’ Milton Bradley to the outfield in the hopes to improve upon their winning season last year. Regardless of the outcome, one guarantee – I’ll be out on the deck with a glass of wine (and the occasional beer) rooting them on. The under $10 wine challenge is an effort to field a team […]

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Episode #30 Australian Wine Not the Kangaroo

  Many people associate Australian wine with a little yellow kangaroo. While this little yellow kangaroo has done wonders for wine promulgation, it has also caused some negative backlash into the wine world. Australian wine has garnered a reputation for being big, fruity, and cheap, affordable, inexpensive. The price point has been fantastic for introducing people to the world of wine but it has also set the expectation that wine pricing should be under $10 and red wine = massive fruit bomb! The low price point (and the current economic time) has shook the California wine business like a 7.2 […]

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