High Level view of Massive Wine Fraud

Mike Steinberger from Slate Magazine has an interesting piece around one of the greatest wine hoaxes ever perpetrated. In it he talks about how these events affected the reputation of the wine expert Michael Broadbent who auctioned and sold the fraudulent wine. It highlights how human fallibility can damage professional reputations and tarnish careers. After reading this, my next book purchase will undoubtedly be The Billionaire's Vinegar.


Check the Slate article out – Greatest Wine Hoax Ever

Italian Banks take wine as collateral!

wine from the cellar

Recession? No matter:

“Italian bank vaults may soon resemble well stocked delicatessens if a plan goes ahead to accept expensive wines and dry-cured hams as collateral on bank loans from crisis-hit producers.

The idea, which was launched this week by an influential Italian bank chairman and wine producer, was backed by an Italian minister and follows the tradition of Italian banks storing massive wheels of parmesan cheese as loan collateral.”

Like I needed more reasons to move back to Italy!

Read more via the Guardian.

Palate Training with Gary V.

We love sharing videos and links especially when we see them being a huge benefit to our members. Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those internet sensations who has appeared on Conan, Ellen and a variety of other media outlets. He produces a almost daily video blog called Wine Library TV where he reviews wines, interviews producers and generally does so in a 'drunk on passion' sort of way. A New Jersey native, his style and dialogue might be abrasive to some but his knowledge and every-man perspective is a welcome change to the stuffiness and snobbery that is occasionally projected by other wine critics.

This video is around how to train your palate to taste wine like the pros do. Its lengthy at about 30 minutes but worth every second. You might want to turn your volume down a bit before you start the clip as Gary V tends to get a little loud. 😉


And the WineCollective Summer Contest winner is……

We are pleased to announce the WineCollective Summer Contest grand prize goes to the member named rtt. Congratulations are in order as rtt submitted numerous contest entries and will receive two stunning bottles of wine for the effort. We'd like to thank all those who entered and appreciate your thoughts and feedback around the wine you have received. Keep up the good work and keep your eyes peeled for our next contest which will be announced shortly.

Thanks again and enjoy your prize rtt.

David and Adrian

Why French Wine is still on Top

Mike Steinberger has a great recent article on about the wines of France still being considered as best in the world. He makes a great point that although enthusiasts often move around the world in search of new varietals and expressions of terroir, they invariably come back to France as the source for their wine. I won't give the rest away but it is an interesting read and will hopefully make you think about giving French wine a shot at your next market or restaurant visit.

Two Cheers for France

Bottoms Up!

WineCollective Summer Contest Extension

Maybe two weeks wasn't enough time!. We here at WineCollective are all about fairness so we have decided to give our members a little time extension on the June contest. Therefore, we are changing the cut-off date for contest entries. The contest now will close on July 31st, 2009 at Midnight, with the winner announced shortly after that. The contest name is also changing to the Summer Contest due to the fact that it is no longer limited to June.

To enter, simply log into the site, go to the My Wines page and leave a comment based off the wines you have received. Each time you comment, that will count as one entry towards the contest. The grand prize is 2 brilliant bottles of wine to be delivered along side of the August packages.

Good luck, thanks for your understanding and we look forward to reading and responding to your feedback.

David and Adrian

Update – June Contest

Time is running out to get your entries in for WineCollectives June contest. To enter, simply log into the WineCollective website and select the My Wines link at the top right corner of the page. With each comment submitted, members will earn one entry for our grand prize of 2 spectacular bottles of wine delivered with the July packages. The contest closes on June 30th, 2009 at midnight so be sure to enter soon and enter often. There is no restrictions on which wines you can comment on so if you have feedback on previous months wines, those comments qualify as contest entries as well. Good luck and we are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Have a great weekend! Cheers!

WineCollective June Contest

Contest time at WineCollective. The rules are simple. For each comment that you leave on the WineCollective site, you will earn you one entry into our latest and greatest contest. Sounds easy right? Maybe you're asking what's in it for you? We have a stupendous prize this time around. It's amazing wine, and not just one bottle but two for our grand prize winner.

This prize will arrive with the winners regular package for July delivery. Eligible contestants are any current members or gift recipients for the month of June.

Don't wait, log on to the WineCollective site, go to the My Wines section and rate / comment your wines. The more you comment, the more entries you earn thus the better your chances for winning. Not only do you get contest entries but you also garner user points for your efforts. Double dipping has never been so easy and so much fun! The contest closes on June 30th with announcement of the winner shortly after.

Good luck, have fun and comment often.

June Package Bonus Perk

For all those WineCollective members who ordered memberships or gifts, we are stoked to include 2 sample Wine Wipes courtesy of Perfect for stashing in your pocket or purse, Wine Wipes are small, disposable towelettes designed to discreetly remove red wine stains from teeth or lips. Wine Wipes are available at various locations in Calgary and are available for order on-line at Wine

We hope you enjoy your complimentary Wine Wipes and hope you are looking forward to a great contest kicking off with tomorrow's wine delivery. Stay tuned for details.

WineCamp Delayed

Yay WineCamp: June 18th.. Ah crap.

Sadly this isn't going to happen people. At least not on this date. We have run into many more snags than we had anticipated (who would have thought drinking wine as a group could be so much trouble?). Sadly this means we might just have to meet a little less formally till we figure out a date that will work. Currently we are shooting for a date in August.

Stay tuned as we are still hard at work getting things organized!

PS. Expect tickets to run around $25. Oh, and keep you eyes on as well.

2008 Bordeaux Futures

Buying wine futures is an interesting proposition, in the sense that futures are purchased around 2 years ahead of when the wine will be delivered to the public. Futures are a gamble; not unlike the stock market in the sense that buyers hope they are able to get top vintages at fractions of the price once the wine is delivered for consumption. Who buys these futures? Collectors, investors and lovers of fine wine. With the benchmark 2000 and 2005 vintages in Bordeaux, the prices of futures had skyrocketed to a point of inaccessibility for most.

An example – 2005 Clerc Milon was initially offered at a futures price of $64.00 per bottle. Today, I spotted this specific vintage for around $130.00 at a local shop. Since the global economic crisis hit, the price of wine has declined with the exciting 2008 vintage finally returning futures prices back to reality.

WineCollective is pleased to be working with Cork Fine Wine, Spirits and Ales around their 2008 Bordeaux futures offering and would like to extend this to our readers and members. If you are interested in learning more, please email us at

Ciao and have a great weekend!

Image Courtesy of Mescon via Flickr

Making Sense of Italian Wine

Matt Kramer is one of those wine writers who has long since checked pretense and snobbery at the door. This is evident in his monthly column in WineSpectator as well as in his written work. I borrowed his latest book Making Sense of Italian Wine and I must admit he invokes great passion all while deciphering the wines of Italy. Do you want to know what constitutes a “Super Tuscan” or do you want to understand the differences between Barolo and Brunello? Is Sassicaia worth the dollars it commands? This book has some great answers to questions like these.

I highly recommend checking it out especially if you have a penchant for or are interested in learning more about vino Italiano!