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!


To Your Health – Prevention in a Glass

In 1991, Morley Safer covered the French Paradox which describes how the French maintain relatively high fat diets but seemingly enjoy lower occurrences of heart disease. At the time, researchers were looking at the differences in fats from milk and that of cheese which is known as a staple of the French diet. Along with this, the consumption of red wine was also considered to be a factor in describing this paradox. Seventeen years later, researchers have been learning and discovering just what about wine may be contributing to this anomaly. Their efforts have been focused around a substance found in wine called reservatrol. The worlds pharmaceutical companies are actively researching and developing drugs based off reservatrol for obesity, cardiovascular function along with cancer prevention. Reservatrol has also been seen to have positive preventative characteristics for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

So, raise a glass and toast to your health.We hardly needed another excuse to drink wine!

Time Flies!

Time flies doesn't it? As does all that weird snow we've been getting…

The May packages are almost ready to go! For those who signed up early, we hope that you have enjoyed your first months package. If you haven't already, be sure to log into the WineCollective website to post your ratings and comments for the wines you have received (look in the top navigation for “My Wines“). Your feedback helps us determine future selections and it earns you userpoints (mmm, points).

One thing to note, we have had to make some adjustments to our billing mechanism (as some of you may have already noticed). You will now be seeing invoices from our retail partner, Cork Fine Wine Spirits and Ales. Why? Legalities… You shouldn't notice any other changes in the process, but if you have any concerns please feel free to drop us a line.

Lastly, if you find yourself asking or see a friend jealous of all your wine, there is still time to select a package for next month’s delivery. The WineCollective cut-off for signing up is always at the end of the month, so act quickly because time is running out for May.

Thanks for your support and should you have any feedback, we'd love to hear from you.

Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival – Banff

Where does the time go? Already, we are into festival season with the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival happening this weekend in Banff. There are a few tickets still remaining for entrance into the Grand Tasting Hall on Saturday. Tickets range between $20 and $25 dollars and sampling coupons are 0.50 cents each. As if the Grand Tasting Hall wasn't enough, there are several dinners and events on Friday and Saturday night to complete your weekend of bacchanalia. More information is available on the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival website.

image courtesy of John Vetterli

For those of you who are going, have a great time and be safe by choosing a designated driver or using alternate transport. For those who aren't, the Calgary stop of the festival happens on the weekend of October 15th and Edmonton the weekend of Nov 4th.

Where'd we go? We're back!

Today marked the day that we decided the speed of the site was far too compromising to the overall user experience to let it continue any more. So here we are, new server, more cache, less time waiting around!

Hopefully you all enjoy the new found speed here, and sorry for the few hours of maintenance that occured because of it.

..Oh and if you (members) haven't already checked out the new “My Wines” section, you can now discuss and rate your wines with everyone. FUN!

The WineCollective Launch Contest

Riedel Vitus Syrah Glass

As part of the WineCollective launch, we said we were going to be giving away something special to the user who earned the most user points in the month of March. To jog your memory, WineCollective user points are earned by referring your friends and contributing to the WineCollective site. It was a close race but a winner has been determined.

And now the drum roll please. The winning member is mgsaruwatari!

Your prize will be available for pickup during our launch party on April 19th (Details here). If you can't make it to the party…we'll ship your prize out with your next order. What did mgsaruwatari win? I won't go into details but I will say that it rhymes with Biedel!!

Thanks go out to everyone who entered and earned on this contest. Those points you earned will remain with your account and will be redeemable in the future for great offers, products and events. Keep your eyes peeled on future contest announcements, as we love giving things to our members for free.

*Remember you can earn points by inviting your friends, commenting on your wines or even this blog post. 🙂

Oh oh! Wine costs more today.

That's right, if you live in Alberta the price of buying wine has gone up around $1. The Alberta government intends to increase it's income from liquor sales by around $180 million dollars.

It will now cost people $3 more to buy a carton of cigarettes. A price of a 12-pack of beer went up $1.30. The price of wine and spirits also increased, 75 cents and $2.89 respectively, for a 750 ml bottle.

Happy Easter & Passover!