Archive for the ‘ Frugal Fridays ’ Category

Wine trends for 2010; great wine worth a sip

[tweetmeme source=”PIWC2” only_single=false]

2009 was a year in turmoil and 2010 seems to be somewhat of an improvement. The wine industry is now  leaner and meaner. Many vineyards unfortunately are at the brink of bankruptcy. For those that have survived they now have to be market savvy. It doesn’t have to be repeated too many times, Americans are still wary about the economy. Value imports are catching the eye of many American wine drinkers.If you haven’t lost your job or are anticipating loosing yours, you may still have one thing on your mind and that’s your bottle of wine.

Let’s face it, we all know someone who has lost their job.You may never have needed a bottle more than now and you’re not about to give it up.  Even during economically tough times Americans are not ready to give up their pleasures, whether it is drinking, smoking or even chocolate. They might scale down but give up? Never!  All said, the recession produced at least one notable wine sale trend and that’s value. Lot’s of value and bargains out there.

The wine industry has a ton of wine for sale. Actually, there’s a glut of wine. There’s bargains galore. There’s on line wine discounters and more. There’s even super on line discounters such as Wines Till Sold Out that operate like a QVC for the wine industry. There’s even tweeting and Facebooking for the wine industry, all in the attempt to sell wine and most of it is good wine for sale (Emphasis on ‘Good wine”)

Sometimes high end wineries offer second quality grape production which hasn’t made the cut and re-label it under another name.Other times outside companies buy the excess wine and re label it. What ever the marketing technique is, there are now bargains galore to help satisfy any wine drinkers appetite and price point.

Great  wines worth giving a second look:
* Castle Rock Willamette Valley Pinot Noir  2008 $15. Buys wine from other wineries and re labels it.
* Cameron Hughes Lot 125 Caneros Pinot Noir  2007 $15 Buy their wine from other wineries and re label it.
* Joseph Carr Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007  $20. Sources his grapes from a select group of prestigious Napa Valley wineries.
* Cloudine Cellars  Pinot Noir 2008 $20 second label from Oregon’s Domaine Drouhin
* Liberty School Paso Robles $20 Caymus Vineyards second label
* Kali Hart Chardonnay 2008 $15 Second label from Talbott Vineyards
* Cypress Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Second label from J. Lohr
* Jayson Napa  Valley Red- Second label from Pahlmeyer Vineyards  $45.  Some Pahlmeyer can sell for over  $100


Frugal Friday-Celebrate the World Cup with South African wines

[tweetmeme source=”PIWC2” only_single=false]
What better way to celebrate the hosting of the World Cup than picking up your favorite South African wine.
Nestled at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa boasts well over 350 years of wine making. The industry now combines both classical Old World wine making influenced by New World style. Currently South Africa represents only 1 percent of U.S wine imports but produces wines of quality and value. Stellenbosch represents the center of the South African wine industry and produces beautiful wines. The area produces marvelous Cabernet Sauvignon and its own unique blend of Pinotage.
Celebrate The World Cup
Pick up a bottle and enjoy the World Cup. Just a sampling of South African wines:

Indaba- first launched in the US in 1996, the wines are bottled using screw cap closures. A portion of the brand’s global sales goes to support students from disenfranchised communities.
Indaba Chardonnay 2009, Indaba Chenin Blanc, Indaba Merlot 2008, Indaba Shiraz 2008.

Jam Jar Acclaimed Jam Jar Shiraz
Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz 2009.

Excelsior Peter de Wet Proprietor – With a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, produces juicy, food friendly value wines.
Excelsior Chardonnay 2009, Excelsior Shiraz 2007, Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon

Kanu- Chenin Blanc is their “calling card” awarded “super Chenin” status by South African Chenin Blanc Association

Brampton-“…Bramptom offers some excellent values that revel sophisticated winemaking.” Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 8/2008
Bramptom Chardonnay 2009, Bramptom Shiraz 2007, Bramptom Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.

Rustenberg “…Rustenbeerg has all the qualifications of a world-class wine estate: a long history of wine making…ideal terroir…” Wine Spectator 7/2007
Rustenberg J”ohn X Merriman” 2006, Rustneberg”Peter Barlow” 2005.

Ratts Family Wines Small family owned winery focusing on Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. “..South Africa’s Raats Family winery makes outstanding Chenin Blanc.” Wine Spectator online, 4/2008
Raats Chenin Blanc 2007.

De Toren –Owners Emil and Sonette den Dulk creators of outstanding Bordeaux blends
De Toren “Z” 2006, De Toren Fusion “V” 2006.

Mulderbosch Earned reputation as one of South Africa’s finest white wine producers.
Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Mulderbosh Chardonnay 2006.

Thelema Wine and Spirits Magazine named Thelema as one of the “Top 100 Wineries of the Year, 2008
Thelema Reisling 2008, Sutherland Chardonnay 2007 Thelema Mint Cabernet Sauvignon.

De Morgenzon-flagship Chenin Blanc recently introduced DMZ range where its objective is to over deliver quality for price.
DMZ Chardonnay 2008, DMZ Shiraz.

Kanonkop-referred to South Africa’s ‘First Growth.”
Kanonkop Pinotage 2007, Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Kanonkop Kadette 2008.

The Foundry A focus on Rhone style varietals of Syrah and Viognier
The Foundry Viognier 2006, The Focus Syrah 2005.

Miles Mossop Crafted in the old fashion minimalistic way
Miles Mosso Max 2006.

Rudi Schultz Wines Earned 90+ Wine Spectator rating for its Syrah
Rudi Schultz Syrah 2006.

Klein Constantia Awarded 94 Wine Spectator points for dessert wines
Klein Constatntia Vin de Constance 2005


Frugal Friday-The Taco Truck

[tweetmeme source=”PIWC2” only_single=false]
It’s almost summer time and it’s all about light and easy to prepare foods. In this topsy, turvy, crazy food world, American chefs now seemed obsessed with Tacos. WHY NOT. The ingredients are fresh, the prep is easy and you can always express your creativity with different varieties of tacos.

Find The Truck in Hoboken and Jersey City

Enter The Taco Truck in New Jersey. It’s a concept that was developed by Jason Scott with a vision for sustainable food and social responsibility. His vision lead him to the right chef for the project, Chef Roberto Santibanez, a native from Mexico City.

The Taco Truck brand now brings fast, casual and affordable Mexican Cuisine to the streets of  Hoboken and Jersey City. The truck itself is an 18-foot Ford E step van that carries its own recycling and compost system on board, leaving no Carbon footprint behind. Talk about being green and environmentally friendly!

Look for the signature bright orange truck in the streets of Hoboken and Jersey City. The exact the location of the truck can be found by following the truck on Twitter and Facebook

If you do catch up with The Taco Truck and grab a little lunch or dinner, may I suggest a light, fruity Californian Pinot Noir to go with a meat or chicken taco

Some reasonable Pinot Noirs for your taco enjoyment:

  • Bogle 2007 Pinot Noir (rated 87 Wine Spectator, under $15)
  • Lyeth Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir 2007 (rated 89 Wine Spectator ,under $20)
  • Castle Rock Monterey County Pinot Noir 2007 rated 87 Wine Spectator, under $15)
  • Francis Coppola 2007 Pinot Noir Silver Label (under $15)
  • Ramsey Pinot Noir 2007 (under $18)
  • Deloach Vineyards Pinot Noir 2007 (under $15)
  • Mark West Pinot Noir 2007 (under $15)

For more restaurants follow Chef E.

Cheers and Tweets, Adrienne

Frugal Friday- Discount wine sites to know

[tweetmeme source=”PIWC2” only_single=false]
Super discount websites are  a must to know for every wine lover.  They offer wine bargains for a limited time ( I guess similar to QVC) usually for a 24hr window of time. The sites vary as well as the wine offers and shipping details. Again, a must to know for any oenophile.

Some good discount wine sites to know:

Wines Till Sold Out

Cinderealla Wine

The Wine Spies the wine

Rue La La


Wine We all know Woot. They sell wine as well.

People who use these sites say that some great deals can be found. Word of caution: There are shipping rules for every state. Please check the site carefully to see for yourself. If you have any experience with these sites, I welcome comments. I’m curious because I haven’t tried any of these yet. I’ve perused the sites and have seen some terrific bargains; Italian wines, Californian, you name it.

Cheers and Tweets!


Frugal Friday-Frugal and fun things to do around town

[tweetmeme source=”PIWC2 only_single=false]
Restaurant Week at the Jersey Shore starts April 16th – April 25th. Well over 70 participating restaurants

Palates, Palettes and Pairings” sponsored by The Atlantic Club in Manasquan will kick off the event on April 15th

Craft Beer and BBQ Festival

12-4 p.m., Saturday, April 17 at the Headliner, 1401 Rt. 35, Neptune

“Jamaicanmecrazy” specials, 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 16 at Langosta Lounge, 1000 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park; Sand Bar, 201 Union Lane, Brielle; and Fratello’s, 810 The Plaza, Sea Girt. Participating restaurants will serve up $5 Appleton Rum drinks and Caribbean appetizers.

St. Francis RED Night, 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 20 at Rella’s, 110 Union Ave., Brielle and Avenue, 23 Ocean Ave., Long Branch. –

Tenuta San Guido Wine Dinner, Wednesday, April 21 at Undici Taverna Rustica, 11 W. River Road, Rumson.

Burgers, Bloodies and Brews, Saturday, April 24 at Harpoon Willy’s 2655 River Road, Manasquan; Colts Neck Inn, 6 Route 537 W., Colts Neck; St. Stephens Green, 2031 Route 71, Spring Lake Heights; Boston’s, 1356 Fischer Blvd., Toms River; Brickwall Tavern, 522 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park; and Basil T’s, 183 Riverside Ave., Red Bank. Get your choice of three kinds of burgers, three kinds of Bloody Mary and three kinds of beer at each participating restaurant. An event favorite.

Pier Village Stroll, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25 at Pier Village, Long Branch.

For more info please view here

Frugal Friday-Fun and frugal things to do around town in New Jersey

Partners in Wine Club recommend the following fun and frugal things for this weekend and the coming week:

Grape Beginnings / Brew U

Grape Beginnings
54 West Main Street
Freehold, NJ
Sunday, April 11th 11:00- 4:00
Beer Tasting
Live Music
Give Aways
Brewing Specials
Endless Fun
Meet The Brewers

Free CoolVines Tasting: Italian Wine Tasting

April 10, 2010 (Sat)
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
CoolVines- Princeton
344 Nassau St
Princeton, NJ 08540
ph. 609-924-0039

Free CoolVines Tasting: Malbec; Modern vs Traditional

April 15, 2010 (Thu)
3:00 PM – 9:00 PM
CoolVines- Westfield
23 Elm St
Westfield, NJ 07090
ph. 908-232-5050
Wine & Cheese Pairing Class
April 22, 2010 (Thu)
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlet

489 Rt 1 South, Bldg 16
Iselin, NJ 08830
ph. 732-726-0077

Cheers and Tweets, Adrienne

Frugal Friday- Charitable things to do around town 

PIWC brings you the latest in great Food & Wine happenings at a cost friendly price!

For Frugal Friday this week, we’ll highlight some worthy causes to spend your wine and dining dollars on. While maybe not so frugal the money spent goes a long way to help those less fortunate than us.

Skylark Diner, Edison,  showcases Chilean wines to support earthquake victims. Last weekend I went to The Lark,  one of my favorite hangout bars/diners.  They really have a pretty descent wine list thanks to their new Sommelier Courtney. The food is pretty descent as well. Not your regular run-of the mill diner food.  Kind of upscale for a diner with a  very, very retro interior.  I glanced at their new wine menu and found this lovely Chilean Cabernet Sauv ,Don Maximiano Errazuriz 2008. Very impressive wine. Nice tight tannins with a great chocolate bouquet.

The Skylark will be showcasing this wine all month with 100 % of the proceeds  being donated to Chilean relief. I loved the wine so much, I  bought a bottle knowing the proceeds went to a great cause. And at $16 a bottle a real steal. My recommendation is  stop by and sample the wines and buy a great Chilean to boot. A worthy cause and a great wine.  

Eating and Drinking in South Jersey- John and Lisa Are Eating In South Jersey

Monday April 26th 6-9pm Taste of the Nation A grand tasting and food event. The Westin in Princeton will be hosting this event. Proceeds will go to help end childhood hunger.

May 14th 7 -11 pm Pour for a cure at the Hyatt Regency , New Brunswick, NJ. Proceeds to benefit Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Over 300 wines will be poured. Lots of wine for a good cause.

Cheers and Tweets


Need wine?