Warriors toast NBA title with actual champagne!

The Golden State Warriors won their second NBA title in three seasons last night. As a hoops fan, the most impressive stat for me was 147 assists on 216 made baskets–teamwork! But as a wine geek, we here at the Dr. Vino World Headquarters had to wonder…what would the team pop to celebrate in the locker room?
Would the owners cheap out as so many MLB owners do and use bubbly that could be picked up at any 7-11 on the way to the stadium?

We asked a Russian to hack the feed from the locker room to see what they sprayed. (Okay, our source was actually ESPN’s Darren Rovell.) This Warriors team did not hold back! To celebrate this title the doused each other with magnums (natch) of Moët Impérial “Golden Luminous”–a limited edition of the Moet nonvintage that Rovell says are valued at $1,200 each. (Search for this wine) Given the size of the ice bucket, that could have set the owners back about $200k, if the bubbly wasn’t donated by LVMH.

If you want to celebrate in a similar style, the “regular” Moet Imperial is about $40. Or get a more singular wine with a grower Champagne for the same price. (Or even a new wave sparkler from the Golden State!) And throw in a Warriors Champions locker room towel for $17.99 and you can have a similar experience for a fraction of the price. Ski goggles optional.

Warriors toast NBA title with actual champagne!

Warriors toast NBA title with actual champagne!

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Vietti wine sold to US businessman

Vietti, the Barolo winery founded in 1893 and known for its single-vineyard wines, has been sold to the American Kyle J. Krause. According to Wine Spectator, the sale includes the winery in Barolo’s Castiglione Falleto, the brand and 84 acres of vineyards. Luca Currado, enologist and current head of the winery, will be staying on as CEO. The parties did not reveal the price paid.

The story is a curious since top vineyards in Barolo generally get sold to…people in Barolo. Perhaps the increased interest in the wines of Barolo is driving international investor interest in seeking real estate plays or trophy wineries. In any event, the recent dollar strength certainly helps American buyers. And the prices they are willing to pay are now high enough to pry the keys to the cellar out of the hands of some locals. Either way, Vietti seemed to really be on a roll with their wines and I am surprised to learn that they have sold.

Kyle Krause owns a chain of convenience stores based in Iowa known as Kum & Go. (The corporate umbrella of Krause Holdings includes Solar Transport, a hauler of refined fuel and the Des Moines Menace, a team in the fourth tier of the American pro soccer pyramid). It’s hard to imagine Vietti on the shelves of a convenience store but if that happens, it will certainly give Kum & Go a leg up over 7-Eleven’s wines! With 400 stores in 11 states and $2.1 billion in revenue, Kum & Go ranks 163rd in private companies in the US according to Forbes. It was founded in 1959 by William Krause as Hampton Oil Company.

Vietti wine sold to US businessmanKrause and has wife Sharon have five children. Krause told Wine Spectator that “My mother’s family is Italian and I have always had a passion for Italy and for Barolo.” He has been acquisitive in Barolo, purchasing some 30 acres of vineyards last year, though not always emerging as a successful bidder. The other sites Krause owns in Barolo will now be folded into Vietti. Currado says they will increase the quality of Perbacco, their Langhe Nebbiolo. Hopefully it will remain the great buy that it is today. The Barberas are also excellent values.

Wine Spectator story on Vietti purchase
Maker of Kedall-Jackson buys Copain
Constellation Wines buys The Prisoner for $300 million

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State dinner wines for Justin Trudeau


I had fun the other day when a new channel from Canada called. The reporter asked me which wines I would serve for tomorrow’s state dinner at the White House in honor of PM Justin Trudeau, the first state visit of a Canadian prime minister in 20 years.

Without knowing the menu, I recorded a quick video hit about my selections, playing fictional sommelier for a day. Since the piece may not make it online, here were my selections (BREAKING: the official wines chosen for the dinner have now been released and they follow below):

Because Justin Trudeau is young (for a PM), hipster PM, it’s a great time for the White House to highlight some younger wineries or hipper wines. The White House usher who presides over the selections, Daniel Shanks, is quite conservative in his picks, often squandering a chance to do something different, as I have pointed out previously. Now is the chance to be bold and do something different! To that end, and within the parameters of only serving domestic wines at the White House, and recognizing blowback about serving expensive wines that happened once before, I chose to have no Chardonnay or Cabernet. Forging new ground!

Here are my picks:

Ravines, “Argetsinger” vineyard, Riesling, 2013. (find this wine)
Riesling from the Finger Lakes has been getting better and better. It’s a limestone’s throw from Canada and would show respect to their own cooler climate wines. And this wine, the only one made from the steeply sloping Argetsinger vineyard, is impressive. And at $30, it’s not budget busting either so the Department of Defense will still have money left over for $1,000 screw drivers.

Sandhi, Sandford & Benedict Pinot noir 2013 (find this wine)
Santa Barbara has been hopping lately. So why not celebrate that by selecting a newish wine from the region doing a great job? Raj Parr, born in Calcutta and now a US citizen, is a partner in this winery. Given Trudeau’s welcoming stance to Syrian refugees and immigrants more generally, it seemed only appropriate to honor the vinous contributions of a first-generation immigrant here. The wine is beautifully structured and could do with some more aging but they will have to suffice with a decant at the State Dinner. Also, these vines were planted in 1971, Trudeau’s birth year.

Copain, Syrah, Brosseau Vineyard, 2012 (find this wine)
This restrained, elegant syrah would do well at any dinner—state dinners included. Justin Trudeau had his own transformation from snow border and boxer to politician and prime minister. Wells Guthrie, wine maker and partner at Copain, had his own transformation, shifting from making big ass syrah to the current style that is more akin to the Northern Rhone. And the winery name is French, one of Canada’s official languages. And it means “friend,” something we will all need in Canada if Trump is elected!

***Oops, I guess there’s supposed to be a sparkling wine. How about one from Under the Wire or Ultramarine?

Which wines would you choose?

The official wines will be:
Pence Chardonnay “Sebastiano” 2013 (find this wine)
Cliff Lede “High Fidelity” 2012 (find this wine)
Chateau Chantal, Ice Wine, 2013 (find this wine)



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Value vino: Les Hexagonales, pinot noir, 2012

This is a bright, cheery pinot noir with lots of varietal character. You won’t mistake it for a Pommard, but that misses the point: This is a lovely value wine that is better than 99% of domestic pinot noirs under $15. Pinot under $15 (nay, $20!) is a tough category but this one comports itself well with a harmonious balance of fruit and acidity. If only varietal “pinot noir” wines offered by the glass at various clubs and airport lounges could be half as good as this. Find this wine at retail

It hails from the Loire, which is somewhat amusing. Not amusing that a good pinot hails from the Loire, since if you haven’t tried a good red Sancerre, then you are missing out. No, amusing because the back label bills it as a wine of place, which I’m sure it is, but it just doesn’t say which place that is exactly. We do learn a bit more on the importer’s site, such as that it is made by the Mérieau family on their 85-acre estate in the Touraine.

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Wine under $20: Clos de la Roilette 2014


Who doesn’t love a good wine under $20? I have a doozy here for you this Friday: Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie, 2014 (find this wine).

I’ve been a fan of the producer for a while. We recently uncorked a 2009 “cuvée tardive,” a barrel-aged selection from their old vines sprinkled in the manganese and clay soils of Fleurie. It was drinking superbly. A few weeks later, with that 09 still on my mind, I stumbled on the current release (2014) of the “regular” cuvée, which is aged in large foudres after a semi-carbonic maceration. We popped it and it was a joyous addition to the last weekend of summer (yes, a couple of weekends ago). With ebullient dark fruits and enlivening acidity, the wine gives the highest distinction to “gulpable” Beaujolais. A steal at $17.99.

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Amazon tests one-hour wine (booze) delivery


Amazon will bring booze to your door in an hour.

It is pretty amazing, even for the logistics champion. I mean bringing anything to your door that fast is pretty astonishing (why ever leave?) but wine/beer/liquor? Some people might become hermits.

The service is currently available only in the Seattle market. Delivery in an hour carries a $7.99 surcharge; delivery within two hours is free. There’s a limited number of products available but does include things as diverse as TVs and some groceries.

The folks at Geek Wire tried it out. They paid for the hour delivery and placed their order for a bottle of Absolut vodka, some orange juice, a six-pack of beer, and some chips. How did it go?

“Thirty-four minutes later, we were pouring screwdrivers in the break room.”

Impressive! Now just throw in some trousseau and you get the wine geeks clicking on the app. And bring the drones! The service delivers from 8 AM – midnight.

Amazon Prime Now is available (sans alcohol) in New York City, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and various other markets.

“Amazon expands Prime Now, offers U.S. alcohol for first time” [Reuters]

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Pop: Champagne delivery in 10 minutes

Have you ever urgently needed a bottle of Champagne? How about one delivered to you in 10 minutes?

Well, for all your romantic, corporate celebration, and dinner party needs, if you live in London, you are in luck. And, in a surprise, there are no drones involved! Gett, a ride hailing app service, is debuting the Champagne delivery within a limited part of London and only one brand of bubbles–Veuve Clicquot yellow label. The price is £50 ($75), apparently not that much of a markup over retail but still overpriced for mediocre champagne, and it does include two flutes. Interestingly, Gett will be using cabbies-in-training (who are studying for the notoriously difficult exam that black cab drivers must pass in London) to perform the deliveries on scooters.

The only crucial question: will it be chilled but not shaken?

Could this come to the US? It’s possible but it would vary by location since different municipalities have different rules and regs governing the sale of alcohol. But where there’s a will, there’s possibly a way!

HT Business Insider
Photo: Gett

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