Buy Wine: December 2008 Archives

Snooth Simplifies Wine Shopping with iPhone App

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By Courtney Cochran

Social shopping site Snooth - which allows users to log and rate wines, compare scores with friends and click to buy wines from thousands of merchants across the US - has released an iPhone application that bests many of the other wine apps I've seen. Signing up took me less than two minutes (I simply created a user account on my iPhone at iphone.snooth.com), and moments later I was searching wine reviews using their location-based search services. My search for a Rosenblum Zinfandel selling for less than $50 in my area - the service uses zip codes to power its location-based search - yielded a result at The Wine House in San Francisco, which currently carries the bottle for $33.95. Had I wanted to purchase the wine, I could have used Snooth's "click to call" option embedded in the search result to dial the retailer's number and have the wine put on hold.

Bubble, Bubble Everywhere

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Sifting through the sparkling wine clutter this holiday season

by Courtney Cochran

It never fails: the holidays arrive yet again and you still have no idea how to tell your Prosecco from your Cava. When to serve vintage versus non-vintage Champagne? You're clueless.

With all the stress that comes with the holidays, worrying about your sparkling wine selection seems like an unnecessary burden. Happily, help is here when it comes to the sparkling wine thing. Read on for the low-down on some of the most popular styles of sparkling wine, so that this holiday you can really mean it when you insist that - ahem - you're quite certain a sparkling Chenin Blanc is just the thing to pair with your honey-baked ham.

Wine Clubs

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wine_club.jpgThe Gift That Keeps on Giving - in a good way

by Robert P. Farmer

'Tis the season to shout at your steering wheel while parked in the lot of the local mall - furious in frustration over what the heck to buy that special someone. Yes, the holidays are here and in the spirit of giving I offer some solace to the confused shopper, yes, I count myself among you.

Whether you've got a wine enthusiast on your list or you just hope to create one, a gift membership to a wine club is a gift they won't soon forget. After all, how could they; the wine will keep arriving periodically at their door for at least the ensuing year. Wine clubs are an excellent way to demonstrate your thoughtfulness while also showing in no uncertain terms your good taste. It's sure to be appreciated with each pull of the cork.

There are countless wine clubs available in Wine Country and dozens more to found throughout the nation and reachable via the Internet. The trick is to locate the right club to join - whether for you or on behalf of your gift recipient. Most respectable wine clubs are designed to keep members abreast of their favorite wines while offering them first-look insight into new wines or wines they might not otherwise find on their own. Most wineries operate wine clubs through which members are offered first dibs on reserve vintage orders, exclusive discounts, and invitations to private tastings, classes, and parties.

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