Wine Drinking: December 2007 Archives

Cradle of Love - Wine Gift Ideas

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by Courtney Cochran

Gifting for the wine lover in your life seems easy enough until you realize that the best gifts have already been given:  fancy Rabbit-style corkscrew (check), embellished pewter bottle coaster (check), elaborate duck-shaped decanter (sigh, check). 

But wait!  Just when you’ve decided that finding the perfect gift for your wine lover is about as likely as White Zin making a comeback, I’m here with the scoop on something the wine lover in your life almost certainly doesn’t have:  a wine cradle. 

Made from a variety of materials and available at a variety of price points, a wine cradle is – essentially – a holster designed for serving old and rare wines.  Because older bottles often contain sediment – a natural by-product of wine’s aging process – serving them from a wine cradle ensures that the sediment stays where it ought to be – in the bottom of the bottle – and out of your glass.  Sleek, minimalist cradles may suit New Age drinkers, while more classic, Italian-made pewter versions will win points with traditionalists.

Either way, your gift-giving savvy may just net you a taste of one of said old bottles – a fitting reward for your efforts, if I do say so.

By Robert Farmer

A San Francisco icon has reemerged like the butterfly from the chrysalis. Only in this case the butterfly is a Moose. For decades the anchor of Washington Square and the hideout for local politicos and socialistas, Moose's (415-989-7800; www.mooses.com) recently reopened following a major redesign and refurbishment.

The good news is, it appears that it will still be a great place to grab a glass of wine and discuss the events of the day. Under the watchful eye of wine director Glen Standish, Moose's has unveiled a world-spanning list of wines that showcase artisan producers with an emphasis on organic and biodynamically produced wines. What's more, care was taken to offer value and selection. Great prices will make it tough to choose from among 15 by-the-glass wines and from more than 150 bottle and half-bottle selections. The wines will pair nicely with a new menu from chef Travis Flood, who honed his skills at SF's Fifth Floor, among other haute spots.

It's good to see the return of a classic to the City by the Bay--a place where a local neighborhood restaurant welcomes people from all neighborhoods.


Shop Online With a Million Friends

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By Robert Farmer

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You’ve heard me rant about the benefits of buying wine online – hello, front-door delivery! But sometimes it can be tough to make decision is the vast cold void of cyberspace when confronted with a gazillion choices. That is, unless you know exactly what you want.

But let’s say you’re not Robert Parker and you’re just interested in exploring. Enter Snooth (www.snooth.com), a New York City-based (yes, New York City!) online presence that leverages the much-hyped Web 2.0 technology for its wine recommendations and overall functionality. Flush with a recent one million dollar financing deal, Snooth is poised to make big waves in the online wine shopping and searching world. Using so-called “social” recommending, the site offers info and detail on more than 300,000 kinds of wine.

It also claims 1.9 million users, each of whom add to and help build the site—for instance, you can see what your site friends are liking at the moment, what they’ve bought, and what they’ve steered clear of.  It’s like Facebook for wine snobs! The best part is the search capabilities. The site seems to know wine terminology—for instance, it can find recommendations for based on your love of “buttery” chardonnay.

Check it out and see if you give a Snooth.

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