What a year it’s been! So long 2009, Hello 2010…

I’m not really one to look back, I’m either daydreaming about the future or looking forward to tonight’s wine – more or less the same thing. But I saw one of Niamh’s tweets about her year-end round-up and it got me to reminiscing about my vinous adventures this past  year. The great thing about a blog – I’ve got a record of many of my favourite drinking adventures. Not all of them mind you, because many I just never got around to blogging about but I did manage to put up almost 120 blog posts this year! I would have done more but I was computer-less over the summer after my laptop was stolen in June. This was definitely the year that The Winesleuth embraced video in all it’s gory messiness. Whether the videos made any sense, well, I’ll let you decide but I sure did have a lot of fun making them. I’d like to get a bit more creative in 2010 and maybe even, dare I say it, a bit more professional. My favourites of the year include ones I made with my good friend and fellow wineblogger Wine90 – she just cracks me up. Here we’re reviewing the Balfour Brut Rose…. But Bibendum Dan was another excellent foil, here we are talking about hairy armpit wines… Fun events, as when Catavino came to town and their winetasting at Vinoteca… [viddler id=74e84e69&w=437&h=333] or the Naked Wines Argentine wine auction….. [viddler id=f70e4865&w=437&h=392] and then there’s just amusing and charming winemakers…Etienne Hugel of the Alsatian winemaker Hugel & Fils… [viddler id=9fe1ae3d&w=437&h=392] and Neil McGuigan of the Australian McGuigan Vineyards, to name a few… [viddler id=49575c47&w=437&h=392] And, of course, the vids of my wine reviews, my favourite has to be one I did in S. Carolina while I was on holiday – every time I see it, it reminds me of what a great holiday I had… Of course there was Twitter as well and the Foodies, most especially Eatlikeagirl with whom I did the...

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Naked Wines auction at the Argentina trade tasting

What if you were set loose on a trade tasting with 1000’s of wines to try and you had to pick just 10 to put on your winelist? How do you do it? You could go the old boring route and try all those wines or you could recruit a bunch of willing tasters to pick those wines for you. Which is exactly what Naked Wines did at the recent Wines of Argentina trade tasting. Naked wines invited 60 of their Naked Angels (people who sponsor and buy wine from specific winemakers on the Naked site)  to the Wines of Argentina trade tasting to choose 10 wines out of roughly 100 staff picked wines to add to the Naked Wines website. We were divided up into teams with a list of 25 wines each and set loose on the tasting. We then ranked the wines. The top 10 wines were tried and we then set a price as to how much we would pay for each of those particular wines. Where does the auction part come in? After the tasting of the top 10 wines, Naked gathers all of our prices and comes up with an average which then becomes the starting price for the wine. There is a £100,000 pot which is divided up amongst the wines based on how close the reps come to Naked’s price. It’s a rather complicated algorithm they use but it gets the job done. The reps are then brought in and the auction begins – Naked makes an offer and the  reps counter offer and so on and so forth for about 45 minutes when the auction is declared over and we get to see how much of each wine was bought. One of my favourite wines at the tasting was La Poderosa 2006 produced by Bodega del Fin del Mundo (which means bottom of the world) in Patagonia.  A rich, full bodied red, loads of ripe black fruits and silky smooth, a blend of malbec, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and tannat, it is the powerful one and even though it was an ’06,...

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Naked all the way

Naked Wines, The Naked Chef? It was only a matter of time before those two got together! I like the whole concept of Naked Wines championing smaller wineries that might not get the market share that they deserve as well as their concept of wine auctions all the time. If you’re not familiar with Naked Wines, you should check them out. And now Naked Wines has joined up with Jamie Oliver, pairing food and wine on both Jamie’s website and Naked Wines’ website. Jamie has his own mixed case of seasonal wines which are available from Naked Wines in either cases of 6 or 12. Jamie’s site has now added a dedicated wine page where you can find food and wine recipe matches as well as general wine tips. Jamie has picked a diverse range of wines for his Naked mixed case. Ranging from Spanish rose, Castillo de Tefalla rosado 08 to New Zealander Michael Brown’s Angels Share Sauvignon Blanc to a top grenache from Domaine Cristia, Vin de pays 08, there is something for all tastes. Jamie has also paired his own recipes with the wines from his mixed cases. Perfect if you’re stuck for ideas on what’s for dinner. If you haven’t visited Naked Wines, give them a try. They have great wines at great prices and you’ll certainly find some hidden (or not so hidden) gems! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Naked Wines live online Auction

Ok, here’s is a crazy idea. Invite consumers to try some wine, pick the ones they like best, set a price and then buy $100,000 AU worth of wine based on their recommendations at a live online auction for your online wine company. Who would be so crazy as to let consumers do that? Rowan Gormely  founder of Naked Wines, that’s who. The latest in interactive social marketing, using crowdsourcing (a new word for me), twitter and blogging, Naked Wines took a gamble and it seems to have paid off. I’m still a bit unclear on the whole “crowdsourcing” thing but seems to be like a casting call for ordinary people. Although, in this case you show up and get to try lots of interesting wines! There were some of the twitterati in attendence, Milo Yiannopolous, the techie blogger from The Telegraph and Gavin Williams of Wine of  the Week were there but most people were customers of Naked Wines.   The event was held at the Australian High Commission on the Strand and all wines tested and bid on were Australian reds, whites and a few rosès for kicks. Interestingly, none of the rosès made it into the final.  I had a ball! It was really fun to give my opinion on a wine and know that my decisions would have an impact. Talk about empowerment to the people. No more having to rely on some wine critic who probably only really drinks claret from the early 20th century. The wines on show were a real grab bag and I have to admit some of my choices didn’t really jibe with the general concensus but enough of them did to get into the live auction. Once the wines had been winnowed down to the final 15 we had to each set a price for what we would pay, then, thru some mysterious algorithythms, the Naked team came up with a price, the money was divvied up, the Australian winemakers were called and the bidding began. We were all able to watch...

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Win Naked!

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Naked Wines are launching a competition to win £1000 worth of wine for your wedding! I usually think Valentine’s Day is a triumph of marketing, much like Mother’s Day but  Naked have come up with something original to celebrate the month of love. They’ve come up with a video competition. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to send in a video of you proposing to your loved one. All you have to do is video it ( a re-enactment is fine), upload  it to their site and then get your friends to visit the site and vote for you. Easy-peasy. What better way to save a bit of change on your big day, especially nowadays what with the depression recession and all. Rules, rules, rules…the basics – open to UK residents, must be over 18, the wedding has to take place in 2009/2010, and only one video per couple, click here for complete rules.  The contest is open from 3 Feb 09 to 1 March 09. AND every couple who enters gets a £25 voucher to spend on the Naked website. So get out those camcorders/mobilephone cameras/video recorders and get going! Check out the latest entrants here Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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