Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Start your Holiday Shopping Here!

The holiday shopping season is here!
With the 2012 WineShop at Home Holiday Gift Guide, I have something for every wine lover on your list.  Make your selections and email (debra_gomes@me.com) or call me (919-448-8398), I will take care of the rest. Plus, if you order early, it will only take 3-5 business days to deliver!

From stocking stuffers, artisan wines, 3, 6 or 12 month wine club membership, personalized wines and personalized gift boxes, lead-free crystal stemware, decanters, gift baskets and much more.
Also, if you would like to schedule a holiday wine tasting, let’s talk soon! This is a great time of year to gather your friends and try some fantastic wines before you buy in the comfort of your home! The cost of a 12-person tasting is just under $50 (including tax and shipping).
I look forward to working with you this holiday season. Please call with any and all questions.
Cheers and Happy Holidays!
Debra Gomes, 919-448-8398

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wines for Thanksgiving

It is not too late to place your order for some fantastic wines to pair with Thanksgiving Dinner.  These pairings were made by our wine marker Alex Reble.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Choose Real Cork!

At church this morning I saw that they were collecting corks, and as I have a few, I was curious what they do with them. I went home and pulled up this website, which I found educational and fascinating.  This program helps to educate the public about the negative environmental impact that screw caps and plastic closures have to our planet. And how choosing wine with real cork creates jobs and helps the environment.  They also give drop off sites for recycling cork.

Here are some of the things I learned:

-  Current testing indicates that wine taint from bottles closed with natural cork, is down to 1% there is no quality benefit to using an alternative closure. When given the opportunity to choose a sustainable, renewable, recyclable and quality closure, cork is and should be the number one choice.

-  Cork is a 100% natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable material that is obtained through an environmentally friendly harvesting process.

-  Based upon current estimates there is enough cork to close all wine bottles produced in the world, for the next 100 years. The cork forests are now being more sustainably managed than ever before in their history and new planting is always ongoing.

-  Whole Foods is one of the donation sites for corks!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jazmin and Matt's tasting.

Met this really nice couple at Vanessa's tasting. Can't wait for their tasting on this Saturday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lucky French Cows!

Red or white with beef? Either! 

Happy French cows fed two bottles of wine a day to produce succulent gourmet ‘vinbovin’ meatSinging Cows

French cows are getting a taste of the lush life by being fed wine — the equivalent of two or three bottles a day for some cattle in the southern region of Herault.

The cattle’s owner claims it keeps them “happy,” and for the consumer, makes the meat a better-tasting product.  Chefs are also swearing by imbibing bovines.

The meat, known as “vinbovin,” has a “very special texture, beautiful, marbled and tender, which caramelizes while cooking,” Laurent Pourcel, a three Michelin-star chef, said this month, according to The Telegraph.

Winemaker Jean-Charles Tastavy added that he came up with the idea when he first provided the cows a mix of grapes, barley and hay.

Read more: 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Farewell Zinfandel

The Mariana Zinfandel has just moved to low inventory.  This old vine favorite of mine and yours will be missed.  Let me know if you are interested in making a purchase while you still have a chance.

Our Mariana 2009 Zinfandel was produced in the Central Coast wine growing region of California. Zinfandel or Zin, found its origin in Europe in Albania or Greece. This varietal is a genetic twin of the Italian varietal Primitivo. Planted in the United States in the early 19th century it became, half a century later, the number one planted grape vine in California. Zin was and is still very popular even having its own yearly festival in San Francisco: the ZAP. Its popularity comes certainly from the fact that this wine can be appreciated under many forms, as Pink or Rosé, sweet or dry. This wine is made from Old Vines in the Contra Costa appellation, or AVA.

This is a classic wine with a dark robe and a complex nose: dry herbs, black pepper, toasted and light oak characters. The ripeness of these Old Vines provide a round and creamy mouthfeel. Beautiful flavors of cherries, cassis and oak tannins from barrel ageing complete the structure. This wine will stand easily with more ageing in the bottle, up to three years. Enjoy it with grilled meat, stews, wild game or many cheeses. Try the featured recipe of Savory-Backyard-Chicken on the back, which will pick up perfectly with many flavors found in this wine.

Mariana 2009 California Zinfandel

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wine Collecting: 10 Tips for Beginners

Have you ever considered starting a wine collection but were unsure how to begin? Here are some useful tips for any readers considering having more than a few dozen bottles around at the one time.
If you decide to collect wine, the most important first step is to be clear about your objectives. Are you collecting for your own everyday and future drinking pleasure? Or are you investing in an asset, which you plan to sell at a future date for a profit? Depending on your answer, how you set about starting and building your collection will differ greatly.
For the purpose of this post, let's assume you are collecting for your personal pleasure.
Collecting Wine: 10 Essential Tips
• 1. Not all wines age well. Collect wines that have at least 2 to 3 years aging potential. The real fun in collecting is seeing how these wines develop over time. Get to know the categories of wines that age. For example Bordeaux ages but simple Beaujolais does not

Saturday, June 2, 2012

40 Wine Descriptions and What They Really Mean

How to buy wine when you don’t know what it tastes like? A lot of folks (including me) rely on reading wine writer’s descriptions to understand what the wine tastes like. Here’s a list of common wine descriptions and what they actually mean. Wine writing is a business and its job is to SELL the wine, not to be honest or accurate. This is why we rarely write about wine… unless it’s freaking kickass! 

Wines with high acidity are tart and zesty. Red wines generally have a lighter color and more tart characteristics (versus “round”). white wines are often described with characteristics to lemon or lime juice.

An angular wine is like putting a triangle in your mouth, it hits you in specific places with high impact and not elsewhere, It’s like getting punch in the arm in the same place over and over again. An angular wine also has high acidity.

This is a very unfriendly wine. It hits your mouth and then turns it inside out. It usually means the wine has very high acidity and very little fruit flavors. An austere wine is not fruit-forward nor opulent.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mythmaking and wine palates

The latest research seems to confirm the newest trend in wine -- that some of us are better at tasting wine than others. The study, conducted by researchers at Penn State and Brock University in Canada, found that the so-called experts can taste subtleties in wine that the rest of us can't.


This is just another in a long line of studies about wine palates that separate the world into people with various degrees of wine tasting ability. A Yale scientist, Linda Bartoshuk, divides the world into three groups: Super tasters, about 25 percent of the population; tasters, about 50 percent; and non-tasters, about 25 percent. The first group is above average, the second is average, and the third is below average.. Women are a little more than twice as likely to be super tasters as men, according to her work.

This is just another in a long line of studies about wine palates that separate the world into people with various degrees of wine tasting ability. A Yale scientist, Linda Bartoshuk, divides the world into three groups: Super tasters, about 25 percent of the population; tasters, about 50 p ercent; and non-tasters, about 25 percent. The first group is above average, the second is average, and the third is below average.. Women are a little more than twice as likely to be super tasters as men, according to her work.




Monday, March 19, 2012

5 Truths to Make You Smarter About Wine


Wine is an intricate and ever changing subject. However, there are a few fundamentals to keep in mind that are sure to make you appear more knowledgeable and sound more eloquent when it comes to wine.

1. Sweet wine is not the same as fruity wine. Many people confuse sweetness with fruitiness. If you ask for something ‘sweet,’ wine folks will assume you’re looking for a wine with residual sugar. In wine terms, sweet wine, which is the opposite of dry wine, contains leftover sugar that was not converted in to alcohol during the fermentation process. If what you’re actually looking for is a juicy wine dominated by fruity aromas and flavors, ask for a ‘fruity’ or ‘fruit forward’ wine.

2. There are no blueberries in the wine. You’ve no doubt seen wine notes overflowing with descriptors such as ‘chocolate’ and ‘blueberry’ or ‘cherry’ and ‘floral.’ Maybe you’ve even thought to yourself, “how do they get the blueberries in there?” There is only one basic ingredient in fine wine and that is grapes. These descriptions are simply perceptions of aromas and flavors and they provide a convenient way to have a conversation about wine. Wine notes can get carried away ─ camphor and turmeric?! ─ but they can also help you choose a wine that suits your palate.




Keep Calm and Drink Wine

Wine is art. Wine is sexy. Wine is passion.

Wine is the most intriguing drink created. Wine is part of religious ceremonies. Jesus turned water into wine and even drank wine with his disciples as part of everyday life. Wine is sipped not shot, savored not slammed. Wine is discussed, debated, sought after and collected.


…for many, wine is confusing.

As someone who drinks a lot of wine, I’d like to offer three suggestions to help with your understanding of this mysterious nectar.

1. Drink more
– okay, I realize this may have a controversial insinuation. I’m not encouraging abuse, I’m encouraging “practicing.” The best way to learn anything is keep at it. Go wine tasting, host wine parties, order wine with dinner. The more you try, the better your palate will get and you will notice the “subtle hints of cranberry and tobacco” that you used to read in wine tasting notes.

2. Drink new – I am an advocate for trying something new. Life is too short to drink the same wine every day. Explore, experiment, enjoy; with over 700 wineries in Washington, you can try something new every day for over 2 years before moving on to California or even France and Italy. Get out of your rut of buying 14 Hands or Kendall Jackson Chardonnay and expand your tastes.

3. Drink personal – You may have heard this before but, “drink what you like.” If you like a wine, that is your personal preference. Just because someone grades a wine 94 points doesn’t mean you will like it and it doesn’t always justify a higher price. While I am an advocate of wine reviews and scores, I think they are only a guide. If you drink more and drink new, you’ll discover your likes and dislikes without the influence of “experts.”

Enjoy life with friends, drink happy!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Officially Launched!!

Last night was my launch party!!  I wish I would have remembered to take some pictures- maybe I'll take one of the 6 empty bottles.

On the menu last night:

Petit Cadeau Semi-Seco Sparkling
Lumiere de Vie 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
Talmage T Cellars 2010 Chardonnay
Lumiere de Vie 2010 Merlot
Halcyon 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ceres Moonlight

Thanks to Diane for driving down from Virginia to share with me her support and expertise.  And, a huge thanks to my amazing friends for coming over and trying Wine Shop at Home wines. I am really excited to host your upcoming parties!

Now it is time to get started!  Please let me know if you would like to host a wine tasting party!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

U.S. is the Biggest Wine Drinking Country in the World

Vino anyone? It seems we have been drinking up — and often — as the U.S. has become the world's biggest consumer of wine.
Statistics released at by Vinexpo and International Wine and Spirit Research (ISWR) showed the United States consumed the equivalent of 3.7 billion bottles of wine in 2011. Americans surpassed the traditional wine-guzzling nations: France, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Germany. China, which is one of the fastest growing markets, knocked England out of fifth place.
According to the New York Daily News, the ISWR predicts that over the next four years, the U.S. will increase its wine consumption by 10 percent. The wine industry is also keeping a close eye on China and Hong Kong. It is forecast that their combined consumption growth over that same period will reach 54 percent. But despite China's population, the U.S. will remain the main market.

Read more.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

iPhone Wine Apps Reviewed

As part of my wine research, I looked into some good wine apps.   I'm looking for free apps, unless I see something that looks really good.  It looks like there are wine apps that help you with Search, Collect, Social/Share, Food Pairing and Events.  I am personally looking for is a way to take pics of my favorite labels to help me create a virtual wine cellar.   I go to the store and see a label I remember....unfortunately I can't remember if I liked it or if I hated it :-)

Hello Vino - free - looks like a good app for Searching and Food Pairing.  This app focused on help you with your wine shopping, pairing, and helps you save and track your favorites.  (Hello Vino has a competitor, Snooth wine pro.  It is $4.99, and doesn't look like it has good reviews).

Vintagechart+ Wine Spectator Vintage Chart - free- Searching.  Pretty cool.  Wine spectator gives you the vintage, rating, and whether your bottle should be held or ready to drink.

Natlie MacLean - Free.   I'm putting this one down for my Canadian family and friends.  Looks like you can scan the bottle and get great info on any bottle from the LCBO.  (note to Americans friends:  LCBO.com has the BEST recipes.  Add it to your bookmarks!)

Corkbin - This is the app I REALLY want.   However, my ancient iphone won't let me download.  We have been waiting for the right time to update our phones, I'm ready!  It seems to satisfy what I was looking for- creating my virtual cellar.

WineMob - Free - connect with wine lovers!  WineMob and Letspour seem to offer similar functionality.  I am going to try WineMob.com, I prefer the look of their interface.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Upcoming Launch Tasting

I am so excited.  The upcoming week will be my official start week with Wine Shop at Home.  Most importantly, I am going to order the wine for my launch party!  I've started to spread the word about my new business and everyone has been incredibly excited and supportive.  I even have a couple tastings lined up.  The next few months should be lots of fun!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Chit chat, a little music, food, and great wine...now, how in the world can I combine all of this wonderfulness and make some money at the same time?  I loved being a food tour guide for the last 2 years, however the schedule wasn't flexible.  I was on the search for something new. 

One of my best of friends invited me to her house for an at home party.  Think tupperware, but they were going to show us bags.  I'm not a bag person, not enthusiastic about the party, but I like spending time with my friend and there was mention of food and wine.  I'm still not a bag person, although I did host my own party a month later and took care of some holiday shopping.  I was most intrigued by the bag consultant.  She was having fun, making it work with a family and full time career, and making a decent profit. 

That party sparked my interest and I hit the Internet.   I've stumbled on a new adventure that I think is the perfect fit for me through Wine Shop at home - conducting at home WINE tastings!  Chitty chat (check), a little music (should be fine), food (yep), and wine (most definitely) - I'm excited!!