Saturday, February 21, 2009


A lot of wine bloggers that review wines these days are getting samples shipped to them straight from the wineries. It's causing a bit of a commotion amongst other bloggers in this online community. Why I am unsure. I am sure that many believe one's opinions can be swayed simply by becoming a source for free wine, thus influencing the reviewer. Sure, I can see that. And while that practice may or may not be controversial (in my book, screw it! Everything's expensive now, and since we wine bloggers aren't doing this for money, there should be some kind of perk), we aren't exactly doing it THAT way.

Being a retailer, our distributors provide us with samples, to evaluate and determine whether or not we want to sell them in our stores. And of course, we do actually buy wine and take it home with us (though we do get an employee discount, thankfully). So the wines that we review for this blog are provided for us either by our suppliers or by our own wallets. Either way, we write about what we WANT to write about - no one begs us to review their wines. The reviews we post are born out of a desire to inform our customers and their friends what we have found to be stunning wines, be it for price, style or just overall craftmanship. So while some bloggers wonder why there is a short supply of negative reviews, for us there really isn't any point to talk about bad wine, because honestly, we aren't in the business of SELLING bad wine, so why the hell would we talk about it? Right?

Now, we taste a lot of GOOD wine, and we do taste some BAD too. But it is the REALLY GOOD, KICK ASS, INCREDIBLE wine that makes it to the Grape Tree.

So keep reading and we'll keep bringing you the best wines we've come across each week.

And speaking of kick-ass wine, the Three Saints Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Ynez 2005 is one such wine. The Grade: AMAZING. The Mojo: The Three Saints Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 is arguably the best damn California Cab I have had so far this year. A blend of 93% Cab, 5% Cab Franc and 2% Malbec, this plush, fruit monster is lush from start to finish. Aromas of blackberry, black cherry and pencil lead greet you immediately in the nose, followed by intense notes of mocha powder and fresh sage. There is a ton of juicy black fruit flavors and rich chocolate, espresso and vanilla tones. For a California Cab under $20, you won't find it's equal.


Anonymous said...

I receive samples. Quite a bit, actually.

I don't get what the fuss is all about. Honestly, no PR engine in the world can operate properly without giving out samples. And in the case of blogging, almost all of us reserve the right to post negative reviews, so they are taking a real gamble for their clients by including a free, unregulated press like us.

Mike said...

I've had a couple of samples come my way. Both were decent, but not great (although the Espiritu du Chile wines came with awesome food pairings) and I said as much...