Biggest Wine Myths Found Online

MythBusters Takes on Web Wine Sellers

Rid yourself of these top 5 myths about wine and become a Savvy online wine shopper

1.A Gold (orwhatever) Medal Winning wine is Special 

Hard fact: It is not unusual for 75%-90% of wines entered into a competition to walk away with a medal. There are far too many wine competitions that are organized into for too many categories. Keep in mind that in general an Award Winning wine is most likely to be solid, of average quality. In other words, no big deal.

Barefoot wins tons of medals! relies heavily of medal winning promotions, but others are guilty.

2. Made by a “100 Point Winemaker”

Okay, at some point in his/her career, a wine made by the winemaker was rated 100 points, often referred to as “a perfect wine.”  The vineyard and the winery also deserve considerable credit, but rarely do. What’s misleading logic here is, for example, me saying I’m a perfect golfer because I onced scored a hole in one. Or you got 100% on your driving test, so you are a perfect driver ready for the Indy 500. loves to undercover a wine made by a 100 point winemaker.

3. A Cult Wine, Cult Winery

Cult wine is now so overused that it basically indicates a high priced, often overpriced wine that some reviewers went ape over many years ago. If it also happens to be discounted heavily, it aint no cult. overdoes this one.

4. From a Legendary Vintage, a Vintage of the Century

Now that some smart ass critics think rating vintages on a 100 point scale demonstrates their talent and superior knowledge, let’s take the wind out of this

quickly. In a given vintage, wines are made by humans, and some are better winemakers than others. Thus, quality varies from winery to winery in a given vintage. Also, the vintage usually stretches out over 8-10 weeks, so these overall ratings are unrelaible for all wines made in a given year.

Good wines have been made in poor vintages, and mediocre wines are made in vintages rated 95 to 100 points by some know-it-all. The vintage date has nothing to tell you about the quality of what’s inside the bottle. Used by too many sites to list the guilty.

5. Priced below retail, average retail, best web price or market price

This is tricky to explain. But as an example, offers a Columbia Valley Cabernet for $12.99, well below the market price of $27.33. Such a deal, but the problem is this wine is an exclusive with this site, not sold anywhere else.

So the market price means little, being an estimate or a guess or a made up price. Discounts are unreliable when the wine is custom made, a special label, or an exclusive.

And this is true of so many wines offered by subscription box approaches.




Introducing An Exciting New Wine Site

This relatively new site appeared on my radar screen about 6 months ago. Turns out while also based in the town of Napa, it is unrelated to similar sounding sites, and

I’ve been following it closely and it now deserves your attention.

Why I like 

Professional and unpretentious format: no gimmicky taste profiles, no hype, no silly descriptions, no subscription box mentality.

Ratings are reliable: Chris Sawyer is a real sommelier with genuine credentials

Real wines from real wineries: No custom-made, private label rip-offs.

Serious searching is evident in the selection (curating) of many, small, hard to find wines: Good example is the “One” Cabernet Franc from Knight’s Valley, only 3 barrels made.

A few other points:

While the offerings are limited in number, the wines are not your usual suspects. In fact, some of my favorite CA brands are included such as Robert Craig, Madrigal, MacPhail, and Walt. Also, some wines from Biale, Clos du Val, Mira, and Miner Family have recently been highlighted.

Secondly, discounts are attractive, especially for the daily deals. You can pay close to full fare for the likes of Opus One and Jordan.

But most wines are discounted.

Thirdly, shipping costs are reasonable. Typically the fee is $6 for a flat shipping rate. Or, shipping is free on order of $120 or more.

Here are 4 stellar examples, all at 30%-50% below retail:

2016 Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon, Artisan Collection, Paso Robles,  $24.99

2016 Foris Winery Estate Pinot Noir, Rogue Valley, $13.99

2013 Madrigal Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $29.99

2017 MacPhail, Pinot Noir, “The Flyer,” Sonoma Coast, $34.95