Winston's Wisdoms - A Blog
Where Our Passion for Wine & Accessories Is Shared
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About Winston's Wisdoms
Winston, the endearingly drawn gent you see raising his glass, has been the Wine Enthusiast logo for nearly 30 years—and the symbol of unsurpassed expertise in wine accessories and storage.

Winston's Wisdoms Blog is the place where our experts share their knowledge and answer some of the most commonly asked wine-related questions. It's the place where you can ask questions and share insights from your own wine experience. We welcome your feedback and invite you to offer your wisdoms to wine lovers everywhere!

Just Launched! Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Wine Buying Guide iPhone Application

Monday, December 15th, 2008 at 5:08:49 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Wine Enthusiast Wine Buying Guide iPhone App

We are excited to announce that our brand new, wine buying guide application is available now in the iPhone App Store. The guide features our entire database of thousands of wine ratings plus handy wine information, a comprehensive vintage chart, and more.  If you are an iPhone/Touch user, it’s a must.

•    Search wines by price, rating, style, varietal, appellation and special designation
•    Save wines to your wish list for future purchases
•    Cross-reference potential wine shop purchases with ratings from our experts
•    Make informed wine list choices with our vintage chart featuring ratings since 1990
•    Use our glossary of thousands of wine terms including everything from Abbocatto to Zymurgy
•    Learn about Wine and Health, Storing and Cellaring, Serving Wine and more in our Wine 101 reference guide.

Wine Enthusiast Wine Guide iPhone App

For just $10, you’ll have a wealth of portable wine information at your fingertips, whenever you’re in need. It’s a perfect stocking stuffer as well, and a great way to impress friends!

Do you have an iPhone/Touch? Try out the app, and let us know how you like it!

Wine Enthusiast Wine Guide iPhone App

Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Enthusiast 100: By the Numbers

Friday, December 12th, 2008 at 4:12:12 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Each year during holiday time, the editors of Wine Enthusiast Magazine compile their much-anticipated Top 100 Wines lists. They are printed in the January issue which hits news stands in a few weeks but we’ve released a sneak preview to e-mail subscribers. (If you are not a subscriber and you’d like to be, please submit your e-mail address here) Four lists are created: The Enthusiast 100, Top 100 Cellar Selections, Top 100 Best Buys, and Top 50 Spirits (coming soon). Perhaps the most buzzworthy is the Enthusiast 100, which represents the most diverse and dynamic wines available, offering extraordinary quality at the price of affordable luxury.

Wine Wisdoms #9: Why Barrel Fermentation is Special

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 at 1:45:47 PM
by Josh F., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Barrel Fermentation

Most wines are fermented in large steel tanks. Some high quality white wines, particularly Chardonnays, are barrel fermented. This means that the grape juice is put into small (50 gallon) oak barrels along with the yeast, and wine is made. Barrel fermentation is very labor intensive as many, many barrels are used and must be tended to. It’s also an expensive technique because the barrels must be purchased, maintained and replaced frequently. The benefit is that the wines produced this way are richer and more complex than tank fermented wines.  Top burgundy producers barrel ferment and so do many exclusive California wineries.

We offer an assortment of “barrel” themed home decor items like our Personalized Barrel Top Lazy Susans, which make great gifts!

Hosting a Wine Tasting Party: 10 Tips and Tools

Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 6:17:37 PM
by Francis J., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Wine Tasting PartyThere’s much talk about wine appreciation as a social exercise—a way to connect with friends and family while learning about a topic that’s undeniably entertaining. Hosting a wine tasting party sets a stage for fun exchanges and surprising discoveries. Add flavorful food to the mix and you pretty much guarantee a good time for anyone with a pulse. But how to plan it? Wine tasting parties needn’t be a study in luxury—many of the best gatherings are simply organized, and don’t break the bank, making them an ideal choice for tight times.

Announcing The Grand Opening of our New Showroom

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 3:05:43 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Wine Enthusiast Mt. Kisco Headquarters

We welcome you to our new Mount Kisco, New York home with our Showroom Grand Opening sale, taking place this weekend (December 5th, 6th and 7th).

Join us in the celebration at 333 North Bedford Road between 9AM and 6PM from Friday-Sunday and enjoy:

  • 50% Off Merchandise
  • A Free VIP  Wine Tasting
  • Free Wine Cellars with Purchases Over $350
  • Le Cache Wine Cellar Auction
  • Coupon Giveaways, On-Site Demos and More!
  • We are located just 45 minutes north of Manhattan in Mount Kisco which is in Westchester, NY. Find easy directions from your house here.

    We hope to see you for this fun-filled day!

Wine Wisdoms #8: It’s All About Balance

Monday, December 1st, 2008 at 5:18:33 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

balance.jpgThe simplest way to judge the quality of a wine is to determine whether the wine is well-balanced. A wine of high quality will have flavor components that are integrated and in sync with one another. Attributes such as alcohol, acidity and tannin should work together well. If something seems out of wack, it may be an indication of a poorer quality of wine. For example, if you sense a hotness in your throat after sipping the wine, the alcohol may be out of balance. If your mouth is watering profusely, the acidity may be too high. Balance is the most crucial element of wine tasting. And of course if YOU don’t like it, none of this matters at all!

Educate yourself further on the components of wine with any of our wine taste and aroma kits, they  make great gifts too!

Wine Wisdoms #7: Why the Wire on Rioja?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 at 1:30:12 PM
by Josh F., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Rioja BottleEarly in the 20th century as some of Rioja’s producers had made great improvements and offered wines far superior to others, unscrupulous merchants started to paste labels from the top wines onto undistinguished bottles. To prevent this, the wineries started putting wire mesh around their bottles. Today it is a tradition that still holds for many wineries.

Find great Rioja buys at

Search “Rioja” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Online Buying Guide for Thousands of Reviews

Exciting Entries Pile in for The Blitzen Caption Contest

Monday, November 24th, 2008 at 6:44:21 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

BlitzenSince we launched our Blitzen Caption Contest just a week ago, we’ve been receiving hundreds of witty entries every day. It’s hard to keep up with our enthusiastic customers, all pining to win a Free 16-bottle Silent Wine Refrigerator or a $50 gift certificate. Please remember to enter on the contest page, and not in the comments here, to be sure that your submission is received. Twitter members, follow BlitzenWine on Twitter, he’s posting the latest clever captions!

Without further ado, here are some more recent entries:

Please refrein from posting this on Facebook—Sabrina B.

drinking and walking on roofs … bad idea– Donald K.

i made it rein last night- Anita S.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good wine– Vickie W.

Now I lay me me down to sleep, To dream of winning the fridge for my wine to keep.– Debbie C

On the 3rd day of Xmas…3 French Wines, 2 Turtle Dove Martinis, & a Pear Brandy with an almond brie—Britta U.

Eat, drink, and be….horizontal.—Darren D.

I will imbibe with no wine before its time!—Darryl S.

Through boozin’, just snoozin’—Judy F.

That last sip sleighed me—Ed J.

That’s not “visions of sugar plums” dancing in my head!– Marion O.

A little cabernet, then a nap in the sleigh!– Amy R.

Yes, I’m still bottle fed!– Marcia G.

Fruity finish with notes of licorice, berry and venison.– Bruce  W.

40 billion houses in one night….not having to do it again until next year…priceless!—Jane G.

Finally, some competition for Rudolph. Let’s see who Santa asks to guide the sleigh TONIGHT!– Stephen T.

You try standing with a cork in your butt!—Kirk S.

On Comet…On Cupid…On Donder…YAWN Blitzen—Susan B.

Wine Wisdoms #6: Beaujolais Basics

Friday, November 21st, 2008 at 4:12:06 PM
by Josh F., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Beaujolais Nouveau

Beaujolais, though technically considered part of Burgundy, produces more wine than the rest of the entire Burgundy region. Almost all of that wine is red from the Gamay grape. Aside from the individual Village “Cru” Beaujolais which can be aged 3-5 years, Beaujolais-Village is the highest quality wine produced there and is made to be drunk within 2-3 years. And of course every November Beaujolais Nouveau is produced from the current vintage crop.

Discover and learn about the best Beaujolais of 2008 at Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Enter the Blitzen Caption Contest, Win a FREE Wine Refrigerator!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 at 6:41:50 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

The Blitzen Bottle Stopper, our most popular gift from the 2007 holiday season is back, and he has brought 2 friends! These whimsical bottle stoppers are all blitzed out, after having too much fun with wine at their holiday party. Two of the Blitzens have captions, but we’re missing one.

Blitzen Contest

To capture Blitzen in all his essence, we’re asking you, our customers, to tell us what Blitzen On His Back is dreaming about! Between now and December 19th, we’re offering a Free Wine Refrigerator or $50 Gift Certificates to the top entries, selected by our panel of judges. We plan to announce the winner on December 23rd via e-mail.

The contest has already fired up, with over 200 entries so far. Here are some recent submissions, to get the juices flowing!

‘When should I lay down that bottle of wine? *yawn* Right about now sounds good to me’  –Janice S.

Frankly my deer, I don’t give a dram—Jonathan K.

Fine wine now I recline!—Gary P.

I’m spending Christmas right here—Christopher H.

Is that a corkscrew or are you just happy to see me?
—Loryn R.

I wonder if I keep drinking will my nose turn red and then I can be the hero and guide the sled.—Robert M.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good nap!—Nicole S.

Odd…I don’t remember being able to fly upside down—Randall B.

The reindeer were nestled snug in their beds, while visions of Merlot grapes danced in their heads—Ruth L.

Give us your best caption idea, here!