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Trolling the wine 'net
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Trolling the wine 'net

It's Friday, it's a beautiful late-spring day outside, and chances are that most of us aren't much in the mood for work.

So let's devote today's session to a little casual wine-and-food Web-surfing as we while away the hours until the weekend. Here's a quick look at four interesting Websites that caught my attention in recent voyages along the digital wine trail.

Giles MacDonogh
Giles MacDonogh's wine columns display a rare combination of literacy, wit and wine knowledge. They appear regularly in "Punch", the British humor magazine, which maintains an archive of his columns. MacDonough is also the author of "Portuguese Table Wines: The New Generation of Wines and Wine Makers," "Brillat-Savarin: The Judge and His Stomach," and "A Palate in Revolution: Grimond De La Reyniere and the 'Almanac Des Gourmands'."

This week's column, a nice rant on the simple, lovable wines of the Southern Rhone and the pernicious influence of critics on their style and price, is online at
For the full archive of all Giles's columns, click to:

Congressional Wine Caucus
The Congressional Wine Caucus, a bipartisan panel of 250 U.S. senators and representatives from all 50 states headed by California Reps. George Radanovich (Republican) and Mike Thompson (Democrat), has established this Website "to educate and engage the public in legislative and regulatory matters pertaining to wine issues."

If you're interested in the interface between wine and government, you'll find a lot of information here, although it's not all current: The site does not appear to have been updated this calendar year.

Gallery of Regrettable Foods
Now for a laugh break. Use caution here if your boss doesn't like you surfing on company time, as The Gallery of Regrettable Foods will have you giggling helplessly in no time. The images from cookbooks of the 1950s with snide latter-day captions are worth the (free) price of admission.

New Zealand Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative
As the move toward serious alternatives to natural cork for wine bottles gains momentum around the world, our friends Down Under seem to be leading the charge. The New Zealand Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative offers a thorough overview on wine screwcap development, including extensive technical information. (A report on enviromental issues, however, promised for March 14, is not yet forthcoming.)
Planning to Come to Napa Valley? Do You Love Napa Valley Garage Wines?

Welcome to! is written by professional food and wine writers who live in Napa Valley.

For years, we've been emailing friends who ask what they should do, see, drink and where they should eat during their next visit to Napa Valley.

There had to be a better way than tapping out all those emails! There had to be an alternative to online visitor directories influenced by advertising. And there simply should be a website spotlighting talented "garage" winemakers producing delicious, balanced wines, not over-oaked wines that taste like they've been passed through the kidneys of a beaver.

We created, The Insider's Guide to Napa Valley, to fill the void, and we are pleased to introduce to fellow readers of The 30 Second Wine Advisor. While these wines are not often discounted, we've arranged for a 5 percent discount off wines purchased online by June 15. Just enter coupon code 66003, or click here:
and the coupon will be loaded automatically.

These latest additions have our tongues wagging:

Chase Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel: Same vineyard, but half the price of Turley! (Regularly $36/bottle, with coupon, $34.20).

Arns Cabernet Sauvignon 1998: Wicked good; a dead ringer for a $150 cult Cab. (Regularly $50, with coupon $47.50).
(888) 9GO-NAPA


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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.

Friday, June 6, 2003
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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