Category Special Occasions

Is there a Perfect Wine for Valentine’s Day?

January 31, 2019 High End ValuesSpecial Occasions  No comments

16018052 - two glasses of pink champagne for the couple.Is there a Perfect Wine for Valentine’s Day?

If there was ever a drink made for Valentine’s Day, it must be champagne. And if there was ever an occasion for champagne, it has got to be Valentine’s Day!

Just looking at the elegant bottle, with an inviting residue of frost, the beautiful label, and the anticipation of the exploding bubbles makes our spirits and hearts swell with delight - as we know that something special awaits us, and that things might indeed be better than we think, and that they have just gotten a heck of a lot better.

What is the “normal” gift we get our significant other on Valentine’s Day? The boring, obvious, expected heart-shaped-box of overly sweet, syrup-filled chocolates? An overpriced “prix fixe” meal from an oddly limited menu at an ordinary

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Robert Craig Affinity – High End Napa Cab Under $40

September 28, 2012 Cellar WorthyHigh End ValuesSpecial Occasions  No comments

Robert Craig's Affinity bottling really got on the map after Robert Parker awarded it 96 points in the 2007 vintage. I bought 4 bottles without tasting it. I've only had one and I'm very happy with the purchase. It's an exceptional wine.

That wine is long since sold out but, having drunk both pretty recently, I actually think the 2009 is drinking better today. Time will tell which ends up as the better wine, but today the 2009 is a massive Cabernet with a ripe nose of dark fruit with a background of oak. But where this wine really stands out from other Napa cabs in the price range is the velvet texture and exceedingly long, highly nuanced finish. A true Bordeaux-like elegance exists with Affinity, which makes since because it's grown just south of the Stags Leap District in a cooler

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Big Announcement: Discounted Shipping for Blog Readers

June 19, 2012 Special Occasions  No comments

Nickel and Dime Wine is lucky to have some incredibly loyal readers who purchase (and seem to enjoy) tons of the deals featured on this blog.  But as the name of the blog suggests, we are in relentless pursuit of better deals for our readers, so today we are announcing our best deal ever:

$25 flat case shipping for Nickel and Dime Wine Readers
Shipping wine is expensive because it's really heavy!  You could go to your local wine shop and try to find the wines featured on these pages, but 1.) many of these wines are hard to find and 2.) when you are lucky enough to find one, you almost always pay way more than the prices we feature.  Cakebread Chardonnay that we featured for $35 costs $50 at my grocery store!


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Deal Alert: Pommery Brut Royal Under $20

May 11, 2012 Daily DrinkersHigh End ValuesSpecial Occasions  No comments

Happy Friday!  LA Wine Co. is selling FULL BOTTLES of non-vintage Pommery Brut Royal for $19.95.  This is a textbook Champagne (you know - the kind from France), for the lowest price in the country by $8.39!  Actually, I can honestly say this is the lowest priced Champagne I've ever seen, and it's not some random no-namer.  It's Pommery!!!
Buy Here: Pommery Brut Royal $19.95
Wine Spectator 89 points

"Broad and inviting, exhibiting peach, honey and spice flavors. This is creamy and, though balanced on the soft side, stays focused, with moderate length. Drink now. 5,568 cases imported."

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If I Could Only Drink One Chardonnay – ’09 Beringer Private Reserve

February 17, 2012 High End ValuesSpecial Occasions  No comments

Beringer's 2009 Private Reserve Chardonnay is almost a stupid value.  There are tons of $50 Napa Chardonnays that don't hold a candle to the Beringer PR.  And this isn't one of those wines that is an outstanding value this vintage.  It's this good every vintage.

So how does Beringer do it?  Start with their history: they are one of the oldest wineries in the country, founded in 1875.  Add to that, their massive acreage of vineyard holdings that allow them to pick the very best every year.  A proven winemaking tradition passed down from Ed Sbragia to his mentor Laurie Hook rounds out a winery and a wine that delivers year after year.

Smokey and creamy without being obnoxiously flamboyant, this wine is the definition of Napa opulence with Beringer sophistication.  Its complexity and

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RP 92 Point Pierre Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Amazing

October 2, 2011 Cellar WorthySpecial Occasions  No comments

The wines of Southern Rhone's Chateauneuf du Pape region are possibly the purest expression of fruit the wine world has to offer.  Mostly uninfluenced by oak, these wines are all about the soil in which they are grown and the vines that produce the grapes.

This wine, by world-renowned Domaine Pierre Usseglio, is defined by the finish, something oak barrels can't produce.  A blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault, it's fantastically long with strong tannins that will likely integrate over the next few years to create a wine of spectacular balance and finesse.  This is a 2009 and, as such, is showing a little of its youth.  But after three hours of air, the wine started to blossom with the initially thin mid-palate filling out nicely and the nose blooming into a

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What I Learned from a ’62 Chateau Latour

April 28, 2011 Cellar WorthySpecial Occasions  No comments

I'm acquainted with a gentleman named Ric Elias, who was on flight 1549 that ditched in the Hudson River, saved only by the brilliant flying of Captain "Sully" Sullenberger.  He no longer saves his best wines, instead saying "I collect bad wines.  Because if the person is there and the wine is ready, I'm opening it".  I experienced that mantra this week and I was lucky enough to be the person that was there.

Watch Ric's video here.  It's pretty powerful stuff.

I was in Kansas City on business and had the pleasure of sharing a glass of wine with a new friend, Fred, at his house.  He just did an extensive and very cool renovation of a 1970's modern, part of which included a large wine cellar.  As I was admiring his collection, I noticed a bunch of old bottles, one of which Fred (my

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A French Sparkler for Valentine’s Day without the Champagne Price: $9.95

February 13, 2011 Daily DrinkersSpecial Occasions  No comments

You pay a tax to drink Champagne.  Plain and simple.  The best sparkling wines come from Champagne but if you are looking for low prices they just can't be found.  I literally can't remember a Champagne for under $20 (half bottles don't count).

So if you are looking for a special sparkling wine for Valentine's Day with out the special price, look to other regions of France, Spain, Italy and 'Merica.  This Cremant, a term the French developed for sparkling wine made outside of Champagne, is from the Languedoc region in Southeastern France, where the climate is such that they can produce vintage sparkling wine every year (this one is a 2007).  See, the climate in Champagne is not conducive to grape growing, so most years the Champagne houses produce non-vintage wines which are actually a

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My New Year’s Resolutions

January 5, 2011 Special Occasions  One comment

And we're back!  What an amazing run 2010 was.  I started Nickel and Dime wine in March of 2010 and 10 months later we have nearly 400 email subscribers, 726 Facebook fans and 150-200 daily visitors to the website.  Thanks to our loyal readers for your support and input.  I hope you are enjoying the deals!

After a nice Christmas and New Year's break (with plenty of wine consumption),  I got to thinking about my priorities for 2011 and unlike many peoples' resolutions, drinking less is not a high priority.

1. More Variety:  Like many people, I tend to stick to what I know and like when it comes to wine.  For me, that means a lot of California Cabernet and Chardonnay and Champagne - the kind from France, not to be confused with sparkling wine from other parts of the

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Schramsberg Brut Rosé Mirabelle- 93 point sparkler for under $20

December 12, 2010 Special Occasions  No comments

Schramsberg is arguably the premier sparkling wine producer in the United States, and with their Mirabelle label, they produce value priced non-vintage wine that is consistently great.  Robert Parker recently tweeted:
"excellent value in a high class rose sparkling wine?-check-out Schramsberg non-vintage Mirabelle Brut rose-about $25...damn tasty juice..."
I have to agree with Parker on all but one part of his tweet: the price.  LA Wine Co. has this wine for $18.95.  This is a perfect example of a rosé with a beautiful pink color and bright berry scents on the nose.  On the palate it's broad and full with toasty vanilla from the Chardonnay and a focused minerality with raspberry flavors from the 48% Pinot Noir component.  Speaking of Pinot, some of the red grapes were fermented with the

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