Newsletter #255 - Introducing: Grape Guy Events

28 May 2015

MichaelPinkusWineReview Newsletter #255

            May 2015

  • WineReview: Introducing - Grape Guy Events

  • Grape Guy’s Picks of the Bunch: New and Noteworthy Wine

  • Weekly Wine Video Series:  A Recap of The Week in Videos

  • Bi-Weekly OWR Updates:  Additional Articles and more

  • Wine Event Spotlight:  See What's Going on in Wine Country

WineReview:  Introducing - Grape Guy Events

I have attended hundreds of wine events in my time, I did many before I wrote about wine and certainly many more after, and what do I have to show for it?  Memories, certainly, though with time many of those seem to fade.  I have a few bottles I picked up along the way, but soon they too will be a distant memory, I also have a handful of memorable recipes … but what if there were more?  

What if I could point to a decanter or a glassware set or some other tangible item from attending my many events? What if I could get a discount on ticket prices or a free tour and tasting at my favourite winery?  What about a dinner, a free appetizer, a VIP tasting experience for four or even a free night’s stay at a vineyard B & B?  

Would I go to more events if I could get those kind of rewards for what I’m already doing?  Maybe … but I certainly wouldn’t go to any less.

All this speculation got me thinking: why isn’t there something out there to reward the frequent or even the casual wine lover … that was the impetus behind putting a team together to work on such a project.  We approached a group called FanTags, who have used this very notion successfully at McMaster University, and asked, “Can it be applied to wine and winery events?”  They thought it was a brilliant idea and began building what we now call the Grape Guy Events App.

Now I have been hinting at it for months in videos and newsletters, we even soft launched it back in March to test the various functionalities; and now I’m thrilled to announce the official launch of Grape Guy Events and the Grape Guy Events App – the only wine app that rewards you for your love of all things wine and for what you’ve already doing:  events, tastings, tweeting, sharing, visiting.

It works quite simply:  Points (known as bottles) can be accumulated for doing a number of things (many you already do):  Tweet a special Grape Guy message or video to receive a small amount of points, these are frequent and can accumulate quickly, best of all it can be done from your tablet, computer or Smartphone.  Attending an event at a participating winery or festival is where you’ll get the most one-time points, plus you can collect points by just showing up for a tasting at a partnered winery – it’s just that simple.  

But what’s the use of getting points unless you can put them to good use? (I know I have been collecting Air Miles for years and have enough to get to Oshawa and maybe halfway back).    That’s where the Grape Guy Events Rewards Cellar comes into play.  Take your points (bottles) into our Rewards Cellar where you can “cash” them in for any number of rewards / prizes … think of it as Air Miles for the Wine Lover; but with much more attainable rewards. New prizes are being added as more partners come on-board, so the cellar will be filling up with great things you can trade-in for.

For our first major event we’ve partnered up with the New Vintage Festival this coming June 20th, we’ll be at the New Vintage Festival Tailgate Party in full sign up blitz-mode.  Downloading and signing up will get you 500 points (which can be done anytime), and if you attend the Tailgate Party and check-in at the event will get you an additional 500 points.  That’s 1000 points just for being there.  

We’re also rewarding app downloaders till the end of November with some very special incentives:  we’ll be giving away a Schott Zwiesel prize pack to one lucky downloader each month; then in December we’ll have another draw for the ultimate grand prize: a 25-piece Schott Zwiesel decanter and glassware set.  Don’t delay, download the Grape Guy Events app today on Apple / Android or even Blackberry (check the Facebook page for the link) and start rewarding yourself for what you already do – love wine.

Keeping up-to-date on the various events is easy with the new Grape Guy Events Facebook page and Twitter feed – and of course the app has the events listed as well.

See THIS LINK for all the details and links to download the app now, and don’t forget to like the Grape Guy Events Facebook Page and follow the Twitter feed to keep up-to-date with all the events and ways you can accumulate points.

We just know you’re going to love this new program and as always, thanks for being a reader.


Grape Guy’s Picks of the Bunch:  New and Noteworthy Wines

Daniel Lenko 2012 Viognier - $49.95 (W)
Now I hear you, 50 bucks for a Viognier seems a little pricey (and that might be an understatement); but this is a grape that Lenko has grown since 1989 and has been making wine from since 1999 – so there’s experience and age to think about; plus it’s a very limited planting, with only two acres in the ground.  Nose lures with pineapple, peach and floral notes … palate has a tendency to follow the nose, but what makes this more interesting is the smoke and spices that appear, which Daniel attributes to the 8 months of lees stirring and ageing.  Price: $49.95 – Rating: ****

Reif 2012 Meritage - $34.95 (W)
The nose here just pops with lovely raspberry, black cherry, chocolate and black currant – which totally lures you into the glass, daring you to take a sip; and the palate does not disappoint: it shows off a juicy middle full of red and black fruit along with tobacco, cocoa, smoky-vanilla and a moderate tannin grip.  Price: $34.95 – Rating: ****

Rockway 2012 Red - Small Lot, Wild Ferment - $29.95 (W)
An equal blend of four grapes: Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon wild fermented for character (that’s what wild ferment brings to wines). Aromas are very red fruit dominated, especially by raspberry and cherry with hints of blue and black fruit sitting in the background.  Palate is also quite fruit driven, both red and black with nice acidity and tannins on the finish.  Should age nicely for 7 years or enjoy it now in a nice big Bordeaux-style glass to get the full effect of all that red and black fruit.  Price: $29.95 – Rating: ****

Strewn 2013 Pinot Blanc, Terroir - $18.95 (W)
I’m a Pinot Blanc fan, especially when it offers something interesting … It is the lesser known and sometimes believed to be the less exciting member of the Pinot family, behind Noir and Gris (Grigio) – but it can offer something you can’t get from the other two.  Here the nose swings tropical (pineapple) and citrus (orange rind) … the palate is very pretty with a touch of green apple on a dry mid-length finish and great acid backbone.  Price: $18.95 – Rating: ****

Thirty Bench 2013 Riesling, Wild Cask - $30.00 (W)
Two surprises from the 2013 vintage at Thirty Bench where it comes to Riesling: 1) no wood post offering and 2) they barreled a batch. Now for the most part I’m not a fan of putting Riesling into oak, and neither is Thirty Bench winemaker Emma Garner, but for some reason she took a small batch of Triangle fruit, wild fermented it for 2 months in older oak, with a third of the wine in stainless steel.  The result is a thicker, more mouth-filling wine that’s biggest asset I its persistent acidity along with its creamy apple notes and long finish – much better than I expected (hence the score I am giving it) … I have a feeling that Emma was surprised by the results too.  Only 175 cases produced.  Price: $30.00 – Rating: ****

Two Sisters 2011 Eleventh Post - $39.00 (W)
This wine take its name from the post the family carved their initials into during a picnic in the vineyard – it’s made from 52% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon and follows what seems to be the standard Sisters barrels regime: 25% new, 20% American, 16-18 months in oak.  There’s a juiciness of blackberry, black cherry and raspberry along with oak, smoke, vanilla and cherry tobacco … it evolves nicely in glass developing a really smoky note throughout.  Price: $39.00 – Rating: ****

Availability legend:  W (Winery) – L (LCBO/Vintages) –  OL (On-Line).

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The Weekly Wine Video Series: Local (Ontario); National (Across Canada) and International

The Weekly Wine Videos
Just as the name suggest … every week I'll introduce you to another fabulous wine that you've just gotta try – Check out the YouTube Channel Now

Weekly Ontario Videos

Video #131 - Domaine Queylus 2011 La Grande Reserve


Weekly National & International Videos

Video #007 - Churchill's Estate 2011 Douro Red (Portugal)


Rosé Week Videos (originally aired May 18-23)

Day 1 - Caves D'Esclan 2014 Whispering Angel (France)
Day 2 - 16 Mile Cellar 2013 Renegade
Day 3 - Creekside 2014 Cabernet Rosé
Day 4 - Ravine 2014 Cabernet Rosé
Day 5 - Peninsula Ridge 2014 Beal Vineyard
Day 6 - Malivoire 2014 Moira Vineyard

Subscribing to the YouTube channel by clicking here

Bi-Weekly OWR Updates Additional articles on the website and more

On the Road with the Grape Guy (blog)
(Trips, tours and tastings – join me as I review the highs, and sometimes, the lows)
Nothing New This Week - more coming soon

NEW - Taste it Again / Lost & Found (blog):  the two blogs have merged
(Find out what happened to some favourites and to those that never were tasted) 
Nothing New This Week - more coming soon

NEW NAME - Uncorked Tonight (blog)
When it’s not an Ontario wine, here’s what I’m pulling out of the cellar
New Posts Added

Vintages Release (blog)
May 30, 2015 - Vintages Report can be found here
June 13, 2015 - coming soon

Wine Event Spotlight: See What's Going on in Wine Country

The Sake Institute of Ontario (SIO) is honoured to present the 3rd annual "Kampai Toronto", the largest sake festival in Canada. Showcasing over 120 of the best sake produced in Japan and North America. Every grade & style of sake will be presented, along with a myriad of appetizer-style foods courtesy of local Restaurant Partners.  Thursday May 29th - 6:30PM-9:00PM … The Historic Distillery District, 55 Mill Street, Toronto - Fermenting Cellar and the Thompson Landry Gallery.  More details can be found by clicking here.

Importing Wine for Pleasure & Profit Seminar … Saturday June 6th, 2015 (9:30 a.m.-4 p.m) at The Old Mill Inn & Spa, Toronto.   C. Steven Trenholme, a 30-year veteran of the international beverage alcohol industry, gives you the details on how to import wine, spirits and beer into the Ontario marketplace for personal use or as a career.  $325.00 includes seminar, material, lunch and 30 days of online consulting. Pre-Registration Required Contact -- C.S. Trenholme & Associates, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Summer Solstice Concert Event 2015 … Join Tawse Winery for the highlight of their summer “The Summer Solstice concert” - June 27th.  This year's entertainment features The Jim Cuddy Band, The Stampeders and Christopher Plock & Errol Fisher! Delicious food items from a host of local food vendors will be available to pair with Tawse wines! Admission ($129 + tax) includes a commemorative Tawse wine glass.  Doors open at 5 pm and entertainment commences at 5:30 pm.  Details can be found here.

Join the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake for their annual for Sip & Sizzle as 25 wineries offer a unique grilled food and VQA wine pairing. Taking place all 5 weekends in May.  Tickets can be found here

OntarioWineReview’s bi-weekly newsletter is devoted to the love, enjoyment and promotion of the wines of Ontario and the wineries that make them.

What can the Grape Guy do for you … Michael Pinkus (Grape Guy) provides a variety of wine related services that you might be interested in taking advantage of:  he gives lectures, leads seminars, conducts tastings, sets up tours; consults, selects and judges.  He also gives interviews, broadcasts, podcasts and writes.  Contact the Grape Guy if you require any of these services or have any questions.

Psst, Pass It On
… keep the good wine flowing. Forward this newsletter to your mom in Milton, your son in Smith Falls, or any other family member or loved one that you know needs good wine advice.

Socially Speaking …
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To contact us with feedback, article ideas, comments, concerns or questions – email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We look forward to hearing from you!

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