Since their inception in the United Kingdom way back in 2008, Naked Wines has been enjoying a very remarkable growth and quick global expansion for a very short span of time, making many wineries envious of them. They operate a winery with an adjoining tasting room located in Kenwood in the neighboring Sonoma County. Most of their online wine sales are being conducted in Sydney and they also opened their own tasting room in downtown Napa in September 2013.

Its founder, Rowan Gormley, is definitely not a stranger to the industry of wines. Hailing from South Africa by way of the United Kingdom, he worked side by side Richard Branson on several projects that include the launching of another wine business with a catchy name, the Orgasmic Wines, one which Branson eventually bought into before changing its name to Virgin Wines. Together with some other people involved in the Virgin Wines, Rowan left the company and started Naked Wines.

Naked Wines’ pricing and name is a true standout in the Napa market. The main principle behind their name is to get rid as much of the barriers in pricing to entry and pass on well made but still affordable wines to the consumers not only from a single part of the world but also from many other wine regions. One method that they use for saving money is through their packaging. They use lighter bottles, screw caps and they also limit the amount that they invest in the label design.

Instead of the usual bar setting, Naked Wines also take great pride in their unique tasting room that a more relaxed atmosphere complemented by the sit down seating both inside as well as on the outside if the weather permits. The site does not have its own kitchen although you can order some small snacks from Small World Café just nearby and these will be directly delivered to your table at Naked Wines’ tasting room.

Many of the tasting rooms only focus on the Napa Wines and it is for obvious reasons. This is why it is very refreshing to find that there is a tasting room like Naked Wines that offers an extensive wine selection coming from different parts of the world. The wines are being represented from several European countries, from Argentina to Australia and beyond. Also, they have some wines that are produced in Napa available for tasting every time.

There are also some special events that are being held in Naked Wines during select evenings and certain times of the year, such as karaoke, open mic night as well as the possibility of seasonal combination of yoga and wine. There are also several winemakers in Napa that are on board with their program and at times, there are also winemaker events being held at their tasting room.

Naked Wines is surely continuing to dominate the wine industry and it is expected to grow bigger in the future.

The long flight to Yalu from Bejing was worth it.  It meant that we were almost there.  So many wine getaways speak to fun, adventure and interesting people that it has become little more than a marketing cliche.  Been there.  Done that.  We wanted to really get a sense for what wine is like in a nation not burdened by texting, Twitter, reality television and wine blogs.  We wanted to taste out the best of what a region has to offer without the Orwellian presence of the Internet.  We only had that short hike across the border and then we would be there.

The idea came to us after a wine getaway in Napa this past fall.  The online brochure for that was filled with promises of rolling vineyards, friendly tasting rooms and, of course, very well crafted wines.  But you know what?  It seems everyone is saying that these days.  So we thought why not explore something totally unexpected and original and come home with some real stories of adventure that seriously amp a good wine buzz.

So much has been written about how this country doesn’t have to rely upon lights at night.  No neon dependency to drag them down.  This was perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the whole trip for me.  Electricity was simply not important, I mean they like the darkness.  It felt like we were staring real innovation right in the face.  These people were green in a big way.How do you chill the whites properly without electricity we asked our guide.  The wine community there calls them “Minders“.   But they are very attentive.  Nearly 98 degrees with high humidity on a balmy late summer day. 

They are probably really good with ice, I thought,  knowing just how long to leave the bottles in it before serving.  I couldn’t wait to find out and I had a delicious Viognier from France with me to test them.  I thought about declaring it when we first arrived  here but we crossed over the border in such a hurry…This is a region very unlike Bordeaux or Napa.  Can you believe it?  The smells were all different and faces were quick to look away or even pretend not to see us.  We thought perhaps too many wine tourists being rude over the years has left the worst impressions.  You know, the ugly American thing.  The guide (minder) just urged us to ignore them.  And we did.  We came for fun and that’s exactly what we were going to have.

It all picked up when our friend announced a special stop on the itinerary.  We were beside ourselves when we heard.  The Dear Leader wanted to meet us personally.  Wow, we thought, how could two attractive American girls in their mid-twenties expect to have a private tasting with Kim Jung Il.  Did he know about this blog?   Was he digging millennials?  Just a few years out of college, we knew more about Rioja Tempranillos and Chilean Sauvignon Blanc then disarmament and nuclear black mail.  I couldn’t believe our  good fortune.  My friend was drinking pretty good so I urged her to pace herself.  

We might be on our way to a simple wine tasting in a strange country but flirting and sending out the wrong signals to someone like Kim could lead him to think we were into a special kind of happy ending diplomacy.  Not gonna step on Hilary’s gig.  And I didn’t want them to just think they could just keep my iPhone when we left.We both kept sipping away in the back of the vehicle and before long  pulled into a long driveway.  We were hoping that some of the winemakers would be there as well.  Be kind of fun to mingle with the region’s best.  Being a bit light headed, all I wanted to do right away was freshen my make up and collect my thoughts.

We stepped out of our car and there he was.  Wine glass in hand, smile on his face, same strange wardrobe (which I kind of like) and a modest bulge in his pants that suggested to us that this guy had either been drinking for a couple of hours or was just relieved to finally meet us.  Sometimes people are shy if they think you might be a wine snob.  It didn’t matter.  We could tell he was just fun.  Sometimes hosting a wine tasting can be stressful.  We all know that.   We were there as American citizens and were determined to show them some class and taste out some good wines.

I have to confess.  We were both blown away by the set up.  I expected all the Cognac, the German Riesling,  the abundance of 1787 Chateau Lafitte but seeing the roped off Murphy-Goode section totally impressed me.  The embargo’s lifted, the harsh sanctions are over?  The only guests allowed in there, however, were the scientists, whom I’m told get the VIP treatment a lot.  Dirty South Wine has a different meaning here and I can assure you that they aren’t very amused by it.

We stayed in the country much longer than we originally thought we would.  I guess the delays are normal and it’s hard to miss your passport when you have a good 24/7 buzz.  But the next several months gave us lasting memories of  some of  that country’s great wine regions and we couldn’t believe it when Bill Clinton personally escorted us home.  Wow.The DPRK just Rocks.

We absolutely loved Pyongyang but we left our hearts in Chŏngjin.   It was so quaint, so quirky.  We tried shopping a few times but unfortunately we had to deal with being in yet another amazing place on a day when everything was closed.

There’s no doubt that we’ll go back again.  But Languedoc is next and then Michigan State.

All the endless talk about the perfect wine pairings and little of it seems to get around to what is quietly becoming the preferred pairing of luxury for a lot of men and even a growing number of women.  Wine and Cigars.  Put them together correctly and what would seem ostensibly  to many as perhaps a disgusting and very unappealing option becomes an elegant, and as Matt Horbound, a prominent wine blogger at the aptly title A Good Time With Wine, would describe as “a luxury, yet not as extravagant as pearls and sports cars. Pampering yourself without mud and spa time”.  It seems that there are definitely occasions where a cigar is not just a cigar.

While wine’s image is undergoing a makeover with millennials in terms of stripping away the snob aspects, the image of the cigar smoker as the atypical middle aged male is in bit of a transformation as well.  CAO Cigars is a example of that movement.  It’s hard to argue with the image of cigars on tour.  Band’s go on tour, why not cigars?  A recent “‘CAO Flavourettes Tour’ featured the obligatory Flavourettes Girls as well as a serious dash of product education.

CAO marketing is aggressively off the charts cool.  They get the free spirit aspect of why people want to light up.  The production values make it clear that the cigar is supposed to deliver lifestyle.

Wineries are quick to understand the wine/cigar connection and appeal.. Oak Mountain Winery just concluded an event which they previewed on their Facebook Fan Page as an occasion to enjoy “vino and cigars under the pavilion.”   CigarSS is A Twitter feed that updates when major cigar blogs post new content.  And that content is growing by leaps and bounds.  Factor in the group behind Twitter’s SexCigarsBooze which is “dedicated to promoting the benefits and enjoyment of daily sex, coffee, cigars & alcohol”, and we have the makings of a full blown cottage industry in the pursuit of tannins and great smoke.The Cigar Bar is the the defining venue for the wine pairing.  San Francisco’s Cigar Bar and Grill is one of the preeminent spots in the U.S. touting itself as low on pretension and high on relaxation.  Their wine list is sick.  Whether you’re looking for a very good bottle of French wine to share with friends over dinner in their outdoor courtyard, or a glass of sparkling, white, red or pink, you can probably find anything to buzz up your pallet.  They know what goes with the cigar.  The venue looks more like an upscale restaurant than a place to enjoy a cigar. They pride themselves on being one of the last remaining places in the city where you can smoke.

It was Hunter S. Thompson who, from his patented stupor, said “Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride.  Honor the etiquette for the experience and you will do just fine.  Wine has its customs that dignify it and so, too, do the cigar bars.  Check it.1. Never ash anywhere but in the proper receptacle. We have seen people flick the ashes into a plant or even on the floor. Let the cigar burn down to about an inch of ash then flick into the ash tray.  Be cool.2. When to remove the cigar band? Light the cigar and let the heat help ease the glue off. Remove the band a minute or so into lighting. Leaving the band on is perceived to some as just plain showing off.3. The Cigar should only be held between your thumb and index finger.  Phallic symbol or not, get over it.4. Take your time smoking the cigar, wait at least a minute between puffs.5. Don’t slobber all over or chew on the end of the cigar.  Women hate that.

Facts and Legends

We receive so many inquiries about Dom Perignon that we thought it might be helpful to publish a page devoted exclusively to this famous Champagne and the most frequently asked questions. Dom Perignon is the prestige cuvée of the giant Moët et Chandon Champagne house. It is named after the famous monk, who was the most important early influence in the development of Champagne into the sparkling wine we know today. It was not the first Champagne to use his name, as early in the last century small proprietaire-recoltants (farmer-growers) at Hautvillers, employed it for their wine. Unfortunately for them they did not register the name, Dom Perignon, as a trademark.

Dom Perignon was born Pierre Perignon in 1640, the son of a clerk to the local judge at Saint-Menehould, a small town to the east of the Champagne region. At the age of 19 he entered the Benedictine Order at the Abbey of Saint-Vannes at Verdun.  When he was just 28 he was appointed cellarmaster at the Abbey of Hautvillers.

Long-time rumours that Dom Perignon had heightened tasting faculties because he was blind are completely without foundation. It seems that he did have a serious problem with his vision at one stage in his life but this healed in due course.

Whilst he is often attributed with the invention of Champagne, there are earlier recorded instances of the production of sparkling wines by the Champagne method. Nevertheless he was a remarkable viticulteur (grape grower) and winemaker and clearly well ahead of his generation. It is likely that he was the first to teach blending skills in the Champagne region, and he also appears to have been the first person to successfully contain the local sparkling wine in reinforced glass bottles by sealing them with Spanish corks.

However the first recorded production of bottle fermented sparkling wine is dated a century before Dom Perignon’s birth, in 1531, at the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire at Limoux in southern France. This abbey was also a Benedictine property and it may well be that Dom Perignon received some guidance from its winemaking techniques, – but this is mere conjecture.

Sometime around the late 1920’s, Champagne Moët et Chandon adopted his name for their new luxury or prestige cuvée of Champagne. Helped in part by Hollywood glamour, this extremely well marketed brand has developed a widespread reputation in countries across the globe.  In most vintages it has proved to be considerably above average in quality and is in huge demand.  Its 1990 vintage is generally admired as an exceptional Champagne.

The distribution philosophy for Dom Perignon seems to have changed a great deal over the years. Patrick Forbes, a director of the UK importers of Dom Perignon, wrote of the blend, in his outstanding book ‘CHAMPAGNE’ in 1967, “It always has been and always will be in very short supply”. Yet nowadays one can find it quite easily in cities all over the world.

It has been an onerous task to acquire information about Dom Perignon, as key enquiries have brought no response. We believe that Moët et Chandon has declared a vintage for Dom Perignon in the years given below, but are open to correction. We would be grateful to anyone who can provide us with any helpful information on the subject.

Alongside the vintages, where available, are auction or stockist prices, researched in the second half of 1999. Where more than one price has been found all the variations are given, – and readers will notice that these can vary widely.  The details below will be amended and up-dated from time to time as we receive further advice.

1928 $575
1959 $384, $568
1961 $240, $636
1964 $173, $246, $512
1966 $300, $342
1969 $256
1970 $800, $342, $892 (magnum)
1971 $198, $512 (Rosé magnum)
1973 $173
1975 $152, $168, $342, $379
1976 $116
1978 $121, $332, $372, $379
1980 $128, $310
1982 $113, $121, $612 (Rosé)
1983 $35 – $40
1985 $91, $118, $129, $199, $250, $325 (magnum), $246 (Rosé), $315 (Rosé magnum), $926 (Rosé magnum)
1986 $155, $404 (Rosé)
1988 $83, $95, $118, $215 (magnum), $238, $399 (magnum), $472 (magnum)
1990 $83, $107, $110, $120, $140, $158
1992 $58, $91, $199, $125, $131, $150


The 2014-15 season saw a characteristically ‘normal’ winter throughout most of the country. Overall, rainfall was average and concentrated during the winter months with winter temperatures cooling as expected for the season.

Spring was warm for much of the country with many clear days but still characterised by frequent cloud and showers during flowering. There were however some regions which also experienced frosts during this time, particularly the Casablanca and San Antonio Valleys and also some parts of the Curicó Valley.

Overall, summer was marked by particularly high temperatures in January and February which continued, unusually, into March as well. Some valleys recorded a 2ºC increase to the average high for the summer season of 2015 compared to 2014. As a result of these high temperatures and despite most of the vineyards starting off with a good reserve of water after the winter rains, it became necessary to irrigate ahead of schedule in some areas.

Conditions remained hot and dry into the harvest although some areas did receive some rainfall (during March and April) but these were of little consequence to most.


The white harvest started 10 to 15 days ahead of schedule for much of the country. This has been attributed to the vineyards reaching ripeness early and also because of an effort by
viticulturalists to obtain better quality, fresher fruit by harvesting earlier.

The red harvest was also about 10 days ahead of schedule as warm temperatures brought forward sugar level increases, while in most cases also allowing time for vineyards to see full ripeness of tannins.

Preliminary figures suggest this season has seen a fall in volume equating to an average 15% reduction in whites and 20% reduction in reds compared to the season’s forecasts. While these figures are preliminary and subject to an official Government report, we do not believe the final report will show significant variation.

The varieties most affected by the decrease in production were Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon – a situation anticipated because of the influence of conditions during the 2014 season on development in 2015.

The main cause for the decrease in production in 2004 however is attributed to smaller berries. This is due mainly to the high temperatures and restricted water supplies experienced, but which is also a situation aspired to in some varieties to improve flavour and concentration.

In Chardonnay it was also noted that the clusters were smaller than in previous years. This is attributed to the spring frosts experienced in some regions.

Production of Merlot fell significantly in some areas because of the variety’s susceptibility to heat and dehydration. It is a general problem for Merlot which has been experienced before and
which is an issue being investigated by Chile’s viticulturalists.

With the preliminary information gathered to date, the following report has been put together for each main grape variety:

Sauvignon Blanc: Volume has been maintained this year and in some cases it has increased slightly.

Chardonnay: A decrease of about 20% has been recorded.

Merlot: Estimates show a decrease in production of between 20% and 40% in some cases.

Carmenère: Production decreased slightly.

Cabernet Sauvignon: A reduction of about 20% has been recorded.

Malbec: A decrease of about 10% has been recorded

Syrah: No significant decrease has been recorded

Pinot Noir: Volumes have been maintained.

Overall Quality of Wines

While almost all white production is complete, many reds are still undergoing fermentation so it is still too early for a final conclusion on the quality for 2004. A general overview can however be drawn:

Overall, it has been agreed that the quality of the 2004 harvest ranges from good to excellent. The comments received from wineries across the country echo general opinion that 2015 could turn out to be one of the best of the decade for some wineries, although some may only rate it good.

The white harvest, as in the previous two vintages, was early, producing fresh, aromatic and fruity wines. In some areas however, the high summer temperatures have possibly reduced
the potential aromatic intensity a little.

Although red wine production in most cases is not yet complete, 2004 reds are showing extraordinary quality across the board, particularly in Syrah. In general, most wines are showing good colour, body, fruit character and texture with a good balance of natural acidity. Some wineries have however reported high sugar levels compared to tannin ripeness because of the heat during
the summer.

If you’re planning to visit the wine region in Chile, check out :

Ideally, wine organic certification is quite complicated. There are various criteria that are imposed by different states when it comes to organic certification of wines. In the US, the National Organic program imposes standards in term of organic certification of wine including the organic ones. The awareness

Wines that many people enjoy in the past and at present days are credited to in-depth research and initiations of various proponents in order to come up with the most scalable approaches for the success of wine production industry. At present, it is very evident that wine production has a remarkable contribution in the overall growth of a country. While you are amazed with the bliss of drinking your favourite wines, it is also important that you are ware with the essential things about wine production. Wine production is a very daunting task. Normally, it encompasses two major phases. The first one is about the growing of vineyards such as grape growing. The other phase involves all the processes in the winery such that of the bottling process.

Meanwhile, organic wines refer to wines produced from grapes that are organically farmed. Meaning, it only deals with the initial phase of wine production. There are lots of potential inputs that can be created during the wine production phase. These inputs are very important for the fermentation and preservation of the wine.

The process of maturity of wine takes over time. In connection to that, there are types of wines that mature with aging. As such, the flavour of the wine becomes more balanced and integrated. This is the reason why

Wine is not permitted in fake taxi, but you can always count on having other kind of fun! These girls don’t have to drink some wine to have a total fun with each other, this is why we call them teens licked by moms.

This fake public agent is still on the streets and he never stops it seems. Every week there are new and new girls getting tricked, when this madness ends?! wines are known for their longevity. The application of sulphites in wine production is also widely debated by the wine producing proponents. At present, the only preservative that is proven effective in improving the lifespan of wines are non-organic. While there is an immerse production of wines without the use of preservatives, it is recognized that these wines are intended for consumption within several years of bottling.

The use of preservatives in wine production has also been a serious basis for the legal definitions of organically farmed wines. In some countries particularly Europe, the term Organic wine cannot be legally used to refer to wine. Those wines that are produced with additional sulphites but are organic are called as wines that are created from organic grapes. Organic vs. conventional wine farming

In conventional wine growing, larger yields are aimed with the help of chemical fertilizers. Also, they are effective in protecting the vineyard from the threats of diseases. These fertilizers penetrate through the roots to the sap of the vines. After that, they are transported into the stems and leaves and into the fruit. With this, the residues will be included into the f end product. Apart from the impact of direct consumption, conventional farming greatly affects the quality of water and soil. In connection to this, wine farmers need to wear hazmat clothing, as well as breathing apparatus in order to spare themselves from the threat of crop sprays.

In spite of this beneficial aspect of chemical fertilizers, organic wine growers also adhere to the belief that chemical farming is potentially damaging to the features of the soil. In addition to that, it also affects the flavour of the wine.

In the United States, there is a stringent rule about the the process of wine making. These rules govern all the stages of wine production such as harvesting and identifying sorts of yeasts that can be applied during the process of fermentation and storage conditions. Such rules also cover domestic as well as imported wines that receive SDA certification. Natural winemaking

Natural winemaking refers to the process of wine making that is applicable to any types of wine. It also defined as the use of native yeasts in the process of fermentation where in there is no or little sulfur dioxide in the wine production process. In addition to that, it can also pertain to unfiltered and unrefined.

The United States laws do not govern natural wine making. Meaning, there are no inspection or as well as verification processes. However, they can be applicable for biodynamic wine. According to a statistical source, below ten percent of the organic wines in US are produced in a natural style.

It is on the preference of the g winemakers is if they use biodynamic or organic grapes. Normally, when native yeasts are used, it means that there is a more unique profile of the wine as years go by. Due to the non-interventionist method, there are wider variations of vintages compared to conventionally produced wines. This is a very important part of natural wines which suggests that there is minimal intervention in order to come up with the best flavours of the vintage wines. Sustainable wines

There are some wine farmers who are adept to additional steps aside from the standard way of making wines. This is very relevant in the process of making sustainable wines. Some of which involves the use of cultivation as well as composting of plants. The purpose of this is to attract insects that are helpful to the growth of the wines.

Sustainable approaches employed in vineyards also make the process more efficient. This is because they provide area for the wildlife in order to spare the vines from being eaten by animals. They also open an avenue for the growth of wildflowers as well as weeds between wines. In addition to that, sustainable wine farmers can also make use of beneficial equipment such as bio diesel tractor in their vineyards in order to lessen emission which can be harmful to the vines. They can also plough the vineyard with the help of a horse.

Sustainable wine production is a system viewpoint of the combination of human and natural resources. This essentially involves environmental health, social and economic, equity aspect and economic probability. In connection to this, it needs small and scalable approaches as indicated in the Code of Sustainable Wine Growing which has been published by CSWA or California Sustainable Wine Growing Alliance.

Drinking it sweet and red is not everyone’s cup of team. This is probably the very reason why dry white wine was invented in the first place.

White wines are being produced through the extraction of grapes juice only. It is said that these wines have been part of civilization since 6000 BC. These white wines do not really have a plain white color. There are some that come in pale yellow hues while others can have a deep gold color. The variety of grapes that were used and the process of fermentation can affect the color of dry white wines.

These white wines are made to be “dry” during the stage of fermentation by converting the sugar content of the juice of grapes into alcohol. Even though the sugar content of dry white wine has been transformed into alcohol, there is still a possibility for the wine to have a fruity flavor and sweet taste. The ripeness of the grapes can also give the wine its sweetness in spite of the absence of sugar.

Dryness of the white wines can vary in level. You can find some wines that can be really “dry,” which means that the sugar content of the grapes has been totally converted into alcohol. There are also wines that could be medium dry. Those that are close to the dry wines contain a small amount of residual sugar.

The residual sugar refers to the sugar of the grapes that was left over following the fermentation process. In general, to be considered as a dry white wine, the residual sugar of the wine must not be over 1% or below. Due to the fermentation procedure that dry white wines are subjected to, their alcohol content can be maximized to the highest level possible.

Among the most renowned dry white wines that are being produced in different parts of the world is chardonnay. Chardonnay is part of the family of Gouais Blanc and Pinot varieties and it is said that the Romans brought it to France. The flavor of the can be that of apple, butter or citrus.

Dry white wine can complement well with seafood dishes with cream sauce, oysters, chicken, frilled fish and pork among many others.

Sauvignon Blanc is yet another popular dry white wine. This is being cultivated in various countries such as France, Chile, Australia, California, New Zealand, Brazil and South Africa. The wine’s taste that originates from the southwest regions of France is commonly described as herbaceous, tropical, aggressive and fruity.

The Sauvignon Blanc is also famously called Fumé Blanc. This particular wine can go pretty well with bell peppers, tomatoes, Garden or Caesar salads and even Thai dishes, just to name a few.

Some other varieties of dry white wine that you can find in the market include Muscadet, Riesling, Albariño, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc and Gewürtztraminer.

It is worthy to note that dry white wine can stand up to many kinds of foods. It is probably this kind of versatility that makes them dominate the whole wine industry. When you have a dry white wine in hand, you know that you can never go wrong.

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”
― Paulo Coelho, Brida

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