POSTED ON April 5, 2010 | IN Wine Education, Wine News | BY Joe Becerra

Trefethen 2008 Fallow
First, I receive a bizarre miniature bottle called Fallow from Trefethen Vineyards. No information about why the bottle was sent, just a very hilarious winemaking note describing the aroma and flavors of this empty 50ml wine bottle. What’s up with this I thought. I don’t get it. Then, last Friday, my UPS guy rings the door and has me sign for a small box that he says is wine. I know better, no box that light or small can contain wine. Wrong, here from Trefethen again, is a small fancy box containing four 50 ml. wine bottles. But this time, the bottles are filled with wine. Yeah! Two each of their Double T 2008 Chardonnay and their Double T 2007 Red Wine. Now, I get it. This is a new concept for sampling wine that makes sense. Wineries using these small bottles can send out many samples instead of just a few regular-size bottles to wine bloggers, restaurants, and others without busting their PR budget. Although I would rather get a full bottle, this is a wise option for a winery that wants to introduce its wines to a host of people. Ggrich Hills, Patz & Hall, and Chateau Montelena in the Napa Valley are also early adopters of this novel approach to wine samples. The company behind all this is and if you look at their website you can find out how they go about processing these miniature bottles of wine. Incidentally, I polished off the four bottles of wine that I was sent and have judged both the Chardonnay and the Red Wine to be of delicious quality, as are all the Trefethen wines I have tasted.

Karen McNeil’s New Website & Business
Almost everyone in the world of wine knows of Karen McNeil; she is the author of one of the most popular wine books around, “The Wine Bible.” Just last week Karen McNeil launched a brand new website detailing the services that she and her company provide in terms of wine-related activities. These include wine education, private wine tours, corporate wine seminars, and her publishing initiatives. Karen is no longer associated with Fife Vineyards and is devoting full time to her wine adventures in the Napa Valley.

New Beverage for Wine Judges – Restores the Palate
You probably heard that when it gets down to the end of a long session of tasting wine at a competition, wine judges are often likely to give a big and bold wine a higher score than they would to a less robust wine. The reason, palate fatique. That may or may not be true but a new product called SanTásti might be just the trick to revitalize and revive the palate of wine judges. I tried this product a couple of times and it really does do a dance on your tongue. At the recent Fort Mason Rhone Rangers tasting, I had been tasting dozens of wine and then bumped into the SanTásti folks at their table. I tried this palate-cleansing concoction and returned to tasting more Rhone wines. In my estimation SanTásti really works. Chewing on a piece of French bread or a plain cracker helps, but nothing in comparison to the SanTásti. I wonder what wine judges think about this product. I also think this is a great thing to bring along on your wine tasting adventures in wine country. How many times have I purchased a wine at a winery late in the day that I thought was tasty only to be disappointed drinking it at home days later? This beverage was created by two students in the Cal Poly Wine & Viticulture program. Good luck to them and I think they have found a niche in the world of wine.


  1. Ken says


    What does Gary Vaynerchuk going to San Francesco have to do with a blog on Trefethen 2008 wine in Napa. CH posted that comment that has nothing to do with Napa Wine Tours. Why any wine person wants to waste time seeing Gary Vaynerchuk is over my head. I think it speaks to poor quality of the Wine Blogs available today.

    As to your coverage of the race, I was shocked that the Silverado Trail was closed for the race. I too remember Napa in the ‘70’s when the road was less traveled but even then the bikers took there life in their hands ridding in Napa.


    • joe says

      Hi Ken,

      Somehow that comment got past me. I hope I was not hacked. You are right, it has nothing to do with the 50ml bottles.