Category:Wine Curmudgeon

The eighth annual do-it-yourself wine review

old white guys
You can live in your basement if you want — we’re drinking $500 wine.

The blog’s eighth annual do-it-yourself wine review — because, premiumization. Do we need any other reason?

The Wine Curmudgeon has been tasting roses costing $20 and up this year — not necessarily because I want to, but because more marketers than ever want to send me $20 rose samples. Which leads to the first question: Don’t they know who I am?

Which leads to the second question: Is it any wonder I worry about the future of the wine business?

So, for the eighth annual do-it-yourself wine review, four reviews for wine that costs much more than it’s worth, the kind of wine that only a winery CFO and its marketing team could love. (As always, thanks to Al Yellon, since I stole the idea from him all those years ago.)

Again this year, you’ll need to go to the old website to enjoy the post, since Substack doesn’t allow the necessary coding. So follow this link, and then click the drop-down menu and choose your favorite line.

This Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon:

This Italian Super Tuscan:

This French red Bordeaux:

This celebrity rose:

Photo: Kampus Production from Pexels

More do-it-yourself wine reviews:
The seventh do-it-yourself wine review
The sixth do-it-yourself wine review
The fifth do-it-yourself wine review

Welcome to the blog, almost year 2

Here’s what to expect as the blog starts its second year on Substack

cheap wine
“A free month? Such a deal!”

The blog’s first year on Substack has gone pretty much as expected – which, of course, is not quite the same thing as going as I had hoped. Still, enough progress has been made to start year 2 on March 15. Besides, how could I abandon wine in its greatest hour of need since the early 1970s?

That means at least one new feature, as well some technical upgrades, when the first renewals kick in next month. Here’s what both free and paid subscribers need to know:

• Subscriptions: Yes, automatic renewals, just like Amazon Prime, but without the price increase. Those who renew their annual subscription will get 13 months for the price of 12. Upgrade from a free subscription and get 20 percent off the annual cost.

• Technical upgrades: Know, given the way the Internet works, that I’m limited in what I can do. The process with Substack, the software and plug-ins that are available, and the way it works with the old blog, is never going to be as seamless as Amazon. Still, I’m trying, and much thanks to Dave Crawford and Kermit Woodall, the blog’s web impresarios.

• Logging in: Paid subscribers can sign in to the old site directly – look for the “Log In” link on the top of Also, if you click a link and get the pay wall, then click the pay wall link – it should take you to the sign in. And if that takes you to something that looks like a profile page, click the “Wine Curmudgeon” link on the top left of that page, which will take you to the site. And, as always, if there are problems, let me know and I will help.

• WineRant Radio: I may add this, which will be a free, standalone feature, so no need to worry about sign-ins or payment. Its goal will be to drive traffic to the Substack site; look for three or four radio-like commentaries about wine foolishness every month. The WC, of course, has a long history with this sort of thing. Who can forget “The Suburban Sportswriters” on a Chicago-area station in the early 1980s, or the legendary IvoryTowerz Radio, with the great Rick Rockwell, in the middle of the aughts?

• Finally, one more word about wine availability: In a perfect world, every wine I write about would be available at the local supermarket. But, as noted here way too many times, wine isn’t a perfect world. I’m making every effort to find wines that meet the blog’s standards and that readers should be able to find at a quality local independent. Otherwise, I’ll end up writing about Barefoot or the plonk sold at Trader Joe’s. And what’s the point of that?