Uncorked Ventures Blog

Mark Aselstine
January 25, 2013 | Mark Aselstine

The NRA Has a Wine Club-Really?

When Matt and I speak with customers on the phone or through email, we’re often asked to describe how our clubs with Uncorked Ventures differ with some of our larger and certainly more well known competitors.

Our answers vary depending on which wine club we’re talking about and quite a few other factors-but overall this is a great example.

The NRA has a wine club and a few Australian wineries were not even aware that their wines were being sold by the NRA wine club.

Which made me wonder, really?

I realize not everyone is taking the time to interact with winery owners and winemakers like we do, but for a major corporation to seemingly not be having any interaction with their suppliers, seems well a bit strange.

What you don’t get with us are wines that are being pushed out indiscriminately into the wine retail world.  When we say carefully curated-we mean it.

Time Posted: Jan 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM
Mark Aselstine
January 24, 2013 | Mark Aselstine

$2 Chuck Is No More

No, Charles Shaw and their famous Two Buck Chuck isn’t going away anytime soon-according to most everyone involved with the brand and outside of it, Bronco Wine Co and the folks behind Charles Shaw are doing quite well.

The big news today is pretty simple, the price of Charles Shaw is going from $1.99 in California to $2.49.

I guess, even when rounding it is still $2 Buck Chuck!

Of course, Charles Shaw has been sold outside of California for $3 for some time, so in some ways we’re just catching up with the rest of the country.

While we sell much more expensive wine here at Uncorked Ventures, we still enjoy keeping tabs on the wider wine market and we know Trader Joe’s sells Charles Shaw by the cart load on a daily basis.

Time Posted: Jan 24, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Mark Aselstine
January 24, 2013 | Mark Aselstine

The World's Top Wine-Producing Regions Revisited

The top wine-producing regions of the world are dependent on certain people's tastes and experiences. However, a select few locations across the globe are well-renowned for their deliciously delicate selection of wineries and vineyards. The impact that these regions have on both the economy and culture of a nation cannot be understated and the following regions are rich in everything, from colours and tastes to business and real estate.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley, situated in the state of California, is perhaps the most famed region in the world. It's almost attained legendary status and is known best for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Its quaint setting is enveloped by looming mountains and the 30-mile region contains hundreds of wine producers, up and down its lands, from small to large. For those visiting the state, it's also a very popular tourist attraction.


For those who wish for something a little more exotic than to enjoy a bottle of premium Tesco wine, Stellenbosch is perhaps South Africa's stand-out region. Its products are of the highest quality and its laid-back attitude makes it the perfect holiday for budding tourists as well. It is known primarily for its production of Merlot and Shiraz and the region is comfortably close to Cape Town, perfect for those relaxed summer visits.


Mendoza is an Argentinean region and has the benefit of being backed up by the Andes. The wineries found here produce two-thirds of the output found in the country and are famed for their expertise when it comes to the fine tastes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Chardonnay. Its consistency has aided Argentina in becoming one of the fastest growing wine regions on the planet and has resulted in a significant economic growth.


France's Bordeaux is incredibly well-regarded in the UK, most likely due to its convenient proximity. The collection of wineries found here are world-renowned and are simply the best you'll find. From Merlot to Cabernet Franc, the strong-tasting grapes are matured into something sophisticated and elegant, summing the region up suitably. The markets in the area are just as popular with tourists, creating an experience and an atmosphere that will be cherished for a long time.


Italy gets itself on the board with the charming region of Tuscany. It shares its title as 'Best in Europe' with Bordeaux and deserves its coveted reputation. The Chianti, renowned as the true epitome of fine Italian wine and referenced eerily in The Silence Of The Lambs, is found in this region and the small farms that are found dotted around the land speak of a relaxed yet dedicated workforce.

Time Posted: Jan 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Mark Aselstine
January 7, 2013 | Mark Aselstine

Welcome to 2013

It’s been a fun and exciting time at Uncorked Ventures.  Yes, we still largely go silent during the holiday rush on this end since it’s all hands on deck for both shipments as well as responding to customer inquiries.

We’re back and we’re busy sorting through customer phone calls and emails which came in over the past week to ten days.  We’ll be in touch with everyone as quickly as possible, we appreciate your understanding.  After a busy few months, it is still incredibly important for us to get a week or two away with family to recharge and get ready for another year.

Coming Soon at Uncorked Ventures:

-Better Newsletters which are available online

-Easier re-orders for ongoing members

-Free shipping on re-orders for ongoing members

-6 new gift baskets

-Gift Certificates

-The ability to print gift messages from your computer

As always, we’d love to hear your suggestions!

By: Mark Aselstine

Mark Aselstine
November 7, 2012 | Mark Aselstine

Core Wine Company 2007 Hard Core

Included in this month's Wine Exploration Wine Club Shipment:
Core Winery
2007 Hard Core
900 Cases Produced
$29 Retail
Re-Order for $(hey some stuff is for members only)


Winery Tasting Notes:
A blend of primarily Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with a small amount of Grenache. 100% of the fruit is from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard at 3000 feet in Santa Barbara County. From low yielding vines impeccably farmed year after year. The wine was aged for 30 months in a combination of 10% new French and American barrels and 90% neutral barrels. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration. A hugely popular wine with consumers and critics. Long fermentations and barrel ageing for maximum flavor development and complexity. It hits all of the points on the palate, dark and brooding to fit its name. Enjoy this wine now or age it for 5-10 years.

Critics Notes:
Rhone Report: February 2010 - 91+ A blend of of 37% Mourvèdre, 33% Cabernet, 26% Syrah and 4% Grenache, the 2007 Core Hard Core is a serious wine with deep, rich aromas of black cherry, earth, subtle smoked meats and hints of coffee grinds. The palate is medium bodied with rich, layered fruit, vibrant acidity and a moderately tannic, long finish. I’m a fan, and the wine’s purity and balanced character make it enjoyable to drink, even at this young stage. I think it will fill in on the mid-palate and be even better in a year or two.


Why We Chose the 2007 Hard Core:
Quite simply, we were intrigued by going back to showcase Santa Barbara County and it’s new found focus on Rhone varietals.  Of course, there is some trickle down from Paso Robles happening and the massive success of Rhone varietals on the central coast in general-but Santa Barbara is decidedly more than Pinot Noir, no matter what you might see in the movies.  Both Matt and I found this specific wine to be expressive on the nose, as well as offering an interesting mix of structure (provided by the Cabernet and Syrah) as well as finesse.  Unlike so many higher alcohol blends tend to be unapproachable, I’d think that our customers will be shocked to see an alcohol content at 14.9%.  Frankly, the wine doesn’t seem like the alcohol is coming in at that level and gives another example of alcohol content hardly telling the entire story about a wine. While I agree with the Rhone Report that a bit of patience would benefit this wine, it is, in my opinion at least, a deeper wine which stands up well with food as well as by itself.  Lastly, Dave Core, the owner and winemaker deserves a mention here.  He was not only willing to work with us to have his wine featured in our Wine Exploration Club, but has created the type of winery that we enjoy supporting.  Core Wine Company produces a range of wines from great vineyards in and around Santa Barbara and given that a phone call to the winery is often answered by Dave or his wife, definitely is family owned and operated.  We think you’ll agree, the quality is top notch as well.

Time Posted: Nov 7, 2012 at 2:28 PM