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The Wine Maker's Toy Store™

1410 Dunn Dr., Carrollton, TX 75006

Pressing News


December 2003
Volume1, Issue 7


Happy Holidays!

Welcome to Pressing News, the monthly newsletter published by Fine Vine Wines, LLC, designed exclusively to assist the home vintner in the pursuit of his hobby!

As I continue to make enhancements and add valuable content to the web site, you can keep up with the changes and/or additions by visiting the Updates Page. If you discover anything that does not work properly, please let me know.



I would like to thank each one of you for visiting our site. I hope it was an enjoyable experience and you were able to find everything for which you were looking. As I indicate on our web site, we started this business just this year, so unlike big business, we are extremely flexible and nothing we have done so far is “etched in stone.” As a result, being an early user of our site and subscriber to our newsletter gives you the ability to influence the future of our site and company!

Some of you have been encountering a problem with my ordering system. For most customers, it works just fine, but for some customers, it does not. I think I have finally fixed this problem; however, if you do encounter a problem, please send me an email with the details of the problem. The detail information I need is the page at which you encounter a problem and a list of the the pages you visited prior to encountering the problem. I also need to know if you were logged in as a registered user or trying to place the order without registering. Thank you for your assistance and please email your information to geocorn@finevinewines.com.

We like to hear what you have to say about our site and/or our service, good or bad. Please send your comments and/or suggestions to winemaster@finevinewines.com.


I have added a MY ACCOUNTS page. It still needs a lot of work, but in the meantime, you can see all of your shipped orders, as well as, any open orders that you have. You can also modify any open orders by using this page. You can find this new page here.

FEATURED ARTICLE - Too many wines and not enough time?

"Which wines do you recommend?" is the number one question I get asked. I must confess this is a very difficult question to answer, since all of the wines I have made from RJ Spagnols kits have been, at the least, very good. However, we all have likes and dislikes in our choices of wines, as a result, I personally like some of the wines better than others and you will too!

The following is a list of all of the wines I have made to date and the number of bottles of each:

Cabernet Sauvignon
  Bordailles Blanc
Coteau Sur Mer
  French Columbard
Pinot Noir
  Johannisberg Riesling
Red Bourgeron
  Pinot Grigio
Rosso GrandeT
  White Zinfandel

As you can see, I prefer red wines to white and I really enjoy a good Cabernet. My wife enjoys most of the reds, but prefers the whites, especially the Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. You will also notice that I have also made a number of different wines, both red and white and here is what I have discovered.

If you like a full-bodied wine, you can not go wrong with the traditional favorites, the Cabernet Sauvignon or the Chardonnay. I will warn you that you really need to let these age at least 6 months. These wines just need more time to develop and soften. I have compared the taste of these wine bottled at the end of the kit instructions to aged bottles and it is totally amazing how they improve with even several months of additional aging. If you can show some patience and allow these wines to age a year, the wait will be worth it.

For wines with more of a fruity sensation, try the Merlot, Cabernet Merlot, Red Bourgeron, Gewurtzrtraminer or White Zinfandel. These wines have a very nice, mellow taste with a definite fruity character. They are good with a meal or by themselves. I have found that these wines are ready for drinking after only 2 months of additional aging.

A good mix between the full-bodied wines and the fruity wines are the Chianti, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Chardonnay/Semillon, French Columbard and Johannisberg Riesling. These wines offer a stronger "bite", but one can still taste the underlying fruit. These wines do well with only 1 month of additional aging.

If you are looking for a "fun" wine that is ready to drink without aging, try the Coteau Sur Mer, Pinot Grigio or Bordailles Blanc. These wines don't have a lot of body and, as such, do not require aging. My personal favorite in this bunch is the Pinot Grigio. It is also the second most requested by my friends. These are my wife's 3 favorite wines! I will also tell you that the Bordailles Blanc was the hit of my wine tastings.

The last wine is the Rosso Grande. It is a "Big Red" based on the Italian grapes. This wine is not for the faint of heart. It has a very bold taste that is best consumed with a plate of spaghetti. It needs several months to age, maybe longer. I still have about 20 bottles that I am allowing to bottle age, just to see if it soften some more.

As to which kits are better, I will honestly say that you cannot go wrong with a Vino Del Vida kit. They produce excellent flavors and their only drawback is they don't have a lot of body. This is due to the fact that these kits are 100% concentrate and the concentration process removes some of the solids from the juice and the solids are responsible for the body of a wine.

When you step up to a Grand Cru, you start to get a little juice with the juice concentrate. This addition of fresh juice not only improves the flavor but adds some body to your wine. The next step up to Cru Select and Cellar Classic gives you more fresh juice and, as a result, more body.

As you can see, the choices are really based on what you like. You cannot go wrong with any kit, so my recomendation is to go to your liquor store and buy different varieties. Try them, decide with ones you like the best and then order the kit.

Regarding aging your wine, I strongly suggest that you age your wine in the carboy. Do I make this recomendation for improving the taste of your wine? No. Do I make this recomendation for improving the body of your wine? No. I make this recomendation for the simple reason is that once you bottle the wine, it is fair game to drink and I guarantee that your good intentions will be consumed before its time!

---If you would like to offer your comments and/or suggestions, please send them to winemaster@finevinewines.com


RJ Spagnols Restricted Quanities 2004 have been released and the table below shows the flavors and order by dates. I did order several extra of the Pinot Noir, but I will sell them on a first come, first served basis.

Order By
British Columbia Pinot Noir
November 25, 2003 January 2004
Chilean Cabernet Merlot Syrah
December 27, 2004 March 2004
German Gewurtztraminer W/Sweet Reserve
January 25, 2004 April 2004
South African Pinotage Cabernet
February 25, 2004 May 2004



This month we are proud to offer 15% off on all of our Cellar Classic kits. If you have been wanting to try one of these kits, but were not ready to spend the addtional money, now is your chance. In addition, the savings should cover most, if not all of the shipping cost. For those of you in the FVW Growers Club, this discount is in addition to your 5% permanent discount.

Remember, as soon as you register, you get a coupon good for $5.00 off. This coupon can be used immediately and it can be used in conjuction with any specials.

Happy Shopping!


This month, we are conducting a drawing and giving away a Vino Del Vida wine kit to one lucky customer. Every time you buy a wine kit in December, your name will be automatically entered into the contest. On New Year's Eve, we will draw one lucky name and they will receive a Vino Del Vida kit of their choice shipped to their address free of charge. Remember, the more you buy, the more chances you have to win!


I will be adding an option to the ordering system that will allow you to request a shipping quote without placing an order. Until then, if you want a shipping quote, just complete your order as normal, but choose the prepaid option, instead of credit card, and type into the comments "Shipping Quote Request". I will send you an email with the estimated shipping costs, then you can decide if you want to place the order or not.


If you have any questions about our products, our service and/or wine making, please, please, please call us. We are not Corporate America! We are here to serve you. I bring this up, because a number of my callers apologize for bothering me or using my toll-free line. You are definately not bothering me and I have a toll-free line so you WILL call me. By the way, my long distance rate is 4 cents a minute, so even if we talk for 1 full hour, it only costs me $2.40. If I can help you, it is worth every penny.

Sometimes, I am unable to answer the phone. If you get the voice mail, please leave your name, number, brief message and a best time to call. I will return your call as soon as I can. By the way, the best time to reach me is between 4-10pm CST.

If you don't want to call, just send me an email. I usually answer my email daily. In addition, your emails and/or calls do not have to relate to wine. I will discuss any topic you like, so please remember, I am your resource and I am here for you.


Starting June 1, 2003, we have created the FVW Growers Club. You can get all of the details on our website, but the bottom line is we want to buy your loyalty! Once you spend $1,000 with us, you get a 5% discount on everything you buy from us. Find out more on the website.


We appreciate all of your comments, whether good or bad. To demonstrate our committment to outstanding customer service, I have created a web page with your feedback. As we receive emails that comment about our service, I will post them on this page.


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