Thursday, August 28, 2008

Questions of Taste Blog - August 2008

The New Kid on the Block

while I’m tempted to offer a defense to a few of these points (we are bringing in a ton of additional French wines within the next few weeks, for example), in the end I am pleased to see that a customer of our new store in Princeton sees in CoolVines a refreshing addition to the options for wine consumers.

It's definitely a happy day for wine lovers in the Princeton area. The wine store CoolVines just completed it's first week in it's new location, on Harrison and Nassau. Here's the rundown:

The location is a bit out-of-the-way for students. In particular, it is not within easy walking distance of the Palmer Square/Witherspoon St. area. On the other hand, it is within range of the Blue Point Grill, which is probably the best BYO within reach of student budgets.

The design of the store is elegant and innovative, if a little cramped. Wines are organized by color, body (light-med-full), and price (the cheapest wines are at the bottom, so bring kneepads!)...

Their selection needs a bit of work, as they themselves will admit. Currently it seems to be about 1/6th the size of the Corkscrew's. I'll be honest - I hadn't heard of a single wine on their shelves, but the first wine I purchased (a Chinon) was a solid selection. Perhaps their under-the-radar-wines approach is a good thing...

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Monday, August 25, 2008 - August 2008

CoolVines Now Open in Princeton

CoolVines presents a fundamentally different way to buy and enjoy wine. With their hand-picked selection of wines and straightforward wine groupings, you'll be able to choose wines in a much more intuitive way to match your preferences and fit the occasion. CoolVines, 344 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 609-924-0039

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

New CoolVines Store Opens in Princeton, NJ

CoolVines Princeton Store Opening:
Break out the Bubbly!

Our new store opened on Wednesday August 20, 2008 on Nassau St. in Princeton, NJ. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that the store is finally open. I am however not kidding myself into thinking that the hard work is over. Running a store has its own set of challenges, though different from the challenges faced when working on opening a new store. The new Princeton store hours of operation are as follows

Monday - Wednesday: 10:00 am -8:00 pm
Thursday - Saturday: 10:00 am -10:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Part of the Press release about the new store opening can be read below:

CoolVines is a specialty retail wine business owned and operated by Princeton Borough resident Mark Censits that enables wine enthusiasts, from beginner to expert, to feel confident in their wine selections. Quality wines are hand-selected from around the world, focusing on authentically made wines, often from smaller wineries that offer best value possible for CoolVines customers.

At CoolVines, wines are arranged by how they taste, rather than by country or grapes; offering even wine novices ease in finding the best selections for their needs and taste in a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere. The on- site knowledgeable staff can provide the guidance needed to help the customer make the best selection within their budget to pair with tonight’s dinner, to take to a favorite BYO, to serve at a special event or for that special gift. Also featured is a great selection of hand-crafted beers, small-batch specialty spirits and "cool" gifts for any special occasion. Each location offers complimentary twice- weekly in- store tastings as well as off-site special wine events, which are listed on the CoolVines website. CoolVines is located in Princeton and Westfield NJ.

Westfield: 23 Elm Street in downtown Westfield, NJ across from the train station. Princeton: 344 Nassau St. in Princeton, NJ. We are open 7 days and free local delivery is available. Visit us online at call CoolVines, Westfieldat 908-232-5050 or CoolVines, Princeton at 609-924-0039.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - August 2008

Wine Tastings via Twitter

Massachusetts-based retailer of off-price wines is taking technology-enhanced wine tastings a step further with wine tastings by Twitter.

Bin Ends, which was started up earlier this year, is now gearing up for its second Twitter Taste Live, which will be held this Thursday (9/21/2008)—the first one was in July. The project aims to give wine enthusiasts around the globe a chance to join the world's top wine personalities online for tastings via the popular social networking tool Twitter... In the U.S., they can also order the wines being tasted from Bin Ends three weeks prior to the event...Then, equipped with the wines and their Twitter account, users can join the event as it takes place, commenting, asking questions and enjoying back-and-forth interaction with the winemakers in real time...

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I am skeptical of this event. I have a hard time imagining a bunch of people going out and buying these wines and then sitting down to taste them while texting notes and comments through twitter. Sounds very lonely. I think wine drinking is best when social.

Friday, August 15, 2008

International Wine Guild - August 2008

Recent Graduates: Mark Censits, New Jersey Wine Store Owner

After more than 20 years of helping to fix other people's businesses, Mark decided it was time to build his own. Wanting to pursue his passion for wine, he surveyed the landscape of wine retailing and identified a niche that he felt was ripe for a new venture. Enthusiasm for wine had grown in the US, yet consumers continued to be frustrated by the complexity of the wine market - so many regions, varieties, producers - wine experts touting this wine or that wine, with no regard variation in individual preferences. How can a wine lover find wines that suit his or her preferences with so many different factors to consider? As parts of his goal to become a "guide" for his customers' forays into the wine world, Mark turned to a few esteemed institutions for his own education. A 3-week course at the University of California in Davis to learn the business of wine and the Certification Seminar at the International Wine Guild formed the foundation of his knowledge...

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Star-Ledger - August 2008

Best Picnic Wines for Under $20

The right bottle of wine can turn your next barbecue or picnic into a celebration of the last days of summer. We polled some of New Jersey’s wine merchants to find out what makes a flavorful and festive late summer wine. Here’s what they’re putting in their picnic baskets these last weekends before Labor Day.

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