Archive for the 'The Internets' Category

Blood Into Wine movie playing at Vancouver’s Rio Theatre March 12th to 18th

Back in the 90’s, I was a fan of the band Tool, so I took a bit of an interest when I heard that Tool’s singer, Maynard James Kennan had started a winery in, of all places, Arizona.  It’s called Caduceus and they produce some pretty interesting (and well-reviewed) wines.

I haven’t had the chance to try any of their wines, but I notice that a movie about the winery/winemaker/journey, “Blood Into Wine” is playing at Vancouver’s Rio Theatre for a week from Friday, March 12th to Thursday, the 18th. Show-times are posted on their site. I’ll be checking it out.

If you don’t live in Vancouver, the movie’s site has a few screenings listed there.

Here’s the YouTube trailer:

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Wine Software review: Bennalsoft Technologies > Wine Tripper – British Columbia Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by an employee of Bennalsoft Technologies, who asked if I might be interested in reviewing an iPhone app of theirs, Wine Tripper – British Columbia Edition. Being both the iPhone and wine geek that I am, I was pretty eager to give it a go, so I said, “Sure!” I also figured that with all the visitors that are set to visit our province for the Olympics next month, this could be a very timely app to have on hand.

You can download it here.

OK, let’s get down to having a look at Wine Tripper.

Let’s have a look at the “Region Map” section.It takes you to a Google Map of BC and shows drop-pins on all of BC’s wineries. You can then zoom in and click on the pin for more info on that winery – nice feature.

When you click on “View Wines” in the next screen, you’d think it would take you to a list of the winery’s current line-up, but nope. What you get taken to is a “Your Wines” screen, which both lists and allows you to add wines from this winery to your personal wine list. It would be really nice if each winery’s selection of wines were already in here and easily selectable. Instead, you have to manually enter the wine.

One thing of note here is that in the “Varietal” box, if you tap to go in and edit, there is no way to simply input text (as you would need to if the wine were to be a blend of more than one grape). What you’re taken to is a sortable drop-down list with single varietals. They’ll have to fix this – maybe by adding a simple text edit icon/button. I tried tapping on the varietal, hoping that would take me to a text input screen, but no luck.

I also think that for wines whose names are just the varietal, that should be a choice in the wine name menu. The wine’s name should also be below the winery’s name and varietal on the entry screen. That’s my personal opinion.

OK, back to the home screen. Let’s have a look at the “Wineries” section. You’re taken to the following screen with its selectable sub-sections.

Tapping on “Alphabetical” brings up a pretty comprehensive list of BC Wineries (though I didn’t see Brad Cooper’s Black Cloud Winery in there):

Tapping on a winery’s name allows you to do all the same stuff that the winery screen in the map did – add wines, view wines, etc.

Back to the “Wineries” screen. Tapping “City” brings up a list of cities in BC that have at least 1 winery, sorted alphabetically:

Without starting to sound too much like a broken record, going back to the “Wineries” screen allows you to view BC wineries in each category – “Area“, “Rating” (sorted by your rating, though having the ability to synch with others using the program would be great to see how others have rated a particular winery), “Favorites” (side note to the developers – we spell “Favourites” with a “U” up here in Canada – and this is a Canadian wine region app) and “Proximity” (which uses the iPhone’s GPS to locate you and show wineries that are close-by in a list, sorted by actual physical distance from your location). A cool feature to add here would be to view other users of the program who may be nearby so you can organize tasting groups.

Back to the home screen again… Let’s have a look at the “Your Wines” section. The first thing you see there is this screen:

Once you’ve entered the data for a wine, you can then view your personal list of wines from this winery. Tapping the “Alphabetical” menu item takes you into a list of any wines you have saved, and obviously enough puts them in alphabetical order. One thing that became apparent as I used the app was that the page titles don’t really synch with where you are in the app. I’m in the “Alphabetical” list of my wines, but the page title I’m seeing is simply, “Your Wines”. I constantly had no idea what sub-section I was currently browsing. It would be nice to see a fix for that.

Now here’s another sign of things going wrong. Why can I rate and make notes on the wine now, but couldn’t when I initially entered the wine? The new wine screen should look exactly like what I’m seeing here, if you ask me. That’s a pretty big usability blunder.

Back to the “Your Wines” menu and into the “Varietal” section. Oops! I had 3 wines entered. Why do I only see 2 here?? Another app bug found. The program isn’t listing my Quinta Ferreira Estates Viognier at all (which was very tasty and will be reviewed later this week). That needs to be fixed.

OK, it’s back to the “Your Wines” menu we go and into the “Winery” section. Again, the program isn’t listing the Quinta Ferreira Estates winery, which I had entered. Another glitch… Again, that needs to be fixed.

All right, it’s back to the “Your Wines” menu we go and into the “Rating” section…. and again, the program isn’t listing the Quinta Ferreira Estates winery, which I had entered. Another glitch… Again, that needs to be fixed. I’m staring to feel like a broken record here.

So, let’s head back to the “Your Wines” menu we go and into the “Favorites” section (there’s that US spelling again). Well, if it isn’t the previously missing, Quinta Ferreira Estates Viognier! Maybe flagging it as a favourite hid it in other screens? No idea, but it’s nice to see it wasn’t lost completely.

OK, so that’s it… whew! What Bennalsoft has here is a really nice start to a BC wine program. I really like the map and proximity features… and I really don’t like the missing wine glitches and the US spelling (maybe that’s just me).

All in all the current version is just OK. It’s maybe worth a try, but the $2.99 price tag may be a bit more than I’d pay right now.

2.5  stars

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2009 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival – Wine folks talk about their wines and the value of social media

So, today Graham and I headed to the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival with the aim of searching out folks we knew were using social media to promote their wines. From our experience using Twitter, Facebook and Flickr we were aware of at least 5 wineries/winemakers at the Festival who do so – Bradley Cooper (of Township 7 and Black Cloud wines who tweets under @Bradinator, @Township7 and @BlackCloudWine), @stoneboat (Tim Martiniuk of Stoneboat Vineyards), @dfwinery (Crystal Froese of Dunham & Froese Estate Winery), @sokolblosser (the Sokol Blosser Winery from the Willamette Valley in Oregon) and @TinhornCreek (we spoke with Sandra Oldfield who is the winemaker and director of operations of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards).

Here’s what they had to say:

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Vinifico made Google’s Top 100 Wine Blogs!

OK, this was a bit of a surprise this morning.. Vinifico made Google’s Top 100 Wine Blogs! I don’t know exactly how they came up with the ratings, but I’ll take kudos wherever I can get ’em.:)

Check out the rankings.

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Vinifico on Twitter

If you’re the techie type at all, you can follow me on Twitter to find out what’s going on – @scaldron. :)

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Pay attention folks: Wine Critics are Parasites, But That Doesn’t Mean We Can Be Bought

Haha. I guess I’m still waiting for the payoff…. and I’m pretty easy. Just give me really good wine. :)

Read the article (Vinography.com)

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Welcome to Vinifico

Well, this has been a long time coming… I started More is Less as a lifestyle and design site. Its URL was inspired by the old design saying, “Less is More”. It became More is Less because lessismore.com and .ca were already taken. :)

As time went on, it became clear the focus of the site would be wine… lots and lots of wine. “More is Less” really didn’t suit the wine theme. I waited quite a while, but eventually settled on the name “Vinifico” and here we are.

I’ve brought over all the past posts from More is Less. There may be a few bugs, so feel free to use the contact form to tell me about ’em… but, the move had to be made.

So, again… welcome and enjoy!

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Wine – World’s Most Overrated Wines

With Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year list almost complete, it’s getting to be that time of the year when everyone makes a list and checks it twice.

The good folks over at Style.com have put together a list of the 10 most overrated wines in the world. Go have a look. What do you think?

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The site’s new look

Hey folks. I had gotten REALLY sick of the old look of this site, so I’ve jazzed it up a bit. There will be issues over the next few days as I iron out some usability/site glitches, so please be patient. :)

Cheers,
Sean

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Wine – Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri Winners for 2008: The Best of Italian Wine

10312007a.jpgHere’s a fantastic list if you’re headed out shopping for some Italian wine. Alder over at Vinography.com says, “I’d use them as a guide for buying much more readily than any other set of wine awards that I’m aware of in the world.” Go have a look. There are a few great ones I’ve been lucky enough to taste… and many others I’d like to get in my glass.

The Tre Bicchieri was awarded to only 305 of 14,000 wines Gambero Rosso reviewed this year. Note: The list is available only in Italian at the moment, but you should be able to make sense of the wine names.

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