Technology problems aside, my main problem has been what to write about. I love exploring new and interesting wines, but sometimes you just want to revisit an old friend. Wine knowledge is also no guarantee of finding exciting and vibrant wines every time you hit the shops either. I have a high success rate, but not every wine is really worthy of mention. You also tire quickly of me waxing lyrical about wine gifts that aren't widely available in the UK.
I've also been doing a lot of writing for other people, about their wines and, also working on (shock horror!) other things. I've neglected the Purple Teethers. Sorry.
You don't want to hear what sounds like an advertorial, and I don't think you want to read about the same wine 3 times.
Nevertheless, I am going to review this little number again: The i-Latina Syrah from Chile. (Available from Naked Wines). Fittingly, for the week that sees us celebrate International Women's Day, it's made by a lady winemaker. It was with some trepidation that I opened this bottle. The last time I drunk it was over 2 years ago, and the occasion was something of a blood-bath. Read all about my Tarantino-eque encounter with a bottle of Syrah here.
Chile ris one of the few places where we can still find good value these days, and this French-oak aged Syrah will rival many Australian Shirazes at a similar price point. It's not quite up to the mark of the 2009 vintage, but nor did it destroy my kitchen decor this time, so I'll forgive it, and perhaps buy another bottle or two.
If you've got money lingering in a Naked account, and you like chunky, chewy, yet elegant ripe Shiraz, take my advice and bung this in your trolley then cancel your direct debit. That's what I've done. Wines like this are a rarity, offering both power and value.
In my last Naked shipment, I tried 2 different Torrontes from Argentina - both were drinkable but there was nothing to differentiate them from other Torrontes at similar price points. I also tried a Fiano from Puglia. Again, it was perfectly drinkable, but nothing worthy of a blog post when compared to the value offered by the Wine Society's Fiano/Greco blend. I also preferred the previous vintage.
The Low Yield Roussanne from the South of France was pretty good, but again, not as good as previous vintages. It's an under-rated Southern Rhone grape, and if you like oaky Chardonnay, you might want to try it, from Naked or from elsewhere.
Perhaps I'm getting too fussy. Among the reds, I had a very disappointing Zinfandel (supposedly Angel's Reserve), a half-way decent Graciano-based Rioja (which was wasn't to Mr Purple Teeth's tastes but was good from a novelty perspective - expect it to pop up in a long overdue blog about Spanish wine soon). I still have a couple of other bottles in the rack, but I'm no longer excited about opening them. I will, of course let you know if I find a gem among them.
My days of buying into the "let's get Naked" hype are over. Sure, it's a cool website and the interaction area is second to none, but the marketing budget is immense. Having spent some time on the other side of the industry, I no longer believe the hype.
Disagree? Feel free to share your reviews of Naked or indeed, any other wine clubs on my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter. I prefer to keep Purple Teeth a positive zone, and tend to review only the wines I think it's worth you spending your cash on, but if you'd like to hear the ones I think you should avoid too, do let me know.