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Bruliam Wine Blog

Posted by Brian , September 10, 2016

Harvest is already underway, but we have one more important summer matter to attend to – voting for the winners of the Summer Charity Giveaway.

We asked people in late July to submit pictures featuring Bruliam bottles, shirts, or both.  And then we planned to open the voting to our readers to determine who would win the prizes.

The first place winner in the poll will receive $500 to the charity of their choice, and a handmade wine barrel stave cheeseboard.

The second place winner in the poll will receive a $250 donation to the charity of their choice, and a handmade wine barrel stave cheeseboard.

So, here we go!

Posted below is a poll where you can vote for your favorite Bruliam picture.  The poll will remain open until September 19th.  If you can’t see the poll immediately below, you can click here.

 

The poll is run by a service called PollDaddy which automatically randomizes the listing of the pictures each time and calculates the votes.   It should restrict your ability to vote once, so choose wisely.  The results determined by the PollDaddy mechanism will be final.

For those of you in the competition, feel free to forward the link (https://www.bruliamwines.com/2016/09/time-to-vote-on-the-summer-charity-giveaway/) far and wide to capture as many votes as possible.  If you have any trouble, please feel free to email us at brian@bruliamwines.com.

Best of luck to all!

Posted by Kerith , September 5, 2016

Harvest 2016 kicked off for us early on Monday morning at our estate Torrey Hill Vineyard.

This is our ninth harvest at Bruliam.  We think it’s going to be our best yet.

It’s certainly our best harvest video yet – check it out below (or if you can’t see the video, please click here):

 

Cheers!

-Kerith

 

Posted by Brian , July 22, 2016

Thank you Bruliam fans and enthusiasts, and happy summer to all.  For those of you who have followed our journey throughout the years, you may remember the early photo contests of yore.  As we’ve gathered many more fans along the way, we thought it would be fun to resurrect that tradition this summer.

During the month of August please send us your best, most creative, funny, exuberant, joyful, and delicious Bruliam Wines photographs.  Snapshots must feature either a Bruliam bottle or our throw back, logo t-shirt (or both for good measure).

Why?

To help win money for your favorite charity, of course!

In early September, we will post all of the entries and enable everyone to vote online for their favorites.

The first place winner in the poll will receive $500 to the charity of their choice, and a handmade wine barrel stave cheeseboard.

The second place winner in the poll will receive a $250 donation to the charity of their choice, and a handmade wine barrel stave cheeseboard.

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To enter, just email us your pictures directly to brian@bruliamwines.com.

Need some inspiration?  Check out these shots from years past.

In China!

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In NYC!

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In Vietnam!

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And Closer To Home!

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Jackie at Cucina Enoteca

Bruliam at Prep Kitchen

 

And thank you to “M.Z.” and C.P,” both of Chicago for kicking off our contest. “M.Z.” showcases a classic wine pairing with this “cheesy” glamour shot.  Delectable!  And “C.P.” channels the natural beauty of the Chi-town shore.  Go pink!

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Again, make sure you get us your pictures by August 31st to be entered into the polling.

Cheers!

-Kerith & Brian

 

 

Posted by Kerith , May 30, 2016

I spent last week in Southern California, riding alongside our brokers and working the market. Each visit is precious chance for me to showcase my wines, sharing the goofy anecdotes that make winemaking personal, unpredictable, and fun. But the wine that most lends itself to storytelling is the “art label” estate pinot noir from our own Torrey Hill Vineyard. We all know there is as much artistry in salesmanship as in winemaking. Today I offer you a privileged behind the scenes peek into the often-murky world of wine sales.

Wine Buyer:
“Wow that label is awesome! Which of your kids made it?”

Me:
“Actually, all three kids collaborate. My son draws the car, and the girls do the dog and most of the handwriting.”

Translation:
“Clearly, you don’t have kids of your own. Here’s a thought experiment for you: would you rather have a tooth extracted using only local anesthesia or cajole three elementary aged siblings into cooperating on a 6 inch by 6 inch scrap of paper? I’ve got more psychotherapists on retainer than popcorn kernels crushed in my seat cushions. When my future teenage children cry foul at being the least loved, as evidenced by imbalances in 10 years of wine label design, at least I’m presumptively armed.”

Wine Buyer:
“Cool big rig.”

Me:
“Yeah, my son is a car nut. Every year the label features a vehicle that is not a Toyota Sienna minivan. My son is too embarrassed to draw my actual daily driver.”

Translation:
“It gives me great pleasure to remind my son that the aforesaid minivan will be his when he turns 16. I’ve contemplated adding custom airbrush flames, just to draw additional attention to his personal torment. Maybe I’ll paint it lipstick pink, like an Avon incentive car. I mention this often.”

Me:
“And every label also includes our beloved pound dog, Dexter.”

Wine Buyer:
“Cute. He looks the same every year.”

Translation:
“That fu%&ing dog. Not since General Eisenhower invaded Normandy has a decision been more fraught than who gets to draw the dog. Tantrums, fights, and accusations of nepotism accompany this annual family ritual, validating the well-known dictum that all family traditions suck. To mitigate the parenting joy that IS twin-twin competition, we instilled a proclamation: she who draws Dexter shall not dictate design. But when Lily took design lead in 2014, she cried mutiny since Bruno’s giant big rig became the de facto design. She sulked anyway. It’s a middle child thing. And P.S. Mr. I-don’t- have-kids-wine buyer: NEVER tell twins their dog art is indistinguishable.”

Wine Buyer:
“So you mean the label is different every year.”

Me:
“Yup.”

Translation:
“Every spring we submit a new design for TTB approval. I invite pain; it builds grit. Just for fun, ask me about the time our compliance officer “forgot” to upload our label art until my mid-June phone call jolted her into frantic action. That’ll tie your colon in a yoga twist. Don’t mess with the TTB. Enough said.”

Wine Buyer:
“Your kids must love seeing their art on the label when it’s done.”

Me:
[blank stare]

Translation:
[blank stare]

Wine Buyer:
“What will happen when your kids get older?”

Me:
“I suppose the art will mature with the kids, maybe into some complicated black and white line drawings. Someone once suggested we stockpile a bunch of labels while the kids are still young.”

Translation:
“I barely manage this once a year. You expect me to man up and repeat? I’m actually considering outsourcing the job to India, where kids would be grateful for the artistic outlet, and the work. Reference above [blank stare].”

Me:
“Thanks for taking the time to taste with me today. Just for fun, I’ll offer you a sneak peek of the 2015 label art.”

Wine Buyer:
“Is Dexter floating- in a glass of wine?”

Translation:
“Either we incite the wrath of the animal rights activists for featuring a drunk, trapped, legless animal or CPS after the kids attack each other with magic markers. I’d rather keep the family peace and celebrate the return of the magical, levitating dog. He’s a throwback to 2012 Dexter. Plus, the flag will play well in Texas. I’m just wondering if we ought to add a warning to the label: ‘not drawn to scale.’”

 

A history of the “Art Labels”

2012 – Year 1 (Dexter with no legs)

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2013 – Year 2 (Dexter has very visible legs)

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Year 3 – 2014 (wow – that’s a big truck!)

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Year 4 – 2015 (Uh-oh, where did Dexter’s legs go??)

TH Label 2015

Posted by Kerith , May 13, 2016

The last time I navigated NYC public transportation all by myself was in 1997.  I am certain of this date, since I was a medical student rotating at Montefiore hospital.  I was subletting a room near Mt. Sinai Medical Center, requiring daily transit from the upper east side to the Bronx.  I didn’t bring my car to the city, I couldn’t afford car service, and the subway was my only option.  I wasn’t happy.  I gathered advice from the other Montefiore medical students and residents (none actually lived in the Bronx) and practiced walking to/from my subway station.  I bought a subway pass and even completed an uneventful round trip before my first day.

This month-long rotation was a big deal.  I attended the University of Rochester, in upstate New York.  Now I was playing doctor in the big city.  The morning of my first day I awoke extra early.  I compiled my papers and my books, with time to spare.  I wanted to buy a bagel and coffee from one of the street-side bodegas en route to the hospital.  I put on my clean, white medical student coat with my snowflake parka on top.  I marched to my subway station, checked the number, and descended.  I waited for the correct train and boarded, supremely confident.  Sure, it was kinda weird that the train didn’t surface to sunlight, the way I had remembered over the weekend.  So I checked my subway line and confirmed I was on the right train.  It was kinda weird that none of the stops sounded familiar.  And it was kinda scary as hoodlum types boarded the train, but none were departing.  I tried to conceal the hem of my white coat with my snowflake parka.  I hugged my backpack tight on my lap, until the train stopped, still underground.

It was the last stop.  Things looked different.  And dank, unfamiliar, underground spaces seem more intimidating when they’re dank and unfamiliar.  Frantically, I scanned the platform, seeking out fellow medical students.  Where were my people, the white coats and the scrubs?  I was clammy and starting to panic.  I must have looked alarmed, because a kind, elderly lady offered to help.

“Um, where is the hospital?” I asked her.  “Isn’t this the hospital stop?”

“Which hospital?” she inquired.

“Montefiore?” I squeaked.  And she chortled a rich, hearty laugh, “Girl, you’re in Queens.”

While it was true that I took the correct subway line, I failed to grasp the whole north/south or east/west concept.  Yes, I descended at the right stop, but on the wrong side of the street.  I took the right train, in the wrong direction.  I was over two hours late for my first day at Montefiore Hospital.  And after completing my four-week rotation, I never rode public transportation again, at least not by myself.

Last week I returned to New York City to see accounts.  I had planned to meet my college roommate for breakfast.  She is a veteran New Yorker.  She has New York City values.  She loves the subway, and she sent each of my kids NYC subway t-shirts, just to mock me in my own home.  The week before my trip, she sent me the following e-mail:

“To get there from your hotel, you’d take the E (blue) train to Times Square and then transfer to the 1 (red) to 86th or the 1, 2, or 3 (red) to 96th, or uber!”

Her subtext reads, “Competent human beings can identify colors, read signs, and follow directions.  This is more detail than one might reasonably expect from the subway information kiosk.  You are at least as bright as the myriad New Yorkers riding the subway.  Or maybe not.  Just use uber.”

Of course, I used uber.  But then the unthinkable happened.  I was asked to visit some accounts in Westchester County.  My college buddy tried to intercede on my behalf.  She implored my distributor, “You don’t understand.  Kerith doesn’t do public transportation.  She will end up in New Jersey.  Or Connecticut.  Or Staten Island.”

But last week I defied every expectation (granted those expectations are pretty low).  I gathered all my moxie and took the train, by myself.  Thanks to some help from friendly NYC police officers and transit captains, I traveled out to Westchester County, with only a slight detour through Pennsylvania (kidding).  Who says New Yorkers are cold and mean?  We only had to photo-shop one photo-bomber flicking me the middle finger.

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