Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

Warm up your credit cards and come on in, as here is where you will find all the BerserkerDay offers - open to EVERYONE who loves wine. Apologize to your spouse or significant other ahead of time. #BD10
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Jim Stewart
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Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#1 Post by Jim Stewart » January 17th, 2019, 11:35 am

Looking for some common sense "been there / done that, so don't do that / do this" kind of advice for a first-timer. Not specific deals, just general approach and hints to playing the game and coming out the other end in a "good" place. Thanks -Jim

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#2 Post by cjsavino » January 17th, 2019, 11:43 am

Check out the preview day.

Feel free to buy wines out of your comfort zone. I really like looking for new producers each year.

Bid on the auctions.

If you plan on spending $500 allocate $1000, just in case.
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#3 Post by Siun o'Connell » January 17th, 2019, 11:53 am

Definitely use Preview day to plan ... it's the only way to make a plan - but allow for sudden inspirations on the actual BD day. Many of my favorite discoveries happened because of discussions in the BD threads.

Set a limit for yourself if you need to - it's like auctions, you will want everything!

Buy some Veleta foods ... (and wines!) because they are wonderful.

Have fun and embrace the insanity!

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#4 Post by John Simpson » January 17th, 2019, 12:15 pm

Another vote for becoming a Grand Cru member and checking out the offers on Preview Day. But you can also gain a lot of insight by reviewing previous years' BD offers and buyer replies viewforum.php?f=66, as well as the 'Has anyone been drinking Berserker Day wines lately' thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=136426. Lots of info thru out the entire WB site about the producers/vendors if you poke around a bit.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#5 Post by Dan Hammer » January 17th, 2019, 12:37 pm

Sometimes it helps to review the wine offered on Cellartracker. You're looking for previous vintage history.
If the particular thread has a very positive buzz, I'd factor that in to your purchasing decision.

There are several winemakers that offer good value wines. You can't just pop a $75 wine every night, but the $15 - $25 bottles ie Sandler, Navarro, Paetra will open your eyes to good wine at a great price. It's callled QPR.
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#6 Post by Jud Reis » January 17th, 2019, 5:16 pm

Definitely have a plan based on previews. The offers come so fast and furious it can easily get overwhelming.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#7 Post by Mike Evans » January 17th, 2019, 5:17 pm

I’ll repeat my advice from a different thread:

As a BD veteran, I've found that the best way to manage the mayhem is to become a Grand Cru Crü member. My strategy is to use the Preview Day and Early Purchase Offers to prepare a spreadsheet outlining everything I want to buy. It is much easier to budget and plan when you can review the offers in advance instead of having to react to them as they appear (though I still haven't figured out a way to completely avoid at least one or two impulse buys in the excitement of the actual event). Remember, these are mostly small producers, so quantities are limited and I've seen in recent years that some wines offered by BerserkerBusiness members get sold out to Grand Cru Crü members as Early Purchase Offers and never make it to the actual BerserkerDay event.

If you want some insight into wines being offered, the "Has Anyone Been Drinking BerserkerDay Wines Lately?" thread is a good resource, as are the forums from past years. Looking at the forums from the past few BDs will give you an idea of how things look once the dust has settled.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#8 Post by Jim Stewart » January 17th, 2019, 5:46 pm

[cheers.gif] Just to clarify for a couple of posts here, I am and have been in the Grand Cru Cru since I joined several months ago. I also would recommend it to others in general. and not just for Berserker Day. [cheers.gif]

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#9 Post by Peter Shurman » January 17th, 2019, 5:50 pm

happy hunting Jim ... [cheers.gif]
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#10 Post by brigcampbell » January 17th, 2019, 8:16 pm

Jud Reis wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 5:16 pm
Definitely have a plan based on previews. The offers come so fast and furious it can easily get overwhelming.
Then we've succeeded! [cheers.gif]

As you know, the insanity of it all is the charm. It's becoming totally unmanageable and I can't wait!

[berserker.gif]

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#11 Post by Michael Martin » January 17th, 2019, 8:20 pm

Preview day is huge.
Use CT
Take a flyer or two.
Never bought a bad BD wine.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#12 Post by brigcampbell » January 17th, 2019, 8:41 pm

Really good advice from all the post by experienced BD veterans.

Interesting the comments about CT. I'm a CT fan and Eric has agreed to allow CT notes in BD offerings and has for several years. But not all do it. There's an affinity to the big name critics which probably is important in typical retail channels.

They're missing out as BD is about feeling comfortable about expanding the horizons and berserkers will buy if fellow berserkers recommend, first and foremost, and then if there's a trusted source and most often that's CT.

January 27th has to be a big day for CT traffic, if not the busiest.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#13 Post by PaulaC » January 17th, 2019, 9:19 pm

Take a look at the BD forum archives for a sense of some of the vendors. There's no guarantee that you will see them again this year but it can give you a sense of the types of offers you can expect to see. Also, don't forget to figure in food, glass ware and other paraphernalia offers that you might be interested in as they can add up pretty easily. There are usually some really great non-wine offers in the mix.
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#14 Post by Nate Simon » January 18th, 2019, 10:15 am

1. Become a GCC member
2. Preview day is key. Make a plan, but don’t be afraid to deviate as warranted.
3. Use this as a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. Purchase from producers and regions with which you are unfamiliar.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#15 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 18th, 2019, 11:25 am

PaulaC wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 9:19 pm
Take a look at the BD forum archives for a sense of some of the vendors. There's no guarantee that you will see them again this year but it can give you a sense of the types of offers you can expect to see. Also, don't forget to figure in food, glass ware and other paraphernalia offers that you might be interested in as they can add up pretty easily. There are usually some really great non-wine offers in the mix.
Yes! This is brilliant, Paula - definitely 75% repeat participants, at least, and you can get a feel of what the offers are like, which might sell out, etc.
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#16 Post by Anton D » January 18th, 2019, 2:48 pm

John Simpson wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 12:15 pm
Another vote for becoming a Grand Cru member and checking out the offers on Preview Day. But you can also gain a lot of insight by reviewing previous years' BD offers and buyer replies viewforum.php?f=66, as well as the 'Has anyone been drinking Berserker Day wines lately' thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=136426. Lots of info thru out the entire WB site about the producers/vendors if you poke around a bit.
YES!

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#17 Post by CJ Beazley » January 19th, 2019, 6:56 am

I was thinking about this, and I’ve gotten some great deals through the years-Arcadian, Briceland, Liquid Farm, and others. But I think I’m most pleased with the wines from Cabot.
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#18 Post by dankrall » January 19th, 2019, 7:40 am

CJ Beazley wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 6:56 am
I was thinking about this, and I’ve gotten some great deals through the years-Arcadian, Briceland, Liquid Farm, and others. But I think I’m most pleased with the wines from Cabot.
Definitely have to agree with your Cabot recommendation, and there are tons of other good ones out there.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#19 Post by robert creth » January 20th, 2019, 7:27 pm

Set a budget! Allow yourself to go over by 10% then-Stick to it. There are many great offers and they come fast. Take advantage of good deals on exploration wines, varieties that you have wanted to try or grapes you are unfamiliar with. If you like beef, Flannery’s is awesome.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#20 Post by Scott Watkins » January 21st, 2019, 2:38 pm

Eh don't listen to these people, jump in with both feet and buy as much as you can and then some! Then enjoy your rewards later [highfive.gif] After my first BD the next morning I found a note from my wife on my keyboard that said "DON'T BUY ANYMORE WINE!" hitsfan Hey we're still married flirtysmile
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#21 Post by Jim Stewart » January 21st, 2019, 2:43 pm

Exactly !!!

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#22 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 21st, 2019, 3:36 pm

Scott Watkins wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 2:38 pm
Eh don't listen to these people, jump in with both feet and buy as much as you can and then some! Then enjoy your rewards later [highfive.gif] After my first BD the next morning I found a note from my wife on my keyboard that said "DON'T BUY ANYMORE WINE!" hitsfan Hey we're still married flirtysmile
What will happen (and this is pretty much guaranteed) is that you'll cut yourself off, like a hard cut, no more wine, for sure. Then, another offer will show up, and you'll need that one, and you'll rationalize it. Then, another will pop up because you'll notice you went too heavy on Pinot Noir, so you need some Cab, then you'll buy that to balance it out...and so it goes
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#23 Post by Scott Watkins » January 21st, 2019, 3:42 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 3:36 pm
Scott Watkins wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 2:38 pm
Eh don't listen to these people, jump in with both feet and buy as much as you can and then some! Then enjoy your rewards later [highfive.gif] After my first BD the next morning I found a note from my wife on my keyboard that said "DON'T BUY ANYMORE WINE!" hitsfan Hey we're still married flirtysmile
What will happen (and this is pretty much guaranteed) is that you'll cut yourself off, like a hard cut, no more wine, for sure. Then, another offer will show up, and you'll need that one, and you'll rationalize it. Then, another will pop up because you'll notice you went too heavy on Pinot Noir, so you need some Cab, then you'll buy that to balance it out...and so it goes
So I guess i'm not the only one [thankyou.gif]
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#24 Post by Todd Hamina » January 21st, 2019, 4:53 pm

Get stuff you know your SO will enjoy.
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#25 Post by RDHudak » January 21st, 2019, 6:37 pm

Dan Hammer wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 12:37 pm
Sometimes it helps to review the wine offered on Cellartracker. You're looking for previous vintage history.
If the particular thread has a very positive buzz, I'd factor that in to your purchasing decision.

There are several winemakers that offer good value wines. You can't just pop a $75 wine every night, but the $15 - $25 bottles ie Sandler, Navarro, Paetra will open your eyes to good wine at a great price. It's callled QPR.
Absolutely agree.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#26 Post by sdfruman » January 22nd, 2019, 5:41 am

I always try two or three new to me wineries each year. I always blow through my budget, even with preview day planning. I love small producers so this is my favorite day of the year. There are a lot of great offers to be found for under $100, many with shipping free or included. Try something out of your comfort zone. I opened a The Princess and the Peasant Carignan over the weekend and it was amazing! Jean Edwards Cellars, Cabot, Lagier Meredith, Ladd, Kendric, Sandler, Vincent and Sojourn have been consistently wonderful year after year. Franny Beck, Longplay, Zoetic. Young Hagen, Betwixt, and Paetra have been recent finds that are all wonderful. Veleta has the best sardines, tuna, and olive oil! Use preview day to plan, but read comments from fellow Berserkers about the offers. I've been swayed by others more than once, and I love enticing others to try something I've enjoyed before. Most important, HAVE FUN! Save some money for auctions, that's how I've built my collection of magnums!
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#27 Post by Jeff Bloom » January 22nd, 2019, 6:47 am

sdfruman wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 5:41 am
I always try two or three new to me wineries each year. I always blow through my budget, even with preview day planning.
This is exactly my pattern, leading to between 10 and 15 purchases a year (even the year I was laying in a hospital bed with a new hip). I've never been disappointed in any of the new wineries but unfortunately haven't been able to buy more from most of them just because I have no more room.

It's always a great day (actually two) and I'm getting my credit card warmed up for this week.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#28 Post by Jason T » January 22nd, 2019, 7:18 am

Mike Evans wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 5:17 pm
I’ll repeat my advice from a different thread:

As a BD veteran, I've found that the best way to manage the mayhem is to become a Grand Cru Crü member. My strategy is to use the Preview Day and Early Purchase Offers to prepare a spreadsheet outlining everything I want to buy. It is much easier to budget and plan when you can review the offers in advance instead of having to react to them as they appear (though I still haven't figured out a way to completely avoid at least one or two impulse buys in the excitement of the actual event). Remember, these are mostly small producers, so quantities are limited and I've seen in recent years that some wines offered by BerserkerBusiness members get sold out to Grand Cru Crü members as Early Purchase Offers and never make it to the actual BerserkerDay event.

If you want some insight into wines being offered, the "Has Anyone Been Drinking BerserkerDay Wines Lately?" thread is a good resource, as are the forums from past years. Looking at the forums from the past few BDs will give you an idea of how things look once the dust has settled.
I would tell you to embrace Mike’s plan however that level of organization risks leaving less wine for me. champagne.gif [wink.gif] [berserker.gif]
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#29 Post by Jason T » January 22nd, 2019, 7:22 am

Todd Hamina wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 4:53 pm
Get stuff you know your SO will enjoy.
Smart. Can also work from a budgeting perspective. My wife and I have somewhat overlapping tastes. Any purchase we agree on together we split. However if it’s stuff that she knows I won’t like or vice versa, we absorb those costs individually.

So, sitting down with her and planning on what wines she may like means more money for the wines that only I like. [berserker.gif]
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#30 Post by Scott Brunson » January 22nd, 2019, 12:58 pm

Drinking lowers your resistance to temptation.
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#31 Post by Mike Stoneking » January 23rd, 2019, 2:49 pm

Have your BD credit card statements sent to an address besides your home if you are married. Life saving move!
ITB..............Someone has to drink all this damn wine.
Viva Berserkers!!

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#32 Post by brigcampbell » January 23rd, 2019, 8:11 pm

It's quite simple. Only spend your disposable income on berserkerday offerings.

Use the kid's college fund for auction items.

Problem solved. You're welcome.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#33 Post by Craig Haserot » January 24th, 2019, 9:45 pm

The $25 you will pay for the Grand Cru "early look at the offers program" is well worth it.

Also, being new, find a wine buddy or two to split some of the offers with. Many wineries will ship at no charge for a 4 or 6 bottles purchase or so - by finding someone to split offers with you will get more new (to you) winery looks and be able to find more new cool producers much faster.
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#34 Post by Mark Maddox » January 25th, 2019, 12:41 pm

I joined 3 weeks before the last BD, bought 31 bottles...almost all from new to me producers. I have no intention of informing my wife after I top that number this year at BDX. I plan to repeat my favorites from last year and try 2-3 new producers. Just an awesome day!

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#35 Post by Jason Crawford » January 25th, 2019, 6:00 pm

I told my wife that Berserkday was coming up. She told me to buy A LOT of tuna from Veleta. Pay attention to things other than wine as well.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#36 Post by JoeDaniels » January 25th, 2019, 7:19 pm

Is it too late to go grand cru and see preview day? New to site but certainly looking forward to tomorrow.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#37 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 25th, 2019, 7:23 pm

JoeDaniels wrote:
January 25th, 2019, 7:19 pm
Is it too late to go grand cru and see preview day? New to site but certainly looking forward to tomorrow.
You aren't the first one to be last minute, let me tell ya! You should be fine
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#38 Post by JoeDaniels » January 25th, 2019, 7:25 pm

Thanks Todd. Just made my donation(?) so will refresh in a bit.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#39 Post by J a y H a c k » January 26th, 2019, 6:13 pm

Pick at least one producer out of your comfort zone and buy a small amount just to expand your horizons/
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#40 Post by Won H. L e e » January 27th, 2019, 7:17 am

man... i didn't realize preview day close at 4:30pm PST. was working all day and came home to find those forums were closed. poop

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#41 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 27th, 2019, 7:23 am

Won H. L e e wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:17 am
man... i didn't realize preview day close at 4:30pm PST. was working all day and came home to find those forums were closed. poop
I have to close the Previews because there's a bunch more work to do before BerserkerDay - participants often edit their posts, I have to arrange them all into groups for launch times, etc.
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#42 Post by JordanL » January 27th, 2019, 7:44 am

Wow! I did not know that this was happening now... I want to participate but kind of on a limited budget as I don't have access to proper wine storage... I'll keep an eye out for those nice $15-25 deals that Dan Hammer mentioned.
jordan lee

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#43 Post by Mike Evans » January 27th, 2019, 7:48 am

JordanL wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:44 am
Wow! I did not know that this was happening now... I want to participate but kind of on a limited budget as I don't have access to proper wine storage... I'll keep an eye out for those nice $15-25 deals that Dan Hammer mentioned.
Keep an eye out for Sandler.

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#44 Post by JordanL » January 27th, 2019, 8:01 am

Mike Evans wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:48 am
JordanL wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:44 am
Wow! I did not know that this was happening now... I want to participate but kind of on a limited budget as I don't have access to proper wine storage... I'll keep an eye out for those nice $15-25 deals that Dan Hammer mentioned.
Keep an eye out for Sandler.
I think this is the third cosign I've seen on Sandler so I guess I'll break my cherry with them. I don't see them listed here yet but they do have some Berserker deals on their website... Is that it? or is there something else that's going to happen when they post here?
jordan lee

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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#45 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 27th, 2019, 8:02 am

JordanL wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 8:01 am
Mike Evans wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:48 am
JordanL wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:44 am
Wow! I did not know that this was happening now... I want to participate but kind of on a limited budget as I don't have access to proper wine storage... I'll keep an eye out for those nice $15-25 deals that Dan Hammer mentioned.
Keep an eye out for Sandler.
I think this is the third cosign I've seen on Sandler so I guess I'll break my cherry with them. I don't see them listed here yet but they do have some Berserker deals on their website... Is that it? or is there something else that's going to happen when they post here?
The Master Thread has all this info neener

It just got posted.
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Jim Stewart
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Re: Any general advice and tips for first-timer ?

#46 Post by Jim Stewart » January 28th, 2019, 5:19 am

I was certainly tempted (and by some offers wickedly) but in the end I was pleased (and also a bit surprised) by the remaining strength of my "rational" mind. My restrained and sensible purchases were a six-pack of PN, a six-pack of whites, and some nice wine glasses. I came out of my first BD in a "good" place for me. Thanks for the advice and tips. Thanks to all the wineries and businesses who put those tempting offers out there. -Jim (OP)

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