Tuesday, December 3, 2013

All Good Things Must Come To An End.

When you have something special to you, it seems as though the most important thing is knowing when to move on to the next chapter. And with mixed emotions, we're announcing that we have completed the process of closing down Purple Teeth Cellars.

Words cannot express how much this venture has taught us. When we started this in late 2006, we wanted to make wine that we would want to drink. And we succeeded. We also went into this project knowing this WAS NOT going to be our exit strategy from our "day jobs" because we wanted to have fun. We achieved that.

When we started promoting our wine to our family and friends in different channels, we quickly realized that we were becoming a resource for many who were just learning about wine.

We resolved to stay true to the advice we would have given if we weren't making and selling wine. We did that and strongly encouraged folks to "drink what YOU like", not what the experts TELL you to like. Hopefully we accomplished that in your eyes.

We had the opportunity to understand what being an entrepreneur really means with our names essentially being "on the letterhead". We also learned how incredibly hard it is to make high quality wine in meaningful quantities year-in and year-out. We were able to donate some of our revenues to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), which is a non-profit that we strongly support. And we had the "pleasure" of selling wine during a recession where plenty of supply was available. Fortunately we were able to sell all of the wine that we wanted to sell. Obviously we held some back for ourselves.

We would like to thank folks like "Z", Kian and Gifford for their tireless efforts in getting Purple Teeth Cellars off of the ground. You always answered our "dumb questions" and really understood the meaning of customer service whether or not the problem was in your job description. In what is no surprise to us, "Z" went to university with some of the best winemakers in Australia and thanks to him, we were able to meet many of them on our recent trip there.

We would like to thank our family and friends who provided feedback to us as we were starting off, particularly as we were struggling with our logo. Special thanks to Jill's former manager, Chris, who gave us the most value-added and direct piece of feedback on the logo. This then led to Jill's sister coming up with an idea that we were then able to pass off to cousin Andrea to play with.

We would like to thank the countless industry professionals who were very supportive of our venture, but still provided very constructive feedback on our offering and how we could improve what we were doing. The time, energy and passion that they spent on Purple Teeth Cellars was incredibly instrumental in some of the decisions we made.

And most of all, we would like to thank our customers who bought from us time and time again. Without you, we wouldn't have been able to learn as much as we did. Your business, your feedback and your support really is what made this experience worthwhile.

Closing this chapter enables us to focus on new adventures, one of which was a wonderful 3+ month trip around Australia. No need to fret or be sad for us. 

And please don't forget to flaunt your PURPLE TEETH!

Thanks again and happy holidays.

-- Marc and Jill Beck
posted by Jill B. @ 8:47 PM        0 Comments

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Trios, Teeth Rinser, Price Reductions & More!

It truly has been awhile since you heard from us at Purple Teeth Cellars!

We have been busy making wine, releasing wine, selling wine, etc. It’s been fun. We have been involved in some charity events where our wines were paired with some amazing dishes (pics to be posted on Facebook and Twitter soon once we receive them). 

Trios Anyone?
We have heard from our customers that they like vertical flights of wine, meaning they want to be able to compare the same wines from different vintages. In response to that feedback, we are pleased to offer TWO new trios of wine:
The trios are each available for $72, which is a bargain. If you purchased each of these wines individually, it would be $81 so you get some savings. Furthermore if you purchase both of the trios, you receive an additional 10% off of your order! So let’s do the math:
  • order both trios for $144
  • subtract $14.40 (10%)
  • total for both trios is $129.60, which is a savings of over $32!

Teeth Rinser Released!
Our “Teeth Rinser” Viognier is getting raves on being a full bodied white wine that really showcases some wonderful fruit notes like peaches and pears. It is from Catie’s Corner Vineyard in Sonoma Valley and because it is our inaugural venture into the white wine world, we are beyond gratified that people are really enjoying it! It’s getting warmer, so if you need something on the white wine side for the summer, get yourself some “Teeth Rinser”! Additionally, if you are drinking a red wine, this is the best way to rinse them off before going back for some more red wine. Toothpaste is such a buzz kill!!

Summer Shipping
The final day to put in a ground shipping order before the summer season is this Sunday. Order NOW! As of Monday, May 28th, all wine ordered via Purple Teeth Cellars will only be available to be shipped via Air (NO GROUND SHIPPING) through Labor Day. We do not want the warmer temperatures affecting the wine you order because we produce such a high quality product. Order by Sunday, May 27th to ensure you have your Purple Teeth Cellars for the summer months!

New Pricing
Check out the Purple Teeth Cellars store to see some newly reduced prices on our bottle aged vintages. We want you to enjoy these now.

Petite Sirah
According to our sources, Petite Sirah is staging a comeback. We have always loved the grape so you can benefit. We have made some great Petite Sirah and you can choose whether you want it bottle aged from the 2006 vintage or young and powerful from the 2009 vintage. Check it out in our store!

Wine Available At Wine World
If you live in the Seattle area, did you know that you can buy Purple Teeth Cellars at Wine World & Spirits in the Wallingford neighborhood in Seattle? Stop by, tell them we sent you and if you want them to carry more of our wine, say it loudly!

As always, we are so grateful for the support of all of you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at getwine@purpleteethcellars.com! We look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,
Marc and Jill Beck (aka Mr. and Mrs. Purple Teeth)
posted by Jill B. @ 10:21 AM        0 Comments

Friday, April 22, 2011

Purple Teeth Cellars – getting it in stores!

For those of you who have small businesses, you know that the tiniest of accomplishments can seem like a big deal. Last month, we had our mention in Seattle Magazine. This month, we got placed in our first retail location here in Seattle – Wine World Warehouse in Wallingford!

We have
received a number of inquiries about finding our wine someplace other than our website, so we have been working to figure out how to make that happen. Purple Teeth Cellars was given the opportunity to pour at Wine World and based on the sales from that afternoon, they decided to add our wine to their shelves. BIG DEAL FOR US! And hopefully an incentive for some of you in the Seattle area to buy some for yourself the next time you are hanging out in Wallingford.

This past week was pretty busy on the Purple
Teeth Cellars front. Given our initial success at getting on to the shelves at Wine World, we felt like expanding our horizons and reaching out to some other retailers to see about pouring at their shops. If the uptake is positive, then we hope it leads to them carrying our wine. Since we have day jobs (the point of the Seattle Magazine article), this week was quite a juggle getting everything in. And because we were returning from NYC on Monday, it made for a short week for us.

But we managed to get some appointments
and we were really pleased to have each of the retailers compliment all 3 of our current releases on how well they are tasting right now. The Petite Sirah still needs a bit of air or decanting before serving, but otherwise they are ready to enjoy (with or without food)! For the record, the Petite is tasting great – it is still really powerful and just needs a bit of time to unwind, just like many of us after a long day at the office. The upside of this is that you don't go through a bottle at a tasting with a retailer. Generally, they make an assessment after a couple of sips and that's it. So you cork the wine and keep it for the next appointment, etc. Although 2 of the 3 retailers enjoyed a particular wine so much that I offered the rest of the bottle to them as a goodwill gesture.

We still had some of the 3 current releases left from the retailer tastings (about
½ bottle each), and Marc thought it would be a great idea to uncork our 2008 Syrahs (one from Alder Springs and one from White Hawk) to see where they were at. So we were able to compare the 2007 Alder Springs with the 2008 vintage from the same vineyard. And the same for the 2007 White Hawk. It's definitely fun to do those comparisons. We prepped some chicken and veal over the course of the week with different seasonings/food preparations to get a sense of the pairing possibilities. More to come on that front. :-)

Marc and I also had the chance to taste some barrel samples of the 2010 Viognier and 2010 White Hawk Syrah recently. Yes, you read that correctly. We are doing a white wine, but it is still from the Rhône Valley in France, and it is called "The Teeth Rinser". All of our wines are tasting as they should…. Both need a bit more time in the barrel but things are heading where we would like them to be. The 2009s are moving along, so things are looking good for Purple Teeth Cellars.

So keep on flashing those PURPLE TEETH and please check out some of the NEW PRICING (!!) on our website as we clear out inventory for our next vintage to be released! And of course, please go find our wine at Wine World Warehouse in Seattle! And stay tuned to find out where Mr. and Mrs. PurpleTeeth will be pouring their wines next!

We are grateful for your support and look forward to continue to engage with all of you about wine, food, and most importantly, fun. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!
posted by Jill B. @ 7:59 PM        0 Comments

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seattle Magazine Mention!

It has been a bit hectic over in the land of Purple Teeth. But not too hectic to mention a recent mention in Seattle Magazine's March issue entitled, "How to Become A Washington State Winemaker without Giving Up Your Day Job". And two of three wines produced by Purple Teeth Cellars got mentions for "Top Picks". For some reason, the magazine has not posted the "Top Picks" section of the article to their website but fortunately we have the text right here:

Purple Teeth Cellars 2006 Eaglepoint Ranch Petite Sirah, Mendocino County
One sip of the big, earthy gem might make a case for giving this so-called lesser grape more love. It's got depth, layers of blueberry and black cherry, and a lingering finish.

Pairs with: Roasted duck, burgers, pizza - in other words, it's a versatile food wine.

Purple Teeth Cellars 2007 White Hawk Vineyard Syrah, Santa Barbara County
Jammy and big, this wine packs a wallop of dark fruit flavors, warm spice and rustic earthiness - all characterizing this Rhone varietal's ability to wow without coming on too strong.

Pairs with: A rustic cassoulet or an assertively seasoned salmon fillet.

Obviously this is very exciting news for us and has led to some other opportunities for Mr. and Mrs. Purple Teeth, which we hope to talk about in the very near future. In the meantime, keep on flashing those PURPLE TEETH!

posted by Jill B. @ 5:21 PM        0 Comments

Monday, December 20, 2010

Purple Teeth Cellars talks Pinot – Huh?

Hope the holiday season is treating all of you well!

As some of you may know, I (@MrsPTC) tend to run a fair amount. One of my regular running buddies is not a huge wine drinker but likes to enjoy a glass or two every so often. We were out running one day and she had mentioned that her and her sister had a breakthrough "red wine" moment and didn't know where to go next. As far as where they were coming from, they tended to stick to mostly white wines – particularly my friend's sister.

So my friend asked if I would be willing to introduce them to some wines that they might like and wouldn't necessarily know to try on their own. Now in Purple Teeth Cellars land, we tend to stick to the "heavier" reds – both in terms of body and acidity. Thus, it didn't make sense to make this a PTC-oriented event. Maybe at some point, they will like more of the style of wine that we make but for now, plenty of fabulous reds are available that may be more in line with their preferences are. That is how we ended up at Pinot Noir.

I had a bunch of ideas race through my head on how I would so this. I am now an "industry person" of sorts in the wine world, so I really wanted to put some thought around how I wanted to approach this event. I immediately thought back to a Food and Wine pairing class that MrPTC and I took at the Culinary Institute of America back in 2007. They had us go through some very tangible exercises to learn about the nuances what makes certain foods work better with certain wines. More importantly, they focused on how the seasoning of the food can make or break a pairing – something I never thought of previously but it makes perfect sense. For the fashion forward folks out there, it is all about how you accessorize the sweater in many cases as opposed to it being about the sweater itself (ok, we'll leave out some of the tackier Christmas sweaters that have been showing up recently on Facebook). Much of food and wine pairing rests on how you "accessorize" the food, whether it is by seasoning or cooking method.

Keeping this in mind, I figured I could do something simple on the food front. Get a bunch of chicken tenders and season them differently. Maybe cheese pairings could be fun too. OK. Now what kind of seasonings and what kind of cheeses? I found some of the more "tried and true" pairings, but also wanted to get some pairings that would deliberately shock the heck out of everyone (READ: CLASH!). But the food part was pretty much worked out. Now what kind of wines to serve?

Obviously we're going with Pinot or close relatives of Pinot based on the criteria my friend gave me. But the issue with Pinot is that it is SUPER hard to find really reasonably priced bottles because it is such a temperamental varietal to work with. Don't confuse this with how it tastes because we do enjoy a bottle of Pinot every once in a while as well. Still – I am trying to figure out how I want to pivot the wine selections so there is some level of consistency and we're doing a somewhat "apples to apples" comparison.

My friend and I went to the local wine store that has a pretty good selection. After looking around at Burgundies, Oregon Pinots and California Pinots, I decided on the 2007 vintage and the price point of $30-$40. I'll say that for an introductory wine tasting, that's kind of high for me, but even at one of the best wine stores in Seattle, we were struggling to find bottles. And I wanted to do Old World (Europe) vs. New World (US) in the comparison.

I settled on a Burgundy (Pinot is the main red grape there, so when someone is talking about a Red Burgundy, it's Pinot, and when someone is talking about a White Burgundy, it tends to be Chardonnay), an Oregon Pinot, a Northern California Pinot and a Central Coast California Pinot. I then decided to throw in a mystery wine from the personal collection just to see what would happen – a Barbera from Piedmont, Italy. Barbera is a "relative of Pinot", so I thought that might be fun. And all of the wines were going to be put in brown bags, which meant that everyone would taste their wines blind. Ooh, the mystery!

So 5 wines, 5 cheeses, 6 chicken preparations with olives, crackers and brownies (MrPTC is a fabulous baker) makes for some crazy logistical planning for 10 guests!! You need a boatload of wine glasses, for starters, so we needed to improvise a bit. We had cheeses that were cow, sheep and goat. They ranged from semi-soft to firm, and were from different countries. The chicken prep went from simple (EVOO and salt) to cayenne pepper/black pepper. And if you are doing the math, it was a fair amount of combinations to try. It *MIGHT* have been a tad overambitious on my part – LOL. Oops.

I liked watching everyone just notice the differences in the wines that they normally wouldn't think would be all that different. After all, with the exception of the Barbera, they were all Pinots! They can't be *THAT* different. Some people thought they liked the low alcohol and lightest wines, and when the truth was revealed, they ended up enjoying just the opposite the most! Some of the folks didn't care too much about the pairing aspect and just enjoyed the laughs, which was great too! Isn't that what food and wine is about anyway?

Questions were asked and answered about palate cleansers, varietal differences, how to engage a sommelier at a restaurant without feeling stupid (we spend a lot of time answering this question to family and friends – for the record, the "somm" is there to HELP you not rip you off), current relevance of food and wine pairing rules, etc. It was really an enjoyable evening as we got to give some ideas to our friends about wine and help break down any misconceptions about it. Our hosts were fabulous and gracious, and I hope the clean-up wasn't too terrible.

As luck would have it, the next night we were invited to a dinner at a very good friend's house, who also happens to be a "somm". And of course, other "somms"/wine industry folks were present so we were definitely back in the land of being amateurs again. They were all really fun and cool, and were very keen on what we are doing at Purple Teeth Cellars. They share their knowledge of their industry freely and likewise, they were very interested in the tasting experiment that we did the evening before as some of them are studying for advanced certifications in wine.

Do we have a great life or what?!?!

As always, thanks for tuning in and check out the most recent newsletter on specials on the PTC webstore!

posted by Jill B. @ 4:42 PM        1 Comments