Disney World - care of www.babble.comEven with the Super Bowl due this weekend and beer lovers all over the US (and beyond?) gearing up for the big day of consumption, wine columnists at some of the country's top rags stayed the course, touching on topics I personally have been following. And so this Friday I bring to you a look at wine from three of my favorite writers: New York's City Winery is open. Looking for the Disney World of Wine? It seems City Winery is trying to be just that. As enthusiastic and passionate as I am about the art of fermented grape juice, I'm not sure if I'm about it.  Must we be everything to everyone? Or is it just this approach that will allow CW to find success even in a down market? Eric Asimov, author of the New York Times' "The Pour", checks out the scene and brings up some very interesting points.  I'll be in town once the ice melts to check it out for myself, but in the meantime, I'm dying to hear what my Big Apple readers think of it! Are you "a fan" of the concept? Comment below!

Malbec, mmm Malbec! Argentine Malbec is certainly a section in the store with a ridiculous number of facings given our small space. But there is enough demand to warrant so many choices! This scenario (plus my personal affection for it?) encourages our reps to continue to bring by new Malbecs for us to try. What's interesting is how many simply 'eh', down right bad, or "fakey-fake" offerings we've tasted in the last 4-5 months. Of course, this just makes us feel even happier with the wines we do carry, but it also demoralizes me a bit. I'd hate to see Malbec winemaking go down the tubes just to meet the increasing demand. While we've been experiencing this challenge here in Greater Boston, you never know for sure if your experience is being felt elsewhere.... This week Gaiter & Bretcher at the Wall Street Journal took 100 Malbecs to the mattresses and reported their findings. Check out their 411! And then tell us, what are your own recent experiences?

Fireplace magic. Since I've been on my winter warmers bender and definitely used the term "fireplace wine" at least once in recent history, I was happy to see Stephen Meuse take up the torch in January's Boston Globe "Plonk of the Month" column. Meuse usually rounds up a solid number of somewhat lesser known, reasonably priced wines, from around the world (yea!). You'll never see mass-marketed items, so it is a pleasure to check out his line-up every 4th Wednesday. And I appreciate that with "plonk" wines as his focus, he describes the wines in relation to their accessible price; it's true, we are "prepared to overlook the occasional quirk [to] be amply compensated by a level of character and interest heavily marketed brands just can't deliver". See what he recommends this month here. Are you familiar with any of these already?