Despite the conventional wisdom that bigger is better, smaller stuff can be cool too, especially since it's more about the motion in the ocean anyway. And don't forget about Micro Machines! Proving small is the new big, or at least when it comes to wine and toy vehicles, TastingRoom.
Started by a former Silicon Valley exec born and raised in tasting-room-rich Healdsburg, e-hawker TR lets wine aficionados sample vinos before going full bottle with mail-ordered six pack sampler kits that replicate tastings done at their 30 prominent and mostly local partner wineries -- half of which were added to their roster in the last week -- plenty more than the Miami Heat, who still just have three guys, and Juwan Howard. Using a fancy patent-pending technology that helps avoid "flavor-altering oxidation", TR transfers wine from 750ml bottles to 50ml samplers (twice the size of a typical pour at a vineyard), then boxes them along with tasting notes, which're written by the winemaker instead of Cliff, because he's busy slogging through Count of Monte Cristo. There're 30 standard winery kits in all, from the likes of Grgich Hills, Domaine Carneros, and Papapietro Perry, with packages ranging from flights of pinots to a mix of zins, merlots, and cabs, which, if you live in SF, will probably take forever to get to you.
And if that isn't enough, they've also just launched more than a half dozen multi-winery kits, so you can sip on six totally different premium vinos at once -- though too much of that and your lady friend may no longer think you're such a