Archive for August, 2008
In preparation for the upcoming Twitter Tasting Live Event (hosted by Winecast & BinEndsWine.com) on August 21st, I’m giving away FREE 1WineDude.com gear!
This round of the live twitter wine tasting will focus on the fabulous Alsace wines of Hugel & Fils. I will (once again) be hosting a group of local wine geeks and industry folk to taste the wines – while yours truly captures the (increasingly inebriated) tasting comments from our panel via my twitter account.
Of course, we want all of you folks to join in on this fun as well and taste along with us, and the rest of the twitter live participants (twitipants?). Check out BinEndsWine.com for details on how to join up.
I may also be streaming the (increasingly inebriated) 1WineDude group commentary via my Yahoo! Live channel!
Anyway, help me out and YOU could soon be wearing a Men’s “Wine Rules!” T-shirt, or a Women’s “1WineDude.com” cap sleeve T-shirt! Or be reading through the cool tips & tricks of wine tasting in my eBook!
All you have to do is help me to prepare for the twitter tasting. Easy peasy nice an’ squeezy!…
Here’s the skinny:
Nothing to it.
So get cookin’ already!
(images: allposters.com, cafepress.com)
It’s that time of month again here at 1WineDude.com.
That time when we hip you to some way cool events going on in the wine world (what were you thinking I was going to say?):
1) First up is a local Philly-area shin-dig. Teikoku Restaurant will be having their next wine & food pairing event on Thursday, August 14, 5:30-7:30 PM ET.
Iron Chef Takao Iinuma will be cooking up some delectable small bites to pair with “off the beaten path pours” of wine selected by Heather Wright of Cellar Door Imports. I know that chef. And I know that Importer. And both of them kick ass.
2) Next, after a fun and successful inaugural twitter tasting event, BinEndsWine.com will be back LIVE on August 21st for twitter tasting #2. This time around, they will be featuring Etienne Hugel, of Hugel & Fils.
For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with Hugel, the name is practically synonymous with fine Alsace wine. BinEndsWine & Etienne will be joined live via twitter by yours truly, as well as a host of other fine wine bloggers, as we taste through a selection of Hugel’s finest.
The last twitter live tasting event was a blast, so head on over to BinEndsWine.com, order yourself a tasting pack of Hugel wine, and join in the twitter fun on the 21st. The details of how to follow the live event can be found there as well (be sure to friend me up at 1WineDude before the 21st!).
Not too long ago, I was contacted by a PR firm regarding one of their wineries, J Vineyards.
This is nothing to write about in and of itself. What is worth writing about is why they were reaching out to me.
As a wine blogger, they wanted me to know that J had launched their own blog, J News You Can Use. A winery that’s taking part in the wine 2.0 wine conversation? Now that I find worth writing about – not just because it adds a potentially compelling voice to the on-line mix; it also shows that I’m (thankfully!) being proven increasingly more incorrect about my dire assessment of the influence of wine blogging in the ‘real’ world!
To get a better feel of what J is all about, you of course need to sample their wine. So, I grabbed a bottle of their 2005 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. First, the numbers: 100% Pinot Noir, aged in French oak barrels (30% new) for 11 months, 14.5% abv.
My take: Ripe strawberries on the nose, cherry cola on the palate, and a touch of toasted breadcrumb on the finish. The finish also contains some alcohol – there’s just no escaping it with that much powerful booze in this wine. Still, there’s no denying the Russian River fruit – it just kicks all kinds of ass; the question will be if it can stand up to that alcohol with enough structure for any long-haul aging (at close to $30 / bottle, you should expect some aging potential in your Pinot).
To really understand a winery, you also need to know what the winemaker is up to…
You have to totally respect what George Bursick (J’s winemaker, pictured) is trying to do. Bursick has been experimenting with longer fermentation times, utilizing techniques like batonage (stirring the wine with its yeast and sediment to impart extra creaminess and a rounder mouthfeel), and resurrecting the use of rare Burgundian yeasts that haven’t seen the dark of fermentation since the 1930s.
But I’m not really writing to tell you about J’s wine (good as it is); I’m writing to tell you about J’s blog.
You might expect that I got the info. on Bursick from J’s blog. But I didn’t. I got it from their press materials. And, unlike J’s wines, in today’s social-networking-obsessed Internet world, that’s probably not good enough.
It’s great to see wineries like J embracing the on-line wine world. With social networking officially overtaking porn as the most popular website destinations, if you’re not into social networks then you’re not really on the web these days. Anyone who wants to connect with consumers and doesn’t have a socially-oriented on-line presence is officially behind the times (and the competition).
Having said that, J’s blog is useful if you already know about J’s wines, or to have a central place to catalog their news and accomplishments. J’s blog is a good first step, but it’s already behind the times when compared to some other wineries, such as Tablas Creek. Tablas Creek’s blog is winning awards because it’s being used to give us deep insights into how the wine is made, and the trials and tribulations of day to day life at the winery. Consumers want to know more than what awards a winery is winning – they want to feel more connected to the brand.
My advice to J, and any other winery that wants to take online promotion seriously: get connected, and do it quickly. Get a blog, and get personal in it. Get on twitter and follow some of the wine geek crowd. Sign up at OpenWineConsortium.org and converse with bloggers, distributors, and consumers.
If you don’t, the online wine world very well might pass you by. And sooner or later, that means the ‘real’ world consumers might pass you by as well…
This past week, I finally got around to watching Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture.”
For the 7 or 8 of you that have yet to see this (I’ve got a 4-month-old at the house… what’s your excuse?), the video of the Pausch’s inspirational lecture has been viewed by an estimated 6 million+ people. Pausch’s topic was fulfilling your childhood dreams, made more poignant and powerful by the fact that a) he had fulfilled most of his childhood dreams, and b) he was diagnosed with terminal cancer before giving the lecture.
Pausch died last month, at the age of 47. His lecture is amazing, and it got me thinking: if I were to deliver a lecture, knowing it to be my last before I died, what would I talk about? Then I thought about it another way: Why should my last lecture be special? Why can’t all my lectures be special? Why can’t I just live as if every day, and every event, were my last?
Then I wouldn’t have to do anything differently than I would on any other day. I’d rather have someone be able to show a video of any random moment of me spending time with my daughter, and that be a snapshot of the totality of me as a person, then have to worry about topping myself for some reason before I head off to the great gig in the sky.
In other words, I’d like to have my life be the testament to, well, my life.
What the hell does this have to do with wine? Glad you asked! Assuming you’re still reading, that is. You are? Great! Then allow me to explain…
I’ve written before about the role of mindfulness in heightening your wine appreciation. Basically, give a wine a moment or two of your pure, unadulterated concentration, and it will reveal its entire world to you.
Now, imagine if you treated every glass of wine that you have from here on out as if it might be your last glass. Man, you’d really give it some concentration then.
Sip on that for a while – you might find it brings a greater appreciation of wine into your life.
Even if it’s a glass of Yellowtail.
Check out more ‘Zen Wine’ non-action by the 1WineDude.
(images: rosalynclare.files.wordpress.com, zen-life.org)