Archive for February, 2011
I’ll be “slumming it” at the Meadowood in Napa Valley this week, taking part in the 2011 Professional Wine Writers Symposium as a panelist and generally trying to figure out how I got so lucky that I can have opportunity to eat foie gras five times in one week.
What’s that sound…? I think I hear my arteries clogging… graaaaeeeeeeekkkk…..
Anyway, among the attendees at last year’s Wine Writers Symposium were folks from the magazine Sommelier Journal, with which I’ve had a bit of a love affair (that’s a figurative love affair with the magazine, people, and not a literal love affair with any of the people producing the magazine…) for the past few years. I was contacted last week by Sommelier Journal’s Business Manager Phil Vogels (an all-around nice guy and semi-frequent commenter here on 1WD), who let me know that SJ was recently honored with some (well-deserved) Eddy Awards.
To celebrate, the Sommelier Journal folks are offering 1WD readers free on-line (HTML and PDF formats) access to their January 31, 2011 issue for a limited time. Just head over to http://www.sommelierjournal.com/view/view.aspx and start reading! Punch in username [email protected]and password sneakpeek if prompted for access.
If you like what you see, SJ now has an online-only subscription option available for $39 a year. Just sayin’…
- 08 Stepping Stone Syrah (Napa Valley): An aggressive come-on, but after the fun, jammy black raspberry, vanilla tryst all is forgiven. $20 B #
- 09 Stepping Stone "Cuveé Musqué" Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): A little fleshy; but star fruit, melon & citrus keep it svelte enough. $16 B #
- 10 Crios Rose of Malbec (Mendoza): Vibrant, candied red berries are ridin’ side-saddle with full-bodied alcohol & a lil’ astringency. $11 B- #
- 06 Ochoa Tempranillo Crianza (Navarra): Solid, but like so many other Crianzas it tastes a bit too much like the wood it slept in. $15 B- #
- 09 Bodegas San Martin Ilagares Tinto (Navarra): The lighter, inexpensive, burrito-ready, overachieving side of Tempranillo & Garnacha. $8 B- #
- 06 Napa Angel "Aurelio’s Selection" (Napa Valley): Well, the blackberry & cedar spice certainly are heavenly. Stunning Cabernet debut. $90 A #
- 05 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance (Constantia): Less orange & more honeysuckle nectar than in prev. vintages. I’m not complaining. $50 A- #
- NV Bollinger Brut Rosé (Champagne): Takes you on a fruit journey from tart cherry to red apple, w/ some tantalizing stops in between $100 A- #
- 06 Emblem Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Dark fruit, spice & black licorice savings bond that hasn’t quite yet come due $50 A- #
In the latest video installment on 1WD TV, I channel my inner Colonel Hannibal Smith and taste a sample of Emblem’s 2006 Rutherford Cab in order to try out another sample: one of the latest wine aerators to hit the market, the cigar-shaped Nuance Wine Finer aerator – all with some surprising results. Many 80s brain cells are damaged in the ensuing antics. It will all make more sense when you watch the vid. Sort of. I think.
Oh, yeah – there’s a wine involved here as well, of course:
2006 Emblem Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, $50)
On twitter, I called this wine a “dark fruit, spice & black licorice savings bond that hasn’t quite yet come due,” meaning that I think it will need 4 to 5 more years to integrate and soften up. But as noted in the above vid, if you’re the impatient type you can still find a lot to love here, though decanting this kick-ass, beautiful monster from the 4th generation Mondavi clan is a must. For me, the best part about this wine is that it’s kind of deceptive: the fruit comes off all dark on the nose, but opens up to a lovely, pure, juciy red currant on the palate, like eating a big ol’ handful of the stuff right off the plant. Enough acidity to pair with meaty dishes, but proceed with some caution.
On April 6, I’ll be part of a roundtable wine industry panel discussing “strategies for building wine brand loyalty” among what has to be one of the most fickle (and largest) group of wine consumers ever to swipe credit cards in exchange for vinous experiences: the oft-discussed (and more often misunderstood) Millennials.
The panel is part of a larger symposium for wine industry types being held at the gorgeous Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. My panel-mates (now there’s a word that has limited contextual usage!) will include moderator Brad Todd of the Richards Group, and Adam Strum (founder of Wine Enthusiast). Gary V is the keynote (for those who’ve yet to experience a Gary V keynote – it alone is worth the trip).
It’s going to be an interesting discussion, because I’m not sure that capturing the loyalty of Millennials can actually be done (at least, not in the way that wine-related business are used to doing it when it comes to Baby Boomers). Still, there is hope, provided that you can continuously entertain those buyers with transparency, compelling stories that relate experiences connected with a brand, and above all continuing to up the quality of your products. And void social-irresponsibility that could result in a brand boycott.
You know, really easy stuff, right? I recommend investing in some Tylenol, because there will definitely be headaches encountered in marketing departments before the dust settles. For more on how the Millennial set views wine, I recommend checking out Millennier.com (because it’s authored by an actual Millennial and not a late-30s guy with Millennial leanings – like me – just talking about Millennials).
I’m calling attention to this gig because it’s a paying gig (WOOT!), and therefore deserves some mention in the Going Pro vein of articles here…
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