The ESC Dijon Bourgogne (Burgundy School of Business) has recently wrapped up its three year study of wine blogging worldwide, the results of which have been released in a free whitepaper titled World Wide Wines: Digital Writing on Wine.
This is important not just because it sounds like The Scorpions’ kick-ass live album World Wide Live, but because the ESC Dijon Bourgogne study is the longest and most comprehensive view of the wine blogosphere ever attempted. Is it perfect? No (Exhibit A: calling Paul Mabray and I – now in or forties – the “younger generation of wine bloggers;” maybe compared to the average age of the wine guys writing for traditional wine media outlets…). But given its scope, its incorporation of other important wine blogging studies, and its length, this is as close as we’ve got to a litmus test on the global state of wine blogging.
For me, the most telling and pertinent results of the study come in pages 23-26 (more on that below), in which the study adds further proof to the idea (or what we should now probably consider the fact) that there is no real difference between wine bloggers and wine consumers.
Think that wine bloggers are “wasting” time by talking to one another, and don’t reach “real” consumers who spend their money on wine? Sorry, you’re harboring an antiquated view that doesn’t stand up to common sense, the laws of statistical averages, or the data offered in ESC Dijon Bourgogne’s three year study. If that’s still your view, then maybe you should just go renew your membership to the Flat Earth Society instead of seeing the study details I’m about to present…
So, like, what is this stuff, anyway? I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!
10 Howell Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain): The old brawler had a soft spot for complex poetry; who knew? $75 A- >>find this wine<<
10 Howell Mountain Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel (Howell Mountain): All cards are on the table; some are tarot cards w/ dark portents. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs (Carneros): Yellow apple verve makes up for brashly youthful exuberance of overly aggressive bubbles $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
06 Mont-Ferrant CR20 Grand Reserva Extra Brut (Cava): As if that mousy girl in Accounting is actually a superhero in her spare time. $30 A- >>find this wine<<
NV Mont-Ferrant Brut Rose (Cava): Trying to pack up the entire orchard – sour red apples, dirt & all – into the basket for take-out. $18 B >>find this wine<<
11 Fulcrum Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Sage brushes, painting in pretty pastels with sweet red berry pigments. $57 A- >>find this wine<<
11 Fulcrum Brosseau Vineyard Pinot Noir (Chalone): Saluting Pommard w/ 1 hand, flicking it a playful, competitive bird w/ the other. $54 A- >>find this wine<<
11 Fulcrum Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): Brandishing herb sprigs & berry twigs like miniature kung fu weaponry. $54 B+ >>find this wine<<
11 Fulcrum On Point Christinna's Cuvee Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): Earth, funk, spice & grit; think twice before messing with it. $36 B+ >>find this wine<<
08 Tenuta Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino (Brunello di Montalcino): A Bruno that favors coy whispering over powerful shouting. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
Depending on who you are, California’s Ventura County will spark up a number of mental images: beach stay-cations; Tony Stark’s mansion; a place to refill the gas tank en route to wine country in Northern California.
I’ll be talking more about all of this in a feature (I’ve yet to write…!) for PalatePress.com, based on press trip I took to the region last year. The short version of the tale is that I admired the gumption of those urban, bootstrapped wineries, most of which have been established by former hobbyists who went totally off the deep end and graduated their production into rented winemaking spaces, tasting rooms, and in some cases full-time gigs (can’t say they’re not courageous…).
Has Ventura arrived, wine-speaking? Not yet. Are they doing better than we ought to reasonably expect from such a ragtag group of independent upstarts? Yeah. Mini-reviews will be coming forthwith, but a brief highlight of some of my faves is up now at Answers.com. More of that trip will be put to light in the prospective Palate Press piece (only with less consonance… probably…).
Anyway, one of those upstart standouts is Four Brix Winery, a play on the U.S. grape ripeness measurement, and the number in the name represents four of the wine regions that got the founding partners (the Noonan, Simonsgaard and Stewart families) into this whole wine mess in the first place: Spain, Italy, France, and (naturally) California. If you find that a bit kitschy, just wait until you see how they name their wines…
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