Archive for August, 2014
Back at the beginning of August, we generated a bit of controversy here (imagine that!) with my rant commentary on wine blogging, titled The Wine Blogging Community Is A Joke (But It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way). C’mon, with a nice, restrained title like that, who would’ve anticipated controversy?…
Much commenting, sharing, linking, and discussion then ensued.
I received an email from a friend of mine who is a journalist (we’ll call her “Elle Bee” for now, as she prefers to remain anonymous), spurred on by that comment storm discussion. In it, she reminded me of something very important that is at the heart of the wine blogging community’s sense of… well… community, and that didn’t really get addressed in detail in my original post or the comments that followed.
The important thing of which her email reminded me is that, individually, as wine bloggers, we have to represent. Like it or not, every one of us is, to the traditional journalist world, and to wine consumers at large who are not creating content about wine themselves, a representative of the entire wine blogging cadre. In other words, you (yes, you) for all intents and purposes are wine blogging.
Don’t like it? Tough noogies. That’s the stage at which wine blogging finds itself. If you want something more for your wine blog, or from wine logging in general, and if you take the wine blogging community seriously and want to see it increase its reach and influence, then please carefully read Elle Bee’s commentary below.
What follows is well-written, cogently-stated “part duex” to the wine blogging community discussion, and is another wake up call to those of us who want to see that community succeed and take things to the next level…
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Summer, we hardly knew ye…
August is drawing to a close, as is what felt like the briefest (and mildest, for us Communistwealth of PA dwellers) Summer on record. As we’ve been doing every month for quite some time here, we now take a gander back at this month’s Answers.com wine articles, which I humbly submit for your perusal (since I can’t yet give you any wine through your screen, this will have to do for now):
Pioneers In Oregon Chardonnay
The first of two things I didn’t expect from Oregon, both of which were highlighted at Answers.com this month. Inspired by my recent jaunt to IPNC, and the media tour that preceded it, I decided that Oregon Chardonnay was impressive enough (to me, anyway) that it ought to get some luv, and shouldn’t be treated as the next-in-line white wine grape behind the state’s previous pushes of Pinot Gris (not bad) and Riesling (in some cases, quite good). The handful of producers in this roundup are making Chard that resonated with me for its hedonistic pleasure and its not-at-all-flabby acid action. All told, a nice surprise for me during my visit.
Three Things You Didn’t Know About Oregon Wine Country
What can I say, I dig wine trivia, okay? This collection of surprising facts about OR wine country is the latest in the series of articles highlighting some of a given wine region’s trivia. If recent history on the reaction to this series is any predictor, you will read it, then become geekily upset about the fact you didn’t know some of the details, and then finally privately e-mail or DM me complaining that either the stuff was too obscure, or that everybody already knows it. Whatever.
Wine Product Review: Corkcicle Wine Chiller
Really… I just… didn’t get it. Apparently the Corkcicle is a brisk (ha-ha!) seller for some outlets. God bless ‘em, but I couldn’t get behind this sort-of wine chiller that requires some of the wine to be displaced first, sits in near constant contact with the juice I’d be drinking, and looks like a prop from the Harry Potter movies.
Wine Book Review: “Wine Atlas of Germany”
Now this I totally did get, though I am not sure a book dedicated to the wine geography of Germany is totally necessary in a world where The World Atlas of Wine already exists, and has been recently updated in such fine form. Having said that, the quality rankings of the various vineyards makes for delectably geeky reading for those who are in love with German wine in general (guilty!).
- 12 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Setilles (Burgundy): Sexy citrus fruit, dancing joyfully to the rave while in steel cages. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 11 Mounts Family Winery Grenache (Dry Creek Valley): Delicate on top, brooding underneath, and cloaked in leather and smokiness. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 11 Mounts Family Winery Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): Big & brambly, but by no means lacking in seriousness; or probably in longevity $30 A- >>find this wine<<
- 08 Teldeschi Estate Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): A cool character, weathering wilting heat with vibrancy, and pure rustic grit. $36 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 10 Mounts Family Winery Cabernet Franc (Dry Creek Valley): Dear chest, please prepare yourself for growing some more hair after this. $42 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 06 Teldeschi Terraluna (Dry Creek Valley): Still holding onto the doorknob with two tight, spicy, dark-fruited & rustic fists. $60 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 12 J Vineyards Pinot Gris (California): If consistency is a virtue, then this tropical crowd-pleaser is looking downright saintly. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 12 Clayhouse Wines Red Cedar Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles): Cherries, wrapped in cloves, dipped in vanilla, quickly eaten. $14 B >>find this wine<<
- 10 Donnafugata Chiaranda Contessa Entellina Chardonnay (Contessa Entellina): Channeling Gwen Stefani; funky, talented, & gorgeous. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
- 09 Tin Barn Coryelle Fields Vineyard Syrah (Sonoma Coast): Dark depths are being dredged, churning up savory, meaty, salty goodness. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 10 Tin Barn Ricci Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros): Offering a relatively long stroll through the aisles at the local butcher shop. $34 B >>find this wine<<
Generally speaking, when you’re attending a Pinot Noir masterclass-style tasting hosted by one of a wine region’s most historically significant properties, it’s not considered good form to giggle like an eight year-old girl.
Which, of course, didn’t stop me from doing it.
The trouble was, I just found the irony so damned funny, it was like being back in my Oblate grade school church, the nuns patrolling the church aisles, my buddies and I joking around and trying hard to suppress laughter that would most certainly get us into major trouble. Which just makes it funnier…
Here’s the thing: when you’re tasting through a retrospective of the Pinots representing those produced by our host – The Eyrie Vineyard’s Original Vines Reserve Pinot Noir – in a masterclass session that’s supposed to highlight vintage variation, it’s just freakin’ funny.
Not that there isn’t vintage variation – there is, for sure, vintage variation in Eyrie’s Pinot. It’s just that when the style is (thankfully) one of the entire wine world’s most consistent, the irony of trying to highlight that variation is… well, it’s freakin’ funny.
So, I was giggling. Don’t judge me (I know, it’s probably already too late; fine, whatever).
Anyway, I now probably owe one to second generation vintner Jason Lett (who hosted that masterclass), so let’s talk about how freakin’ interesting these Pinots were, already…
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