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DREGS REPORT Coming April 1!

Vinted on March 30, 2009 binned in about 1winedude blog, wine publications

Photobucket“Something’s coming, something good…”

Ok, folks – I’m interrupting my mini-vacation in Alligator Point, FL to bring you a special announcement.

You’ve got a mere two days before DREGS REPORT goes live!

On April 1, dregsreport.com will start to bring you the best of the bottom of the barrel.  I can’t say too much about the project before it goes live (sworn to secrecy and all that jazz), but I can tell you that it’s going to be very, very funny.

Don’t say you weren’t warned…

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A Love Letter

Vinted on March 9, 2009 binned in about 1winedude blog, commentary

This is not an article about wine, per se.

It’s more an article about what it takes for me to write about wine.  It’s a love letter, really.  And a long overdue one, at that.

If I had to sum it all up, for those of you who won’t get past this sentence, I really just want to say Thank You to my wife, Kerri, because without her this forum for discussion of all things wine-related (1WineDude) simply would not exist.

Now, there are a ton of things for which I could (should) be thanking my wife.  First, she’s gorgeous and there is no doubt that she plays a significant part (as in, > 99%) in making me look good (case in point: she is somehow in better shape after the birth of our daughter than she was in before she became pregnant).  She’s a great cook, to the point that I don’t really miss red meat in my diet because her food is so damn tasty.  She’s conscientious, which I’m not, and so she has saved me from countless embarrassing social situations and possible lost friendships.

But there are two reasons above all others that on most days make me fall in love with her all over again.

1) I recently asked my wife if she thought it was odd that I pursue such geeky passions, while she doesn’t seem to have any nearly as geeky.  E.g., I am total fan-boy for the Steelers and the band Rush, and my side-job as a musician takes up significant portion of my free time – that is, it takes up most of the time left over after I spend hours researching and writing articles for 1WineDude, which indulges my geeky passion for wine.

Now, I know it helps that my wife loves wine (she’s just not as geeky as I am when it comes to learning about terroir, chasing after obscure grape varieties, and waxing philosophic on whether or not green pepper notes is or is not a fault in Chilean reds).  When a wine sample shipment arrives at our door, her eyes light up almost as brightly as my daughter’s when she sees the intro. credits to an episode of Baby Einstein.

Anyway, Ker’s response was that she loves the fact that I get to indulge my geeky passions and is proud of the successes that I’ve had in each of them (no matter how minor).  And, in fact, she pointed out that she does have a geeky passion of her own – one that happens to take up most of her waking hours (and what should be non-waking for both of us).  Which brings me to reason #2…

2) My wife is an amazing mother. She has had some great role models for motherhood in our families, but we don’t really have any seasoned expert grandmothers locally who can help us out with the little things on a daily basis.  And it’s the little things, that somehow seem to come naturally my wife as a mother, that amaze me.  The way she instinctively senses what mood our daughter is in.  The smile that our daughter gives her first thing in the morning.  They sound like simple things, and they are, but I find myself continually awed by them.  My wife just seems to know what to do with this little human, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have helping my daughter to grow into a person in this crazy world.

So, now we know why I’m crazy in love with my wife.

I expect to possibly get flamed for being majorly soppy on the virtual pages in 1WineDude, but I don’t give a damn because it’s about time that my wife heard (read) all of this.

Okay… Time to open one of those special bottle of Champagne I’ve been saving for her…

Cheers!

(images: 1WineDude.com)

Branching Out

Vinted on March 6, 2009 binned in about 1winedude blog

The last year or two have (or is that has?… screw it, whatever) seen the advent of some great new publications that focus on adult beverages (there may be other publications focusing on other adult topics, but we’re not going to go into them here…).

Many of these new kids in town are taking a fresh approach to enjoying wine – at least, it’s fresh when compared to the more established wine appreciation publications that (falsely) present wine appreciation on a pedestal, as if it were only achieved after much ardor – and money, preferably on their products – have been spent.

We all know how I feel about that, so no need to go into that topic, either…

Take for example my buddies Mutineer Magazine, who are combining their fresh approach with the one-two punch of printed media and on-line content.  We know how I feel about them, so no need to… ah, you get the point.

The bottom line is that this fresh new publication wave has given us more reasons to feel excited about printed wine media than we have had in a long, long time.

Which is why I’m excited to announce that I will, in the very near future, be involved with two such publications:

  1. I will be contributing to Boston-based magazine The Second Glass, with a broad-spectrum and longer-format column on wine appreciation (right up the alley for someone as, uhmm… brevity-challenged as me).  I’m hoping this will be monthly, but hey, I’ve got a soon-to-be toddler at the house who is crawling around now, so we’ll see how that goes.Those of you familiar with The Second Glass already know that they have a strong on-line presence to back up their printed mag, and I’m hoping to leech as much website traffic as humanly possible contribute in my own small way to their already high-caliber writing.
  2. I will also be taking on the wine writer duties for a brand new Philadelphia-area print publication, working in association with web-based food and beverage site WC Dish, called Chester County Cuisine & Culture.  CCCC will be focused squarely on the local Philly-area food and music scene, and I’ll be providing (gulp!) shorter pieces that I hope will provide a chance to highlight and promote the growing (both in quantity and quality) Brandywine Valley winemaking region.  I expect to cross-post a good bit of the BV coverage right here on 1WD, but while we may see this blog developing a slight predilection for my local wine offerings, I’ve no plans to change the blog format to concentrate only on PA-based wine.

More on the above as events develop.

Cheers – and happy reading!

(images: 1WineDude.com, thesecondglass.com)

New Label, Same Plonk (Are Wine Bloggers Going Maintream? Already?)

Vinted on February 20, 2009 binned in about 1winedude blog, commentary, wine blogging

This is an article about wine blogging.

Yeah, I know… at least I saved it for Friday when most people (myself included) head offline to mingle and sip in the “real” world (translation: my traffic stats take a dive).

Topic the First: What happened to 1WineDude.com ?

First, those of you visiting 1WineDude.com will (hopefully, anyway, depending on your level of sobriety at the time) have noticed that the site is now hosted at totally new digs.

But it’s the same old Dude.  New Label, Same Plonk!

I’ve tried, in what for me is a very non-lazy, industrious way – to minimize the disruption to you, my readers.  What this means is that all of the old articles, posts, and comments have been migrated over to the new digs, and you e-mail subscribers out there should be receiving new update with no disruption.

What is doesn’t mean is that links to previous 1WineDude.com articles will translate automatically to their new digs counterparts.  Hey, I said I tried to minimze the disruption in a way that was industrious for me.  If you can figure out a way to link up the old and new posts that won’t cost me any more time, money, or frustration, then I’m all ears, bro’!

Aside from the new look, the Comments engine has been totally replaced, and I’m trying to setup automatic updates that will provide a weekly summary post of my twitter wine mini-reviews.  Should be fun!

At some point (soon), the previous 1WineDude.blogspot.com address will forward here.  When I get around to it, that is (in other words, when I figure out the redirection code).

Anyway – suggestions for the new site?  Comments?  Shout ‘em out!


Topic the Second: Are Wine Bloggers Already Going Mainstream?

My intention is not to lose friends with this post, but I do expect some feathers to be ruffled on this next topic.

A recent episode of the fine radio program Wine Biz Radio caused my ears to perk up Underdog-style when I heard them discussing a venture by wine & technology think-tank group VinTank.

VinTank is in the process of compiling a Social Media report for the wine industry.  Not that big of a deal, really – unless you happen to be a wine blogger.  According to Open Wine Consortium mastermind, Wine Bloggers Conference co-founder, and VinTank member Joel Vincent:

“In order to create an overall picture of the wine “Social Media”
landscape, [VinTank] will establish a directory of which micro-publishers
(blogs) are interesting and worth wineries spending time with as well
as evaluating “social networking” sites related to wines in order to
enable the mapping of their particular strengths to a wineries business
objectives and strategic marketing plan.

In other words, the VinTank survey and report will concentrate on wine blogs.  My thoughts on hearing this were myriad and conflicted, but in summary can be boiled down to the following statement:

It’s about time.

According to the Wine Biz Radio broadcast, not all wine bloggers share my viewpoint on this.  Apparently, the reaction of a room full of wine bloggers upon hearing that they would be the subject of social media report was a mixture of suspicion and shock.

Which I find sad.  I mean, honestly – bloggers spend most of their time examining and then writing their opinions about the work of others (wineries, traditoinal wine media outlets, etc., etc.), and we balk (even if slightly) at the idea of someone examining us?  That would make us all too similar to the mainstream media that we like to verbally disembowel  on a semi-regular basis.

New Label, Same Plonk!

The reaction I heard described on Wine Biz Radio was old school.  MainstreamNot what bloggers should be shooting for right now.

Ironies aside, this kind of reaction is not going to positively reinforce the strong credibility and influence that wine blogging is gaining in the wine world.  Without the kind of work being performed by VinTank, how should we expect the wine industry to get a better handle on that budding new influence?

What’s good for the goose, as they say…

I expect quite a few people to disagree with me here.  But… if you’re a wine bloger seething at these words, just do me the courtesy of looking at it this way:

If a traditional wine mag reacted to this in the same way that some wine bloggers have, you’d be all over it.  And not in a good way.

Bottom line: Wine bloggers are now a force within the wine industry.  We will be scrutinized.  Get used to it!

Cheers!
(images: avltheatre.com, vintank.com)

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