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This is the kind of thing that probably gives major wine critics apoplexy.
James Conaway, the talented writer and author of the excellent novel-with-a-wine-soaked-plot Nose, recently penned an article for Worth titled The War Over Wine. It’s cogent, well-conceived, deftly written and fiercely opinionated. In other words, it’s the kind of writing that fills borderline-hacks like me with a burning jealous rage hot enough to turn our faces the shade of a slightly aged Moulin-a-Vent.
Now, normally I don’t pat attention to Worth, mostly because I do not need reading material to fill my time below deck while my yacht is piloted to my own private
dessert (whoops!) desert island. Just perusing the Worth.com website is like stumbling upon the remains of some lost civilization that used the same words we do to communicate, but put them in sequences that no longer have any meaning for us. It’s how Shakespeare appears to the high school student, or how Wine & Spirits appears to mortal wine drinkers, or how Umberto Eco appears to everyone who can read.
Seriously, topics can be found there such as Mutual Fund Strategies in the Aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis, the ever-popular Where Is the Best Opportunity in the High-End Luxury Space?, and my personal favorite, 10 Questions for Your Chief Innovation Officer (‘cuz I only had eight questions for mine, so I am clearly a 99-percenter slacker!)
Anyway… Conaway’s piece seems somewhat out of place in Worth in that context, but it’s the kind of article that makes me want to take up arms and shout from the rooftops, in the hope that it’s less a tempest-in-a-teapot and more a topical-sh*tstorm-about-to-explode (as The Tick might have shouted, “from the mighty butt checks of wine media justice!”)…
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I’m really excited to share with you all the launch of The Punch Down!
For the last few months, I’ve been working with London-based wine educator and author Tara O’Leary on the concept of a video wine show idea that I’ve had brewing in my noggin’ for a loooong time. I’m stoked to be able to tell you that idea is finally coming to life, and thrilled that Tara is joining me as co-host! It took a lot of work by her, my hardworking intern The Young Unpaid Shelby, and even a few of the helpful tech-heads at Google (on both the Left and Right coasts), and we are now ready to step on the gas on this thing.
Our inaugural guest:
The first episode of The Punch Down is airing live on the Google+ platform on December 4th at 1PM ET. We’d love for you to join us live with NYT wine guru Eric Asimov, who has kindly agreed to be put on the hot seat to discuss the more controversial side of his new book, the thought-provoking How To Love Wine.
What the hell this is all about:
Put simply, The Punch Down is like an ESPN sorts talk show, but instead of getting into heated debate and discussion about ground-out rules, penalty time, or pass interference calls, we’re going to dive deep into the geekiness of wine topics. Each episode, we’ll have a prominent wine personality as our guest, and will get right into the meaty topics, followed by a quick run down (and Op/Ed style commentary, of course) on noteworthy developments in the wine world. We’re focusing on the controversial stuff here – this is not a show that will be coddling to wanna-bes!
We’re using the G+ Hangout format for the show, which creates a sort of round-table video discussion (for an example, check out the G+ Hangout I did earlier this year with Andrea Robinson). Personally, I think the G+ platform is perfect for this style of lively wine talk, and the Google team has been downright awesome in helping us get this off the ground. Combine the platform, the subject matter, the style of the show, and the fact that we’re co-hosting live with Tara and me separated by the entire Atlantic Ocean, and I think we might have an Internet first here (or at least we’re closer to the cutting edge than we are away from it!).
How to join in:
You’ll be able to hit us up with questions, peanut-gallery commentary, and the like during the event by joining us at https://plus.google.com/events/c9rqsm5k9v4j42a37l0s9eitkq4 on Dec. 4. You can also hit us up with questions for Eric on twitter using the hastag #thepunchdown as well as through email (thepunchdown @ gmail.com). You are of course also welcome to leave comments here on this post with any questions, suggestions, and ideas. Finished episodes will also be posted to TPD G+ page and YouTube channel (and embedded back here on good ol’ 1WD as well). You know, just in case you do the totally unthinkable and actually miss our first episode (c’mon, you weren’t going to do any work for those 30 minutes on the 4th anyway, were you???).
I’m all jazzed up about this! I hope that you can join us!
It’s Easter, and therefore the advent of Springtime in the U.S. (or is that the other way around?), and whether or not you celebrate today’s holiday, chances are that you’ll now be inundated with wine recommendations imploring you to drink rosé. If you weren’t already, I mean.
Those recommendations turn up at higher quantities this time of year than tulips and mulch in a gated community.
I’m not going to jump on the rosé wine reco tip (despite the fact that rosé is very likely what I’ll be drinking today), not because it doesn’t fit the season (it does) but because I really can’t think of any reason not to drink rosé all year long. Seriously – ever had a dry rosé with grilled salmon burgers (in the Summer)? That pairing is totally lights-out.
Having nothing really to do with springtime or rosé, I wanted to also mention that yesterday I was a guest on WBAL’s The Sipping Point with The Wine Coach (a.k.a. wine educator Laurie Forster, with whom I share a passion to inject as much fun into wine as possible before the wine biz thoroughly drains it of all awesomeness). We talked about some exciting upcoming projects that I have going on (so now you can stop giving me crap about not telling you what those are!), and riffed on the theme of whether or not wine “experts” actually taste wine differently than regular Janes and Joes. They edited out all of my GO STEELERS! crap at the end – but hey, it’s for Baltimore radio so you kind of have to expect it, right?
An excerpt from the show is embedded below for your listening pleasure. You can (and should!) subscribe to The Sipping Point podcast on iTunes.
The Sipping Point Radio: April 7, 2012
Cheers – and have a safe and happy (hoppy?) egg hunt today!