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Going Pro: How To Taste and Rate Wines for Today’s Consumers. Sort of.

Vinted on November 3, 2010 under about 1winedude blog, going pro

Welcome to the first installment of Going Pro – what (I hope!) will be a (very) long series chronicling my foray into making whatever-the-hell-it-is that I do here a professional (read: paying) endeavor.
Every Wednesday on 1WineDude.com, I’ll be writing about some aspect / story / triumph / tragedy related to taking my passion – connecting YOU with the experience of wine – full-time.  I plan to do this every Wednesday until, well, until one or more of the following conditions have been met:

  1. I’ve “made it big” and no longer have time for the unwashed masses because I’m too busy cleaning my fleet of yachts.
  2. I can’t get Internet wi-fi reception from my cardboard box under the bridge.
  3. The articles have run their course and are no longer valuable (except to me as a means of therapy).

Okay… you’re right… number three will almost certainly never happen because I need all the therapy I can get.  Anyway…

The inaugural post  in this series is gonna be a loooong one… but I think you’ll find it worth the reading time commitment, and I hope you’ll be sufficiently moved to chime in with your thoughts.

I had a conversation with my friend Steve Heimoff about tasting preferences vs. wine ratings in the comments of a post last week, the topic of which had nothing whatsoever to do with tasting and rating wines (or, at least that’s what I thought when I wrote it, silly me!). That comment-convo seems pretty benign on the surface but it had some profound implications for me (probably because I ended up sort of talking to myself… more therapy… ok, maybe I need a drink…).  Implications that get to the heart of how I taste and rate wines, which n part gets to the heart of what it means to Go Pro with wine.

Now, much to the surprise of a lot of people, none more so than myself, I’m now in the invigorating and strangely frightening  position where my views / reviews on wines actually matter to some people. I’m the kind of guy who, literally to a fault, doesn’t want to let people down, and so I’ve had to take the position of rating and describing wines much, much more seriously in recent months – and I’d argue that this change in perspective is essential if you even want to start thinking about going pro when it comes to wine.

And since my approach to tasting is so dramatically different to what most of us are used to in the conventional wine press, it seemed a good place to start the Going Pro discussion…

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1WineDude Gets Serious. Sort Of. (New Publication Features & Schedule)

Vinted on October 14, 2010 under about 1winedude blog, wine blogging

In 2011, 1WineDude.com officially turns Pro.

Which begs the question, What the hell does “Pro” mean, anyway?

When I figure that out, I will be letting you know!

The short answer, for now, is that it means I will no longer be working for The Man, and instead will be figuring out how to make a living and feed the collective Roberts household mouths using 1WineDude.com as the primary vehicle.

You’ll notice that I did not state that I will be making a living totally from blogging on 1WineDude.com (I suppose that’s best left for the gadget sites of the “Interwebs” who get more traffic per minute than I see in a week), but I will be using 1WD as the launching pad for making a living within the constructs of the wine world.

Despite the rugged-loner namesake of this blog, I will not be doing this alone.  I have a ton of help coming my way – the Vintank think-tank team is on board (although I’m pretty sure they  have no idea how much of their time I am going to be taking up! :-), and I’m in the final negotiation stages with some other resources who are experts in on-line and brand-focused business-building (one of whom has done work for someone that you probably recognize).  Oh – and then there’s YOU, the amazing, intelligent, and acute readers of this blog, who have been amazingly supportive.

The ironic thing about this becoming the topic of a full post (and even more ironically working its way into a regular feature – as you will soon see below), is that initially I wasn’t even going to talk about any of this on the blog.

But…

Every time the topic of me “going pro” came up in conversation with anyone else, each and every person (literally, all of them – and yes that list includes more people than my mom) told me that I should write about it, because while others have done similar things in other spaces, no one has really applied it successfully to the wine world in the same way that I’m envisioning.

So… here’s what I’ve got planned…

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I Am Not A Member of the Polynesian National Basketball Team (WineChannelTV Interview)

Vinted on October 8, 2010 under 1WD LIVE, about 1winedude blog

Well… I’m not

But I was the guest on last night’s episode/webisode/whatever-isode of #winechat, the twitter / wetoku live video interview series hosted by WineChannelTV CEO/Founder and certified sommelier Jess Altieri.

We talked wine, social media, blogging, and fielded some awesome questions from the way cool #winechat viewers.  I had a great time.  Video of the interview is below.  The unimpressive background on my side is my “home office” but I am wearing a Steelers t-shirt which makes it awesome, right?

Cheers!

The Role of a Wine Blogger Post WBC10

Vinted on September 16, 2010 under about 1winedude blog

An alternative title for this article might be “Sorry, But I Gotta Be Me” or “The 2010 Wine Blog Awards Messed With My Head.”

One thing that I know about good, compelling blogging (because that’s the stuff that I like to read) is that you can’t be afraid to bare all and let readers inside of your head.

Which entre nous, if I want to take this blog up a notch (and I do), might mean making us both a little uncomfortable from time to time.

Like now, maybe.  Sorry, but I gotta be me.

I’ve been thinking about the WBAs lately because the “trophy” just arrived in the mail – a very nice (and, my wife noted, rather phallic) Riedel decanter with the WBA 2010 logo and the words “Best Overall Wine Blog – 1WineDude” etched indelibly onto the front (see inset pic and… jesus jumped-up christ, what’s with all of the gray hair on my head?!??).

Anyway… the thing is, the Wine Blog Awards did kind of mess with my head. The part that really got me into the baking-your-noodle-to-a-crisp-golden-brown territory was  trying to figuring out what the award meant, in the grand scheme of things.

Some would argue “not much.”  Others will tell you that it’s a bit like the Oscars with a dash of the People’s Choice Awards thrown in for good measure.  Truth be told, it still makes me uncomfortable to read the description of the Best Overall Wine Blog category; I just don’t yet see 1WineDude.com as competing with the best of the best of all wine media, or advancing the genre of wine blogging significantly enough to make any real difference…

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