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The Most Viewed 1WineDude Articles Of 2014

Vinted on December 26, 2014 binned in about 1winedude blog, best of

As we come to the close of 2014… well, I’m kind of in a weird place looking back on it. The year has had a lot of ups and downs for me, but I’m happy to write that the professional side of things has been almost exclusively UP for me in 2014.

But that has not come without some serious effort, and right now, I just can’t wait for the f*cking year to be over!

And so, I might be taking a bit of an extended break (a couple of weeks, I suspect) from posting here. We’ll see if I can actually stay away; I’m not promising anything!

Anyway

This seems as good a time as any to take a quick gander back on 2014 here on 1WD, and see what articles you all decided were worth reading the most. In some cases (ok, several cases), I am somewhat shocked as to what pieces of content turned out to have the most views. You might be less surprised, but I’ll bet you’re stilling willing to give me crap  express your well-considered opinions on the merit of each of the articles listed below.

Here’s to another year together, folks!

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The Most Interesting Wines Of 2014

Vinted on December 11, 2014 binned in best of, Most Interesting Wines of the Year

The Most Interesting Wines of the Year – some of the more thought-provoking discussion here on these virtual pages have come courtesy of this annual list, compiled with a not insignificant amount of effort on my part in looking back on the crap-ton of wines that I had the pleasure (mostly, anyway) to have tasted over the last twelve months.

2013’s incarnation of the MIW list was expanded, and broken up into two parts (you can read Part 1 and Part 2 here). Regrettably, I did not have the bandwidth to offer an expanded list for 2014, so I’m reverting back to the Top Ten format for this go-round. Once again, the list offers some surprises (three Chardonnays? WTF?!??), and many wines at high-end price points (you ought to be used to that by now, right?). Napa Valley, the U.S. South, Sonoma Coast, Portugal, Oregon, Italy, France, Hungary, and Spain are all represented herein (some more than once).

As for the selection criteria, once again nothing has changed in this incarnation of the MIW list: these are not the “best” or “highest rated” wines of 2014, they are the wines I tasted from 2014 which most stuck with me during the entire year, those that I felt offered the most geeky, thought-provoking experiences. Please note, these are not necessarily wines released during the year, they are releases that I tasted during the year. Also, I once again attempted to select only wines that you’d have at least some modicum of hope of obtaining. Reactions, whether of the bitching/moaning variety or the exaltation variety, are of course all welcome.

Enjoy!…

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Think Wine Criticism Is B.S.? Then You Need To Reject All Forms Of Criticism

Vinted on October 21, 2014 binned in best of, commentary

Every once in a while, when I tell people what I do for a living, I get a sort of snickering question along the lines of “does it bother you that part of what you do is total bullsh*t?”

These folks are usually referring to the studies, quoted by lazy media outlets ad nauseum, that purportedly debunked wine tasting as bull honkey when “expert” wine folk were given white wines with red food coloring and tricked into thinking that they were tasting red wines.

But what those snickering folks fail to realize is that wine criticism and professional wine tasting are no different than every other form of experiential criticism – movie reviewing, restaurant critiquing, you name it – in that they are the attempts of fallible humans to garner expertise and disperse helpful opinions to the best of their abilities while trying to overcome the ingrained perception wiring that helped us evolutionarily, but hinder us when it comes to consistent, robot-like precision.

To wit: my friend Alder Yarrow recently blogged about a study featured in the New Yorker, in which participants were tricked into thinking that fake tongues were their own, taste perceptions and all. Yes, seriously. Read it, the results and implications are fascinating.

I doubt we’ll see much lazy media attention on this study, however, because it would logically require those same lazy media to start asking people like Alder and me what wines pair best with crow sandwich…

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Reader Mailbag: Trying New Wine Is A Pain In The Ass

Vinted on October 9, 2014 binned in best of, commentary, wine appreciation

1WD reader Matt (that’s all your getting, as I don’t have permission to print the person’s full name here) recently wrote to me via an email with a title so intriguing, it sparked the first-ever “reader mailbag” style post on this site in its seven-some-odd-year history:

“Trying New Wine Is A Pain In The Ass”

There’s much juiciness to be squeezed from Matt’s email, so I’ll first reprint it here before addressing Matt’s questions in detail:

“Let me rephrase that… Trying new *quality* wine is a pain in the ass, literally in the wallet. Its all a gamble really and I’d bet that the average person, let alone the active wine drinker wants to bet on a $50 bottle. We are not all in your position where nice wines may be shipped to us for tasting purposes in hopes that you blog about it.

So… My reason for contact is this. Today I read the article, ‘Wine execs are scared of the craft beer and spirits growth.’ You probably read it since its well circulated. Following the gambling terminology, beer and spirits have a relatively low buy-in. If that bet pays off and I like it, then I can opt for the higher price points. Quality wine, on the other hand, does not have this low cost of buy-in. It’s all or nothing and if you get burned once, then you will likely never go all-in on a 50+ bottle again.

I’m curious, do you have any opinions on opportunities of low buy-in options for higher priced wines? The tasting room is the only opportunity I can think of and that is not exactly mass market. When exactly does the average person opt for that $50 bottle cab? marketing fluff? friends advice? impressing the boss? Do wine drinkers randomly buy expensive wines that they have never had before? If not, when are they exposed to them that creates a buying opportunity? I’d love to hear your comments and what your readers may think. I’ve never met a wine I didn’t like… to try. Thanks Joe! Matt.”

Talk about food (or drink?) for thought! And Matt seems to want to hear your responses to all of this as well, so it’s giving us a nice opportunity to argue in the best internecine fashion that is the hallmark of modern wine discourse!

Well, Matt, following are my responses. I hope you don’t mind the delay, I just wanted to share the dialog with a (much) wider audience!…

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