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Best Of | 1 Wine Dude - Page 15

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The Upside of Wine Globalization

Vinted on May 20, 2010 under best of, commentary

Yeah, I know right? 

There’s an upside to more and more wine being made more and more in an “international” style by more and more producers in more and more regions?

Yes, there is.  Yes, I’m serious.  No, I haven’t been drinking too much wine while writing this.

First, we need to explain what the “international” style is, which essentially is the advent in recent years of big, extracted, jammy, heavily-oaked, high-alcohol wine (both red and white).  Robert Parker, who is the “1” in the 1 and 1/2 of the wine critics that move the majority of the wine market (Jim Laube at Wine Spectator is the “1/2”), likes the style and awards it high scores, which in turn allow producers of those styles to charge higher prices and then the market takes over to influence other producers to follow suit when making their wines so that they can sell more and charge more, etc., etc., blah-blah-blah. 

The result, according to the detractors, is wine going the way of fast food, like McDonald’s taking over small family restaurants in Europe; everything becomes the same and we lose regional originality.

The whole phenomenon was more-or-less lambasted in the film Mondovino, which if you haven’t seen it yet, will give you a crash course in all things “style international du vin.”

Go ahead and watch it.  I’ll wait.

Done?  Okay, cool, let’s get back to what’s right about the Disney-ification and McDonald’s-ization of the modern wine market…

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3 Reasons Why YOU Should Get a Wine Certification (A Tale from Remote Kenya)

Vinted on April 28, 2010 under best of, commentary, learning wine

The March issue of Sommelier Journal is dedicated to the topic of wine education, and (as always) is well worth a read for wine pros and serious wine geeks alike.  It contains a great follow-up article by Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser on the current status of the wine certification landscape, so the issue got me thinking (as it always does) about repercussions beyond the world of professional wine service, and into the worlds of wine writing and passionate wine enthusiasts.

And it got me thinking that YOU probably should get a wine certification.  it also got me thinking about the remote area of Shompole in Kenya, where even in a place where you have to buzz the runway in a small Cesna to scare zebras off of it before you can land, they saw value in the WSET certification (more on that in a minute).

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re a passionate wine enthusiast, a wine professional, or a wine writer (or any combination of one or more of those).  Actually, according to Alexa.com stats on my blog, chances are you’re a female between the ages of 25 and 44 with a decent amount of disposable income, living in the U.S. and surfing this blog from your work computer (shame on you!).

Anyway, I am growing increasingly convinced that wine certification suits 1WineDude.com readers, and is growing more an more applicable to a larger and larger audience of wine lovers.  And I’m gonna give you three reasons why YOU should get a cert.  And No, I don’t work for any of those certification bodies.

I know what you might be thinking, which is something along the lines of “Why do I need a certification to be an expert on how much I like or dislike what I shove into my mouth?!??” And the answer of course is that you don’t need a certification for that.

You need it for other reasons.  Hear me out before you shut me out – first I need to take you to the hot salt flats of the Great Rift Valley in remote Kenya…

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How to Bitchslap Your Wine-Monopolizing Legislators

Vinted on April 1, 2010 under best of, commentary, wine shipping

[Editor's Note: this is a little ditty for those of you who, like the editor, live in one of the many U.S. states that prohibit the direct sale and/or shipping of wine.  Enjoy!]

Bitchslapping your state legislator is not a simple matter.  In fact, it’s fraught with potential pitfalls.

What  if your legislator is bigger than you are?  What if s/he tries to bitchslap you back? What would my mother think of this? etc.

A proper bitchslap needs to be delivered decisively and confidently.  Therefore, it’s vitally important not to let minor concerns, like personal safety and the threat of incarceration, get into the way of a good bitchslapping.  So, buck and let’s continue, shall we?

A proper bitchslap also need to be delivered firmly.  Which is why it’s often less effective to deliver the bitchslap by hand, and more effective to deliver the bitchslap via proxy.  Which is not to say that it is delivered by someone else, but is to say that use of a prop is always in good form, especially when the prop delivers enough noise and bodily pain upon striking the other person’s face to be embarrassing , but not enough to permanently injure the bitchslappee (apart from the bitchslappee’s pride, that is).  The prop therefore should be heavy enough to inflict the above damage but flexible and light enough for the bitchslapper to wield effectively and adroitly.

You may have already guessed that a printed book or stack of paper of proper thickness and quality material would be an ideal prop for the bitchslapper to wield, and you’d be correct in that assessment.

Which is why I recommend the following simple steps for properly bitchslapping your wine-monopolizing state legislator…

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Useless California Vintage Reports: A Template

Vinted on March 11, 2010 under best of, California wine, commentary

I get my fair share of wine samples, with a large proportion coming from California.  This is due mostly to proximity (regional wines), as well as the fact that the CA makes the vast majority of U.S. wine, hence the large number of CA samples stopping on my doorstep.

Most of those CA samples come with some form of wine information / tech sheets, and when they do, those tech sheets almost invariably contain a vintage report.

An utterly useless vintage report.

The vintage report is often utterly useless because no one ever says anything except that the grapes ended the vintage with optimal ripeness.

It’s become a joke for me, a game almost, to see if any of these press release vintage reports would ever admit that the grapes absolutely fried on the vine this year, or that they ended up greener than an under-ripe banana. It will probably never happen.

So I decided to do CA wine PR folks a favor, and I’ve created a template below that can freely be used as the vintage report for any CA wine! I’ve taken some minor liberties, primarily to make the choices sexier, because let’s face it, sex sells even when it comes to vintage reports.  If you’re in PR, you can simply circle the appropriate response and not have to bother with the rest!  Anyway, you can thank me later!…

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