Posts Filed Under best of

In Defense Of Natalie MacLean

Vinted on January 2, 2013 binned in best of, commentary

Wait a second…

…you mean to tell me that Canadian wine personality Natalie MacLean’s probable plagiarism (or at the very least, insufficient, obfuscated attribution of others’ work), possible pay-to-play wine reviews / favorable brand mentions, on-line comment “sock-puppeting” (and iTunes app review sock-puppeting, while we’re at it) allegations, along with spam-botting (can I use that as a verb?), multiple accusations of comment censorship and what seems like outright lying isn’t defensible with a simple “oh, whoops, my bad! :-)” letter to her readers?!??

Really??

[ Editor’s note: Despite the author’s better judgement telling him that he ought to just forget all about this, he’s still pissed-off about it, and so has decided to help the cause in a small way by drawing a little bit of extra attention to this scandal and not letting it die on the vine. Look, he’s not saying that the average wine-loving person should care what he thinks about these things, but it’s his blog so he’ll whine, wine, and whittle away the time with this opinion on a scandal here if he wants. Thanks to those of you who will indulge him the time to dip into the wine media’s scarred underbelly. ]

Ah, and I forgot about the whole let’s-call-the-entire-wine-media-thing-into-question-because-we-all-look-like-a-bunch-of-douche-bags-for-bestowing-awards-on-these-people debate that gets stirred up every time that something like this transpires (which is way too often right now, by the way).

Oh, well – our bad, right?!?

The primary thing that’s got me riled up about this scandal is that, as the Hosemaster of Wine recently put it, MacLean “dared use dull and virtually interchangeable wine reviews from wine experts on her blog without attribution” (ouch!)….

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The Ten Most-Shared 1WD Articles Of 2012

Vinted on December 27, 2012 binned in best of

As 2012 draws to a close, we continue the overlooked-due-to-hangover tradition of wrapping up the most popular 1WD articles of the year.

This list serves two purposes: a chance to highlight a “best of” from the 1WD content over the past year, and a nod to the engagement of folks like YOU, which makes a site like this worth revisiting. Also, it allows me to take a sort break from creating new content here (ok, three purposes!), which you might not like but I’d argue is required (well-deserved is debatable).

We’re sticking with ten once again this year, which sadly is more victories than my Steelers were able to conjure up this season.

Also, the shift away from comments and towards social sharing continued this year, and so I’ve decided to highlight the 1WD posts that you deemed most worth sharing with others throughout the past year. I’ve a done a (very) rough calculation of that across Twitter, the Book of Face, and the unwanted step child of social networks, Google+. The result below (after the jump) is, I think, pretty much in order of ascending social sharedness, but is not necessarily indicative of the most-commented posts (the focus of previous year-end 1WD wrap-ups) nor the most viewed (those numbers would pale in comparison to my Playboy.com gig anyway, which is much, much, much more a reflection of the insane amount of people visiting the PB site than it is a statement on my writing abilities).

Anyway… on with the show!

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The Ten Most Interesting Wines Of 2012

Vinted on December 20, 2012 binned in best of, Most Interesting Wines of the Year, wine review

A vintage Sekt, a northern-Italian inspired Napa white blend, a Vintage Port from a sleeper of a producer in a not-so-sleeper of a year, and a single vineyard, old vine Chilean Malbec. All have taken the #1 spot in previous “vintages” of the 1WD Most Interesting Wines of the Year list. Believe it or not, the MIW list is now in its fifth consecutive incarnation, and it sure as hell ain’t getting’ any easier to produce each year!

Both the number and quality of wines that I sample increases exponentially each year, and so the competition (such as it is) for those that stand out as somehow being the most special in some way/shape/form increases dramatically as well.

Having said that, there’s a crap-ton of very good, but not very memorable wines out there… and I tasted a LOT of those to get to the ones on this top ten list.

Having said that, I feel somehow emotionally cheated with the list I’m presenting to you today… because so many excellent wines that I tasted in 2012 are missing… wines that could have been on here if it were a top 25 or top 50 list.

This list, as long-time 1WD readers already know, is not a “best of” or “highest rating” or “circle jerk” comparison (no mater what the PR folks do with it!). It’s intended to be a list of wines that stood out, to me, as being particularly interesting, high quality and full of complexity; an attempt to shine an additional spotlight on vino that I found to be among the most compelling drinking experiences I had this year.

A few more moments of preamble: these are not wines released in 2012 (though I try to favor recent releases, so that you have a chance of actually trying them), they are wines that I tasted in 2012.  Not all the wines I tasted in 2012 qualified – the wines have to be at least somewhat available (also so that you have a shot at trying them). Things got expensive again this year; not sure what that says about me, or the wine biz in general, but not all of the vino on this list is stratospherically priced (though a few are – sorry, I gotta call this stuff as I see/taste it!).

I invite you to take a gander at previous vintages of the Top 10, to see how things have evolved over the last five years: 2011, 2010, 2009 & 2008. Reactions, exclamations, bitching/moaning, exaltations, and the like are all, of course, welcome. But most of all, I hope you enjoy the walk down 1WD memory lane.

Oh, yeah – and this year, at one spot in the list we have a tie, so technically there are eleven wines in the list (go ahead… flame me up for it… you know you wanna…).

Enjoy!…

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