Posts Filed Under commentary

Pennsylvania’s Latest Attempt To Alienate Its Wine Lovers

Vinted on September 23, 2015 binned in commentary

glorious plcb

In what apparently is Pennsylvania’s latest attempt to prove that it is, in fact, the single worst state in the Union for wine lovers, a recent ruling by Chester County Judge Edward Griffith has put the kibosh on saving a few thousand bottles of wine confiscated from resident Arthur Goldman (who was caught in a sting operation and charged with buying wine outside of the PA state monopoly system, and selling wine in the state without a license). Sorry, but getting angry makes me write run-on sentences, ok?

Through the ruling, the judge Griffith has paved the way for dumping of the confiscated wine (much of which is top-notch stuff), pissing off the state’s wine lovers. The ruling also denies a request by nonprofit Chester County Hospital to have the wine sold to benefit the hospital (presumably, pissing off everyone else in the state, too).

A quote from the judge:

“Since the liquor code makes no provision for condemned wine to be sold for any purpose, the wine may not be delivered to a hospital for sale.”

We cannot fault the judge for upholding current law, since that’s his job. And that law – the PA liquor code – exists, in theory, to control the flow of alcohol in Pennsylvania, and, you know, protect the children! Like the children that are served by… Chester County Hospital!

Ostensibly, however, the PA liquor code seems to be more and more a vehicle to protect the money coming in to the state’s coffers from the alcohol sales controlled by the PA Liquor Control Board. You know, the same board that serves PA’s wine-buying public by spending taxpayers’ dollars inefficiently; instituting expensive, failed initiatives that it’s unclear are even wanted by its customers; selling wine that has been shown to have high levels of arsenic; and committing fraud.

In other words, I don’t think that Pennsylvania is going to be upgrading its wine consumer advocacy grade of “F” anytime soon.





Your Memory Sucks Donkey Bong (Or, “On The Importance Of Tasting Notes”)

Vinted on September 8, 2015 binned in commentary, wine appreciation

Because I am divorcing someone at fault, I have been on the receiving end of revisionist history, even when it seeks to conform to a false, self-serving narrative of cognitive dissonance.

It turns out, however, that revisionism towards an agenda of mollifying cognitive dissonance (“yeah, I did that nasty sh*t, but I am different and it’s ok because…”) is actually one of the core elements of a properly functioning human memory.

As strange as this may sound initially, revisionist memory is the reason why I am always carrying around pen and notebook when tasting wine, my friends, and why I think that any budding wine nerd needs to do the same (or an equivalent) when they are getting serious about appreciating wine (let alone criticizing it). Because if you’re anything like the majority of the human population (and, trust me, you are), then your memory is… well… crap.

Not only is your memory poor at capturing actual details as they happened (this includes about wine), it is an ever-changing, malleable storytelling machine, constantly revising and rewriting history, filling in the blanks between factual details in order to preserve whatever narrative best reduces any dissonance between what actually went down, and your (most likely overly-inflated) internal view of your self…

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Wine And Social Media: Not Just For The Tech Savvy

Vinted on August 18, 2015 binned in commentary, wine news


One of the speaking engagements where I scared everyone sh*tless with tough luv for which I was hired earlier this Summer was recently given a write-up in the Corks And Forks section of The Columbian’s website.

While I am flattered at the positive mention, I thought it worthwhile (because, hey, I need to kill time until it’s 4:30pm and I can drink wine without feeling too bad about it) to expand on a couple of things that author discusses in that write-up.

First, I am stoked that she picked up on something that I often mention during these talks, particularly when given to those who work inside of the wine biz…

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