Posts Filed Under commentary

In Other Words, The Wine Biz Is Pretty F*cked Up (Thoughts On The Closure Of IPOB)

Vinted on May 31, 2016 binned in commentary, wine news

The wine media world has been tripping over itself to cover the recently-announced ceasing of operations by In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB), an organization of producers that held tastings of wines that fit what the organizers and their tasting panel deemed to be New World wines of particularly elegant expression. In other words, wines that were generally less fruit-bomb, and more high-acid/low-booze.

So much is being said about IPOB’s closure and what that means for the cold culture war of U.S. wine styles that, for me, we’ve lost sight of the most profound implication of that battle: its complete uselessness draws an ugly, unforgiving, damn-that’s-bright-’cause-it’s-last-call-at-the-bar  illumination on just how very fucked up the wine business is right now.

For some of us who have been watching and covering IPOB since its inception, their organized tastings were a bit of fresh air; after all, why not expose wine consumers and media-types to a style of wine that is impeccably made, but offers an alternative to the high-octane, fruit-at-all-costs style of U.S. wine that has, by any reasonable account, dominated vinous press coverage for nearly three decades?

Apparently, the wine business is, in fact, so fucked up that, despite the fact that over thirty-five billion bottles of wine are released into the market every year, any style that doesn’t match up to that which has been primarily lauded in mainstream wine press is viewed as “wrong…”

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Why You Should Care When The Clock Strikes Wine O’Clock (Thoughts On The Enolytics 2016 Report)

Vinted on April 27, 2016 binned in commentary, wine publications

My first reaction to the recently-published study/synopsis on “Wine O’Clock” issued by the new firm Enolytics:

Well… yeah… no sh*t!

My second reaction to the recently-published study/synopsis on “Wine O’Clock” issued by the new firm Enolytics:

Wait… holy crap! This is actually important (and I am an idiot)!

At first blush, you might have the same misguided reaction to the report that I did (following the link above, you can read the free version; the full report will set you back $399). Essentially, the study suggests that wine consumers are most willing to engage in content and purchase research about wine during the time that you would most likely guess that they’re drinking the stuff. To wit, here’s a screen-print from the free version of the report:

Wine O’Clock 2016

image: enolytics.com

There you go; we ramp up on such activity from about 4-5PM to 9PM, local time. I don’t know about you, but if you asked me when Wine O’Clock was, I’d have guessed those exact times with an accuracy of about 30 minutes on either side. The report goes on to state:

“Wine consumer engagement increases sharply beginning at 4pm and declines sharply after 9pm (local time).”

So… we start engaging about wine when we imagine drinking the stuff right before dinner, and stop when we are either too drunk to care, need to put the kids to bed, or fall into a stupor of self-loathing and cry ourselves to sleep, etc.

Now, before you succumb to the temptation to declare “no shit!” and pour yourself a glass (assuming it’s around 4PM local time), there’s more to this story that you need to see. Take a quick peek under the kimono of the Wine O’Clock report, and (assuming it’s closer to 4PM local time for you than 9PM, and you’re still sober enough), you’ll see why it’s actually pretty important info. for the wine world…

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That *Other* Antidote To Bordeaux-Bashing

Vinted on April 12, 2016 binned in commentary

As reported by Dr. Vino (and elsewhere), much-celebrated (and almost-as-often-maligned) consultant winemaker Michel Rolland was recently asked if there was an antidote to “Bordeaux-bashing” (i.e., a backlash against the Bordeaux region in general – and its most storied houses, in particular – for producing wines that are increasingly too similar and increasingly too expensive).

You can read Rolland’s response in the original French, if that’s your motif; I offer the following English translation (as supplied automatically via Google):

“There is no antidote to stupidity. It is increasingly monumental. For me, 2015 is a great vintage. There are [those] too stupid to notice. We will notice in ten years, as usual. We are in a world without balls, we live with no balls. Full stop. There is not a journalist [who] will notice. Anyway, there is not a journalist who has weight in the world today. It has nothing to do with the market. They can say, write and think what they want, everyone cares at the fortieth year! When they know that, maybe they will start to become humble. Not to become smart, because it will be difficult, but to think differently.”

In other words, it’s not Bordeaux that is wrong, it’s all of the journalists covering Bordeaux that are wrong.

Hmmm.  Well.

Let’s discuss this little Rolland rant in a bit more detail…

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No, That Oral Microbiota Study Did Not Invalidate The History Of Wine Tasting

Vinted on April 5, 2016 binned in commentary, wine news

Let’s start with the short version: we all need to calm the hell down.

If social media reaction is any indication, the wine world is losing its shiz over the potential implications of an interesting study highlighted recently on The Academic Wino blog by Becca Yeamans-Irwin. Why we seem to go through this in April of each year I don’t know, but maybe the pursuit of an answer to that is worthy of its own study?

Anyway, according to that blog post, a 2015 study from the journal Food Chemistry suggests the following (quoted from the article):

“…it is possible that the perception of different wine aromas can be altered by physiological factors like mouth temperature, saliva composition, or the oral microbial community present in each individuals’ mouths.”

The study found that an individual’s unique oral microbiota makeup is capable of hydrolyzing certain compounds found in both grapes and in wine, thus changing how the wine’s flavor and aromas are perceived on an individual basis. The process potentially gives some scientific explanation as to why individuals perceive different aromatic and flavor aspects when tasting the same wine. All of which lead Yeamans-Irwin to conclude that

“This [sic] result could have profound implications on how we understand wine tasting and the perception of aromas and flavors for any given wine.”

The problem is that a lot of people seem to be ignoring the “could” part of her statement…

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