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Faked Out? (Tales of a Possibly Faked Wine)

Vinted on August 10, 2009 binned in commentary, wine appreciation, wine bloggers conference

It’s often said that imitation is flattery in its most sincere form.

Imitation is also a way of making a quick buck, and in the case of wine has sometimes been used to dupe even the world’s most influential palates and wine writers.

Counterfeiting, in the U.S. alone, is about a $200 billion a year business, and it’s been estimated by Wine Spectator (yeah, yeah, I know…) that 5% of old/rare wine sold on the “secondary market” is fake.  Faking a wine isn’t necessarily easy, but somewhat ironically the job gets a bit easier for those trying to fake rare, older wines – simply because most people haven’t had them, so there are few barometers to judge how they should or shouldn’t taste.  In some cases, as detailed in Benjamin Wallace’s The Billionaire’s Vinegar, the rock stars of the wine tasting world may in fact have based their tasting notes of older, rarer wines on fakes.  Examining a bottle to determine if it’s a fake can be a time-consuming and difficult process.

The reason I’m telling you all of this?

I think I recently just may have had my first faked wine…

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Anthony dias Blue Goes on the Attack Against Wine Bloggers

Vinted on July 16, 2009 binned in commentary, wine blogging

Here we go again.

I don’t know why wine writing icons feel compelled lately to disparage wine bloggers as a whole, but it seems that the venerable Anthony dias Blue is joining Robert Parker in painting all wine bloggers with an overly broad and negative brush. As in the case of Parker’s blogger diatribe, by casting aspersions on wine bloggers with such a broad brush, Blue undermines his own (otherwise very compelling) argument and credibility.

Blue’s attack comes in the July 2009 issue of Tasting Panel in a piece titled “…And Who Regulates the Bloggers?” Blue starts by coming to defense of Robert Parker with respect to the recent brouhaha that Tyler’s article drummed up on his Dr. Vino wine blog. You might recall that Tyler uncovered what appeared to be very inconsistent behavior by some of Parker’s staff, behavior that didn’t seem to line up at all with Parker’s published code of ethics. This event generated quite a bit of discussion on the Internet, and even prompted Janis Robinson to (finally) detail her own ethics code with regards to samples and reviews.

Strangely, he cites “barbarian bloggers” instead of simply referencing Tyler’s Dr. Vino blog. I don’t recall anyone but Tyler breaking the Parker story, so I’m confused as to why Blue would use a broad and disparaging term to describe bloggers a group.

Things get much worse…

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California, Cat Piss, Saints & Twitter (or “Joe vs. Napa Sauvignon Blanc”)

Vinted on July 13, 2009 binned in California wine, commentary

By all accounts, the is past Saturday’s Twitter Taste Live! event, featuring selections from Napa Valley stalwart St. Supery, was a big success.  Some estimates on the event put the number of twitter event posts at greater than 700 (I’ve not seen any definitive statistics yet), which would likely make it the biggest TTL event to date in terms of raw participation.  Undoubtedly the wide availability of St. Supery wines helped to send this event over the top, in twitter terms.

No matter how you look at it, 700 tweets is a lot of exposure for St. Supery especially when you consider that the participants needed to have the St. Supery wines in order to get the full TTL experience.

During the event, I was pleasantly surprised by St. Supery’s Sauvignon Blanc-based wines.  This is because I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  Which is to say, I almost love to hate Napa Valley SB because in my experience they’re way too bloated and flabby to compare with the best efforts from New Zealand and France.  I was beginning to wonder if NV SB was a fad that needed to die, sort of like Napa’s questionable experimentation with Sangiovese-based wines.  Wine geeks often refer to SB’s pungent aromas as “Cat pee,” a term I tend to avoid when describing any wine that other humans might actually want to try, but I made reference to the term during Saturday’s TTL event, when I expressed surprise at how enjoyable the St. Supery SB’s were:

I suppose I expected some measure of challenge to that statement.  I just didn’t expect it to come less than 24 hours after I’d made it…

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“Gluttzilla” Lodi Zinfandel Attacks City!!

Vinted on July 8, 2009 binned in commentary, Inebriated Press

LODI ZINFANDEL ATTACKS TOKYO!

Crowds flee for their lives as “Gluttzilla” menace destroys theme park.
Tokyo defenses “only stir its already considerable anger.”

July 8th, 2009 – Tokyo
Inebriated Press

A powerfully alcoholic wine emerged from the basement depths of downtown Tokyo wine and liquor shop Tanakaya today, breathing fire and staging a level of destruction not seen in the city since 1954, when the lizard-like menace Godzilla attacked the city and died (along with all other nearby sea life) under mysterious circumstances in Tokyo Bay, reports the IP (Inebriated Press).

Hundreds of local residents are reported missing, and damage to city buildings, public transportation systems, and electrical infrastructure reportedly will “easily reach into the several billions [of dollars]” said  Japanese Defense Minister Hamada.

The rogue wine has been positively identified as the powerful and highly potent 2006 vintage of “Gluttony” Lodi Zinfandel from California wine producer Michael~DavidIt’s unclear at this time if the monstrous wine bottle was angrily disturbed from its slumber by the passing of trains at nearby Mejiro station, or if it became enraged at receiving a 77 point rating in the June 30 2009 issue of Wine Spectator.

What is clear is that at approximately 1:35 PM Tokyo time today, the enormous Gluttony Zinfandel emerged from Tanakaya and began to destroy nearly everything in its wake, leveling buildings with ease and burning down an amusement part en route to the bay nearby, where “Gluttzilla” (as it has been dubbed by the local press) seemingly took refuge beneath the waves and has not been seen since…

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