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Commentary | 1 Wine Dude - Page 45

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Wine Rocks (Is Wine Appreciation Becoming Cool?)

Vinted on March 26, 2009 under commentary, wine 2.0, wine appreciation

Well… duh, right?

Anyone that has spent more than a cursory glance through the (virtual) pages of 1WineDude (or has had the unfortunate experience of sharing a long car ride with me when I’m driving, which of course entitles me to choose the music played on the car stereo) is familiar with my affinity for Canadian power rock trio Rush – or as I like to refer to them, The Greatest Band in the History of All Mankind.

Most music fans are familiar with Rush’s complex (and lengthy) musical endeavors, as well as the high-pitched vocals of front-man Geddy Lee.  What many people don’t know is that the band are big-time wine geeks, especially Geddy who owns a cellar in excess of 5,000 bottles in his Toronto-area home (apparently its bottle capacity has been expanded - twice).

Which, in my mind, is simply even more reason to be a total fan-boy for that band.

Anyway, Rush is (improbably) riding a high of popularity now that they are well into their third decade as a touring and recording rock band, their pop-culture coolness hitting a zenith with a recent appearance on The Colbert Report (excerpt below).  Geddy Lee was recently featured in Entertainment Weekly’s “Three Rounds With…” feature, talking about… wine (and recent album releases and the band’s cameo in the new film I Love You, Man).

This got me wondering… can wine appreciation be considered cool? I mean, I love Rush, but for a long, long time, it was definitely not cool to love Rush.  Now, they’re getting mentioned on TV and mainstream magazines as if they’re Coldplay.  Same with Lord of the Rings – when I was a kid, it was not cool to love those books.  Now, the movie adaptations are winning Oscars and kids play with LotR action figures.  I’d have gotten my ass kicked for playing with LotR action figures…

I do believe that wine may be hitting a similar point in the ‘coolness trajectory’ now.

Instead of it wine appreciation viewed as the ultimate hoity-toity, snobbish enterprise (anyone remember The Onion’s coverage of Pompous A__hole Magazine?), it’s almost starting to achieve a mild pop-icon status, especially with the advent of magazines like Mutineer, events such as Wine 2.0 and Wine Riot!, the Twitter Taste Live phenomenon,  and an explosion in the number of wine blogs and consumer involvement in on-line wine social networks (e.g., the Open Wine Consortium)in the last 2-3 years.

What do YOU think?  Is Wine appreciation is becoming cool?

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The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rush is Here
comedycentral.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Mark Sanford

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Cheers!
(images: Entertainment Weekly)

Is High-Alcohol California Wine Inevitable (Robert Parker’s Bitch, Redux)

Vinted on March 17, 2009 under California wine, commentary

“The industry has done everything wrong” – Paul Wagner

Well… this is interesting!

1WineDude friend, winemaker and fellow wine blogger Josh Hermsmeyer of PinotBlogger.com makes an appearance in Tina Caputo’s new web documentary, Robert Parker’s Bitch

The documentary that takes an informative and entertaining look at the subject of whether or not California winemakers are making wines for Consumers, for themselves, or are producing busty high-alcohol bombs in order to chase the almighty dollar that comes from pleasing the palates of a few wine critics, thus achieving an influential high point score and subsequent boost in sales.

Many excellent and educated opinions are offered from standout figures in the California wine world, including author Karen MacNeil, winemaking icon Randy Dunn of Dunn Vineyards, and my new marketing hero, Paul Wagner of Balzac Communications. 

Let’s just say that the topic is… complicated

And the documentary takes an admirable stab at trying to breakdown enough of the complexity to make the topic palatable.  Personally, I loved it, despite the lack of explosions, fist-fights, and nudity.

The vid is worth checking out if only to hear the comments of Paul Wagner, who clearly understands the topic at it’s most fundamental levels and matter-of-factly (and correctly) states that the wine industry has basically gotten wine marketing wrong for long, long time – and that there is a new generation of wine lovers emerging that don’t give a crap about scores, established critics, or the “rules” or wine appreciation / recommendation.

Amen, brother!

The 25-minute gem is embedded below – highly recommended.

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Robert Parker’s Bitch from Josh Hermsmeyer on Vimeo.

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Cheers!

I Hate The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Vinted on March 12, 2009 under commentary, PLCB

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A Love Letter

Vinted on March 9, 2009 under about 1winedude blog, commentary

This is not an article about wine, per se.

It’s more an article about what it takes for me to write about wine.  It’s a love letter, really.  And a long overdue one, at that.

If I had to sum it all up, for those of you who won’t get past this sentence, I really just want to say Thank You to my wife, Kerri, because without her this forum for discussion of all things wine-related (1WineDude) simply would not exist.

Now, there are a ton of things for which I could (should) be thanking my wife.  First, she’s gorgeous and there is no doubt that she plays a significant part (as in, > 99%) in making me look good (case in point: she is somehow in better shape after the birth of our daughter than she was in before she became pregnant).  She’s a great cook, to the point that I don’t really miss red meat in my diet because her food is so damn tasty.  She’s conscientious, which I’m not, and so she has saved me from countless embarrassing social situations and possible lost friendships.

But there are two reasons above all others that on most days make me fall in love with her all over again.

1) I recently asked my wife if she thought it was odd that I pursue such geeky passions, while she doesn’t seem to have any nearly as geeky.  E.g., I am total fan-boy for the Steelers and the band Rush, and my side-job as a musician takes up significant portion of my free time – that is, it takes up most of the time left over after I spend hours researching and writing articles for 1WineDude, which indulges my geeky passion for wine.

Now, I know it helps that my wife loves wine (she’s just not as geeky as I am when it comes to learning about terroir, chasing after obscure grape varieties, and waxing philosophic on whether or not green pepper notes is or is not a fault in Chilean reds).  When a wine sample shipment arrives at our door, her eyes light up almost as brightly as my daughter’s when she sees the intro. credits to an episode of Baby Einstein.

Anyway, Ker’s response was that she loves the fact that I get to indulge my geeky passions and is proud of the successes that I’ve had in each of them (no matter how minor).  And, in fact, she pointed out that she does have a geeky passion of her own – one that happens to take up most of her waking hours (and what should be non-waking for both of us).  Which brings me to reason #2…

2) My wife is an amazing mother. She has had some great role models for motherhood in our families, but we don’t really have any seasoned expert grandmothers locally who can help us out with the little things on a daily basis.  And it’s the little things, that somehow seem to come naturally my wife as a mother, that amaze me.  The way she instinctively senses what mood our daughter is in.  The smile that our daughter gives her first thing in the morning.  They sound like simple things, and they are, but I find myself continually awed by them.  My wife just seems to know what to do with this little human, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have helping my daughter to grow into a person in this crazy world.

So, now we know why I’m crazy in love with my wife.

I expect to possibly get flamed for being majorly soppy on the virtual pages in 1WineDude, but I don’t give a damn because it’s about time that my wife heard (read) all of this.

Okay… Time to open one of those special bottle of Champagne I’ve been saving for her…

Cheers!

(images: 1WineDude.com)

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