Posts Filed Under commentary

Guy Who Possibly Hates Wine Blogging to Give Talk on Wine Blogging at VINO 2010

Vinted on December 28, 2009 binned in commentary, wine blogging, wine industry events

Well… this is… interesting.

Fellow wine fanatic and blogger Robbin Gheesling passed this tidbit onto me earlier this week:

Remember Anthony dias Blue?  He’s the guy who just this past summer had this to say about wine bloggers:

“…bitter, carping gadflies who, as they stare into their computer screens and contemplate their dreary day jobs, let their resentment and sense of personal failure take shape as vicious attacks on the established critical media.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Seems he might have changed his mind – dias Blue is currently scheduled to give a talk on wine blogging at the upcoming VINO 2010 Italian Wine Week in New York.

Here’s the skinny from the program:

Seminar # 7
Room: Louis XIV  Suite (4th Floor)
Presentation: “Blogging on Wine and Social Networking: New Tools in reaching
Consumers of Italian Wine ”
Moderated  by:    Anthony  Dias  Blue 
,  WCBS  Radio,  journalist  and  author,  Los
Angeles, California


I don’t want to disparage the guy the possibility that his tune on wine blogging has changed – and I sincerely hope that it has.  I just really, really, really hope that dias Blue has had a bit of self-revelation and has seen a turn-around in his thinking since July, or this might get really ugly, really fast.

Because the last thing that wineries, PR, and media need to hear is that blogging and social media aren’t important or are somehow full of “barbarian… militant bloggers” (his words, from July), because both are patently false.






Hockey or Hokey? NHL Alumni Wine Series

Vinted on December 23, 2009 binned in California wine, commentary, pennsylvania, PLCB, wine products

Earlier this week, I could have had wine signed by Philadelphia Flyers bruising legend Dave “The Hammer” Schultz.

Dave’s wine, that is.  The Hammer Chardonnay.  Given Dave’s playing reputation as an enforcer, I’d hope that this Chard packs at least 14.5% abv and is an oak & fruit bomb that will knock you squarely on your ass after two glasses.

[ Editor’s note: I met The Hammer once.  He’s a very big and imposing man and I want to make it very clear that I am not making fun of him.  Thanks. ]

Dave’s wine is part of the NHL Alumni Signature Wine Series – wines that bear the picture and signatures of hockey greats like Gordie Howe (another Chard bottling), Wendell Clark (a Canadian-only Merlot) and Pat LaFontaine (a CA Cab) – the proceeds are divvied up among a few charitable causes:

There are three charitable components to the NHL Alumni Signature Wine Series™ wine program. First, a portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold will be donated to the charity of each player’s choice. Second, each of the teams’ Alumni Associations will receive a portion of the proceeds to be further donated to the charities of their choice. Finally, a portion of the proceeds will also benefit the NHL Alumni Association’s “Hockey’s Greatest Family Fund” which helps bring together former players to support charitable causes, assist former players in life after hockey and generally promote the game of hockey.

The wines are made by Ironstone Winery and distributed via MyWinesDirect.  I haven’t tried them yet, and I’m not holding my breath over it, either – both Dave Schulz and Bobby Clarke are legends in Philly, but thanks to the Communist-like liquor sales setup in the Flyers’ home state, those living in PA won’t be able to have the wines shipped to them. Oh, the irony

Personally, I view this as a logical guy response to Paris Hilton’s wine-in-a-canWhat do you think about celebrity wine and the NHL series?  Let’s hear it in the comments!





The $500 Wine Question

Vinted on December 21, 2009 binned in commentary, wine buying

What wine would you buy right now if you had $500 to spend on it?

I mean, let’s say you were given $500 cash, right now, and told the only condition upon receiving it was that you had to spend that money on wine, and you had to buy it right now.

What would you buy?

I’ve been thinking about this question for days and days, and it’s made me curious as to how the intelligent, witty, and better-than-average-looking readership would answer it.

Do you blow the whole wad on one wine, like a very-good-but-not-great vintage of Chateau Petrus, just to say t hat you did it at least once? Or go for two bottles of a classified Right Bank Bordeaux?  How about dabbling in a little high-end Burgundy?  Or take a dessert wine tour of the world, through Porto, Madeira, Hungary, Sauternes, Niagara, Jerez…?  Or a bargain-end binge shopping spree, stocking up on fairly-priced wines

It’s a compelling proposition, isn’t it?

Here’s the part that will start to bake your noodle:

Once you’ve decided on an answer… ask yourself Why haven’t I bought myself that wine already?  Is it because $500 isn’t exactly small change in today’s crappy economy?  Catholic guilt preventing you from spending that kind of money on yourself?

I think reading each others’ responses to these questions would be fascinating.

I’ll kick things off – I’d blow the whole wad on one wine, the kind of cultish wine like Petrus that is supposed to blow your mind, just to see if it can really live up to the stratospheric hype factor.

How about YOU?





The Top 10 Most Interesting Wines of 2009

Vinted on December 17, 2009 binned in best of, commentary, Most Interesting Wines of the Year, wine review

Here we go again. It is… that time.

That time when I present the Top 10 Most Interesting Wines of the Year.  Although I tried last year to set proper expectations around this year end recap of tasty vino, that didn’t stop my Top 10 Most Interesting Wines of 2008 list from being used as a bit of media-fodder “best of” list – which it wasn’t.

For those of you new to this annual list, here’s how it works: it’s NOT a list of the best wines released in 2009. It is a list of wines that I tasted in 2009 (that’s the only qualification for inclusion, by the way), and that I personally found to be the most interesting of those wines. The list is presented with my twitter mini-review, and reflections on why each wine was included.

I just want to caution everyone not to take this list too seriously.  Because, well, it’s not meant to be taken too seriously.  Which doesn’t mean that a lot of serious thought didn’t go into the compilation of this list.  It did.  As I mentioned in preface to the 2008 list:

“…there was nothing easy about compiling the list that I’m about to give to you, and I’m sure the inclusions and omissions will piss some people off somewhere. That isn’t my intention, and this is not a best-of list by any stretch of the imagination.”

That was even more true for this year’s list.  For one, the ‘competition’ (if it can be called that) was stiffer – I tasted more wines, and more wines of higher quality, than I ever have before.  I had access – through the kind generosity of many, many people in the wine industry – to more wines than I had in 2008, much of them of high quality.  Trying to nail this down to 10 wines was, at times, downright agonizing.  Many wines, made by people who in some cases I now count among my friends, that just didn’t make it but were ohhhh sooooo clooooose.

The list is not based on any numerical rating. The wines were chosen based on my tasting notes from all of the wines that I tasted this year. Since I am not employed as a wine critic, I do not taste thousands of wines per year. I do, however, taste well over an amount of wine than (I think) is normally accessible to the average wine lover.

The differences between the 2008 and 2009 lists are exciting for me:

As much as I consider myself a ‘red’ wine drinker at heart, the majority of the wines that made the cut are whites, with at least one of them being a grape that you probably haven’t had before (let alone heard of… or can likely pronounce).  The top 3 on the list are very, very exciting wines and I’m particularly stoked to hear (read) what you all think of those.

Sadly, I’m not sure that any of my picks are budget-priced wines – there’s something we can discuss in the comments! As with the 2008 list, and despite the high(ish) price tags, my aim is to expose you to something unique, different, and of (what I feel is) exceptional quality for the price – you can comment and let me know if I succeeded.

Enough of my yakin’ – let’s boogie! I give you –

The Top 10 Most Interesting Wines of 2009…

Read the rest of this stuff »




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