Posts Filed Under commentary

Baby’s Got Malbec (Heading to the International Malbec Days in Cahors)

Vinted on May 17, 2010 binned in commentary, on the road, wine news

If you live in the U.S. (and chances are high that if you’re reading this, you are in the U.S.), then it’s likely that you’ve been drinking some low-priced Malbec wine lately.

Don’t take my word for it – for some hard data on Malbec drinking trends in the U.S., you can check out a recent article by Laura Saieg on WineSur.com:

According to a report issued by Nielsen, in the last 52 weeks, the consumption of Malbec grew by 60%. This makes Malbec the best performing variety in the US market… In 2009, in spite of the pronounced decline of American economy, there was a consumption increase of 6 million cases with respect to 2008. Most of these cases were within the retail price bracket of under USD 10 per bottle. This was due to the fact that, in response to the crisis, consumers changed their habits and chose less expensive wines. Americans changed from consuming less expensive bottles to focusing on obtaining the best possible value. Restaurant wine sales fell by 6% to 9% this year as consumers, under tight budgets, stopped dining out and preferred to stay at home and buy wine at wine stores.”

Maybe you’ve had one (or several) of those extra 72 million bottles of Malbec consumed in the good ol’ U.S. of A. last year?  Looks like we can’t get enough of the stuff.

What’s most interesting, from a marketing / consumption / trending standpoint, is that you probably had that bottle at home while overall you were drinking less expensive wine (in both senses of the term).

By any measure, that’s a big coop for Malbec producers during the global recession, and it will be interesting to see if the trend continues.  It’s unclear from the WineSur.com article if most of the Malbec that we Americans gulped down was from Argentina, but it’s not unreasonable to conclude that.

Which might be why the French, who invented the stuff, are coming (possibly quite late) to Malbec bandwagon party…

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3 Reasons Why YOU Should Get a Wine Certification (A Tale from Remote Kenya)

Vinted on April 28, 2010 binned in best of, commentary, learning wine

The March issue of Sommelier Journal is dedicated to the topic of wine education, and (as always) is well worth a read for wine pros and serious wine geeks alike.  It contains a great follow-up article by Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser on the current status of the wine certification landscape, so the issue got me thinking (as it always does) about repercussions beyond the world of professional wine service, and into the worlds of wine writing and passionate wine enthusiasts.

And it got me thinking that YOU probably should get a wine certification.  it also got me thinking about the remote area of Shompole in Kenya, where even in a place where you have to buzz the runway in a small Cesna to scare zebras off of it before you can land, they saw value in the WSET certification (more on that in a minute).

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re a passionate wine enthusiast, a wine professional, or a wine writer (or any combination of one or more of those).  Actually, according to Alexa.com stats on my blog, chances are you’re a female between the ages of 25 and 44 with a decent amount of disposable income, living in the U.S. and surfing this blog from your work computer (shame on you!).

Anyway, I am growing increasingly convinced that wine certification suits 1WineDude.com readers, and is growing more an more applicable to a larger and larger audience of wine lovers.  And I’m gonna give you three reasons why YOU should get a cert.  And No, I don’t work for any of those certification bodies.

I know what you might be thinking, which is something along the lines of “Why do I need a certification to be an expert on how much I like or dislike what I shove into my mouth?!??” And the answer of course is that you don’t need a certification for that.

You need it for other reasons.  Hear me out before you shut me out – first I need to take you to the hot salt flats of the Great Rift Valley in remote Kenya…

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How to Bitchslap Your Wine-Monopolizing Legislators

Vinted on April 1, 2010 binned in best of, commentary, wine shipping

[Editor’s Note: this is a little ditty for those of you who, like the editor, live in one of the many U.S. states that prohibit the direct sale and/or shipping of wine.  Enjoy!]

Bitchslapping your state legislator is not a simple matter.  In fact, it’s fraught with potential pitfalls.

What  if your legislator is bigger than you are?  What if s/he tries to bitchslap you back? What would my mother think of this? etc.

A proper bitchslap needs to be delivered decisively and confidently.  Therefore, it’s vitally important not to let minor concerns, like personal safety and the threat of incarceration, get into the way of a good bitchslapping.  So, buck and let’s continue, shall we?

A proper bitchslap also need to be delivered firmly.  Which is why it’s often less effective to deliver the bitchslap by hand, and more effective to deliver the bitchslap via proxy.  Which is not to say that it is delivered by someone else, but is to say that use of a prop is always in good form, especially when the prop delivers enough noise and bodily pain upon striking the other person’s face to be embarrassing , but not enough to permanently injure the bitchslappee (apart from the bitchslappee’s pride, that is).  The prop therefore should be heavy enough to inflict the above damage but flexible and light enough for the bitchslapper to wield effectively and adroitly.

You may have already guessed that a printed book or stack of paper of proper thickness and quality material would be an ideal prop for the bitchslapper to wield, and you’d be correct in that assessment.

Which is why I recommend the following simple steps for properly bitchslapping your wine-monopolizing state legislator…

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