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Wine Dis-Service

Vinted on July 24, 2008 binned in commentary, wine tips

I recently received an e-mail response from a 1WineDude.com subscriber, in reaction to the previous post Does Wine Taste Better When You’re Dining Out? This response got me thinking about restaurant wine service in general, and it struck a cord in me because it touches on one of my pet peeves about wine service in many restaurants:

“…one thing I can control at home is proper rinsing and drying of my stemware. Nothing gets my goat more than shelling out good money for a favorite wine only to find that the restaurant’s stemware still smells of soap or rinsing/sheeting agents. If you encounter this problem when out on the town, don’t feel embarrassed to ask the server to have the glasses rinsed and hand dried again when having a special wine.”

Sound advice indeed, and I couldn’t agree more with it. For most wines, having a tulip-shaped glass is about all you need to get the maximum enjoyment out of the wine. Picking the right kind of stemware when drinking a special wine can really enhance the aromas and flavors. But I’d rather have a clean glass of any shape vs. a perfectly-matched but smelly glass!

Generally speaking, a little bit of wine knowledge can go a long way in making customers happy. Another pet peeve of mine when it comes to wine service: “the over-pour.” Filling a wine glass to the brim makes it almost impossible to enjoy all the aromas of a wine. It’s like eating a steak with a napkin draped over it. And just try to swirl the wine without spilling it…

Since we’re into complaining mode here, I’ll offer another one: serving wine at the wrong temperature. I’m not too precious about this – I just want it close. I’d rather have it too cold, because I easily enough warm the glass up in my hands (unless it’s been overpoured!). But getting a really, really cold red or a hot white is a total dining experience buzzkill for me.

Those are my wine service pet peeves. How about yours?


Cheers!
(images: stuff.co.nz, ggpht.com/vincent.vanwylick)

3 Sure-fire Rules for Passing Sobriety Checkpoints

Vinted on July 21, 2008 binned in commentary, wine health

This past Friday, at about 2AM, I was driving back home after a long day, a great Mexican dinner with some foodie friends, and a very fun gig with my band in downtown West Chester.

I was stopped about halfway home, on backroads, by a police sobriety checkpoint.

Had I been drinking that night? Well… duh…!

Did I drink responsibly, ending my alcohol intake hours before I had planned to head home after the gig? Yep.

Did I ‘pass’ this sobriety checkpoint?

Of course, I ‘passed’ the sobriety checkpoint, thanks to my tried-and-true, never-fail, guaranteed-to-work or your-money-back 3 Rules for Passing Sobriety Checkpoints.

Today, free of charge, I’m going to share my 3 Rules with you…!



The 1WineDude.com 3 Rules for Passing Sobriety Checkpoints:
  1. Don’t be drunk.
  2. Be Sober.
  3. Don’t be ‘Not-sober’.

There you have it! Simple, straight-forward, and guaranteed-to-work – or your money back!

For more on responsible wine-drinking, see these previous 1WineDude.com articles:

Have a happy – and responsibly safe! – Monday.

Cheers!

(images: www.flickr.com/photos/stacylynn, timeinc.net)

Does Wine Taste Better When You’re Dining Out?

Vinted on July 16, 2008 binned in commentary, wine tasting


PressDemocrat.com posted a piece today by Bonnie Walker that explores why wine might taste better when you’re out on the town. It’s certainly worth a read if you’ve ever wondered how much of your wine tasting adventures were influenced by your surroundings.

Bonnie’s article lists certain tings that finer restaurants are able to do to that aren’t as easy for us to do playing along at home – among them maintaining optimal storage conditions, and paying special attention to how glassware is treated. Presumably, these things could make a wine ultimately taste better in the restaurant than the same wine that was stored above your fridge and then drunk from a plastic Burger King cup.

What I really liked about the article was how it finished:

“Finally, we get to what is a subjective reason that wine served at a restaurant might taste better than the same wine served at home. That might be simply because we’re out, relaxed, not working to put a meal on the table or distracted by TV.

If the wine is being shared by friends, so much the better. Even if it’s just a relative perception that the wine is better, that’s always something to count as pleasure added.”

Ahhh – the old “Lubricant for Life” hypothesis!

I buy into that, because I think that wine tasting fundamentally has subjective qualities to it that cannot be totally ignored when evaluating whether or not you will like a wine.

How about you?

Cheers!

(images: seagrassdublin.com)

Three Reasons Why You Should Be a Wine Blogger

Vinted on July 15, 2008 binned in best of, commentary, wine 2.0, wine blogging


A few days ago I published a somewhat controversial post giving you three reasons why you shouldn’t become a wine blogger.

Now, I’m about to give you three reasons why you should wine blog. [Editor's note: is 'wine blog' a verb now?]

My intention is not to flip-flop a position. I’m just trying to give you both sides of the bogger coin. And this is definitely the shinier, more polished, ‘much-more-coolly-embossed with some awesome emblem’ side of that coin. [Editor's note: is 'coolly' an adverb? My god, man, we're off to a shaky start here!!]

Anyway, let’s get down to business; here’s my Top Three Reasons Why YOU Should Be a Wine Blogger…:


1) You need to be original from day one.
No, you’re not going crazy. Yes, this is the #3 reason I listed previously for why you shouldn’t be a wine blogger. No, it’s not easy to offer an original voice in the wine blogging community. Or is it…? The positive flipside of this coin is that you have a no-to-low cost opportunity to have your voice heard on a topic that you are passionate about – and in time, people will listen to that voice. The line between professional/expert opinions and the voice of the on-line masses is blurring. There’s never been a better time to be a part of any topic for which you have a passion.

2) Two’s company, Three’s a crowd, and 600 is a Wine Blogging Community.
This one might look familar to you also [Editor's note: Sensing a theme here? ]. According to some sources, social media has overtaken porn in on-line popularity. We musicians in the rythym section often say “if you’re not part of the groove, you’re part of the problem.” Well, if you’re not part of social media, you’re really not part of the Internet. Not only is it a great time to be a part of the wine blogging community, it’s ridiculously easy to do so. Hop on over to OpenWineConsortium.org, join (for free), friend me up, and start blogging. Total cost: $0.00. Total time: about 6 minutes.

3) Democratize the Wine World.
It’s not often that you get to be a part of history. And history is being made in the world of wine, on the web, right now as you read this. It might sound a bit overly dramatic [Editor's note: OK, a lot], but can you think of a better term to describe a movement that gathers people together (albeit virtually) from all over the globe and tries to put the power back into the hands of the people? That is what is going down in the Wine 2.0 movement; the view of what is considered quality wine is shifting from the hands of a few influential critics, and into the masses. Don’t miss out – we just might be onto something special here.

There you have it. Enough positivity to rescue from the depression of my previous post. Come on in – the water’s (or is it the vino’s?) fine

Cheers!

(images: gapingvoid.com, suzylamplugh.org, biziki.com, preston.gov.uk )

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