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Commentary | 1 Wine Dude - Page 58

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An Abolitionist Movement: Down With Wine Monopolies!

Vinted on July 29, 2008 binned in commentary, pennsylvania, PLCB, wine shipping


As many of you already know, I am no friend of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

I suppose that is putting it a bit mildly, since I’ve likened their unconcstitutional state-run wine monopoly to Communism, publicly ridiculed the 40%+ premium that they add to state wine prices (while at the same time limiting selection, reducing service quality, and boating some of the worst storage conditions in the country), and accused them of engaging in fear-mongering and sycophantic lobbying to protect their monopoly position.

But who’s bitter? Me?!? I’m not bitter!!! Who you callin’ a PSYCHO!??!!!

Anyway, the good news is that I no longer have to utilize previous 1WineDude.com real estate to fight the good fight against the PLCB. I’ve found a blog dedicated to that purpose, and I’d argue that its author (Lew Bryson) does a better job of it than I’d ever do!

I give you noplcb.blogspot.com, a.k.a. “Why The PLCB Should Be Abolished“!

For PA wine lovers, this blog will be hilariously funny in the same “cuts-so-close to reality that it kinda makes you wanna cry” way that Dilbert is hilariously funny for cubicle workers…

While I will probably defer to Lew on all matters PLCB from now on, I should note that I’m not an advocate for abolishing the PLCB – or any state-run liqour monopoly, for that matter. I simply want those monopolies to adhere to the decisions of their state and federal constitutions, and to ammend existing laws to permit competition with those monopolies.

Let them have their fair shot in the real world, and not in the ‘fake’ marketplace set up under the protection of state governments. Personally, I don’t think their business plans stand a snowball’s chance in hell, but let’s leave that to the open market to decide – and not the lobbyists.

When you’re talking about a monopoly that brings billions of dollars to those states, it’s a Sisyphusian struggle to be sure, and I’m sure that some of my rants about this topic sound downright naive.

But… the way that these state wine monopolies run is appalling; the message it sends is that the government will protect businesses from having to adhere to the Constitution, so long as those businesses make enough revenue for the state.

And that’s just not the kind of world in which I want my daughter to grow up.

Cheers!

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)

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