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Commentary | 1 Wine Dude - Page 9

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What Do You Wish You’d Learned About Wine Sooner?

Vinted on July 30, 2013 binned in commentary, learning wine

I’ve spent the better part of the first half of the year learning about… finance.

That is, now that wine is my “job,” (it feels really cool to type that) I needed another outlet, something about which I’d been passionate and wanted to learn more, to idle away the time learning during the down time (not that there’s much of it) when I’m traveling, or unwinding during the several seconds it takes me to fall asleep at night after chasing around my five year old daughter for the better of the day.

You know… a hobby.

Because I’m a geek (and for other reasons that I might get into here at a later date), I chose Finance. It’s amazing how deep the financial rabbit-hole goes, how much of it is related to human psychology, and the volume of parallels I’ve found in, for example, the world of investing with the world of wine media and wine scores.

During my drinking-from-the-Financial-knowledge-firehouse, I encountered this thread on the BogleHeads.org forum, titled What do you wish you had learned sooner?

It’s an amazing little forum thread, full of life, savings, and investment lessons gleaned from the cruelly sharp-focused prism of the kind of hindsight that can only come from mistake-making, coupled with the heat-induced etching into one’s memory that is the hallmark of losing one’s money to a stupid idea. I became somewhat fascinated by that thread, and it “bleeds yellow,” as in yellow highlighter, the kind of thing that you read and want to highlight because there’s so much to learn form it that it can only really be digested in chunks.

And it got me thinking, what did I wish I’d learned about wine sooner?

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The World’s Most Bad-Ass View Of The Douro And Porto (From Luftwaffe Fighter Plane)

Vinted on June 25, 2013 binned in commentary

Remember when I recently mentioned former Luftwaffe pilot and not semi-retired Port media guy Axel Probst?

Axel (a.k.a. “Herr Plane” now to 1WD readers) contacted me shortly after that article went live (he wasn’t aware that I was going to mention him) to thank me for the shout-out, and also to share two of the most unique and interesting pictures of Portugal that I’ve ever seen.

Axel kindly agreed to let me share these amazing photos with the world, and I can promise you that it’s a view of Porto and the Douro that 99.99% of you reading this have never seen, since they were taken from a flyover in a Luftwaffe fighter jet! Unless it involved bikini-clad models with machine guns, capes, and world-saving super-powers parachuting out of the planes in the picture, I’m lost as to how these pics could get any more bad-ass awesome.

Axel’s quick explanation of the photos:

“Please find some fotos attached which mix Port and flying quite nicely. On the first you see Dirk Niepoorts Quinta do Napoles below and the other is overhead Vila Nova de Gaia/ Porto.”

Enjoy the eye-popping awesomeness after the jump, the kind of awesome that can only be had by combining war machines and Port, the kind of awesome that totally smokes what you now previously thought was an awesome screen grab from your ten-hour marathon session of Call Of Duty: Ghosts (let these shots be a reminder that you really need to get out more often, okay?).

If you’re a wine lover, and particularly a Port lover, consider your awesomeness quotient for the week fulfilled

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Wine Producers, Are Your Voices Being Heard? (A Glimpse into 1WineDude’s Cellar)

Vinted on March 19, 2013 binned in commentary, guest posts

[ Editor’s note: following is the third guest post from the 1WD intern: the young, unpaid Shelby Vittek, who many of you will recall really shook things up with her first 1WD article (and continued that trend with her second). You can check out more of Shelby’s wine writing work at TableMatters.com, and find her on twitter at @BigBoldReds. You’re of course encouraged to chime in and let us know what you think (but keep things civil, you opinionated b*stards!). Enjoy! ]

Have you ever wanted to know what kinds of wines make up 1WineDude’s cellar? What exactly constitutes the mass of media samples he gets shipped every week? Where do they come from and exactly how many bottles are waiting to be opened and reviewed?

I used to wonder. But that was long before I spent months sorting through the endless boxes of wine samples in the cellar. In October, I bravely—and perhaps somewhat stupidly—agreed to take on the massive project of cataloguing and organizing them all. I had watched this episode of 1WineDude TV, (cut to 3:25) where I got my first preview of the mountain of boxes, but really had no idea how big of a challenge I had signed up for. At the start of my “internship,” I was prepared to personally catalogue maybe a couple hundred, 500 bottles at the most, and thought I’d finish the project within four or five weeks.

Yet here we are, over four months and 820 bottles later, and I’m just finally able to announce that every single wine has been accounted for and its details entered into a tracking spreadsheet. Of course, this number is bound to change the next time I hear the doorbell ring and am met with five more shipments of samples. But for now, the cataloging chaos has calmed, and my “wine friends” (as 1WD’s daughter calls them) have a slightly more organized home.

To celebrate the end of a huge undertaking—even if momentarily—I want to share with you some intimate details of the wines I’ve had my hands all over for months, as well as some things that surprised, perplexed, or disappointed me…

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Investing In Fine Wine Is For Fools

Vinted on March 12, 2013 binned in commentary, wine news

“Investing” in fine wine is a fool’s errand.

As in, “greater fools” – for it is certainly a fool who hopes to sell his/her speculation to greater fools for a profit.

The term greater fool is actually a pseudo-technical financial one, probably best explained in William J. Bernstein’s amazing book The Four Pillars of Investing (emphasis mine):

“The acquisition of a rare coin or fine painting for purely financial purposes is clearly a speculation: these assets produce no income, and your return is dependent on someone else paying yet a higher price for them later. (This is known as the “greater fool” theory of investing; when you purchase a rapidly appreciating asset with little intrinsic value and no capability to create income on its own, you are dependent on convincing someone else to take it off your hands later at a higher price.) There’s nothing wrong with purchasing any of these things for the future pleasure they may provide, of course, but
this is not the same thing as a financial investment.”

Substitute “coin” with “red Burgundy” and “painting” with “First Growth Bordeaux” and the quote would remain apt, cogent and frighteningly applicable. The bottom line is that holding onto fine wine for any reason other than to eventually drink it (or pass it on to someone else who might) is stupid.

This is because wine does not conform in any way to the modern paradigm of investing, which is built upon lower-risk (and thus lower-returning) loans or higher risk (and thus higher-returning) valuation of something’s (usually a company’s) ability to make profit. At best, it’s a hedge that someone (the greater fool) will want the object badly enough to take it off your hands at a price higher than what you paid for it…

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