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Goin’ Mobile: Pocket Wine App Giveaway!

Vinted on May 23, 2011 under giveaways, wine 2.0

I figured those of you who might be disappointed that the predicted 2011 Rapture didn’t turn up this weekend might need a pick-me-up.  Not me – I, for one, knew for certain that the Rapture was not coming, because the only true sign of the approach of Rapture is (of course) a lanky guy in an all-white suit and white top hat wearing shades with red lights in them during the night time and getting his groove on with some funky dance moves.  And I didn’t see that guy this weekend anywhere

Anyway… the pick-me-up takes the form of our latest giveaway: this time I’ve got promo codes for three free copies of the recently-revamped iPhone wine app Pocket Wine, sold by Wine Paradigm (a $3.99 value). This is not to be confused with last week’s giveaway, which is still running until Wednesday. Got it?  I promise no more concurrent giveaways, because I don’t want anyone’s head to explode.

What has been exploding, however, is the volume of mobile-related wine content in recent weeks (see my recent take on VinPass, and another story posting here later this week on iPad wine mags), so today’s giveaway feels timely (to me, anyway).  It also, in turn, makes me feel increasingly older and out-of-date with the mobile scene, since I don’t own an iPhone, a Droid device, or an iPad (hey, Apple: potential sponsorship opportunity here, people!) and therefore have had to request screen prints from the mobile apps that carry my reviews to approve anything they do with my content, since I can’t view the stuff in its native format.  I know… I suck… Whatever.

You know the drill: you comment, and in one week I randomly select winners from the commenters!  There will be three winners, each receiving one promo code each for a copy of Pocket Wine.  Disclaimer: I’m giving away promo codes (here’s how to redeem them in the Apple App Store if you’re one of the lucky winners), not devices – and if you’re a winner you have to redeem your promo code by June 13th (or it turns back into a pumpkin… or at least stops working).

One thing I like about Pocket Wine is that it has (or seems to have, based on the screenprints!) a focus on developing and tracking your own personal taste preferences (see inset pic) – and we all know that I’m a pretty big fan of that approach, because it’s how I learned about wine in the first place.  But it’s a player in what seems to be an increasingly crowded field of wine-related mobile apps.

So our topic for the comments: How do you feel about the plethora of mobile wine apps? Handy tools? Or just crapware taking up your precious mobile phone memory?  Got any faves?  Shout it out for a chance to win!

Cheers!

Georges Duboeuf Wine Book Of The Year Awards, Concluded (“Best Of The Best” Giveaway!)

Vinted on May 18, 2011 under book reviews, giveaways, going pro

Last week in my continuing saga as judge in the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year Awards, we took a look at the finalists that didn’t make my cut into the “top three” votes for the award (and gave away a copy of Charlie Olken’s excellent New Connoisseurs’ Guidebook to California Wine and Wineries in the process).

This week, we’re going to look at the three that did make that cut, with my explanations as to why I chose them, exactly as I reported them to the folks running the GD awards this year.  They’re listed after the jump in descending order, ending with my personal #1 pick for the award.  The official winner will be announced next week at Duboeuf’s annual Beaujolais Crus preview in New York on May 24.

This week, we’re giving away a copy of one of those ‘top three’ books – Mark Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine: Pleasure, Value, and Adventure Beyond Wine’s Usual Suspects!

Same drill as last week, people: you comment, and in one week I’ll randomly select a winner from the list of commenters!

You can see exactly where Mark’s latest release fell in my top three after the jump (for more on Mark, check out the interview I did with him back in October) – to make a long story short, his latest book kicks all kinds of wine learning ass. The main reason I picked Brave New World of Wine as one of my three finalists, however, was because Mark’s book reminds us of something that I think we spend too much tome forgetting – inherently, wine is supposed to make us happy; it’s supposed to bring joy, delight and (at the high end) some artistic measure to our days.

Do we miss the trick too much, and too often forget about the joy that wine is supposed to bring to us? Shout it out in the comments for a chance to win!

Enjoy – and good luck!…

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Georges Duboeuf Wine Book Of The Year Awards, Continued (“Best Of The Rest” Giveaway!)

Vinted on May 11, 2011 under book reviews, giveaways, going pro

 

For the next act in my continuing saga as judge in the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year Awards, I wanted to detail the awards finalists that didn’t make the cut for my top three candidates for this year’s award (the three is not an arbitrary number, by the way – as judges, we were asked to pick our top three selections for the award from the seven finalists chosen by the event’s organizers).

And, we’re going to give away a copy of one of those books – Charlie Olken’s excellent New Connoisseurs’ Guidebook to California Wine and Wineries – to one lucky commenter!

Most of you know the drill: you comment, and in one week a winner is randomly selected from the comments.

Personally, I find myself swayed at least a little bit when it comes to awards like this, in terms of my wine book purchasing decisions.  I suppose that a part of me figures, Hey, if some people took the time to judge this thing against its peers and say it was good, it’s probably pretty darn good - but all-in-all, when it come to wine book buying, I probably put more weight into jacket testimonials (especially when they’re written by people that I know and respect).  So the question I’ve got to get our comentarios del blog de ​​discusión started is this:

Do awards factor into your wine book-buying decisions? Or are they like most wine competition medals (i.e., kinda meaningless)?

My thoughts on all of the non-top-three-listed finalists’ books are below after the jump. I need to preface this by saying that these books are all worthy additions to the English-language wine book lexicon; they just didn’t make my top three for the Georges Duboeuf award based on the judging criteria.  That competition was stiffer than the graphite neck on those headless Steinberger basses that Geddy Lee used in the `80s, so not making the cut shouldn’t be treated as a slight; in fact, simply being included in the list of finalists for this year’s award is a nod to the quality level of all of these books.  Now that I think about it, I might be getting in trouble by listing these finalists, but technically no one involved in the awards has said that I can’t list them… so what the hell, here we go!

Next week: my take on the top three and my #1 pick for the award…

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Has Holiday Wine Pairing Jumped The Shark? (Have Your Say For A Chance To Win A Wine Soiree!)

Vinted on March 15, 2011 under commentary, giveaways, holidays

Is the holiday wine pairing idea totally over-and-done?  Did it, in fact,  jump the shark full-on in Arthur Fonzarelli leather jacket and scarf? Is it deader than Aunt Martha’s Christmas fruitcake?

You’re probably thinking “Why dredge up this topic when we’re between holidays?”  Great question, sir (or madam… or whatever…).  I mean, I’m sure as hell not going into a St. Patrick’s Day wine pairing here (that’s my birthday anyway, so for me the pairing will be “the best and most exclusive vino I can get my grubby little hands on, and if at all possible in large quantities and preferably on someone else’s tab.”).

You see, it is precisely because we’re between holidays – removed from the craziness, glass in hand (hopefully), and welcoming (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway) the onset of Spring – that I want to breach this topic.  We are chill right now.  We are rational.  We don’t have the specter of holiday stress and deadlines looming over our heads like a f*cking Sword of Damocles.  We put on the relaxation tape, take a sip, and chill out. Feel ze tension leeeeving yer boudee…

That was nice.  Ok – I’m an anal-retentive East Coaster so the 30 seconds of relaxation I’ve allowed everyone is officially over.  Now that we’re chill… let’s get all riled up again, shall we?

Seems to me that one of the trendiest things for wine geeks to do over the last couple of years is to declare the death of many a stalwart wine practice, and the wine + holiday pairing is one of the items in the wine geek sniper cross-hairs.

Where do you stand on holiday wine pairing recommendations?  Shout it out in the comments – and on March 22 I will randomly select a commenter to win a Wine Soiree aerator (about a $25 value)! To learn more about the Wine Soiree, check out my review from 2008.  Please note that Wine Soiree has no affiliation with this post idea, I just happen to have an extra one and feel like having another giveaway!

But before you get commentin’, let’s look at both sides of the story…

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