If you’ve ever wondered how to handle the delicate matter of telling a hoity-toity sommelier or wait staff that the wine you ordered isn’t up to snuff, without making one or both of you look like a total douchebag, you’re in luck because we tackle that very topic over at my latest Wined Down column for Playboy.com.
For that article, I interviewed one of the sommeliers (a quality dude named Jeff Taylor, who also happens to be a true master of the “disco nap,” a skill which I witnessed first-hand having traveled a good bit of Australia with the guy) from NYC’s Eleven Madison Park – and in terms of hoity-toity restaurants, it doesn’t get much more hoity-toity than the award-winning EMP. So you’ll want to read what Jeff had to say about the right – and wrong! – ways of navigating that vinous territory.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how the Playboy.com gig is going, so I should probably offer a quick update on that. The important thing to remember when you read the following “status report” is that neither my recent jaunt through the wine worlds of Oz nor the Playboy.com gig are nowhere near the most surreal things that have transpired in my life lately (that honor belongs squarely to Auction Napa Valley)…
Read the rest of this stuff »
I often get asked if/when/how 1WineDude.com will start incorporating spirits and/or beer. For those of you who’ve asked me about that, or have thought about asking me about that, I give you the first two paragraphs of my latest Playboy.com Wined Down entry:
“Question: What would Chuck Norris pour himself a glass of when he wants to relax before retiring for the evening (or before he retires the sun so that he can go to bed)? After a busy day of freeing innocent villagers from a remote drug gang’s Nicaraguan jungle prison camp, when he’s done killing every bad guy in an eight-mile radius with a machine gun, machete and decapitating roundhouse kicks to the face, I mean?
I think I might have found the answer.”
The answer to the Chuck Norris-imbibing question is the current darling of the cocktail scene, a liqueur so aromatically complex that I’m fairly certain it will appeal to a great many wine lovers out there: Chartreuse. Specifically, the ultra bad-ass VEP versions. So those who were wondering when I would ever get around to spirits can now, officially, stop the wondering.
In last week’s Wined Down column, I wax philosophical about this venerable beverage, in the process touching on the topics of tattoos, monks, Charles de Gaulle, Game of Thrones (minus the chainmail), landslides, political intrigue, and Chick Norris. Just another day at the office.
You can check out the entire dilly-yo over at Playboy.com.
So it’s not just you – I really have been popping up all over the place lately.
In what was an odd but fun (there’s a fitting life summary, actually…) stretch for me, I was interviewed several times over the past several days, twice for radio (on WBAL’s The Sipping Point and The Wine Crush with Laura Lawson – embedded below for your listening pleasure, if you consider me rambling about eating insects pleasurable, that is), and my Wined Down column starting running in earnest on Playboy.com.
So if you’re not already sick of me, I thought I’d share some of the video content I’ve been producing for the Wines.com blog.
I’ve had a lot of (odd) fun with that video material, the settings of which have had me interacting with winemakers, 100+ year old vines, and large mountain-dwelling mammals (that last one – understandably – didn’t make the cut for the Wines.com blog, but can still be viewed on their YouTube channel).
Anyway, while I’m dealing with the insane logistics of a rapid turn-around from Colorado to touring a large part of the wine regions spanning Australia (more on that one when I get a chance to poke my on-line head out from Down Undah!), here’s a run-down of the vids I’ve published for them so far, in the hopes that you’ll find some enjoyment out of them (and give me your feedback!):
Wine Crush with Laura Lawson
Actually, it’s not social media and wine that I’m going to be talking about here – it’s social media and engagement. Engagement with actual people who actually spend their actual hard-earned cash for the purpose of drinking actual wine…
It’s taken a while for me to respond to this plea for me to lighten up when it comes to social media’s place in the wine world. The delay is mostly due to me having been on the road, and otherwise waiting for the Universe to present a pertinent example of what I was talking about (it didn’t take long – more on that in a minute or two).
I’m not lightening up. If anything, I think we all should be making more of a fuss over this stuff, not less.
The best responses I can give to any challenge on the power of engagement in the wine world come from my own experiences. So let me talk to wine producers directly here for a minute or two (…or fifty), and share some of those experiences with them. It will sound harsh at times, but that’s because I keep hearing arguments that are the equivalent of telling me that my experiences didn’t happen, and I’m not a psychotic (at least, not yet) so there’s definitely something a bit screwed up here. And most of what I’m saying is not unique – it’s been said by others, I’m just culling many of the points together.
For those that don’t want to wade through the damn-near 1800 words that follow, the bottom line is this: if you are producing wine, and in this day and age you are letting someone like me (or any critic) dictate the majority of your brand message to current and potential customers in online engagement channels (twitter, facebook, etc.), then you need to audition for a Jim Henson Company project, because you’re acting like a Muppet…
Read the rest of this stuff »