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Going Pro | 1 Wine Dude - Page 15

Posts Filed Under going pro

Are Wine Critics “Wasting” Points On A Wine’s Color?

Vinted on November 9, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, going pro, wine appreciation

Well… are they?

Some background: Wine critics generally use a 100-point scale when evaluating wines (I know most of you know this, bear with the exposition, people!). I don’t, because I think it implies a level of accuracy in evaluating a moving-target product (that can change within hours in the glass, let alone within years in the bottle) and so I (begrudgingly – hey, you asked for them!) use a “fuzzier” scale to evaluate the wine that I’m fortunate (and, ok, sometimes not-so-fortunate) enough to have cross my lips.

Generally, it’s assumed that many (probably most) wine critics reserve some part of their rating score for a wine’s color. For example, long-time Wine Spectator editor James Suckling once explained via video how he doles out his points when reviewing a wine, in which “things like color get 15 points.”

But is a wine’s color an important enough aspect on which to base 15% or so of one’s critical rating?  According to a (very) informal poll I took recently via twitter and facebook, the answer is probably “No.”

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Crowdsourcing Taste Buds: Project VinoMatch Bets On The Democratized Wine World For Funding, But Is It A Winning Bet?

Vinted on November 2, 2011 binned in commentary, going pro

Fitting squarely into the “Well, Now This Is Interesting” Department (I just made that department up, because it’s my blog and I can do that sort of thing, after all), I recently received a PR-style email about a new wine search engine called VinoMatch.

VinoMatch is not an all-things-wine-related search engine (good thing, too, since it’s likely that nothing can compare to AbleGrape.com in that department – and no, that’s not a new official department here at 1WD, okay?).

No, what’s interesting is that VinoMatch is a search engine that’s meant to connect the average wine consumer with wines that they like based on flavor profile.  I.e., you navigate flavors and styles that you’re looking for, and VinoMatch presents you with wines that fit your criteria – theoretically linking you up with a wine you’re more likely to enjoy than a recommendation based on points from a small number of critics.

I love this idea, because I love the idea of people educating themselves about their own wine preferences and getting to the point where they can make comfortable wine-buying decisions on their own (sh*t, I wrote a short book entirely about how to do that!). But I don’t hold out a ton of hope for VinoMatch – at least, not just yet.

Why not? Well, the details behind answer to that question are even more interesting, I think…

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Are We In The Golden Age Of Wine Writing? (Hint: Not Even Close!)

Vinted on October 26, 2011 binned in book reviews, commentary, going pro

In part of his coverage/promotion of wine blogger Alder Yarrow’s new gig as part of Team Jancis over at JancisRobinson.com, wine blogger Tom Wark rightly points out that it’s almost paradoxically at once significant and also a natural, balladromic bit of evolution to have an established wine personality tap into the blog-o-world when seeking to add more wine writing talent to their publications.

Tom also claimed that “we are living in the Golden Age of Wine Writing and the Golden Age of Wine Writing Talent.”

I read those words during the same period of time that I was making way through a review copy of long-time wine scribe Gerald Asher’s new collection of writings, A Vineyard In My Glass (not literally at the same exact time, of course, I’m not Thomas Jefferson, so I’m not reading eight books simultaneously while also dictating correspondences and cataloging in detail how many of my goats died from frost exposure last Winter while slaking my thirst with Scuppernong , or whatever), and I can tell you that just about every page of Asher’s collection screams out (in a polite, congenial British scream, of course) that Tom is way off base in his claim.  I say this with mad respect for Tom, of course, but…

Sorry, bro. We are not even close to being in a golden age of wine writing talent – unless you extend that Age’s starting point back far enough to include the writings of Asher and Hugh Johnson; because in terms of plying the craft of writing and applying the focused, dedicated talent of it to the world of wine, those two writers have NO modern equal.

If you’re reading this and you haven’t sampled the writings of those two stalwarts, then you need to do so with all speed. If you’re reading this and you fancy yourself a wine writer, I’m willing to bet a case of DRC that you couldn’t go toe-to-toe in terms of writing skills with either one of those gentlemen, even on your best day…

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Going Pro: Asia, By Way Of Paso Robles (Or “Am I a Hypocrite If I Accept A Chinese Wine Junket?”)

Vinted on October 19, 2011 binned in going pro, on the road

This week finds me in

Paso Robles, courtesy of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, presumably because you folks don’t get enough images of beautiful vineyard locations coupled with smarmy captions here on 1WineDude.com, so we need a trip to get you some more, you greedy little things!

I’ll be taking part in what they call a “Lifestyle Media Tour,” the aim of which is to get an “understanding of Paso Robles’ approach to sustainability, experiencing a true sense of place, seeing what the consumer may experience on a visit and meeting the personalities of the region.”  It’s unclear if those personalities include Bugs Bunny, but for some reason I woke up this morning wishing they did (maybe it was the Absinthe…). Oh, and I’ll be visiting (hopefully) more than a few producers of Paso wine, since the region is CA’s third-largest and by many counts its fastest-growing wine area.

Anyway, I’ll be “roughing it” once again in the hopes that the trip will net some interesting stuff to share with all of you (it would suck to take those 6AM flights out to the Left Coast for nuthin’!).

But I’m not here to talk about Paso today, folks.  I’m actually here to talk about China (Abrupt Transitions: 1, Joe: 0)

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