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Going Pro | 1 Wine Dude - Page 20

Posts Filed Under going pro

We’re Number… Sixteen! (Thoughts On Decanter’s 2011 Wine Power List)

Vinted on June 8, 2011 binned in commentary, going pro, wine news

In a move that seems to be a big deal (especially to its publisher!), last week Decanter unveiled the 2011 version of their bi-annual Power List of the wine world’s most influential people.  The biggest news, it appears, is that Richard Sands, the chairman of über-wine-brand-consolidation company Costellation Brands, no longer occupies the top slot – that now belongs to Pernod Ricard’s chief executive Pierre Pringuet.  EGADS! I know I’m gonna be losing sleep over that one for some time.  Ok, probably not.

Far more interesting (to me), however, is the inclusion in their top twenty of the now-ubiquitous and fuzzily-conceived idea of the Wine Blogger:

Finally, making a first appearance at number 16 is a character whose influence has grown exponentially over the last two years: the Amateur Wine Blogger. ‘As social media continues its relentless online spread, everyone is now a critic,’ Decanter says.

By the way, I use the term “fuzzily-conceived” with respect to wine blogging because just about anyone who is anyone in the wine world is blogging now anyway (props are certainly due to Decanter for recognizing the dispersed-but-powerful influence of the citizen bloggers – which is fun to say, by the way… “Hail! Fellow Citizen Blogger!  We’re Number Sixteen!  How fares Scandinavia?”).  So can we really – or even should we – differentiate blogging as somehow the outside-looking-in of wine media anymore?…

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Who Has The Most Influence On The Wines That We Buy?

Vinted on June 1, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, going pro, wine appreciation, wine buying

Several days ago, a lively discussion took place here in the comments on a post (okay, “rant”) that challenged wineries in emerging wine regions to focus on fewer, higher-quality bottlings, and not to pawn off poorly-made (or not-quite-ready-for-prime-time experimental) wines onto customers at their tasting rooms (a scenario which I’ve experienced first-hand).

In those comments, frequent-visitor and formidable-wine-blogger-in-his-own-right Thomas Pellechia raised a couple of fascinating related questions, about which he, in turn, challenged me to write:

“…is there or should there be a relationship between what the wine ‘press’ prefers and what the wine ‘tourists’ buy? And who’s got the upper hand when it comes to establishing the success of a winery?”

Put another way, if critics say a wine really sucks, how relative of a measure is it?  Do people act on that assessment when it comes to buying wine?  And if they do, should they?  Could a winery still manage to pawn off its crappy stuff to newbie consumers in the tasting room, even if critics pan the bejeezus out of it?

Not easy questions to tackle.  In fact, they’re like trying to tackle Jerome Bettis in his heyday.  If I’d have had any clue just how deep a rabbit hole I’d be diving into after promising Thom I’d take on the topic, I would have told him (politely) to get bent and stop leaving such profound comments on my blog.

And this rabbit hole goes pretty deep, boy.  What I found in my quick-and-dirty investigation reveals a lot about how we buy wine, calls into question the future relevance of wine criticism generally (including my own modest contribution to that sphere), and tells us why it still might be possible for wineries to close many a tasting room sale on their crappiest offerings.

So take the red pill, if you dare, and I’ll show you just how deep the rabbit-hole goes…

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Sedimental Journeys, Touchscreen Style (The Wine Mag Hits The iPad)

Vinted on May 25, 2011 binned in going pro, wine 2.0, wine publications

Nomad Editions Uncorked might not be the first iPad-designed electronic wine magazine to hit the virtual iStore shelves (that distinction belongs to the relatively-expensive-when-it-comes-to-these-things $4-a-pop publication By The Grape, whose first issue seems obsessively preoccupied with Jancis Robinson), but as far as I’m aware it’s the first one to mention dog’s sniffing each other’s butts.

I contributed an article to Uncorked’s “Sedimental Journies” section for the May 6, 2011 preview issue of Uncorked, titled “Sippin’ And Sniffin’ With Fido (Wine tips from a true connoisseur: your mutt)” which you can now check out for free (I didn’t write that title, by the way – you can tell because it doesn’t explicitly mention doggie butt-sniffing).  You can subscribe via iTunes for $0.99 a month, which seems a reasonable price to me (but hey, look who’s talking, I don’t even own an iPad).  I think what’s supposed to happen now is that you read the article, then write to the editor to tell him how talented and good-looking I am (and we’re both comfortable enough with each other that we can lie that way, right?)…

The publication of Uncorked comes at a timely moment for me, since I am currently in the processes of rehabilitating Brunello, our recently-rescued, ridiculously-oversized, pitifully-anxious Cane Corso / Doberman mix.  Rather, I’m in the process of watching in awe as my wife rehabs Bruno.  Anyway, for those of you playing along at home, things on the rehab front are going… well, okay

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

Vinted on May 18, 2011 binned in 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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