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Going Pro | 1 Wine Dude - Page 24

Posts Filed Under going pro

Going Pro: Workin’ For The Man (In Portugal)

Vinted on February 9, 2011 binned in going pro

There are worse places to be than where I’m camped out this week – Portugal (again, and I feel blessed to be back), where this time I’ll get to spend some time in Reguengos de Monsaraz, Lisbon, as well as getting back to the insanely gorgeous Douro and the lovely city of Porto.

The reason I’m back in this diverse winemaking region is that I’m being hired by a (rather large) Portuguese wine producer – well, technically I’m being hired by their PR agency – to pen posts for their U.S. blog. That blog (of course) will have no affiliation with 1WineDude.com apart from the guy writing the articles (me) and is going to be hosted separately. I actually don’t even have a log-in for the site yet, but the Portuguese approach things in a manner that is… well… let’s just a bit more laid back than what we Type-A, anal-retentive, uptight East Coasters are used to seeing.

Since I’ve been totally transparent since day one on this blog, and within the Going Pro series of articles in particular, I wanted to give you all the skinny on this gig of mine.

Let’s start by telling you that for the duration of my contract with said producer, there are two aspects of the contract that I hold as supremely important in governing how this deal is gonna go down:

  1. I’m not allowed to enter into any similar contracts with any other Portuguese wine producers (makes sense, but let’s just say there isn’t exactly a long line of Portuguese-speaking PR types knocking down my door), and
  2. The producer has agreed not to be mentioned in any context whatsoever (name, reference to wines, etc.) on 1WineDude.com (or my facebook and twitter accounts) for the duration of the contract.

That last condition was mine, and it serves as the “firewall” between what I’ll be doing specifically for their blog and the independent coverage of wine that I provide here…

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1WineDude Radio: Demystifying the Asian Wine Market with Jaime Araujo

Vinted on February 2, 2011 binned in 1WineDude Radio, going pro, interviews

Much has been written on the subject of how Asian markets are affecting the wine world, most of it concentrating on the impact of Hong Kong auctions on the scarce availability and stratospheric prices of high-end Bordeaux (which is to say, making high-end Bordeaux even more scarce with even higher stratospheric prices).

The wine scene in Asia is, of course, a lot deeper, wider and more diverse than the big headlines would lead you to believe – so I invited Terravina founder Jaime Araujo to talk about the Asian wine markets and help demystify what the current trends in Asia will mean for wine producers and wine lovers.

Many of you will recognize Jaime’s last name (her parents own their own scarce and somewhat-stratospherically-priced wine brand in California) but she comes to 1WineDude Radio with her own set of wine industry cred, and has just co-authored an extensive industry report on the Asian wine market with Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee.

I’ve categorized this interview under the Going Pro series because it’s probably going to be most interesting to those ITB… BUT… whether or not you’re in the wine biz, if like me, you have been unable to get your head around the craziness of wine’s impact in Asia (and vice-versa), prepare to have your horizons expanded!

Cheers!

1WineDude Radio: Demystifying the Asian Wine Market with Jaime Araujo

Am I Alone In Thinking That Brett Is A Flaw?

Vinted on January 26, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, going pro, wine review

Ok.  I know I’m not totally alone in thinking that Brett is a flaw.  Or at least I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

Helloooooooooo?  Is anyone out there….???

The minor bought of vinous paranoia has to do with what seems like my inclusion in rarefied company, and I mean that in the “two percent of patients have a severe allergic reaction” sense or rarefied, and not in the “Emmy-award-winning drama for the seventh consecutive year” sense.  You see, sometimes, it feels like I’m part of a group, rather tiny in number, that thinks a certain range of smells – barnyard, band-aid, and (putting it in the most polite context I can muster) “dirty diaper” – aren’t indicative of terroir, or the almost-as-ubiquitous “character.”

Call it the anti-brett clan, maybe?

It’s the group that classifies the presence of brettanomyces (a yeast that imparts aromas of band-aid, barnyard, and sometimes meaty funk to wines) as… well, as a flaw.  No different than the unpleasant, musty odor cork taint, or the rotten-egg stench of sulfer.

Especially since, with increasing frequency, I seem to disagree with both the famous and not-so-famous wine critics and reviewers on how wines should be rated (in terms of recommending them to others) when those wine (to me, at least) very clearly display classic (nasty!) characteristics of brett.

I know that wine appreciation is subjective, and one person’s swill is another person’s prestige cuvee, but do people really enjoy the smell of band-aids and barnyard in their wines?  I sure as hell don’t – and while I enjoy a touch of funk in some of my wines (the kind that smells like Slim Jims, or smoked meat), my prevailing thought for some time has been that brett is actually a wine flaw – yes, even the interesting meaty funkiness that I happen to… well, not like exactly, but not hate, either.

I say this because brett yeasts cannot yet be controlled, and until such time as they can be controlled (so that winemakers can ‘dial-in’ the amount – and type, as there are many brett yeasts and they impart different ‘flavors’ of off-beat funk) then whether or not the wine has pleasant smoked meat characteristics or instead smells like one of my daughter’s diaper blow-outs is almost entirely dictated by chance.

The aspect that has me questioning my sanity in all of this is that other people seem to like those wines – lots of people… and in some cases, they seem to really like them.

Other people like Robert Parker and Stephen Tanzer, for example…

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Going Pro: I Will Drink All Wine Before Its Time

Vinted on January 19, 2011 binned in commentary, going pro

When it comes to tasting wine in a critical context (critical as in “for the purpose of reviewing potential and quality” and not critical as in “life-threateningly-important” – though way, way, way too many people treat it that way), I’m often reminded of the phrase made (in)famous decades ago in wine TV commercials by an aging (and rapidly expanding) Orson Welles.

No, I don’t mean “Mmmmyyyyaaaaaargh…The French!…

I mean “wine before its time.”

The deeper I go into this Going Pro rabbit hole, the more often I find myself tasting a fine wine (several) years before “its time” – what I would consider its optimal drinking age.  It’s something that came to mind while I was reading (and subsequently commenting on) a recent blog post by Wine Enthusiast’s Steve Heimoff, when he mused that it’s a treat for wine reviewers when they actually get an appreciable amount of time to enjoy a wine at leisure (a point with which I agree, and one I can appreciate given that I’ve found myself in similar circumstances recently – though as a general rule I eschew tasting large volumes of wine quickly and, as mentioned before on these virtual pages, I’m not interested in going that route for 1WineDude.com).

So, what is a wine’s optimal drinking age, then?…

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