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Interviews | 1 Wine Dude - Page 7

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1WineDude Radio: The Maynard James Keenan Interview

Vinted on December 20, 2010 binned in 1WineDude Radio, best of, interviews

In the (second to be recorded but third to be released) installment of my podcast thang, I interview Grammy-winning and platinum-album-selling artist Maynard James Keenan – who most will identify as the front man for TOOL, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle, but wine geeks will also know as the founder and fledgling winemaker of Arizona’s Caduceus Cellars.

Maynard’s entry into the wine world was the focus of the film Blood Into Wine, and my personal take is that he’s onto something in AZ – and is not without talent in the winemaking department.

He’s also not without a sense of dedication, and certainly not afraid of learning things the hard way – that’s an aspect of his personality that comes through crystal clear in the course of this interview.

One could certainly be forgiven, after listening to this podcast, for developing the impression that Maynard is pretty (maybe too?) low-key for a rock star front man; but there’s no way you’re going to think his winemaking career is a superficial attempt to slap his name on a vanity project. If you’re a betting person, you’d best bet that Maynard is in the wine biz for the long haul – and while he may be a famous hard-rock icon, he views his early attempts at winemaking as a passionate and humble beginner.

Having said that… he’s at no shortage of strong opinions about how wine should be made!

Cheers, and enjoy!

1WineDude Radio: The Maynard James Keenan Interview

1WineDude Radio: The James Suckling Interview

Vinted on December 14, 2010 binned in 1WineDude Radio, interviews

Technically, this is actually Episode Three of my podcasts, but they’re running out of order.  Because I feel like it.

Anyway, my strong suspicion is that today’s interview with James Suckling (formerly, of course, from Wine Spectator) is going to generate a lot of discussion.  Like Robert Parker, Suckling is a bit of a polarizing figure in the wine world, mostly because for decades he represented concepts that wine geeks have come to either love or loathe: the assignment of numerical scores to assess a wine’s quality, handed down by either experts with exceptional palates honed by years of tastings, or by ivory-tower-dwelling egomaniacs, depending on your point of view of wine scores.

James braved intermittent cellphone coverage, technical Skype difficulties, and (most dangerously) L.A. traffic to be the next victim interview guest on “1WineDude Radio.”

In our interview, James talks about his new website (which launched last Monday, but will be referenced as still being in the future as we recorded the interview on December 3rd), his view on wine scores (and why he thinks they’re still important), why he left Wine Spectator, how he expects to make a living out on his own in the wine world; he also has some surprising things to say about wine blogs.

No doubt there will be many of you who will think I either wasn’t respectful enough or wasn’t hard-edged enough in this interview (likely depending on your points of view of wine scores). I think what you will find, if you keep an open mind, is that James shows a side of himself in this interview that isn’t evident in his Wine Spectator writings or his film appearances.  As always, my interview approach is centrist; it’s meant to have the person voice their views themselves, in the most human and direct way possible; we can of course explore, debate, and discuss our reactions in the comments – which (as always), I encourage you to do!

Cheers!

1WineDude Radio: The James Suckling Interview

1WineDude Radio: The Tanya Scholes Interview (and possible last-minute holiday gift idea for wine lovers!)

Vinted on December 7, 2010 binned in 1WineDude Radio, interviews, wine books

Today I’m very pleased to announce the launch of an idea that I’ve been contemplating in my noggin’ for a long time, which is to add podcasts to 1WineDude.com for interviews (trust me, no one wants to hear a podcast of me talking to myself).

Author and designer Tanya Scholes braved illness, jet lag, and guinea pig status to become the first victim kind-hearted soul to help me launch this podcast idea, which I’m dubbing “1WineDude Radio” because I lack the inventiveness to come up with a catchier name.

Tanya has just released her first book, The Art And Design Of Contemporary Wine Labels, and it’s a beauty (and one that his been garnering praise recently throughout the wine world), which details the previously hidden stories behind the designs of hundreds of stunning wine labels. Yes, I did receive a review copy (for those of you work in the FTC), but that won’t stop me from recommending this as a potential holiday gift for those of you looking to treat yourselves that special wine-lovin’ someone.

Anyway, in this inaugural podcast episode, Tanya talks about how the book came to be, recalls the reaction she gets to the book from winemakers, instructs me on the correct pronunciation (both English and French-Canadian) of her last name, and contemplates why wine label designers seem overly-preoccupied with cephalopods. You know, just another day at the office!

Also – a few of quick points on this whole podcast thang:

  • I am NOT attempting to usurp radio programs like (the excellent) Wine Biz Radio, who are actually sponsored, on-air programs.
  • I am NOT planning on abandoning the written word (or video).
  • YES, I am throwing this format into the mix to spice things up a little bit, and mostly to provide a means for giving more exposure to (hopefully interesting and thought-provoking) back-and-forth interviewing repartee.

Cheers!

1WineDude Radio Episode 1: The Tanya Scholes Interview


Wine Scores On Trial (The Wine Trials 2011 Robin Goldstein Interview)

Vinted on November 2, 2010 binned in book reviews, interviews

He’s baaaaaaaaaaaack.

Robin Goldstein, who shook the wine world’s foundations in 2008 when he won Wine Spectator’s restaurant Award of Excellence after creating a fictitious restaurant whose wine list included some of their lowest-scoring Italian wines in the past two decades (triggering one of the most heated public debates of the year in the wine world), is back.

With a vengeance.

Not that Robin’s disappeared since my last interview with him (which long-time 1WD readers will recall generated some very compelling debate – some of which, you will come to learn, influenced his latest project): he blogs regularly at BlindTaste.com, helped follow up the 2010 edition of The Wine Trials with The Beer Trials (a similar take on blind tasting ratings, applied to commercial beers), and has co-authored the new release The Wine Trials 2011.

Once again, I greedily devoured the results in my review copy of The Wine Trials, and just as in the 2010 versions, I found the them nothing short of compelling.

For starters, the consumers’ choices (for the most part) are very good bargain wines: take Dona Paula, Aveleda, Hugel, Nobilo, and Sebeka for examples.

Additionally, the blind tasting regimen for the trials (which once again pitted inexpensive wines against similar but much pricier brands) was enhanced with a bit more of the science behind them explained, and the results were similar to those in 2010: non-experts prefer less expensive wines, by a significant statistical margin.

Finally, Robin and his co-authors seem to take an even harder line in The 2011 Wine Trials against the use of point scores by leading wine publications, including taking Wine Spectator to task for how they handled the Award of Excellence kerfuffle in 2008. Whether or not you agree with their stance and their findings, the Wine Trials team at Fearless Critic Media are clearly not interested in backing down anytime soon.

Robin (once again) kindly agreed to talk to me about his controversial new release, and (once again) he has a lot to say about Wine Spectator, the 100 point wine scoring system, and how wine consumers can enhance their own perceptions (and use their own preferences to rally against snobbery in the wine world). Oh, yeah, and he talks RUSH!

Enjoy!…

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