Posts Filed Under wine appreciation

Your Memory Sucks Donkey Bong (Or, “On The Importance Of Tasting Notes”)

Vinted on September 8, 2015 binned in commentary, wine appreciation

Because I am divorcing someone at fault, I have been on the receiving end of revisionist history, even when it seeks to conform to a false, self-serving narrative of cognitive dissonance.

It turns out, however, that revisionism towards an agenda of mollifying cognitive dissonance (“yeah, I did that nasty sh*t, but I am different and it’s ok because…”) is actually one of the core elements of a properly functioning human memory.

As strange as this may sound initially, revisionist memory is the reason why I am always carrying around pen and notebook when tasting wine, my friends, and why I think that any budding wine nerd needs to do the same (or an equivalent) when they are getting serious about appreciating wine (let alone criticizing it). Because if you’re anything like the majority of the human population (and, trust me, you are), then your memory is… well… crap.

Not only is your memory poor at capturing actual details as they happened (this includes about wine), it is an ever-changing, malleable storytelling machine, constantly revising and rewriting history, filling in the blanks between factual details in order to preserve whatever narrative best reduces any dissonance between what actually went down, and your (most likely overly-inflated) internal view of your self…

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Get Your Fix (Off-The-Beaten Path Varieties For

Vinted on November 4, 2014 binned in going pro, wine appreciation

Well, the Global Interweb’s recent fixation with infographics seems to have abated by exactly zero percent.

That’s the primary takeaway I’ve had, anyway, from my recent experience penning a couple of infographic-designed articles for Seems you people can’t get enough of that stuff!

I wrote two such pieces for an overview of Off The Beaten Path White Wine Varieties, and a companion piece focusing on red wine grapes. did a great job bringing the words to image-rich life, and that seems to have resonated with, well, with a lot of people. The white wine version in particular has been popping up all over the Internet, and has apparently become one of the more shared and viewed pieces of content I have yet written.

Maybe I need to start drawing instead of writing?

Anyway, I’m including the large-format infographics of both articles below, for your image-rich-viewing pleasure. Some of you geeks will be tempted to scoff and harrumph (is that a verb?) at what I considered to be “off-the-beaten-path” grapes (“Dude, WTF?!?? Where’s Gouais blanc, you a-hole!!!”), but please keep in mind the context, folks: this was all done for an audience that’s likely drinking the usual wine suspects. Think Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscato, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.

If we get those drinkers even thinking about alternatives like Chenin Blanc, Vermentino, Barbera, and Cabernet Franc then we’re doing good by the wine world in general, and maybe even opening up a few minds to some new and interesting experiences…

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Reader Mailbag: Trying New Wine Is A Pain In The Ass

Vinted on October 9, 2014 binned in best of, commentary, wine appreciation

1WD reader Matt (that’s all your getting, as I don’t have permission to print the person’s full name here) recently wrote to me via an email with a title so intriguing, it sparked the first-ever “reader mailbag” style post on this site in its seven-some-odd-year history:

“Trying New Wine Is A Pain In The Ass”

There’s much juiciness to be squeezed from Matt’s email, so I’ll first reprint it here before addressing Matt’s questions in detail:

“Let me rephrase that… Trying new *quality* wine is a pain in the ass, literally in the wallet. Its all a gamble really and I’d bet that the average person, let alone the active wine drinker wants to bet on a $50 bottle. We are not all in your position where nice wines may be shipped to us for tasting purposes in hopes that you blog about it.

So… My reason for contact is this. Today I read the article, ‘Wine execs are scared of the craft beer and spirits growth.’ You probably read it since its well circulated. Following the gambling terminology, beer and spirits have a relatively low buy-in. If that bet pays off and I like it, then I can opt for the higher price points. Quality wine, on the other hand, does not have this low cost of buy-in. It’s all or nothing and if you get burned once, then you will likely never go all-in on a 50+ bottle again.

I’m curious, do you have any opinions on opportunities of low buy-in options for higher priced wines? The tasting room is the only opportunity I can think of and that is not exactly mass market. When exactly does the average person opt for that $50 bottle cab? marketing fluff? friends advice? impressing the boss? Do wine drinkers randomly buy expensive wines that they have never had before? If not, when are they exposed to them that creates a buying opportunity? I’d love to hear your comments and what your readers may think. I’ve never met a wine I didn’t like… to try. Thanks Joe! Matt.”

Talk about food (or drink?) for thought! And Matt seems to want to hear your responses to all of this as well, so it’s giving us a nice opportunity to argue in the best internecine fashion that is the hallmark of modern wine discourse!

Well, Matt, following are my responses. I hope you don’t mind the delay, I just wanted to share the dialog with a (much) wider audience!…

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