Posts Filed Under wine appreciation

Certifiably Certifiable (Talking Wine Certifications For SevenFifty Daily)

Vinted on October 18, 2017 binned in learning wine, wine appreciation
SevenFifty Daily’s Guide to Wine Education

image: daily.sevenfifty.com

I was recently asked by my friend Lana Bortolot for a quick interview, to help contribute to a piece she was writing about the value (or lack thereof) of certifications in the wine biz. Lana’s work has subsequently been published in a well-researched and well-considered article, SevenFifty Daily’s Guide to Wine Education.

My dime-store-level philosophizing can be found in the article’s section on the Society of Wine Educators (SWE). I was shocked, in a decidedly pleasant way, at how many of the other sources quoted in Lana’s article that I happen to know personally, have worked with, and/or consider to be friends, which I suppose underscores my comments that Lana quoted in the piece.

It’s kind of difficult to imagine, but there was a time a few years ago when certifications were a bit of a fire-starter topic in the wine blogging community; the value propositions of the programs in general were challenged in general. Over the years, I’ve tended to put up camp squarely in the wine-certs-are-a-good-thing territory, though I’ve often cautioned that not all of them are created equally (Lana hits on what I would consider the most important and widely recognized of the bunch in her article). The TLDR version of my past coverage: certifications are a means to differentiation, which is rarely a bad thing; but do your research, have an “end-game” in mind, and choose your certification path wisely to meet it.

If you’re considering getting your feet wet in the wine certification pool, give the SevenFifity Daily overview a read.

Cheers!

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Cold And Quiet (How To Open Sparkling Wine At PartSelect.com)

Vinted on March 2, 2017 binned in learning wine, wine appreciation
PartsSelect.com Sparkling wine

(image: partselect.com)

I’ve done a lot of fun work with the folks at Fix.com, and they have a couple of sister websites to which they asked me to contribute. My latest for them is available over at their PartSelect.com blog: a primer on how to properly chill and open sparkling wine.

Some of you might be rolling your eyes at this (I’m looking at you Kralik!), but I’ve frankly been aghast at how often I have seen professionals in the wine business f*ck this up. So this isn’t advice just for noobs; I know a lot of people in the biz who need a refresher on this, stat.

Seriously, there’s no excuse for messing up the chilling part, and yet I see this happen at least once at almost every single public wine tasting event that I’ve attend. Part of me wants to grab people by the collar, shake the boots off of them, and scream at them to JUST ADD SOME F*CKING WATER!!!

But, I don’t do that, because I am a man of peace (and because I don’t want to be incarcerated).

Anyway…

In this article, we also get into glassware tips for serving and drinking those bubbles once you do get them nice and cold (which won’t take long if you do it properly) and opened up. The infographic summary is embedded below after the jump. Enjoy (and pleeeeease pass along to someone you know who probably ought to know better)…

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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 Fix.com)

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 Fix.com. Seems you people can’t get enough of that stuff!

I wrote two such pieces for Fix.com: an overview of Off The Beaten Path White Wine Varieties, and a companion piece focusing on red wine grapes. Fix.com 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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