Posts Filed Under wine appreciation

Everything That I Know About Investing (I Learned From Wine)

Vinted on September 23, 2014 binned in commentary, wine appreciation

[ Warning: This post has very little to do about wine. But, it might just help to make you a millionaire. Your mileage may vary. ]

Back in March, when I let the cat out of the bag on my personal financial situation, I got a lot of interesting reactions. Most of them were of the attah-boy! variety, but since that time there’s been no shortage of questions coming to me in private about it.

Most of those are some variation on the theme: “how the f*ck did you do that?!??”

I am here today to tell you everything that I know about investing. Interestingly, I learned the most important aspects of it from tasting wine, though I am not trying to fool anyone that one will lead to the other in any meaningful way.

The bottom line is that after spending some countless hours delving deep into the pits of wine and tasting knowledge, I emerged in nearly the same place where I began, which is to approach the topic humbly, simply, and with a plan that lets me tune out the “noise” of scores or similar attempts at taste-making / gate-keeping that purport to tell me what is “right” or “wrong” to drink. When it comes to personal satisfaction, 90% of what we see in terms of wine coverage is more or less “wine porn.”

And after spending the last two years delving deep into the pots of investing and finance knowledge, I’ve come to the conclusion that successful investing requires almost exactly the same approach: ignore the porn.

Ah, simplicity, thy name is investing!

Here’s the skinny on how (in my somewhat learned opinion) 90% of those reading this can find success and wealth through investing…

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“David, The Wine4.Me App Is Here. Hello Jeanine.”

Vinted on June 6, 2014 binned in wine appreciation, wine news

Those not getting the title reference today need to hang their heads in total shame! No wine for you!!

Anyway… remember, about a year ago, when we talked about the data behind a new wine app, Wine4.me?

Well, I’m pleased to tell you that the Wine4.me app is (finally!) available for download in iTunes.

The full disclosure part of all of this is that I was paid to be one of the expert tasters on the panels that formed the basis of Wine4.me’s data, and I am an ongoing contributor to their consumer-facing blog.  But they’re not paying me to tell you about the app’s release; I’m doing that because I’m genuinely excited to see it go live. Finally.

The bottom line is that while the mobile wine app space is insanely crowded right now, no other wine app out there (that I know of, anyway) is so steeped in data and the scientific method (we already know how I feel about that stuff, right?), so consumer-focused with a for-real value proposition (using that data to significantly increase your chances of finding a similar wine you will enjoy), and actually pops the corks on bottles themselves to get there. There also happen to be some lovely human beings involved in this project, and working with them has been nothing short of a total pleasure (and hey, it’s better we highlight the work of nice people, instead of that of a bunch of douchebags, I suppose)…

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How To Become A Wine (Whatever)

Vinted on May 13, 2014 binned in going pro, wine appreciation

I try (but don’t always manage – I claim SAHD status!) to answer just about every piece of email that gets sent over to 1WD HQ. Usually these messages are of the “I found some older wine in a relative’s basement and I’m not sure what to do with it,” or “what wine should I buy for [ insert occasion here ]” varieties, but lately I’ve been receiving a disproportionate amount of requests asking “how can I become a wine [ taster / certified-type-person / critic / whatever ].” I’m guessing this volume had something to do with me spilling the beans on how I’m now able to pursue my dream job professionally, and a few folks starting to wonder if doing something along similar lines is possible for them, too.

Those latter emails I’ve yet to answer (apologies if one of them is yours!), mostly because the topic is so complex that I’ve had trouble trying to determine where it’d best to begin when writing about it. Really, it’s almost like asking “why drink wine?” – the answers depend on both where you’re starting, and where you want to end up.

So here’s my attempt at answering those too-long-neglected requests, in the hopes that it will be helpful to at least a handful of you lushes intrepid wine-loving folk.

Let’s assume for the sake of simplicity that you’re asking because you want to end up somewhere professional (sommelier / writer / critic / beverage director / whatever) with this, in which case my first inclination is to tell you not to bother…

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Are You Wine Trainable, Or Wine Intelligent?

Vinted on July 23, 2013 binned in wine appreciation, zen wine

My oversized dog, Brunello – so named because he’s big (well over 115 lbs) and Italian (a Cane Corso) – is one of the most trainable dogs I’ve ever owned. 

He’s also dumber than a bag of hammers.

Bruno is sweet, fairly gentle, and learns quickly; don’t get me wrong here, we love the big lug. But as far as being able to exercise independent, intelligent, problem-solving thought, I know furniture that might be able to give him a run for the money.

Contrast that with our previous dog, a fleet-footed (and equally as sweet) weimaraner named Samson. Sam always knew what he wanted, whether it was sneaking from his floor bed into into our cozy (and, presumably, warmer) bed while we were asleep, or “liberating” some of his expensive pet food from one of its metal can prisons on his own (I once came home to an empty pet food can that Sam had opened up like a rose petal, having devoured all of the contents inside without once cutting himself on the remaining bent metal). And he was adept at trying to get it. Want to go outside and join the family while they’re working in the yard? NO problem… I’ll just use my paws to wiggle the door handle and… hey everybody! here I am!!! Let’s run out into the street!!!

Sam, possessing a large volume of independent thought and spirit, always made training a bit of a chore. “Why the f*ck should I do that?” seemed to be his primary reaction to training sessions; “can you just give me the treats already since that seems to be what all this about anyway?” But he could assemble input from his surroundings into the ability to get himself into trouble by going after something that he wanted but knew he wasn’t supposed to have. Now, that isn’t being trainable, but it sure as hell is being intelligent.

Okay, so now those of you who’ve asked for more blog posts about my dog are happy. But what’s this got to do with vino? More than you’d think, actually; you see, the wine biz would happily like you to act a lot more like Bruno than like Sam. And I’m here to tell you why that makes you the wine biz’s figurative “bitch”…

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