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Wine Appreciation | 1 Wine Dude - Page 4

Posts Filed Under wine appreciation

A Visual History Of Champagne (Minus The Death And Dismemberment)

Vinted on December 29, 2011 under wine appreciation

Quite a few of you noticed earlier this week that I not-so-subtly indicated via twitter and Facebook that I was toasting my career transition into the wine world with a certain Brut Rosé sparkler – the genuine article, as it were, from Champagne.

Not too surprising then that I was contacted shortly thereafter (a matter of a few hours, actually) by Charlie Holbert, Digital Marketing Director of Killer Infographics – these are the folks who turn stats into visually arresting web graphic, and their work includes topics such as the history of the iPad, as well those that are a lot less touchy-feely, such as Football Related Deaths and the always popular How To Tell If Your Rock Is A Conflict Diamond (yes, really).

The reason that Charlie Holbert’s contacting me wasn’t surprising is that Killer Infographics has just finished up a project for for wine.com, the topic of which is the history of (and interesting facts about) Champagne. Fortunately, they left out stats on sabering-related deaths and dismemberments (in this version, anyway).

I was invited to share the Champagne Infographic below, which I have because a) it’s a great run-down of how tightly-woven Champagne is the culture of our modern world, b) I find it amazing that a graphic this lengthy (nearly 7000 pixels) can retain one’s focus and interest for as long as it does (maybe I need to “go graphic” on all my long-ass posts from now on instead of my usual droning sentences…), and c) most of you have Champagne on the brain because of New Year’s Eve (or you *will* have it in your brain, pounding away at you on January 1st…). Killer Infographics left out the part about the evidence suggesting that the Brits actually invented sparkling wine (see Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia for more on that), in terms of deliberately introducing secondary fermentation in bottle specifically to engender bubbles – something which good ol’ Dom Perignon almost certainly tried to arrest (they did leave that last part in, bless their bubbly hearts), and something that I’m sure doesn’t sit well with most of the French (they still make the world’s best sparklers… though to be fair the Brits – yes, the Brits – are starting to come into their own with world-class bubblies), but something that probably sits better with everybody than reading about Football related deaths.

For the bloodthirsty few who are clamoring for bubbly facts as well as the death and dismemberment, the infographic does make several references to world wars, the Great Depression, and deathbed quotes. Just sayin’.

Anyway… you can see the full graphic below after the jump. Enjoy…

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Are Wine Critics “Wasting” Points On A Wine’s Color?

Vinted on November 9, 2011 under best of, commentary, going pro, wine appreciation

Well… are they?

Some background: Wine critics generally use a 100-point scale when evaluating wines (I know most of you know this, bear with the exposition, people!). I don’t, because I think it implies a level of accuracy in evaluating a moving-target product (that can change within hours in the glass, let alone within years in the bottle) and so I (begrudgingly – hey, you asked for them!) use a “fuzzier” scale to evaluate the wine that I’m fortunate (and, ok, sometimes not-so-fortunate) enough to have cross my lips.

Generally, it’s assumed that many (probably most) wine critics reserve some part of their rating score for a wine’s color. For example, long-time Wine Spectator editor James Suckling once explained via video how he doles out his points when reviewing a wine, in which “things like color get 15 points.”

But is a wine’s color an important enough aspect on which to base 15% or so of one’s critical rating?  According to a (very) informal poll I took recently via twitter and facebook, the answer is probably “No.”

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Are You Drinking Wine, Or Just Squashing Grapes?

Vinted on September 21, 2011 under commentary, going pro, wine appreciation, wine tasting

Today we will speak of current NFL coaches, former baseball catching stars, and Jedi Master Yoda.  And wine – almost forgot about the wine…

See, I’ve been getting a little bit of flak over how publicly I’ve worn my NFL team allegiance colors on 1WD. And so, true to form, I’m going to go deeper into that forest today. Because at heart, I am a stinker.

For days now I’ve been rubbing the almost-scabbed-over wounds of the Steelers dismal showing of a season opener against the hard-hitting Baltimore Ravens, because part of the healing process for sports fans after such a loss is wallowing in your pain and misery as long as reasonably possible, taking in as much about the heart-wrenching as you can, before letting it all (ok, most of it) go. Real fans know what I am talking about here – sure, the Steelers romping all over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday salved the aching a bit, but c’mon – it was the Seahawks.

And so it was in that wallowing-mode capacity that I came across this little ditty of a quote by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, when asked about the dreadful day one loss:

“I think the people that know and compete in this league understand that there is a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes. Obviously, last weekend we were grape-squashers.”

Ah, the sanctimonious pleasure of shared pain! Tomlin’s it-makes-sense-until-you-reread-it, Yogi-Berra-worthy reference to vino got me thinking about the difference between drinking wine – really drinking it and appreciating it, I mean – and throwing it down our gullets the same way we in the U.S. do with most of our food; which is to say, devouring it so quickly that it looks as if we’re worried someone will come along and snatch up our plates if we don’t clean them off within 4.2 nanoseconds…

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Why Every Wine Lover Should Have A Wine Blog

Vinted on August 8, 2011 under best of, commentary, wine appreciation, wine blogging

If you love wine, you can do something that costs $0.00 and almost certainly will up your wine appreciation and wine tasting I.Q. score varios puntos. Namely, start a wine blog.

Right now.  It will take you less than ten minutes.  Go to wordpress.com and create a blog, and your first post can be as simple as “hey, I really think I dig wine, and I want to talk about it.”

You shouldn’t expect anyone to read it yet, but that’s not the point.  The point is to journal your own personal journey with wine.

I can feel the collective groan of WineSpectator.com forum members, other wine bloggers, and print media at the suggestion that every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and Bacchus start churning out their own personal impressions on the wines that they try and how it affects their lives.

And I’m here today to tell those people to go shove it.

Start a wine blog, and piss all of them off.  Do it because it will help you learn about wine, because it will help you share some of your wine experiences with your friends, because it will encourage you to taste more and more wine and get to know your own wine preferences better.

But most of all, do it because it’s good for the wine industry if you start blogging about wine, because the positives of every additional ounce added to the volume of the current wine media sea change far, far outweigh the potential negatives. More on that in a minute.

You will hear from many that you shouldn’t, of course, for a large variety of reasons. So let’s just call bullsh*t on just about every one of the reasons right now…

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