Posts Filed Under wine appreciation
IntoWine.com recently (at least I think it was recently, as their posts for reasons unknown to me aren’t dated) ran an interview with SF Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné (long-time readers will recall that roughly a year ago I was on a panel about writing better opinion pieces with Jon and the Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague, both of whom probably still in therapy trying to get over my inclusion; I’m kidding… I think…).
I’m not here today to dissect Jon’s responses (many of which ring true for me, and are worth a read because he’s a very, very intelligent guy), but one answer he gave to the IntoWine folks struck me as a bit odd. To the tape (emphasis is mine):
“The average consumer still feels intimidated by wine and wine-speak. Are publications like the Chronicle partly responsible for the prevalent feeling among consumers that wine is somehow beyond their comprehension?
If we’re going point fingers at the idea that wine is pretentious, let’s start with the spread of overpriced, mass-produced wine sold as an aspirational luxury. I’ll borrow a phrase from a conversation with a fellow writer a few days ago: You write up to your audience, not down. If sportswriters had to explain a two-point conversion every time they mentioned it, we’d all die of boredom. That’s not an excuse to fall into jargon. But there is no shortage of amateur wine criticism out there that doesn’t contribute to the conversation.”
The trouble for me is that I’ve got no idea what conversation Jon is talking about in that response.
It might be that there is a hidden wine conversation, one available only to a Romanée-Conti-sipping secret society of critics with wine review superpowers like UV vision that can detect the exact number of Brett, fruit, and mushroom particles floating around in a glass of Burgundy and determine at a glance if they are at an appropriate level. A secret society that meets in an underground lair at an undisclosed location (guarded by pools of sharks with lazer beams attached to their heads) and through joint nefarious consensus determines what wines will get the really high scores this year.
The bottom line is that this secret society might as well also be made up of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, because the real wine conversation is actually the one that the amateur critics are having. Or, I should say, it’s the thousands of real and virtual “water-cooler” conversations that the amateurs are having every day, all over the world…
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There’s been a good deal of positive reaction to my new contributions to the Wine Quiz section of The Juice newsletter (thanks for that, by the way!), and so I thought it would be fun to run each week’s Juice quiz here on 1WineDude.com, so that
you can complain directly to me that the answers are incorrect for one obscure reason or another we can extend the conversation around each of the quizzes.
The quizzes will appear a week behind those that run in The Juice – otherwise the folks at LocalWineEvents.com would be (quite justifiably!) upset with me.
So… here’s last week’s The Juice Quiz, with the answer
hidden (click the “+” button below to reveal; those reading this through RSS are just gonna have to exercise enough restraint not to scroll down far enough to spoil the fun) [Editor’s note: see comments, we’re turning off this feature in favor of adding a bit more suspense to future quizzes – the answer will appear later in the comments section from here on out!] to help slake your thirst for wine knowledge (the theme for the first several quizzes is my personal fave bubbly action – Champagne).
The Secret History Of Champagne?
Many of you were ringing in the new year with Champagne, but do you know who might have invented sparkling wine, in terms of deliberately trying to make still wines get fizzy? It almost certainly wasn’t Champagne icon Dom Perignon, who likely tried to prevent his still wines from fermenting for a second time in their bottles, thus causing the bubbly action (and exploding a not-insignificant number of those bottles!). According to award-winning wine writer Tom Stevenson, evidence suggests which country may have been the inventors of sparkling wine?
- A. France
- B. Spain
- C. England
- D. Italy
- E. Portugal…
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I’m very happy to tell you that I’ll be providing the weekly wine Quiz in The Juice newsletter, a customizable update on wine events distributed by the venerable LocalWineEvents.com.
The first month’s quizzes will focus on trivia about Champagne, in the hopes that it will help lighten the serious hangover that the stuff gave you during your libation-filled New Year’s Eve celebrations.
I’ve long admired LWE founder & CEO Eric Orange (and not just because he’s a local PA guy!), and was a subscriber to The Juice back when 1WineDude.com was just a twinkle in my Riedel stemware. So I’m excited to be helping him out, and I’m very much looking forward to all the flaming I will get from The Juice readers telling me that my Quiz answers are actually all wrong interacting with The Juice faithful!
If you’re not a subscriber to The Juice, then you’re missing out – it’s one of the best ways to zero-in on wine events happening in your area, or wherever your travels might be taking you during any given week; and the website and newsletter have become invaluable resources on wine happenings for hundreds of thousands of wine geeks across the world. So, go sign up already!
I’ve not finalized the Quiz themes going forward, so if you’ve got great ideas for topics/themes on which to focus for future editions of The Juice, please shout ‘em out!