“As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy… me… or everyone else.”
– Max Rockatansky, Mad Max: Fury Road
I think the wine judging world has officially gone batsh*t crazy. More on that in a minute.
As many of you might have already surmised from my recent updates on The Book of Face, my recent press jaunt to Madeira was, from a tasting perspective, extraordinary. So, there will likely be much more info. to come from that trip soon (after I catch up on writing up some Napa shizzle from the fourth quarter of 2015).
Today, however, I am still reeling (in positive ways) from finally getting my hiney to Madeira, and am just dropping a quick line to let you know about two upcoming wine competitions in which I’ll be playing a small part.
First up: the TexSom International Wine Awards, taking place later this month. This is my first judging stint with TIWA, the organizers of which have apparently lost their minds entirely, as evidenced by my inclusion on a judging lineup consisting primarily of baddass wine people with either “MW or “MS” after their names. I know, I don’t get it, either, but I’m excited to check it out and to return to the Dallas/Fort Worth area (despite the spot being overrun with Cowboys fans).
Next, I’ll be returning as a judge to the venerable Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition, this year moved up to March. This will be, I think, my fourth stint with CC, and as always I considered myself blessed to be able to work with such a professional, well-organized, and fun group of organizers, volunteers, and judges. I have been lucky enough now to have judged in a not-insignificant number of wine competitions, and I would easily rank CC as one of the best worldwide; it has become one of my favorite long-weekend work gigs of the year.
I know, I know… that was all way too much positivity for a single 1WD post. In fact, we might have just fulfilled the feel-good quotient here for the entire first quarter…
Later this year, I will have the pleasure of judging at the 2015 edition of the San Francisco International Wine Competition. This will mark my second year as a judge at SFIWC, and is part of my gettin’ busy Summer, during which I’ve somehow amassed a series of competitions, tours, and speaking gigs with little rest between them.
My understanding is that somehow that peripatetic sequence is part of Marvel Studios’ Phase Five plan.
Anyway, I suspect that, while I will enjoy myself at SFIWC immensely, I most likely will not enjoy it quite as immensely as last year, when I had the good fortune of being seated with event host Anthony Dias Blue. Which meant that our table got to judge the best bubbles (by reputation, anyway!) submitted in the competition.
Once can hope, though, right?
Anyway, much more to come on that as events unfold. SFIWC will take place in… San Francisco (duh!) on June 12, 13 and 14.
Recently, at the wine industry über-event VinItaly, a group of PR-savvy wine folk gave a presentation titled “30 Lessons in Wine Communication for Italian Brands.”
One of the slides in that presentation was modeled (with my permission) on a tuff-luv style wine PR post I wrote back in June of 2014. With some modifications, primarily to eliminate the use of the phrase “douchebag” in my original piece.
Anyway, the presentation is lengthy, but excellent, and probably ought to be required study material for anyone trying to sell wine in the modern world marketplace. You can safely ignore the “Italian Brands” portion of the title; this wisdom is applicable to any wine region that wants to make a dent in the U.S. marketplace (or just about any other large, well-established, and tech-heavy wine demographic).
Here’s the description of the VinItaly session:
“Reka Haros, Rebecca Hopkins, Cathy Huyghe, Robert Joseph and Damien Wilson offer insight during a Vinitaly session, into the most effective ways to sell Italian wines, especially, but not only, in the US market. The 30 lessons cover packaging, website design, advertising, PR and social media.”
And here’s the lesson material. School is officially in session, beeeeaaaaatches!