Posts Filed Under wine industry events

Win Tickets To The 2012 ZAP Festival In San Fran (And Decide What Zins I Review Next)!

Vinted on December 6, 2011 binned in giveaways, wine industry events

Once again, I’m partnering with the venerable Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) to get tickets to the next ZAP festival into your hands (for free)!

In what will be one of the biggest giveaways ever conducted on 1WD, TWO lucky randomly-chosen readers will each receive four event tickets for some of the ZAP 2012 shindigs in San Francisco (by way of two tickets to two separate ZAP events), meaning that you and new or existing BFF can experience some of ZAP together for twice the vinous fun.

Here’s the deal – each of the two lucky winners in this giveaway will receive the following booty:

You must be 21 or older (and so will your BFF!), and the giveaway covers tickets only (no travel, lodging, massages…). As I’m not (yet?) independently wealthy, rather than transport winners personally from any destination in the world to San Fran. via my sparkling clean white yacht staffed by Swedish swimsuit models, the winning peeps are totally on their own for any travel/expenses. Also, the giveaway is open to U.S. readers only (sorry again, loyal Estonian readers!). As always, if you win, you’re responsible for any taxes, personal expenses, whatnots, etc.

In last year’s giveaway, we generated a ton of great Zinfandel recommendations in the comments. For this year’s giveaway, I thought that we’d do something a little… differentYOU are also going to determine what Zins I review next on 1WineDude.com!

Read the rest of this stuff »

104

 

 

Down With The Gatekeepers, Up With The Long Tail

Vinted on October 5, 2011 binned in going pro, wine industry events

A friend of mine, that talented writer David White, recently gave a speech at the 2011 Nederburg Auction in South Africa.  The title of the talk: “The End of the Gatekeeper: How The Online Revolution is Revolutionizing Wine.”

Forgiving the potential redundancy in the title (a revolution does have to revolutionize something, by definition, at least I think it does but maybe we’ve revolutionized the definitions as well and I missed it), David’s speech (which you can read in its entirety) is chock-full of interesting tidbits regarding the state of the on-line wine world.  And if that speech has a theme, it’s this: gatekeepers are largely wasting their time, especially when it comes to wine.

One of the more interesting tidbits from that speech comes from David’s observation of the current market’s combination of social media and the long-tail of how we search for and eventually consume products…

Read the rest of this stuff »

39

 

 

Not Much Gold In Them Thar Hills (Inside The 2011 Lake County Wine Awards, Part Three)

Vinted on August 16, 2011 binned in on the road, wine industry events, wine review

[ This is part three of a short series covering my tenure as a judge in the 2011 Lake County Wine Competition – for more details, check out Part The First and Part The Second. ]

The Gold Rush in California dried up more-or-less 150 years ago. And the 2011 Lake County Wine Awards results didn’t do much as far as opening the floodgates back up when it comes to CA gold: out of 180+ entries, we awarded eleven gold medals – roughly six percent of the total entries.

While one might not expect a wine competition to result in a large number of gold medals (and one might cast a wary eye on any competition that did dole out a high volume of golds, anyway), I suspect that having a relatively low number generally in this case is a result of two things: 1) the as-yet-unrealized potential of Lake County’s fruit, and 2) the fact that it’s not really practical to decant the big red wines prior to the competition, and so those that need time in the glass to fully develop just didn’t have a totally fair shake to strut their real stuff.

But we shouldn’t ignore the fact that golds were, in fact, handed out – as it turns out, those gold medals were awarded to a pretty interesting cast of vinous characters, each worth discussing in a bit more detail

Read the rest of this stuff »

4

 

 

What I Learned At Summer Wine Judging Camp (Inside The 2011 Lake County Wine Awards, Part One)

Vinted on August 10, 2011 binned in going pro, on the road, wine industry events

A little over a week ago I helped to judge the 2011 Lake County Wine Awards Competition, which was held at Brassfield Estate Winery in the ludicrously-beautiful Clearlake Oaks area.  Over 180 wines carrying the Lake County AVA on their labels were submitted to the competition.

While I’m well-past the “cutting teeth” stage of judging when it comes to wine writing competitions, before the Lake County event I’d never judged wine in that professional of a setting before.  Here’s the quick-take on the LCWA event, in the form of the top five things I learned after taking the judging plunge:

1) Organizing wine writers, critics, winemakers, and wine educators at an event held at a winery is like herding hungry cats with attention-deficit disorders at a tuna processing plant. But somehow Ray Johnson, our panel director, the Lake County Wine Assoc. and Brassfield managed to do it with nary a hiccup. Made props to those peeps.

2) Lake County wines are very good, but not yet quite All-That-And-A-Bag-Of-Chips. I was especially pleasantly surprised by the whites in the competition, and there’s certainly no shortage of tasty wines providing great QPR in Lake County.  But the big reds, the Cabernet flights in particular, were a bit of a let-down after the heights to which my hopes had climbed coming into this competition of Wines With Altitude.  Yes, there are some amazing Cab blends being made there, and a ton of value to be had, but a high number of duds were in there, too – some downright flawed and others just downright dull. There’s serious red wine potential to be capitalized on out in Lake County, I just hope more producers get the lead out on making it happen for the reds.  Speaking of reds…

3) Much like trying to convince people that the word varietal is not a noun, judging big reds poured right out of bottle is an exercise is frustration.  These wines needed time (in some cases, probably several hours in a decanter) to properly show their stuff – pouring the big reds right out of the bottle is not being fair to the producers who entered their wines into the competition.  Yes, I know it’s totally impractical to decant dozens and dozens of wines for hours before a competition – but producers of big, complex red wines need to know that they’re setting themselves up for lower competition scores.

4) Much love, respect and good vibes are due my panel-mates : Randy Caparoso, Deborah Parker Wong, Marc Hinton, Tina Caputo, and Martha Dunne.  You should be checking out the work being done by each of these people, if you’re not already familiar with their writing. The event was divided into two panels, and luck of the draw had me paired up with this group.  I upped my wine tasting IQ by about sixty points just watching these people, all of whom have some tenure on the wine judging circuit, and all of whom were so damn fun that I found myself wishing the event would go on longer than two days.  On the not-at-all-related-to-wine front, it’s just awesome to hang out with people like Deborah (who exudes approachable elegance), and Randy (who has seen just about everything in the wine and food business, and to whom I owe a big-time favor for driving my ass to the Sacramento airport at the crack of dawn… on second though, I bought him dinner so f*ck that, we’re even!).  The whole crew was great, and they also put up gracefully with my disruptive behavior, god bless ‘em.

5) Expect wild inconsistencies in how wines are scored.  I doubt many of you out there haven’t caught on to this already, but just in case: one person’s “No Award” is another person’s Silver Medal.  We all taste differently, and no one at that level of tasting experience is totally right or wrong.  In the end, if you can support the why of your decision, you have the basis for solid discussion and will reach a point where none of you are losing sleep because you didn’t ‘do right’ by a wine you were judging. As Randy put it, “we all respect each other as tasters” (to be fully honest, I’m still kind of blushing from that remark!). And that’s not even getting into how differently the same wines might show across multiple days.  If you ever needed proof positive that wine appreciation is at least partially a subjective art, and/or that no wine critic can ever capture the essence of a wine in a single snapshot judgment, I recommend that you volunteer for the humbling assignment of being a wine competition judge!

Much more to come soon on the process behind the competition, and the wines that took top honors (some of which are probably going to surprise you).  For now, I offer some event pics below (after the jump).

Cheers!

Read the rest of this stuff »

2

 

 

The Fine Print

This site is licensed under Creative Commons. Content may be used for non-commercial use only; no modifications allowed; attribution required in the form of a statement "originally published by 1WineDude" with a link back to the original posting.

Play nice! Code of Ethics and Privacy.

Contact: joe (at) 1winedude (dot) com

Google+

Labels

Vintage

Find