Posts Filed Under wine industry events

Cahors Malbec Days Festival: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Vinted on May 27, 2010 binned in on the road, wine industry events

The International Malbec Days Festival (May 20th-23rd, 2010 in Cahors, France) is now behind us.  Let’s take the Good, Bad and (in some cases, the very) Ugly of the festival, in reverse order:

The Ugly: Event Coordination and “Wines that Smell of Donkey Poop”

Organizing and executing a wine industry event the size of the International Malbec Days Festival, one that lasts several days and brings together well over 150 people from a dozen or so countries, is undoubtedly a Herculean undertaking, and one in which the organizers almost failed miserably.  The 2010 version, at turns, bordered on chaos.

This wasn’t great for the wines, either, as Tannic and high-alcohol Malbecs were served in a meeting space that was easily over 80F, depriving even the best from showing themselves gracefully.  The execution against our schedule was poor enough that it became a distraction, as essential personnel (e.g., those organizing the various groups of participants from hotels to the various events) by and large were given little (and in some cases, no) information needed to do their jobs.  At one point, our bus driver got lost in the 2km distance between the airport and our hotel for the final evening – and he was using a GPS system.

Score one for French logistics – that is, if the purpose is to distract you from being able to adequately work and instead is trying to break your will.  I felt bad for our handlers, who were trying to do an impossible job with almost no help from their superiors (I encouraged them to totally dookie sock their bosses, but they didn’t seem too keen on the idea) .

Speaking of dookie: as for the Ugly when it comes to the wines, a not-insubstantial portion of the Cahors Malbecs on display at the event were quite bretty – and not in a “smells kind of like bacon” charming way; they were bretty in a “did I just step in some donkey poop?” way.  Which leads us to…

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Vinify Winery Collective Exclusive Tasting: Win a Free Pass!

Vinted on May 6, 2010 binned in giveaways, wine industry events

On May 23rd, if you’re going to be in or near Santa Rosa, then you have a chance to taste some awesome juice and maybe even meet uber-rocker, kick-ass bassist and wine brand owner Les Claypool.

All for free, of course, if you win this week’s giveaway!

Here’s the skinny:

Read on for more deats…

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Wine Writers Symposium 2010: The Final Shot

Vinted on April 30, 2010 binned in on the road, wine industry events

This is not just the final shot in terms of my coverage of the event, but literally the event’s “final shot” – below is the group photograph that we took at the conclusion of the 2010 Professional Wine Writers Symposium, with the attendees, speakers, and panel members lined up outside of the conference area at the posh Meadowood resort.

I’m pretty sure that the photo was taken by the uber-talented Steven Rothfeld, which probably explains why it makes a crowd of people that includes disreputables like me, Alfonso Cevola, “Papa” Charlie Olken, Steve Heimoff, and Alder Yarrow look respectable.  Well, that and the majority of attendees and speakers who are all actually respectable.

I’m including it only for my own purposes of completeness and nostalgia, though I hope it provides some interesting “oh, I didn’t know that so-and-so was so tall / short / handsome / hot / not-so-hot” moments.  The who’s-who list is below the group photo.  Click to embiggen…

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