I’m crazy excited to tell you that I will soon be authoring a freelance wine column on Playboy.com.
So now you have some legitimacy behind the “I’m just going there for the articles, honey!” excuse (you’re welcome!).
The folks behind Playboy.com reached out to me many moons ago, and the whole thing has been even many more moons in the making, so I’m thrilled to be able to get started – and humbled and honored by the opportunity to work with such an amazing brand. I don’t know how long this gig will last, and the column doesn’t have an official name yet (please shout out your ideas in the comments – I’ve got a feeling those will be very entertaining!), but we have some great ideas for content, which naturally will be exploring the more sensual sides of wine.
Now, I’ve never featured beautiful nude women on 1WineDude.com (though I’ve come close!), but I suppose you could say that there’s a bit of “spiritual alignment” in my writing style and the serious-but-accessible-and-slightly-irreverent take on the subject of wine that Playboy.com was looking for. To me, it’s a bit like Forbes.com bringing on Jeff Lefevre’s smart, analytical writing style, or how the populist, grounded voice of Vinography’s Alder Yarrow fits in so well with JancisRobinson.com. So you can add one more name to the list of home-grown wine bloggers being tapped by long-standing on-line brands.
There are a few things you probably should know about this Playboy.com gig…
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Well… if this isn’t “proof that social media has forever changed the landscape of wine” (their words, not mine), then I’m not really sure what is.
Ok, so it’s not really proof, but it’s hard to deny the traction when someone like me makes the top 20 in a list like this. And #14?? Seriously?!? WTF?!??…
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Imagine this scenario…
You pour yourself a glass from a premium bottle, the aromatic liquid spilling forth with the tell-tale floral and stone fruit aromatics of high-quality Riesling. You take a long whiff, then a sip, swooshing the liquid around in your closed mouth to get all the volatile compounds going, noting the secondary aromas and overall presentation that identify the growing conditions of the vintage from which the grapes were harvested.
Then you pass the glass to your eight-year old daughter, who downs the rest of it unceremoniously.
This scenario can happen, with no ill effects to your pre-teen offspring, and all quite legally, if the juice happens to be from one of the $10 bottles made by the likes of Virginia’s Oakencroft Farm or Oregon’s Draper Valley Vineyard that are offering high-end, vitis vinifera grape juice – as reported earlier this month on USAToday.com.
As in unfermented grape juice. Like Welch’s, only made from vintage-dated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewurztraminer, and the like. Navarro Vineyards has been doing it for decades, in fact.
Why am I mentioning this? Because I’m fascinated by it, for a number of reasons.
First off, if you have too many grapes on your hands this is a brilliant way to put them to potentially profitable good use. And while alcohol is an important element of body and even flavor, this is also potentially an amazing tool for introducing people (and kids!) to different fine wine grape varieties, without the buzz (apparently, keeping the grapes from fermenting is one of the primary challenges in the fine grape juice biz, by the way). And the juices could spice up recipes that otherwise call for wine (Navarro sort of suggests this via their Verjus cookbook).
I’m not sure I’ll ever look at Welch’s quite the same way again (even if it will be to pause momentarily at the refrigerated section of the grocery store to give silent thanks that those Concord grapes never reached fermentation)…