Posts Filed Under wine news

Will Bordeaux Be Fine Wine’s Benchmark In 100 Years? (A Candid Conversation With Eric Asimov)

Vinted on March 20, 2012 binned in commentary, interviews, wine news

Ah, Bordeaux… can’t live with its inflated prices… pass the peanuts!

The wine biz has been in a serious tizzy since Robert Parker released his scores for the 2009 Bordeaux offerings – and he was in a generous mood, with damn-near twenty wines garnering “perfect” 100 point scores, including the likes of Bellevue Mondotte, and Clos Fourtet, along with stalwarts such as Le Pin, Petrus, and Montrose. If the hubbub strikes you as much ado about little, you need to bear in mind that the Bordeaux wine market hardly seems able to wipe its own ass without a report on whether or not Parker used two-ply when evacuating.

Apparently, Parker’s website got so much attention when the scores were released that the site crashed (for which Parker apologized to his subscribers). Other long-time Bordeaux critics have been just as effusive (for example: James Suckling hailed 2009 as potentially Bordeaux’s best vintage, ever).

So, if you are under the delusion that the wine world still isn’t Bordeaux-crazy, then you are probably crazy. This is despite Bordeaux’s quality pyramid being almost totally inverted, and is despite the fact that wines from most of the top Bordeaux houses are now priced out the reach of what we would commonly call mortal human beings (I can remember when Chateau Margaux’s second wine, Pavillon Rouge de Chateau Margaux, was an excellent value at around $50 a bottle – the last ten years or so have seen about a 350% increase in that price).

But then again… as The Tick once said, maybe “you’re not going crazy… you’re going SANE in a CRAZY WOLD!” Has Bordeaux out-priced itself, and increased production so much that greed has overtaken good-old-fashioned capitalism? Are we in a Bordeaux backlash?  And will that backlash cause Bordeaux to lose its place as the benchmark for fine wine the world over?

To answer questions such as these, I like to turn to people who are much smarter than I am, and so I rang up the NY Times food and wine writer (and generally nice human) Eric Asimov to pick his noggin on all of this. If you want a cogent, educated, and measured take on the future of all of this Bordeaux madness, read on…

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Do Wine Experts Taste Differently Than You (And Does It Matter)?

Vinted on March 14, 2012 binned in best of, commentary, wine news, wine tasting

I don’t mean here that if you lick a wine expert (something I do not recommend, unless you happen to be Heidi Klum and the wine expert you plan on tasting is me) they taste like chocolate-covered hazelnut while you taste like a dog coming out of the rain.

I mean, are wine experts hard-wired to taste wine in a fundamentally different way than you are, physiologically?

Sound crazy? Well, crazy or not, that’s the conclusion suggested by results published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, from a study performed by John Hayes (assistant professor of food science) and others at (WE ARE!) Penn State. Even NPR jumped in on this action despite the study results not having been repeated yet (see “Most Of Us Just Can’t Taste The Nuances In High-Priced Wines” – not that they’d stoop to using an incendiary title that insinuates the conclusions as unalterable scientific fact or anything gimmicky like that…).

The coverage of the study at PSU.edu is pretty sparse, and open to some rather gaping critical holes, but assuming the results hold up to further scientific scrutiny they will bolster the controversial position taken by Master of Wine Tim Hanni (and others) that individually we perceive wines differently based on a number of factors, some of them physical.

To the tape, quoting Mr. Hayes (emphasis mine):

“While learning plays a role in their expertise and other factors matter, such as how they communicate their thoughts and opinions on wines, some wine experts may have an innate advantage in learning to discern small differences in wine.”

The most interesting thing about this study? For my money, it’s the further implication that reviews from wine experts are actually even less helpful to the general public than previously thought

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Meet Playboy.com’s New Dot Com Wine Dude

Yep. Really.

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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“Proof That Social Media Has Forever Changed The Landscape Of Wine?”

Vinted on February 1, 2012 binned in going pro, wine 2.0, wine news

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.

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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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