There are ‘wine shops,’ and then there are shops staffed and owned by people who are seriously passionate about vino, and just happen to also sell some of their favorite wines to the public.
Moore Brothers happens to be one of the latter. I was fortunate enough to make a recent trip to one of their stores (the location to remain a secret, lest the PA wine monopoly authorities gain an interest in how I came about the wine from the shop…), where I was greeted by a friendly staff (including fellow blogger David McDuff) who clearly knew their wine. What a refreshing change from the state-run PA monopoly wine stores…
Those of you living in the greater NY/NJ/DE area should make it a point to check out your nearest Moore Bros. store ASAP. I can’t promise you a discount if you drop my name there, but I can promise they will knock your socks off with their deep knowledge of small estate wines from Germany, France, and Italy. Those of you following Dude’s wine reviews in Twitter and in Chateau Petrogasm will have already seen me review some of the wines on offer from Moore Bros. (see my inset pic for an example – sorry, no wire chicken…).
I told the fine folks at Moore Bros. that I’d help spread the word by blogging up one of their pre-selected sample cases. I selected the Courtier Collection, which at $175 (correction – now $200, see David’s comment) is a bargain cornucopia of boutique and smaller-estate wines from the Old World (see inset pic for an overview of what’s in the box).
Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be reviewing these wines in my Twitter wine review feed, and will post the round-up of all the related Twitter reviews here. Those of you following along at home will be able to track the Courtier Collection reviews along the way by checking out http://twitter.com/1WineDudeReview/favorites. Should be a fun ride – hope you’ll jump in the back seat, and enjoy the sips along the way. If anybody out there has had experience with Moore Bros. or their wines, shout ’em out in the comments and we’ll chat!
“Arsenic is edible. Only once.”
So reads the quote at the top of this week’s Food Review Weekly over at HeatEatReview.com. The Dude is featured in the Drinks section thereof. You can check it out here.
The Eats section of the same has a link to a story about Caffeinated potato chips… which seems, well, just too damn odd!
Anyway, hope everyone in blogosphere-land is recovering well from their night of Superbowl watching. Personally, the Dude’s team is the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers, so he took not a small modicum of pleasure in seeing the Pats fall short of winning the big game (but I’ve just got a case of sour grapes, because the venerable Pats have denied my Steelers so many AFC Championship victories in the last several years).
Whenever I’m asked about Wine 2.0, the conversation usually goes something like this:
“Hey Dude – what exactly is Wine 2.0 anyways? Is that, like, some future technology where wine will get instantly zapped into my glass, like on Star Trek? ‘Cause that would, like, seriously rule.”
Uh… not quite. I’ve found this a confusing topic as well, and I’m even a tech-savvy nerd-type. After all, it’s a bit of an amorphous term, but even the casual wine geek will have noticed the term cropping up on the web. It must be important if everyone’s talkin’ about it, right? Some wine blogs even have their own sections devoted to it.
So what is this Wine 2.0 stuff all about?…
Wine 2.0 is basically just the concepts of Web 2.0 applied to the world of wine. And it’s starting to turn that world on its head (er, cork)!
“Power To The People – Right On!”
Wine 2.0 might best be described as “Power to the People.”
Web 2.0 is about the migration of publishing and social network out of the hands of a (relatively) few controlled powers and into the hands of ordinary folks. Think about what blogs, social networking websites (like MySpace), and instant communication /chat tools (like Twitter) have done in recent years: they’ve opened up the world of publishing to literally millions upon millions of people, all sharing ideas, offering opinions, and influencing each other’s decisions.
What we are now seeing in the wine world is that wine reviews, and wine topics in general, are no longer just the territory of a few elite publishers of books, magazines and websites. They are also now part of a huge global community of hundreds of people, interacting in a very big online wine conversation.
Another way to look at it is that any talentless dimwit with a PC, an Internet connection, and an under-developed wine palate can set up an opinionated blog, MySpace page, twitter account, on-line affiliate store, merchandising page, and write & sell media like books online in practically no time at all.
Uh… wait a minute… on second thought, ignore that last paragraph!!!
Anyway, the Wine 2.0 phenomenon is starting to impact winemakers, who are realizing the power shift that is taking place (and are starting to send wines to bloggers for reviews, for example). You can contribute to this influential conversation – by blogging, “twittering,” and generally just visiting and commenting on wine websites that you enjoy. That’s the good news.
The bad news? Wine 2.0 is confusing as hell and the online marketplace is as fragmented as a busted wine bottle. Every marketer and their sister wants in on Wine 2.0 and its huge potential customer base; and because social networking translates into big money, you will find that nearly every Wine 2.0 website has some requirement for you to create an account so that you can share wine reviews with friends.
Kind of like MySpace or Facebook, only drunker.
The trouble is that everyone wants to be the Facebook of Wine 2.0, so all of these websites have their own community. And they don’t talk to the other communities. For example: You wanna buy wine online? There’s Snooth, WineQ (my personal fave, since it operates a bit like Netflix), and WineZap. Wanna share some wine reviews? Well, you’ll need to pick from about a dozen websites, including CellarTracker, Cork’d, Wineography, Vino, GrapeFoot, Wine Commune, OpenBottles, BottleTalk, Vinorati, Adegga… are you going insane yet?
Perhaps someday, someone will smarten up and just create a Facebook widget application that interfaces to one of the better wine sales websites and – voilà – you’ve got your social networking and your wine sales without having to exhaust the poor wine consumer with dozens of different online Wine 2.0 communities.
OK, I gotta go call one of the big wigs at WineQ and offer them my idea for $10K…
In the spirit of all things Wine 2.0-ish, I’ve opened up a second Twitter feed that will feature my “mini” wine reviews (the reviews are mini – the wines are normal size). Stop by and Twitter me up!
Not too long ago (June of 2007, I believe), in what is probably the coolest take on Blogosphere wine reviews since the inception of Wine Blogging Wednesday, Chateau Petrogasm was born.
If you’re at all interested in the visual arts, have even a small semblance of a sense of humor, and enjoy imaginative takes on the varied impressions that wine can have on different palates (& I hope this includes all of you Dude-O-Philes out there!), then you really need to check out the Chateau immediately. Or better yet, subscribe to their feed.
I recently submitted my first humble contribution, which you can check out here (thanks for the post, Ben!).