The Golden Age Of Wine Writing? Sorry, Wrong Question!

Vinted on June 3, 2015 binned in commentary, wine blogging

Almost four (holy crap!) years ago, I wrote on these virtual pages a response (ok, rebuttal) to a claim by the thought-provoking PR maven Tom Wark that we were in a “golden age” of wine writing.

Fast-forward to last week, and we have Tom taking umbrage with a satirical piece by Ron Washam, a.k.a. The Hosemaster of Wine, in which wine writer Karen MacNeil delivers a keynote address to the Wine Bloggers Conference in which she offers the helpful advice that most wine bloggers ought to hang it up: “Your prose is like box wine—a collapsing plastic sack of crap.” Steve Heimoff, formerly of Wine Enthusiast, also got in on the discussion, essentially wondering aloud if wine writing is doomed.

With me so far?

Tom’s rebuttal essentially restates his position from 2011; that we are in a golden age of wine writing, particularly online: “The list of very good writers who are or have started as wine bloggers is long and undeniable.

At first blush (see what I did there?), it would seem that we have moved not one iota in the nearly four years since we first aired this friendly debate across our respective corners of the Global Interwebs. And while that may actually be the case, I am not here to offer a rebuttal to Tom’s rebuttal (despite the fact that, while I love the wine blogging community, I largely agree with Ron’s position and would extend it to include the vast majority of wine writing found in print).

No, I am here to tell you that asking (or debating) if we are in a golden age of wine writing is effectively asking the wrong question

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For June 1, 2015

Vinted on June 1, 2015 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 12 Soho Jagger Pinot Gris (Marlborough): Has the body, the energy, and the swagger; but might be just a touch too full of itself. $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Coffele Ca' Visco Soave Classico (Soave Classico): Both lovely and nutty, which feels like perfect warmer weather sipping company. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Masut Two Barrel Eagle Peak Pinot Noir (Mendocino County): Firing with both barrels from its fully-loaded big flavor shotgun. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Lothian Vineyards Vineyard Selection Chardonnay (Elgin): A toasty, melon-touting Lothario; ornate but not eschewing energy. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Domaine de Cantagrils Picpoul De Pinet (Languedoc): What fun, gulp-able nuttiness is this? Who cares when it's this gulp-able? $10 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Mathis Rose de Grenache (Sonoma Valley): Fresh, fruity, and friendly watermelon meets fresh, fruity, and friendly attitude. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Idella Wines Manchester Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir (Mendocino Ridge): A gentleman's game between sweet red berries & strong spices. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Idella Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Rafael Vineyard (Napa Valley): Sexiness ensues, even if it's not yet ready for those oak trappings $95 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Saveurs du Temps Costieres de Nimes Rose (Rhone): It'd take a cold heart not to be at least a little bit charmed by this one. $17 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Gaia Assyrtiko Wild Ferment (Santorini): Round, perky, assertive, and charmingly delicious, speaking in measured, sure prose. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<



Insert Your Own Minecraft Pun Here (Ornellaia’s 2012 “Enchantment” And Other Releases)

Vinted on May 28, 2015 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, sexy wines, wine review
Ornellaia NYC 2015

High-end Bolgheri, anyone?

If you’re me, when you get an invite to attend a guided tasting of Ornellaia’s 2012 “L’Incanto” release (and some past vintages) with Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja and winemaker Axel Heinz at 620 Loft and Garden in NYC in May, you accept.

Because, well, that’s how you spend a Monday when you’re me, alright? And it’s been a couple of years since I’d had an opportunity to get up close and personal with Ornellaia’s wares.

Also, if you’re me, when they name a wine “L’Incanto” (“the Enchantment”), you expect them to put pixelated references to Minecraft on the label. I am sad to tell you that didn’t happen, my friends. I know, right? C’mon, even first graders know the Minecraft references now (not that those consumers should be Ornellaia’s market…).

Ornellaia NYC 2015 lineupI am not sad to report, however, on the wines that we tasted during that session, most of which were excellent (as you will read in a few moments). I am sad to think that several of you reading this will flame me for liking these wines, though I am quite sure that will happen. Having said that, I incite you to consider the following insight:

Some of Ornellaia’s releases are every bit as high quality (and age-worthy) as high-end Bordeaux reds, yet (while certainly expensive) rarely reach the lofty, scale-K2-with-oxygen-tanks price points of those First and Second Growths.

Just sayin’…

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