Get Yer Vote On! (Pick The Winners For The 2011 Wine Blog Awards)

Vinted on June 24, 2011 binned in wine bloggers conference, wine blogging

The judges hath spoken, and the list of finalists are IN for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards!

I’ll skip the preamble about the awards and their background, since you can read all about that at the WBA website, and last time I checked all of you could read.  The important thing is that the 2011 WBAs are now in their public voting period (sounds serious, doesn’t it? like the stages of a parasitic infection or something…), which will run through this Monday (June 27), with winners being announced on July 23, 2011 at the North American Wine Bloggers Conference.

Which means that YOU can rawk the vote and help decide who is “WINNING” (wine-ing?) in the blog-o-world! Get yer wine bloggin’ vote on at is included this year as a finalist in the Best Overall Wine Blog category.  It happens to be up against some (very) stiff competition, which I suppose is the highest  form of compliment that could be paid to a lil’ ol’ blog like mine: PR maven and wine shipping good-fighter Tom Wark’s Fermentation, my wine blogging consigliere & writer Jeff Lefevere’s Good Grape, über-reviewer Richard Jennings’ RJ on Wine, and the personal blog of Wine Enthusiast’s Steve Heimoff.  Great sites all, though the lineup certainly screams “single-contributor white guy club” this year.

Now this is supposed to be the part where I tell you how humbling it is to be named a finalist.  And it is genuinely humbling.  But I’m not gonna tell you that I don’t enjoy winning as much as the next guy/gal/hermaphrodite, because I do, and I have a (playfully) competitive streak, so saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to win the award again would be disingenuous.  BUT…

As corny as it sounds I am honestly quite jazzed just at being named a finalist, because while I’ve been told by others that the nomination felt like a “given,” I can assure you that there’s been far more change “under the covers” at 1WD than one might guess from a quick naked-eye glance across these virtual pages, and it certainly never felt like a “given” to me

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Joe Vs. The 100-Point Wine (Thoughts On The 2006 Cardinale Cab And The Yoke Of “Blind Collection Mode”)

Vinted on June 23, 2011 binned in California wine, kick-ass wines, wine review

Imagine a a narrow, unevenly lit, and thoroughly cramped comic book shop near the Delaware / Pennsylvania state borders, inside of which we find a short, lanky kid in a blue-and-white 3/4-sleeve t-shirt fresh from rummaging through the bargain-bin boxes.  He’s holding up two “B-grade” comic books – one in each hand, suspended like some kind of very odd but colorfully shrink-wrapped leaves suspended from opposite branches of a geek tree.

“Excuse me… I have a question… which of these comics will be worth more in a few years?”

The (ok, admittedly bearded, large, and in appearance at least completely-fitting-the-cliché) comic shop owner stops what he’s doing, gives the kid a sideways glance, then slides his chair closer and leans over the shop counter. He looks the kid squarely in the eye in a rather… serious way, and answers him.

“A better question,” he says in a voice filled with much more kindness and understanding than would be belied in his stare, “would be ‘which one of these comics would give me more enjoyment.’”

The name of the comic shop and its owner are lost somewhere in my memory (or more likely were stored in brain cells long-since destroyed by alcohol consumption). The kid, of course, was me – many, many (many) moons ago.  And that comic shop visit was just about the last time I can remember finding myself in the throes of what I like to call “blind collection mode” – a mode of “appreciation” in which far too many wine aficionados would likely find themselves today, if only they’d take the personal blinders off long enough to realize it.

BCM isn’t caused by wine scores, but it is enabled by them. Because once you put a numerical value on a product or experience, you’re inviting a comparison of worth – and people will define the “worth” part in various ways, even to the point of absurdity…

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Social Media As Wine Retail Sales Weapon? (“Wine Marketing In The Digital Age” Post-Panel Musings)

Vinted on June 22, 2011 binned in going pro, wine 2.0

Can social media be used as tool to drive sales for wine retailers, distributors, and importers?

Yes, I’m seriously asking that question.  Stop laughing, okay?

Despite the fact that even well-attended and publicized retail events don’t seem to be moving umpteen cases of wine, the consensus answer seems to be “Yes – with caveats,” based on a panel discussion I took part in recently in New York.

The title of the thirty-minute sessions was Wine Marketing in the Digital Age – I shared the table with with Jody Rones from (a daily email marketing blast with a ridiculous number of subscribers), Lindsey Johnson from wine PR mavens Lush Life Productions, and Gregory Dal Piaz of (Editor in Chief for the one of the largest wine websites in the world – he chaired the session).  The panel was part of a sponsored event by Wines of Chile, who concurrently put on a pretty kick-ass grand tasting of something like 300 Chilean wines, of which I had time to taste about twelve before having to hoof it to Penn Station to catch a train back to the ol’ dancin’ waters of Philly.

Thirty minutes isn’t a lot of time to cover such a potentially diverse and broad topic, but it won’t surprise 1WD readers that I said “screw it, I’ll try it anyway!”…

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