Wine Blog Awards 2011: Nominate For Good Karma

Vinted on May 27, 2011 binned in wine blogging, wine industry events

Ok, I cannot, as the title suggests, guarantee the receipt of good karma if you participate in the nomination process for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards.  As I understand those things, only Deepak Chopra has the power to do that.  But nominating might make you feel good, both in terms of having your voice heard and in supporting your fave on-line wine writers.

2011 marks the 5th year of the awards, and while they’ve grown-up quite a bit, the overall power-to-the-people process has remained fairly consistent: you (yes, that’s you) go to and nominate which wine blogs you’d like to see considered as finalists in each of eight categories (Best Wine Blog Graphics, Photography, & Presentation; Best Industry/Business Wine Blog; Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog; Best Single Subject Wine Blog; Best Winery Blog; Best Writing On a Wine Blog; Best New Wine Blog; and Best Overall Wine Blog).  Judges will vet the nominations and announce a list of finalists in each category on or about June 20, after which the public can vote to determine the winners.

I had the honor and quite humbling experience of winning the award in the Best Overall Wine Blog category last year, so I feel a sort of ambassador-like obligation to return the good karma and encourage you to nominate your fave wine blogs today (nominations close May 31, so hurry the hell up already!).  Somebody get Deepak on the phone please, I’m having a moment here, people!

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Is Great Malbec Born, Or Made? (Taste Testing – And Being Tested – At Argentina’s Familia Zuccardi)

Vinted on May 26, 2011 binned in on the road, overachiever wines

Visit Familia Zuccardi, in the Maipú region of Mendoza in Argentina, and any (or all) of three things are likely to happen:

  1. You get stuffed like a veal calf, mostly on splayed goat, beef, and half-a-dozen different preparations of sausages, all done up Argentine Barbeque style.
  2. You fall somewhat under the kind-old-uncle spell of Director José Alberto Zuccardi, or are simply worn down by his seemingly endless wellspring of good cheer and all-around positive vibes.
  3. You realize that there’s good reason why books like Opus Vino call Zuccardi’s “Q” line “the portfolio stand-out.”  If you’re not too stuffed on splayed goat and sausage to pay attention, that is.

Also, you might get tested on your Malbec blending skills (more info. on that – and on whether or not I passed – after the jump).

Despite a 2 million case / year production, Zuccardi still lives up to the “Familia” tag, particularly when they’re stuffing you at lunch and educating you on the proper method of sharing Yerba Mate tea Argentina style. And it’s still a family-run outfit: José’s father planted their first vines in 1963, mostly to show off an alternative use for the construction irrigation system he designed, but he “fell in love with winemaking” (funny how that happens), as José explained it to me (José’s been on board since `76, and his children are now involved in various aspects of the business).

Family ties do not a great wine guarantee, however.  Defining Zuccardi’s “Q” as a “great” Malbec is, of course, a debatable matter, but after tasting through a not-insubstantial amount of Malbecs during my March jaunt through South America, let’s just say that I’m pretty confident telling you that it’s unlikely the “Q” would be considered anything other than at least “damn good” even by those who find Argentina’s signature dark Malbec wines to be a bit too… brutish for their personal tastes.

To understand what I mean by that, I need to take you behind the scenes at Zuccardi, where I got a crash-course (before the barbeque-stuffing) in whether or not Malbec really can show terroir…

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Sedimental Journeys, Touchscreen Style (The Wine Mag Hits The iPad)

Vinted on May 25, 2011 binned in going pro, wine 2.0, wine publications


Nomad Editions Uncorked might not be the first iPad-designed electronic wine magazine to hit the virtual iStore shelves (that distinction belongs to the relatively-expensive-when-it-comes-to-these-things $4-a-pop publication By The Grape, whose first issue seems obsessively preoccupied with Jancis Robinson), but as far as I’m aware it’s the first one to mention dog’s sniffing each other’s butts.

I contributed an article to Uncorked’s “Sedimental Journies” section for the May 6, 2011 preview issue of Uncorked, titled “Sippin’ And Sniffin’ With Fido (Wine tips from a true connoisseur: your mutt)” which you can now check out for free (I didn’t write that title, by the way – you can tell because it doesn’t explicitly mention doggie butt-sniffing).  You can subscribe via iTunes for $0.99 a month, which seems a reasonable price to me (but hey, look who’s talking, I don’t even own an iPad).  I think what’s supposed to happen now is that you read the article, then write to the editor to tell him how talented and good-looking I am (and we’re both comfortable enough with each other that we can lie that way, right?)…

The publication of Uncorked comes at a timely moment for me, since I am currently in the processes of helping to rehabilitate Brunello, our recently-rescued, ridiculously-oversized, pitifully-anxious Cane Corso / Doberman mix. Anyway, for those of you playing along at home, things on the rehab front are going… well, okay

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