When you’re dealing with the wine biz on a consistent basis, there’s one thing you get to see a whole lot of (besides wine, Styrofoam, and cardboard, I mean):
Stainless steel tanks.
Everybody who produces wine wants to show you their steel tanks. Wine people are obsessed with their steel tanks; they basically have total hard-ons for their steel tanks. There might actually be a support group for wine industry folk who have steel tank fetishes… I’m not sure, but I’m also not in any hurry to research that one. Anyway, they don’t just want to show you their steel tanks, they want to talk at length about their steel tanks – their capacity, how many they have, how big they are, and how they use them in special, careful, meticulous ways for separate vinifications of Wine X versus Wine Y. They want you to really understand their steel tanks. They want you to love their steel tanks.
The trouble with all this steel tank love is that there are only really two kinds of people that actually give a rat’s ass at all about steel tanks:
1) Wine producers who use steel tanks, and 2) Companies that manufacture steel tanks.
I’ve yet to meet anyone (anyone!) else in the Universe that cares about steel tanks – including me, and (very, very likely) including you who are reading me talking about the wine biz’s hard-on for steel tanks.
So when you find yourself in a situation where steel tanks are actually, truly, 100%-certified cool – like when they’re hidden in the bowels of churches from the Middle Ages in Chianti’s Volpaia, for example – well, let’s just say you get real interested, real fast. Which is exactly what happened to me a couple of weeks ago as I whiled away my time under the Tuscan sun in the heart of Italy’s ancient, beautiful and storied Chianti Classico region…
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Just in case you’re not sick of me yet (you are reading this, right Mom?), 1WD has cropped up in the Global Interwebs in two interesting extra-curriculars in the past few weeks.
The first is in in the form of an interview I did for The Urban Grocer (don’t ask me, I’m not sure why these people wanted to interview me, either), in which they called me a “Robin Hood of sorts in the exclusive world of vineyards and corkings and oaky undertones” – presumably a reference to my penchant for wearing green tights, which otherwise I was under the impression that no one knew about. More interestingly, I think, is that TUG is now a series on the Cooking Channel, so I’ll be able to say “ah, I knew her way back when!” after Caitlin Zaino is totally famous.
BUT… even more interesting (to me, at least) is the other recent 1WD mention, Tipping Point Labs co-founder Drew Davis’ thoughtful treatise on short-form wine reviews; there’s some seriously tasty meat on the bone at which to pick in that one…
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In this episode, I take a break from my busy schedule of eating, napping and playing Infinity Blade during my Tuscany vacation to field test a sample of the VinniBag, a unique inflatable travel bag meant to protect wine bottle from damage and temperature fluctuations.
How did my Tuscan Vin Santo fare in the VinniBag after being left out in the car in Chianti and Volterra, getting dragged in my luggage through the bumpy streets of Siena, and then subjected to multiple British Airways flights and the formidable Terminal 5 in London Heathrow airport? Watch the vid to find out!
Apologies in advance for the low volume during the first part of the vid (screw it, I was on vacation!) and for the jumpiness in the second stanza (the 100+ lb dog was trying to play a bit too friskily with the camerawoman at the time…).