The (Worst-Kept) Secret: How I’m Able To Try Going Pro In The Wine Biz

Vinted on March 30, 2011 binned in going pro

Here’s a snippet of a fictional conversation between me and a wine writer. I use the term “fictional” because it’s not a word-for-word retelling, but (somewhat shockingly) it’s more-or-less a conversation I’ve had with several people in the wine biz in the past few months.

Me: Hey, good to see you again! How are things?

Wine Writer: Goodgoodgood.  Aren’t you quitting your day job?

Me: Yeah, sort of; I’m leaving my IT career late Spring…

WW (cutting me off): How are you making money, exactly?

I’m actually getting sick of these “conversations” (is it really a conversation if the other person only asks you about things that concern them?) – in fact, I might pre-record answers to play back the next time I find myself in one of those; better yet, I’ll get one of those Mr. T talking key-chains and randomly hit the buttons in response to those questions.  That would rock; I imagine it would go something like this:

Wine Writer: Aren’t you quitting your day job?

Me (holding up Mr. T key-chain): Please pose that question to my spokesperson [ presses button on key-chain ].

Mr. T key-chain: QUIT YOUR JIBBA-JABBA, FOOL!

If someone is going to pry into my life’s intimate details, I prefer that they at least ask about me or my family first and pretend to care about me on some personal level (lesson one about the new world of social media: you should actually try to be social).  As most any 1WD reader can tell you, I don’t know exactly how I’m going to be making a living yet – that’s basically what this series of blog posts is chronicling, so everyone will know those details very shortly after I do – but the truth is that I already have the single most important thing needed for chasing dreams (like switching careers or traveling the world):

It’s called Time.

And to get time, I needed to have money. Already

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Blogger Lew Bryson Brings The Smack-Down on PLCB Chair Patrick Stapleton In NPR Interview

Vinted on March 29, 2011 binned in PLCB, wine shipping

Yesterday, NPR.com posted one of the latest Radio Times episodes in which host Marty Moss-Coane interviews PLCB Chair Patrick Stapleton and anti-PLCB Blogger Lew Bryson.  The two face off for a short time, and Lew delivers a bit of a smack-down.  Several callers also mentioned that PA seems to have one of the most bizarre sets of alcohol sales and distribution laws that they’ve ever seen, and challenged several of Stapleton’s assumptions (hats off to ‘em!).  The interview triggered the recently-dormant anti-PLCB genes that I have oozing around in my DNA.

Personally, I was flabbergasted by some of the statements that came out of Stapleton’s mouth during this interview, because they demonstrate what feels like a rather serious lack of respect that the PLCB seems to have for its own customers; customers who, it seems, the PLCB would prefer don’t (or, perhaps, they assume aren’t intelligent enough to) refer to things that might give them a different view on PA wine sales than that being painted by the PLCB.  You know, pesky and irrelevant things, like facts.

My take on some of Stapleton’s statements from the interview are below after the jump, along with the podcast stream of the full NPR episode. I feel a rant coming on… you’ve been warned…

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1WineDude TV Episode 31: Postcard From South America

Vinted on March 28, 2011 binned in 1WineDude TV, on the road

A teaser vid from my recent jaunt to Chile and Argentina, including a polo match at Casa Silva in Chile, Finca Altamira Malbec harvest at Achaval Ferrer in Mendoza, and instruction on the proper (Argentine) methods for preparing Yerba Mate tea at Zuccardi.   Just another day at the office!

Cheers!

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For March 26, 2011

Vinted on March 26, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 09 X Winery Los Carneros Chardonnay (Carneros): That wonderful apricot isn’t totally happy about being served w/ the buttered popcorn $19 B- #
  • 09 X Winery “White X” Winemaker’s Blend (North Coast): 4 white grapes mostly playing nice together but the Albarino gets a lil’ bossy $15 B- #
  • 08 X Winery “Red X” Winemaker’s Blend (North Coast): Diverse band of spicy red & black fruits jam on familiar but cacophonous tune. $15 B- #
  • 09 Pey-Marin “The Shell Mound” Riesling (Marin County): CA style w/ Germanic soul. Slate, melon, citrus, vivacity & heaps of awesome. $26 B+ #
  • 10 Trivento “Amado Sur” Torrontes (Mendoza): Old vine Torrontes? It totally works, with lychee & spices floating on its fleshy bod. $15 B- #
  • 07 Trivento “Golden Reserve” Malbec (Mendoza): That dark cherry, fig & leather are as inviting & warm as your favorite easy chair. $20 B #
  • 09 Trivento Reserve Malbec (Mendoza): Feel it hot hot HOT. And a little too green, a little too herbal but certainly savory. $11 C #
  • 06 Zuccardi “Zeta” (Mendoza): Stately Malbec marries racy Tempranillo in fully elegant, rich, velvety and complex ceremony. $45 B+ #
  • 09 Emma Zuccardi Bonarda (Santa Rosa): Rustic charmer if a bit unfocused; black grapes, blue flowers & probably some good times. $25 B #
  • 09 Zuccardi “Q” Malbec (Mendoza): Black fruit, leather, tar, chocolate & vibrancy. Packs *a lot* of punch for *not* a lot of dough. $19 B #
  • 07 Zuccardi “Q” Tempranillo (Santa Rosa): Dried cherries, leather, tobacco leaf, spices… where the hell is my beef stew, dammit!?? $19 B #
  • 09 Zuccardi “Serie A” Torrontes (Cafayate): Grapey & floral, but the round body will have you forgiving the rougher edges. $14 B- #
  • 09 Leyda “Lot 5” Chardonnay (Leyda): Sexy, w/ a dash of apricot and cinnamon. But she’s got acidic bite too. You’ll want her digits. $27 B+ #
  • 09 Leyda Single Vineyard “Neblina” Riesling (Leyda): The Rheingau in a Hawaiian shirt. Tropical, but the florals went on holiday. $16 B- #
  • 10 Leyda Single Vineyard “Kadun” Sauvignon Gris (Leyda): Think (good, cool climate) Sauv Blanc meets (good, cool climate) Chardonnay. $16 B #
  • 10 Leyda Single Vineyard “Garuma: Sauvignon Blanc Leyda): Lemons, herbs, chili pepper, tropical fruit & an elegant, stunning bargain. $16 B #
  • 08 Lapostolle Clos Apalta (Colchagua): The leather grips your gums like a vice but also ties a tidy belt around all those black plums $80 B+ #
  • 08 Lapostolle “Borobo” (Chile): Tannins like GWAR, but this red blend has enough soft red fruits & violets to compensate. $70 B+ #
  • 09 Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua): Flashy, juicy & well-made Cab seeks hedonists (only) for BBQ steak. $26 B #
  • 09 Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Chardonnay (Casablanca): Peaches & cream on the rocks (mineral rocks, that is) with a twist of lemon. $23 B #
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