Since causing a minor sh*t-storm on Facebook a week ago when I lamented publicly about bad wine PR folks wanting me to “guarantee” reviews of their clients’ wine samples (with responses ranging from “cut them some slack, they have a difficult job” to “screw ‘em, they’re all idiots), I’ve gotten to thinking about the whole delicate relationship balance between media and PR, and have come to the following conclusion.
I have two words for 90% of all the winery and wine-brand PR folks with whom I deal on a fairly regular basis: THANK YOU.
Seriously. Thank you. You deserve my thanks because most of you are totally awesome. You are totally awesome because you’ve actually read the long-policy that I have regarding samples, press trips, and the like, you are true professionals in the best senses of the word, and some of you I actually now count among my friends, as in people I’d have a glass of vino with even if you weren’t trying to sell me on your brands. You are awesome because you cultivate a real, honest-to-goodness relationship with me, trying to get me samples that fit what 1WD is really all about and respecting the fact that after the samples are sent there can be no promises of coverage or even of any follow-up on the wines if they’re not reviewed. I know that you’re looking to get your clients’ products in front of eyeballs, you know I am looking fro great content for these virtual pages, and we try to meet in the middle without overstepping each others’ professional boundaries. So… thank you for that!
For the other 10% of the wine PR folks out there – the ones who want me to promise coverage before they will deign to send me a samples (of wines that they’ve already deigned to SPAM me about in press release emails asking me if I want a sample in the first place) – well, I also have two words for you, only those two words rhyme with “Duck Poo” and I don’t want to print them here…
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I’ve been playing around with on-line music-and-cocktails-matching entertainment app Drinkify, and have concluded via completely non-scientific means that it is almost a total failure (at least, when it comes to one pairing in particular).
It’s fun, don’t get me wrong; it’s just that it offers me the booze-pairing “beer” (I use that term loosely) suggestion of Bud Light (!) when I tell it that I’m listening to RUSH – and that, my friends, is a FAILure so epic in size that its scope can only be measured in light years.
While Drinkify might be fun, the pairing of music with imbibing, at least when it comes to wine, isn’t simply a laughing matter: according to a story published on wired.com earlier this month, a recent study (led by Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University), showed some rather scientific evidence that our perception of a wine’s qualities is measurably influenced by whatever music happens to be playing in the background when we drink it.
And I, for one, think that odd bit of news is actually pretty… awesome…
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- 10 Tariquet Classic Ugni Blanc-Colombard (Cotes de Gascogne): The French down this tropical goodness by the truckload; so should you. $9 B- >>find this wine>>
- 09 La Posta Estela Armando Vineyard Bonarda (Mendoza): Big fruits talking loud over soft-spoken spice, who can’t get word in edgewise $17 B- >>find this wine>>
- 11 Frisk Prickly Riesling (Victoria): A pinch of Muscat Gordo makes for more spritzy fun than ought to be legally allowed in 750ml. $11 B- >>find this wine>>
- 10 Ravines Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes): Lime & grapefruit playfully hitting their stride along the wet rocks, & they’re fun to watch. $17 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Selbach Fish Label Riesling Dry (Mosel): Citrus steps backward from prev. vintages & stumbles on its own mineral German soils. $16 B- >>find this wine>>
- NV Lamberti Prosecco (Veneto): This fruity quaffer won’t start a firefight w/ your food, but won’t light a fire in your soul, either. $14 B- >>find this wine>>
- 08 Cobb Diane Cobb Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Oscar-caliber love scene btw bright fruitiness & complex earthiness $78 A- >>find this wine>>
- 02 Laurent-Perrier Brut (Champagne): Van Gogh in a glass- textured & beautifully rendered; give it about 8 more years to really shine $69 A- >>find this wine>>
- NV La Vendemmia Prosecco (Prosecco): Do you like apples? How about I just give you more apple, how do you like them apples, huh?!? $10 C+ >>find this wine>>
- 08 Red Car Syrah (Sonoma County): Juicy berries & peppery, cured bacon apparently aren’t just for breakfast anymore, friends. $45 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 03 Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillion (Hunter Valley): Makes a nutty, oily, refreshingly compelling case for aging Sem from down under. $20 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 Bonny Doon Vineyard Clos de Gilroy Grenache (Central Coast): Violets in her hair, red berries in her hand & leather in her pants. $18 B >>find this wine>>
- 07 Malk Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Yeah, it’s basically a bulldog – but it’s a bulldog with friggin’ best-in-show papers! $72 A- >>find this wine>>
When you are parents to an active, creative, inquisitive, overtly-social, never-seems-to-stop-talking-like-EVER toddler, you don’t mess around when it comes to date night.
You’ve got something along the lines of three hours to enjoy dinner, drink wine and indulge in adult conversation. This is not, therefore, a time for risky experimentation. You do not go for totally unknown quantities – you go for ringers.
Which is precisely what I did this week when (a rather harried and child-care-worn) Dude hit my fave local Italian joint on date night (if you visit, I’ve got three words for you: Cannelonni di Carne!).
Anyway… I tough week of childcare inspired me to double-team my date’s ass, vinously-speaking, pulling two such elegant and downright-gorgeous ringers from the “holy-crap-where-am-I-gonna-put-this-stuff”-sized sample pool – a vintage bubbly direct from the area that started it all, followed by one of the brightest stars of the shining Pinot Noir galaxy that is the Sonoma Coast. Yes, both are flirting with the too-rich-for-my-blood price range, and at least one of them is flirting with where-the-f*ck-can-I-find-a-bottle-of-this-already availability due to its small production, BUT… both are stellar, expressive, beautiful wines, and are well-worth your wine geek time seeking them out. Now, since I’m flirting with stringing-too-many-words-together-with-hyphens territory, let’s get to the real meat on this plate…
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