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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 295

Postcard From Germany: A Bike Without Wheels?

Vinted on May 22, 2009 binned in commentary, german wine, on the road
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Personally speaking, I don’t believe in a Hell.  But if there is a hell, I imagine that it would strongly resemble US Airways Flight 703 from Frankfurt Germany to Philadelphia on May 21, 2009, sharing the back of the plane with about fifteen of the most obnoxious German airline passengers ever to assemble in one place for eight and half consecutive hours. 

And by “one place,” I mean directly over seat 36C, where they poured brandy into each other’s plastic cups of Coke-a-Cola and showered the passenger in between them (that’s me) with spittle as they discussed their lives at an ever-increasing volume, all the while leaning heavily on the back of my seat to ensure that I achieved as little sleep as possible.

And so that’s how my press junket to Germany, compliments of Destination Riesling, ended – in stark contrast to the wonderful people that I’d met (both winemakers, hosts, and fellow travelers) the four days prior to my return flight (which I’ve dubbed “Operation Belästigen die Amerikanischen” or “Bother the tiny American”) during which I traveled through Germany’s Rheinhessen, Pfalz, and Mosel winegrowing regions with four members of the press and a guide from the German Wine Institute.

My return trip aside (and even that was so comically bad that I started laughing about it already), I’ve returned Stateside much richer for the experience, in the level of knowledge I’ve gained about the state of German winemaking (much more to come on that in the next few days), the people I’ve met, and the intimate deep-dive tasting I’ve had with Riesling wines (some readers might recall that I picked a Rheinhessen sparkling Riesling Sekt as the #1 most interesting wine I’d tasted in 2008, and which convinced me beyond a doubt that Riesling is the most noble white wine grape variety, period)…

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Aeration Products Smackdown!

Vinted on May 20, 2009 binned in wine products

If you’ve spent more than 0.7 seconds searching the Internet for wine-related products and accessories, you will already no doubt be familiar with aerators, those versatile solutions for modern wine living that promise to mellow and round-out your wine by exposing it to copious amounts of air.  This is supposedly the same as decanting a wine for an extended period of time, but claiming to achieve the results much more quickly (in seconds vs. hours).

Decanting works wonders on many an old fine red wine, and often on less fine younger wines, by increasing the amount of surface area of a wine exposed to air. Air then works its chemical miracles to help release aroma compounds in the wine, essentially speeding up the aging process, which for fine red wine more-or-less follows a curve over time from tight/harsh to yummy to vinegar.

Notice I said “fine red wine” and not “red wine.”  Most wine on the market doesn’t throw sediment as it ages, and is meant for early enjoyment, and rarely needs decanting to soften it up.

Anyway, I had an opportunity to dive into the sample box and come up with two products that claim to aid in aeration.

About time for another wine product smackdown, methinks!

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The Last Word on Wine Media Ethics

Vinted on May 19, 2009 binned in commentary

Hey, wanna talk about ethics in wine media?

Chances are, if you’re in wine media, the answer is “Yes!  Please!”

If you’re not in wine media, I’m willing to bet the answer is “Huh?  Who gives a sh*t?!??”  I suspect that the population breakdown looks something like this:

So, when I title this “Last Word…,” I don’t mean it’s the final statement to end all navel-gazing debates when it comes to the ethics of covering the wine world.  I just mean that it’s the last time I’m going to touch the topic.

I do have a vested interest in all of this ethics-debating, mind you.  I was myself the target of an ethical stone or two thrown last year, and there’s been some damn fine writing lately on what constitutes ethical behavior in the world of wine coverage.  Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I do write about wine.  Sometimes.  When I’m not drinking it, I mean.

I’ve long been an advocate of moving the wine writing ethics discussions off of wine blogs and onto other forums.  Of course, in order to make that argument, I need to dredge up the topic here on my own wine blog.  The irony

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Postcard from Germany: How German Wine Laws Lie

Vinted on May 18, 2009 binned in german wine, on the road

By the time this post is published, I’ll be kicking off the wine touring portion of my German press junket trip, sponsored by the German Wine Institute and the European Union.  If you happen to be a taxpayer in an EU-participating country, I’d like to take this opportunity to think you for letting your government spend your hard-earned Euros to send me back to the beautiful wine regions of Germany.  It’s a bit of a publicity full-court press on the part of the Destination Riesling program, as this trip coincides with Riesling Week 2009, which will see restaurants in major U.S. markets featuring Riesling wines from Germany, Alsace, and Austria.

I’m pretty sure I know how the Destination Riesling program (those are the folks organizing all this flurry of Riesling activity) got my name, but I’m currently completely clueless as to why they selected me as one of the journalists included on this junket.  If it looks like a journalist, acts like a journalist, and smells like a journalist, but it isn’t trained as a journalist and doesn’t make its living as a journalist, is it actually a journalist?

Given the hoopla in the wine world regarding the topic of press freebies in general, I’m looking forward the discussions and debates that my mere presence on this trip might generate (hey, as a blogger, I’m an easy target!).  I’m also excited to see what, if any, coverage comes out of this jaunt for the virtual pages of 1WineDude.com.  It’s very likely that if I do write about the press junket aspects, I will be changing the names of the other attendees (a rare occurrence of prudence on my part!)…

Since posting here may be a bit sporadic in the short-term, I’m lining up some pre-written material for the early part of the week.  Given the junket, it seemed logical to cover German wine in some way today to kick-off the week, and when I think of German wine, one word comes to mind quickly.

Deception

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