Wines of the Week: Paul Dolan T.A.S.T.E-ing Edition

Vinted on November 5, 2010 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, overachiever wines, wine review

Ok, technically they were wines from last week.  So sue me.

[Editor’s note: please do NOT actually sue me.]

Last week, I had another run-in with those tiny T.A.S.T.E. 50ml bottles, taking part in an on-line UStream live tasting with winemaker Paul Dolan, going through the majority of his portfolio.  Paul has the advantage of exuding a calm and commanding presence even over a tiny video window (I credit his kick-ass mustache), and he also happens to make some compelling wines.

Those wines happen to be made from biodynamic grapes, which is a veritable conversation powder-keg when thrown into any gathering of two or more wine lovers these days.  And we all know what I think about BioD, which is that I don’t know what to think about it yet.

I’ll admit, whenever Paul got to talking about BioD during the tasting, I found myself wondering if I should go looking for some weed and a bong to put my mind in the proper perspective, you know, to really understand what he was on about, man!

The BioD conversation did yield this fantastic tweet during our tasting, though:

“@PaulDolanWine: Some call it voodoo, we like to call Biodynamics Moo-Do.”

That is just sooooo good…

Anyway, while I found the whites a bit to rough-around-the-edges, the reds from Paul Dolan for the most part were very, very good, and in at lest one case offered what I felt was a downright amazing bargain…

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Yes, I Went All Cartoon On You (New Digs at 1WD)

Vinted on November 4, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog

What can I say, the ladies dig cartoon versions of bloggers, okay?

In all seriousness, I wanted a cleaner, more open, more inviting, bit more up-to-date and, dare-I-say professional design for 1WineDude.com, and the result is what you see before you.  Unless you’re reading via your RSS reader in which case I have a special message for you*.

* – Get yer ass over to the site for once!

The good news is that the world is no longer subjected to my photo in the blog header, which has been replaced by the cartoon dude. Toon Dude has more hair than I do (and it should be a bit more gray, now that I think about it) but believe it or not he is the ugly-ized version (I told the designer to take the first draft, which looked like Brad Pitt, and put him into a cartoon bar fight, so that the results would more accurately reflect my real looks, which are decidedly NOT Brad-Pitt-ish).

A huge shout-out to JudithShakes Designs for the stellar work and the painless upgrade, which went so smoothly that I was actually responding to blog comments uninterrupted while the site was being changed. In case you were wondering, I got turned onto JudithShakes after seeing that they did the work on the recent update to www.redheadwriting.com (a worthwhile read on any day, though not at all wine-related); you will notice that RHR’s site looks nothing like this one, but that was entirely the point and JSD really nailed this design from a personality standpoint for me and I’m thrilled with the results (and begrudgingly accepting of the fact that Toon Dude Mark II is uglier but more appropriate for repreenting me to the global interwebs than Toon Dude Mark I, may he rest in peace).

Anyway, as always your comments on the new design are welcome (go easy on Toon Dude, please).

Cheers!

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Going Pro: How To Taste and Rate Wines for Today’s Consumers. Sort of.

Vinted on November 3, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, going pro

Welcome to the first installment of Going Pro – what (I hope!) will be a (very) long series chronicling my foray into making whatever-the-hell-it-is that I do here a professional (read: paying) endeavor.
Every Wednesday on 1WineDude.com, I’ll be writing about some aspect / story / triumph / tragedy related to taking my passion – connecting YOU with the experience of wine – full-time.  I plan to do this every Wednesday until, well, until one or more of the following conditions have been met:

  1. I’ve “made it big” and no longer have time for the unwashed masses because I’m too busy cleaning my fleet of yachts.
  2. I can’t get Internet wi-fi reception from my cardboard box under the bridge.
  3. The articles have run their course and are no longer valuable (except to me as a means of therapy).

Okay… you’re right… number three will almost certainly never happen because I need all the therapy I can get.  Anyway…

The inaugural post  in this series is gonna be a loooong one… but I think you’ll find it worth the reading time commitment, and I hope you’ll be sufficiently moved to chime in with your thoughts.

I had a conversation with my friend Steve Heimoff about tasting preferences vs. wine ratings in the comments of a post last week, the topic of which had nothing whatsoever to do with tasting and rating wines (or, at least that’s what I thought when I wrote it, silly me!). That comment-convo seems pretty benign on the surface but it had some profound implications for me (probably because I ended up sort of talking to myself… more therapy… ok, maybe I need a drink…).  Implications that get to the heart of how I taste and rate wines, which n part gets to the heart of what it means to Go Pro with wine.

Now, much to the surprise of a lot of people, none more so than myself, I’m now in the invigorating and strangely frightening  position where my views / reviews on wines actually matter to some people. I’m the kind of guy who, literally to a fault, doesn’t want to let people down, and so I’ve had to take the position of rating and describing wines much, much more seriously in recent months – and I’d argue that this change in perspective is essential if you even want to start thinking about going pro when it comes to wine.

And since my approach to tasting is so dramatically different to what most of us are used to in the conventional wine press, it seemed a good place to start the Going Pro discussion…

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