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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 298

The Surreptitious Pour: Sneaking Top Shelf Wine in the Economic Downturn

Vinted on January 6, 2009 under wine buying, wine polls
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HiYa! If you're new here, you may want to Sign Up to get all the latest wine coolness delivered to your virtual doorstep. I've also got short, easily-digestible mini wine reviews and some educational, entertaining wine vids. If you're looking to up your wine tasting IQ, check out my book How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: A practical guide to tasting, enjoying, and learning about the world's greatest beverage. Cheers!


A recent article by Catherine Rampell of the New York Times really caught my attention. In it, Catherine explores the recent wine buying trend in “trading down” – buying less expensive wines rather than splurging on the really pricey stuff (read the full article).

One of the interesting things she found is that wine retailers are almost making up for the reduction in premium wine purchases with an increased sales volume for the cheaper stuff.

But that’s not what I wanted to discuss here.

What I found most interesting is how some people are drinking the decreased volume of really good stuff that they are buying. From the article:

“The people who have been splurging have been doing it surreptitiously,” said Jesse Salazar, the wine director at Union Square Wines in Manhattan. “There’s the secret pour and the pour for the guests at large,” he said. “I was at a Christmas party recently where there was a substantial amount of wine being purchased. But there was a party case, and then there was the host case back in the kitchen. The host was drinking Bordeaux; the guests were drinking Chianti.”

The Surreptitious Pour.

I love it!

What I’m curious about is if YOU would do this - would you hide the really good stuff at a party for you and a select few friends?

Because, I sure know that I’d be tempted to do that…

Cheers!
(images: chowdernation.com – modified)

Looking Back on 2008: Days of Wine and (Sometimes Dead Black) Roses

Vinted on January 5, 2009 under commentary

As we begin 2009, and start the time-honored tradition of incorrectly dating the first few bank checks of the new year, I find that I sense a bit of a rant coming on.

And this coming just after I wrote about relying on gratitude and attention (a.k.a. mindfulness) to help you truly appreciate wine as an expression of art (both the wine itself, and your enjoyment of it, for what is a wine without someone to enjoy it but so much unfulfilled artistic potential?).

Shame on me.

But it will end with love. I promise.

I think there is another component to enjoying wine that needs to be added to those I outlined in the post linked above, and that component is Gumption.

You will need grit, spunk, guts, and determination to get past the detractors, nay-sayers, and general sourpusses that you may encounter along the way on your journey to wine appreciation. Don’t kid yourself – they are out there, and they must have some stake in keeping the average Dude and Dudette from appreciating fine wine, because they take any and every opportunity they can to screw it up for you. They do this either by telling you that your opinion doesn’t count, is naively misguided, or isn’t worth a hill ‘o beans because it doesn’t conform to some arbitrary standards that they have set forth themsleves.

You really need to ignore these people. They are like an illness that infects your wine appreciation, and if left to fester can kill it outright. The kicker is that the world of wine is so full of wonderful, generous, and pleasurable people that it would be a shame to let a few bad apples spoil the bunch, as they say.

I mention this because I lived through it in 2008. Well over six months later, so-called pundits are still talking about the Rockaway non-incident (more on this – both background and aftermath – can be heard on WineBizRadio.com). The only thing I can offer at this point is this:

For those of us who are wine writers (and I include any serious wine bloggers in that company), we need to remember something – We write about wine. It’s not that important, and neither are we.

No, really. I’m serious.

It’s just wine, people - it is NOT saving someone from a burning building, curing a wasting disease, or landing a crippled airplane. We so need to get over ourselves…

Why on earth am I drumming this topic up again? It’s just to show that whenever you put yourself out there, take a risk, or try something new, you will run the risk of people (usually the ones who haven’t done anything themselves) putting you down.

The wine world is no exception. Happily, for every detractor in the wine world, there are at least 10 great people who will help you, share their knowledge with you, and cheer you on.

How do I know this?

I’ve spent the better part of 2008 trying to expand as much as possible my knowledge of wine, be it through winery visits, reviews and sampling of fine wines, seeking wine certifications, or just hanging out with great writers, contacts who have become real friends, or talking to movers & shakers in the wine world. In a word, it’s been amazing.

So many great things have happened for me since I opened up my own personal world to the world of wine that it would be literally impossible for me to recap them in one blog post. My world is exponentially larger and more full of joy for having hit the wine road with almost reckless abandon. You don’t need to bring a thing with you on this journey – plenty of people are willing and waiting to help you along your way.

I simply cannot imagine my life without my wife, my daughter, my music, and now my contacts in the world of wine. If that’s not a testament to all of the wonderful people out there working in wine today, then I don’t know what is.

And for that, I will always be deeply grateful for 2008 – warts and all!

Cheers!
(images: sunsetgun.typepad.com, dailyphotobutcherfortheworld.blogspot.com, polyvore.com)

More Mutineer LUV

Vinted on January 2, 2009 under about 1winedude blog, wine publications

A quick hit to let you know that an interview with the Dude here has been posted on the Mutineer Magazine blog.

The interview provides some insight into the genesis of 1WineDude.com, and why I’m still at it, and is also notable for my blabbering, almost Sarah Palin-esque responses to some of the questions.

Because, like, uhmmm, you know, it’s really all about job creation, right?

Anyway, if you want to know more about Mutineer, you can also check out a detailed interview with Mutineer Mag editor Alan Kropf in a recent episode on The New Wine Consumer podcast (embeded version below).

Thanks again to Mutineer for the LUV!

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Cheers! (images: www.mutineermagazine.com)

A Toast: To Wine, Women and Song!

Vinted on January 1, 2009 under commentary, wine appreciation

Ok, before you start writing me off as a hedonistic waste (at least, on the basis of this post title), please check out the post I wrote for Toast To Change, a web network brain-child of Schramsberg Vineyards.

As described by the TTC website:

Toast to Change… celebrates the power each of us has to embrace and inspire change. Join our community of wine lovers and raise your glass to making changes in our lives and championing others who bring about real change in our world.

I don’t consider myself to be someone who is bringing about world-altering change, but I was invited to pen a toast so I decided to write about the things that had inspired me most in 2008: Wine, Women, and Song.

To get the (very un-sordid) details, you can read the entire post at the TTC website.

Cheers and Happy New Year!
(images: toasttochange.com)

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