The International Malbec Days Festival (May 20th-23rd, 2010 in Cahors, France) is now behind us. Let’s take the Good, Bad and (in some cases, the very) Ugly of the festival, in reverse order:
The Ugly: Event Coordination and “Wines that Smell of Donkey Poop”
Organizing and executing a wine industry event the size of the International Malbec Days Festival, one that lasts several days and brings together well over 150 people from a dozen or so countries, is undoubtedly a Herculean undertaking, and one in which the organizers almost failed miserably. The 2010 version, at turns, bordered on chaos.
This wasn’t great for the wines, either, as Tannic and high-alcohol Malbecs were served in a meeting space that was easily over 80F, depriving even the best from showing themselves gracefully. The execution against our schedule was poor enough that it became a distraction, as essential personnel (e.g., those organizing the various groups of participants from hotels to the various events) by and large were given little (and in some cases, no) information needed to do their jobs. At one point, our bus driver got lost in the 2km distance between the airport and our hotel for the final evening – and he was using a GPS system.
Score one for French logistics – that is, if the purpose is to distract you from being able to adequately work and instead is trying to break your will. I felt bad for our handlers, who were trying to do an impossible job with almost no help from their superiors (I encouraged them to totally dookie sock their bosses, but they didn’t seem too keen on the idea) .
Speaking of dookie: as for the Ugly when it comes to the wines, a not-insubstantial portion of the Cahors Malbecs on display at the event were quite bretty – and not in a “smells kind of like bacon” charming way; they were bretty in a “did I just step in some donkey poop?” way. Which leads us to…
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OK, so there’s this Wine Blog Awards thing going on right now.
Maybe you’ve heard of it?
I’m honored that 1WineDude.com has been included as a finalist by the eleven secret judges – supposedly secret so that we couldn’t bribe them I guess, but then that’s illogical since by definition we wine bloggers don’t make enough to bribe them!
Joking aside (which admittedly is very, very tough for me), I am humbled and honored to have this blog included as a finalist in the category of Best Overall Wine Blog, especially given the talent, passion and quality behind the other folks nominated / finalized in that category. I work hard at the blog, and it’s nice to be noticed – it’s equally nice to see so many people I consider to be friends who are also finalists in the various categories – it’s like getting made in the mob or something (ok, not really).
Now, it’s up to YOU to determine who will win in each category. Voting ends on May 30.
I’d be thrilled if you “Vote Dude” but mostly I’d like to ask you simply to vote, period. This is your chance to help honor and encourage those wine blogs that you personally feel are making a difference in the world of wine.
Congrats and good luck to all of the finalists!
Vote at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7CLMSMG.
Got another survey comin’ at ya – this time, it’s not from a Masters of Wine student, but from a student in a Masters of Wine Business program in Adelaide Australia.
Said student is a guy named Jeffrey Williams, originally from NY but now doing some U.S.-based market research on the on-premise perceptions of Australian wines in the US market. He’s put together a survey to gather data on the types and price points of Aussie wine that U.S. wine lovers purchase.
According to Jeff, “The data will be used to support an ongoing business case of the wines currently being exported and distributed to the United States.”
Which to me means this is a chance for you to stop complaining about Yellowtail and maybe provide some data to help get better quality Aussie juice sold in more places over here.
Anyway, do a guy a favor and take the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JDQDH3Z.
A very brief intro. into the 2010 International Malbec Days Festival.
As for the event – great intro. to Cahors and its wines; confusing marketing strategy / message; terrible, terrible, terrible organization of events and logistics overall. More to come (on all three fronts)!