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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 307

1WD LIVE @ WBC08 :: The LIVE Tasting Event!

Vinted on October 24, 2008 under 1WD LIVE, wine bloggers conference, wine industry events
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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!

1WineDude is LIVE at the 2008 Wine Bloggers Conference in Sonoma

Friday October 24, 2008 at 3:30 PM PT!

The event is now over, but you can get a recap of the feed from the event below.

Enjoy!

88 – The Number of The Beast?

Vinted on October 23, 2008 under wine review

Another ditty for The 89 Project has me tasting a devil of a wine that good ol’ Wine Enthusiast dubbed a “Best Buy” and gave 88 points (hey, it’s not technically an 89, but it’s close enough for government work, right?): Concha y Toro’s 2007 “Casillero del Diablo” Chardonnay Reserve (Casablanca Valley, Chile).

Speak of the Devil. And just in time for Halloween, too.

You know how for some lower-budget wines, you read the tasting descriptor on the back of the bottle and it sort of, but not really, describes how the wine tastes to you; or worse, seems to be describing a completely different wine than the one that you’re drinking?

This is not one of those times. The descriptor on the back of the Casillero del Diablo bottle is frighteningly (get it?) accurate:

“A crisp [editor's note: i.e., it's got decent acidity] Chardonnay [well, duh] packed with tropical fruit flavors [there is definately some grapefruit and melon going down in this puppy] “and subtle hints of vanilla [the oak doesn't skewer your nostrils like a wooden pitchfork]. Medium bodied with good balance [it's not a booze-hound from hell] and a fresh finish [i.e., the finish is short but it's good].”

Color me impressed. Especially for a wine this cheap (about $10 USD).

Normally the 89-point range is the Number of the Beast, the veritable wine kiss o’ death. But Concha y Toro ought to be very pleased with this rating at this price point. If anything, it’s a testament to how well poised Chile is to rule the wine world at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Sure, the CdD Reserve is far from complex. But it’s got the Fire. It has the Force. It has the power to make it’s evil take it’s course!

YeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
[Insert trademark Bruce Dickinson awesome butt-kicking heavy metal scream here].

Cheers!
images: (1winedude.com, ironmaidenwallpaper.com)

The 1WD @ The WBC08 (or "How Drunk You Can Expect Me to Be This Weekend")

What do you, me, and the upcoming first-ever North American Wine Bloggers Conference (Oct. 24-26 2008 – yes, it’s on a weekend, presumably because none of us wine bloggers make any money blogging so we have day jobs during the week) have in common?

I dunno, either.

Uhm…. We’re all carbon-based life forms consisting mostly of water, that like to drink wine?

Other than that, I’m not really sure. And okay, conferences technically don’t drink wine; conference attendees drink wine.

Anyway, this week I’m off to the Flamingo Resort in the greater Sonoma area to take part in the 2008 WBC. What this means is that you can expect to see some poorly scheduled and erratic posting activity from me over the next 10 days as I try to capture at least some of what the WBC event is all about. Plus, I’ve got some time off in Sonoma after the WBC to hang out with Mrs. Dudette and the little Dude-el. Family QT, here I come!

I’m not sure exactly which parts of the 2008 WBC I’m going to cover. I’m sure that the event is going to be a blast for us wine bloggers, and I expect a good number of my wine blogging colleagues to cover the event in detail. What you shouldn’t expect from me during the next week and half are any boring recaps of the WBC breakout topics. Nothing against my fellow wine bloggers or the WBC organizers (who have done a fantastic job with the agenda), but I just can’t imagine the average wine-drinking dude or dudette 1WineDude.com reader has much interest in reading about how to monetize wine blogs, or the waxing philosphic of how wine blogging can achieve media credibility.

Hell, I’m a wine blogger and I barely care about those topics. But… I think that you might care about some of the other awesome stuff that is going down at the WBC this week (click here for details).

What you can expect from me during the next week and half:

  • Live Tasting right here on 1WineDude.com! At 6:30 PM ET on Oct. 24 (Friday), I will be blogging LIVE with tasting notes from the WBC Live Wine Blogging “Taste-a-thon” (wherein bloggers like me will be seated at tables to which wineries will ‘rotate’ with a very limited window for us to taste and blog about the wines). You can come right here to 1WineDude.com to track my (increasingly drunken?) progress during the tasting. We’ll be trying out CoverItLive.com for this… hopefully it works… Anyway, I’m going to try my best to adhere to my own advice (hint: it invloves spitting) when it comes to pacing myself during the first day of the event, which has us inundated with wine tastings, but I can’t promise I’ll be entirely sober for this one!
  • Recaps (eventually) of the Kiwi Wine Tasting, Sonoma Grand Tasting, and the Vineyard and Winery visits that are planned during the weekend.
  • Opus One Winery visit. I’ve been invited by the venerable Opus One winery to visit them as part of a series of posts that I will be doing on West Coast vs. East Coast wine making… which will culminate next month in a blind taste-off between the Left & Right coasts! Stay tuned…
  • General goofiness as it ensues. Well… duh

For more on the Wine Bloggers Conference agenda and setup, check out winebloggersconference.org. For detail on just how much wine is going to be put in front of us during the conference, check out WBC coordinator Allan Wright‘s interview at WineBizRadio.com. Let’s just say we will almost always be presented with the option to refuse some wine during the weekend.

Cheers!
(images: 1WineDude.com, maps.google.com)

I Hope Steve Heimoff Kicks My Ass (Thoughts on the Wine Bloggers Tasting Challenge)

Vinted on October 20, 2008 under commentary, wine bloggers conference, wine industry events

You know what?

I hope that Steve Heimoff kicks my ass.

Not literally, of course (hey, I didn’t study a bit of Wing Chun for nothin’!), but tastingly. (Is tastingly a word? Ah, who cares – adverbs kick ass!).

Who is Steve, and why should I want him to kick ass? And how does this relate to wine? Well… it’s… complicated

It actually has to do with the first-ever North American Wine Bloggers Conference being held this week in Sonoma, which both Steve amd I are attending (more on that later in the week). At about 5PM PT on Friday, some of the attendees will be taking part in a Wine Bloggers’ Blind Tasting Challenge – as described by the conference organizers:

Bloggers will test their skills in identifying grape varietals and regions. Because we will have only local Sonoma wines, the competition will focus on identifying the type of grape, determining the vintage year or AVA within Sonoma County, matching the wine to the label description, etc. This will be a social exercise with small groups sitting around tables and will be done in rounds, going from easy to hard. Ultimately, one winner will be crowned as the “Wine Blogger Top Taster”.

The last sentence is the one that seems to be causing some controversy among some of the wine blogging community. The controversial piece being the media coverage planned for this portion of the conference, the reaction to which you can read in detail in this not-so-safe-for-work discussion on the Wine Bloggers Conference group at OpenWineConsortium.org (title: “What Bullsh*t is this? So much for the Wine Bloggers Conference“).

The competition itself is meant to be friendly, with (hopefully) some fun moments with the media on hand to capture it all. The counter argument is that the media coverage will in effect exploit a community that has had its fair share of media exploitation already this year.

And it’s my hope that Steve (remember him?) takes part in the competition and kicks our blogging asses.

Because that would show us bloggers (myself included) that we have a lot yet to learn about wine and the art of tasting it, and eloquently writing about it. It’s easy for us to lose sight of that and get caught up in the ‘side show’ media elements of blogging. It’s great to have an opinion, but we also need to know what we’re talking about – and for wine, that foundation is built in tasting. As Lao Tzu said, “the great way is easy, but people chose the side paths…”

Oh, yeah, regarding Steve - he’s an author and long-time wine writer for Wine Enthusiast, and he is also a wine blogger. As such, he straddles the ‘newer’ and ‘older’ worlds of blogging and traditional wine media in a unique way. He’s a good blogger, too, in that he’s smart and opinionated enough to get people thinking about, talking about, and sometimes really, really not liking his takes on the world of wine. Steve and I have traded both barbs and compliments on-line, and I’ve got a lot of respect and patience for him – and I’m looking forward to meeting him in Sonoma, because I’d love to interview him about his take on the future of wine writing.

Anyway, Steve probably tastes hundreds to thousands of wines per year. This is way, way above the total tasted by most wine bloggers, myself included, by a factor of… well, I hate math but I’m sure the factor would be measured exponentially (ah – another kick-ass adverb!).

Which means that if he participated in the Blind Tasting Challenge, Steve could unleash a Chuck Norris level of whoop-ass on the rest of us.

That’s a good thing.

Because sometimes, we need that to keep our progressive, opinionated, but ultimately well-meaning blogger banter in perspective. Wine has been good to us bloggers, and not a day goes by when I’m not grateful to wine in some way/shape/form.

And I’m certainly not above having my butt handed to me (as I expect to have happen at the Bind Tasting) if it means I’m going to learn something and have another opportunity to increase my debt of gratitude towards wine.

Let the ass-kickings commence!

Oh, before I go… Steve, if you’re out there reading this, you should know that a Google image search of your name turns up this little ditty… I suppose there is some resemblance… not sure if it’s you but I really, really hope it is… and if it is, do you still have the Jethro Tull-style hat?


Cheers!
(images: steveheimoff.com, winebloggersconference.org, umass.edu)

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