Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! (Brought to you by the Letter “W”)

Vinted on June 29, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog

That about sums it up: THANK YOU!

I’ve just returned from Walla Walla, WA where I was both a panelist and attendee at the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference.  As if that sentence didn’t contain enough Ws for you, I also was honored (and humbled) with the 2010 Wine Blog Award for Best Overall Wine Blog.

THANK YOU to all of those who nominated and voted for 1WineDude.com – and thanks especially the readers and frequent commenters who are the ones primarily responsible for making this blog as successful and fun as it is.  Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists – they are all great, great blogs that are well worth your time.

I also made a speech, for which I felt quite unprepared but it seemed to go over well enough. I met friends, old and new, and learned that when you wine a WBA and stand still for more than 2 minutes in a room with lots of PR folks, you will have some of those (less sensitive) PR people actively block your way to the bathroom in order to talk to you and get your business card.

I also got interviewed a lot (or at least it felt like a lot to me); a fun one with the Wine Biz Radio guys appears at the beginning of the embedded video below (followed by interesting interviews with lots of other bloggers, winemakers, and cool PR people).

I tasted some wines, of course, and visited some wineries, and hung out with some wine personalities, and I do plan to write about all of that; I also plan to write a tribute to my dog, Sam, who passed away while I was at the conference. But I need to decompress first, and process the whirlwind emotional roller-coaster of the weekend that was WBC and WBA.  And maybe remove the W key from my keyboards (not sure that last one is such a good idea, actually).  More to come; for now – there’s a ton of WBC coverage happening in the blog-o-world.

Thanks again; I will try to “do right” and reinforce the vote of confidence that you’ve been kind enough to give me!

(video after the jump)…

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Brave New World (or “Do We Really Need Wine Experts Anymore?”)

Vinted on June 28, 2010 binned in commentary

Just over one month ago, I was quoted in an (excellent and well-written) article by Spencer Bailey of the Columbia Journalism Review, titled “Everyone’s the Wine Expert: Wine critics and bloggers, professional and amateur, are mixed up in a social media web.”

At the time, the CJR article was (rightfully) the subject of interesting and thought-provoking analysis by some very intelligent stewards of the wine world, most notably Tom Wark and Steve Heimoff.

I found myself quoted slightly out of context in the article, and somehow placed on opposite but connected poles of viewpoints with wine writer and educator Karen MacNeil, as if we were some sort of quantum-entangled pair of electrons in a physics experiment.  I’ll mention right now that I am not equating myself with Karen MacNeil in terms of wine writing – not even close; I’m simply pointing out the juxtaposition of our attributed viewpoints in the CJR article.

The article quotes Karen in raising an important viewpoint about wine writing; a concern discussed in detail at the Professional Wine Writers Symposium earlier this year, and one that I’ve pondered on many occasions myself:

“Maybe what blogging will do is undermine the whole idea that this is a subject that is rich and deep and requires some substantive thought and substantive knowledge,” says Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible and one in a small stable of writers that wine critic Robert Parker has recruited to contribute to his Web site, erobertparker.com. “If everybody’s an expert,” she says, “nobody’s an expert.

This was followed immediately by the opposing viewpoint, which was attributed to me despite the fact that it’s not an entirely literal record of my take on the issue:

Do we really need expert critics anymore? Many bloggers don’t think so, arguing that credentials are merely one part of what makes a great wine writer. How you say something—not simply who says it, they argue—is what’s most important. “Readers today have got to feel like the experts connect with them in some way,” says Joe Roberts, who runs the blog 1WineDude.com. “It’s not just, ‘Oh, this person’s got great credentials because they work for Wine Enthusiast.’”

So, over a month later, why am disturbing the tomb and (sort-of) resurrecting the discussion?  It’s the question “Do we really need expert critics anymore?” – the CRJ article proposes it, but then moves off of that topic rather quickly.  Which is a shame, because that’s where the real meat in this pie lies…

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2010-06-26

Vinted on June 26, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 08 Black Box Malbec (Mendoza): Quite a feat to pack that much blueberry & tobacco spice in that lil' box. A bargain at <$7/bottle. $25 3L B- #
  • 09 Heinz Eifel "Shine" Riesling (Pfalz): What it lacks in balance it makes up for in peaches, limes & (for sure) price. For spicy food $10 B #
  • 09 Heinz Eifel Riesling Kabinett (Mosel): While planting honey blossoms, you ate a ripe apple & finished it all off with a lemon candy $12 B #
  • 09 Heinz Eifel Riesling Spatlese (Mosel): A little too clean on the nose, to the point where you're not quite sure what you're in for $13 B- #
  • 09 Heinz Eifel Riesling Auslese (Mosel): Promising but cloying. You can smell & taste the sugar as if it's trying just a bit too hard $14 B- #
  • 07 Modus Operandi "Antithesis" (Napa Valley): Big, bold & beautifully rendered. These intense black fruits are not for the squeamish. $95 A- #
  • 04 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance (Constantia): S.A.'s legendary Muscat lives up to the legend w/ orange, mango & spices to spare. $50 A- #
  • 09 Dominique Piron Rose (Beaujolais): Don't let the light color fool you, this pairs fat juicy cherries with the depth of a Morgon. $12 B+ #
  • 09 Pierre Marie Chermette "Les Griottes" Rose (Beaujolais): Man, those flowers have *heft*. Probably too much to really be balanced. $15 B- #
  • 08 Domaine de Dorées Beaujolais Blanc: Eminently quaffable & impeccably balanced. Also impeccably priced (shh don't tell them). $12 B+ #
  • 08 Chateau du Chatelard Beaujolais Blanc Vieilles Vignes: Like forward & balanced Chard? U can party w/ this for 1/2 the price of CA. $15 B+ #

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