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Don’t Feed the Trolls Part Deux: Tales from the Snake-Pit

Vinted on August 25, 2008 binned in commentary
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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!

Remember earlier today, when I said it was “Non-Post Week” here at 1WineDude.com?

Ok, so I lied.

Well, I didn’t intend to lie, it just, kind of… you know… happened.

I’m interrupting (already!) our previously scheduled ‘Non-Post’ week non-event to share with you a link to my buds over at Wine Biz Radio, who were kind enough to have me on today’s episode of their radio show / podcast, where I discuss my thoughts on the recent Wine Spectator chaos, as well as my recent experience “interacting” in their on-line forum (a.k.a, “the snake-pit“).

Check it out here: http://winebizradio.com/articles/winebizradio-20080825/ .

Ok. Back to not posting. I promise this time!

Cheers!
(image: thage.com.au)

Non-Post Week!

Vinted on August 25, 2008 binned in Uncategorized

Welcome to “Non-Post Week” here at 1WineDude.com.

This week, I will not be writing any posts (aside from this brief bit of introduction, anyway). Instead, I will be taking a mini-vacation from writing, and will offer up wine-related images that I’ve taken over the years.

This is not to showcase my photography skills – which are, at best, modest. It’s to offer a slightly different angle on wine blogging, and (hopefully) provide insight into what it’s like to be the Dude and how he looks at the strange and wonderful world of wine.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, well, then it’s worth an average 1WineDude.com blog post! Cheers – and see you next week!

“Gateway to the West – Schloss Johannisberger

Don’t Feed the Trolls: How NOT to Respond to Public Criticism

Vinted on August 23, 2008 binned in commentary

By now, many of you will already have heard about the controversy surrounding Wine Spectator’s restaurant awards that unfolded into the mainstream media this week.

This topic is getting about as visible a media treatment as the wine world ever gets, so I won’t rehash the complete story here. To get us all up to speed and on the same page, the sequence of events goes something like this (in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “Let me explain. No – is not time; lemme sum up!”):

Regardless of which side of this issue you stand, if you’re like me you’re probably scratching your head as to why WS chose an on-line forum post as the, well, forum to use for publishing their defense of the Restaurant Awards process. Especially considering that this event is all over the news right now.

The problem with this approach is that the WS forum is full of “trolls,” and has become a hotbed of negativity.

I can vouch for this personally…


In my attempts to open a discource with the editors of WS (to better understand why their initial response did not include any details regarding if/how the Awards process would be examined to ensure it maintains credibility), I had to go to the WS forums. After all, that’s where the WS editors posted their response in the first place.

I (and other wine bloggers) have been greeted there with a negativity unbecoming of a long-running institution such as WS. While the editors, for the most part, have been civil in their responses, some of the forum members have been downright nasty. I’ve had to endure blogging being dismissed as “lazy journalism,” and having my SWE and CSW credentials called fakes. Little (if any) moderation seems to be taking place in the forum at the moment, and new forum members are told to “STFU” and “go away.” Even senior WS editor James Suckling seemed to get into negative mode when addressing particularly vehement criticism on the forum.

Of course, not all of the forum members are acting in a negative way, but enough are being malicious to prevent an appropriate discourse with the WS editors. When I asked the forum members why new posters were greeted with that level of negativity, I was told it’s the equivalent of “initiation.”

Hazing is more like it.

Here’s my simple plea to the editors of WS:

If you’re going to allow your on-line forums to be the equivalent of a shark tank, then please put your response to Goldstein’s criticism into the hands of a PR director, where it belongs. Otherwise, those of us looking for constructive, open discourse on the topic of WS’ restaurant awards have nowhere to turn.

As long as your on-line forum remains the primary vehicle for your response to the Goldstein event, you will be promoting the impression that you are not taking the matter seriously.

It’s not events like this that make or break your credibility; it’s your response to events like this that make it or break it.

Cheers!

(image: salagir.com)

Teikoku Wrap-Up

Vinted on August 22, 2008 binned in wine industry events, wine tasting

Teikoku Restaurant, sitting just outside Philadelphia, is fast becoming my favorite dining spot in the known Universe.

I’m not a food reviewer, so I’m not going to try to do justice to the stellar dishes they whipped up for their last food & wine tasting event.

I will, however, tell you about the wines that Heather Wright (wine educator and consultant from Cellar Door Imports) chose for the event, since they’re all great budget-minded picks for your next Asian food dining sojourn:

08 Arabella Sauvignon Blanc (W. Cape, SA): Tropical fruit dominates even over the acidity. Bit too much bod for lil’ ol’ me but it’s cheap!

07 Banyan Gewurztraminer (Monterey County, CA): Somehow it’s 1D despite lychee, lime, rose petal, & melon. Still, hard to beat for the price

07 Banyan Viognier Madera (CA): Fat & oily, with a crazy banana nose that’s all over the place. Not “pure” by any stretch – but damn fun!

07 Hyatt Chardonnay (Rattlesnake Hills, WA): Vanilla syrup & pears, good balance, but a tad astringent on the finish. Decent pick, nice $.

06 Hobo Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, CA): Ripe as hell but red berries, licorice, & pepper keep things interesting. Good pick for BBQ beef.

If you’re in the Philly area and want to join in the next Teikoku wine event, details are below…

Tuesday, September 23 2008
Teikoku Restaurant
5492 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19073
Michael Walsh, Wine Educator,
will showcase five of California’s most celebrated wine growing regions,
along with the innovative food pairings from Chef Takao Iinuma to complement them!

For reservations, contact Christine Olmsted @ 610-644-8270.

And finally, from the “Damn, wish I had a tech support staff!” Department: I’m way sorry for the lack of video feed from last night’s live twitter tasting. It worked when we tested it several times earlier in the week, but at show time there was no sound. Since we were right in the thick of the event kick-off, I decided to abandon video rather than try to address it then and there (which would have been a big distraction during the tasting – not to mention during my dinner!). I’ll make sure it’s working before the next event!

Cheers!

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