The Most Beautiful Wine Cellars In The World

Vinted on April 29, 2010 binned in book reviews

In the music industry, we call it G.A.S.  As in, Gear Acquisition Syndrome – a desire to acquire more basses, guitars, whatever, usually brought on by exposure to an awesome instrument pick up made by an acquaintance.  In my “spare time” I run a social network for bass guitarists, so I have a lot of opportunity for G.A.S.-inducing exposure.  I mean, if you’re a bass player and you don’t instantly get G.A.S. looking at photos like this, then you probably don’t really have a pulse.

Envy or jealousy do not accurately describe G.A.S.; they have far too negative connotations, and G.A.S. isn’t negative – if anything, you’re happy for your friend who has picked up that awesome new instrument – it’s more like a form of addiction that plagues those who find themselves simultaneously straddling the roles of collector and experiencer.

Which is, of course, a scenario which wine lovers can easily appreciate, especially when visiting one of those enormous, kick-ass wine cellars full of potentially-amazing juice.

Which is why you probably shouldn’t even so much as look at the upcoming book The Most Beautiful Wine Cellars In The World by Astrid Fobelets, Jurgen Lijcops (about $60 from VdH Books, available in May 2010 – I received a preview copy).  It will very likely give you a serious case of wine G.A.S. …

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3 Reasons Why YOU Should Get a Wine Certification (A Tale from Remote Kenya)

Vinted on April 28, 2010 binned in best of, commentary, learning wine

The March issue of Sommelier Journal is dedicated to the topic of wine education, and (as always) is well worth a read for wine pros and serious wine geeks alike.  It contains a great follow-up article by Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser on the current status of the wine certification landscape, so the issue got me thinking (as it always does) about repercussions beyond the world of professional wine service, and into the worlds of wine writing and passionate wine enthusiasts.

And it got me thinking that YOU probably should get a wine certification.  it also got me thinking about the remote area of Shompole in Kenya, where even in a place where you have to buzz the runway in a small Cesna to scare zebras off of it before you can land, they saw value in the WSET certification (more on that in a minute).

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re a passionate wine enthusiast, a wine professional, or a wine writer (or any combination of one or more of those).  Actually, according to Alexa.com stats on my blog, chances are you’re a female between the ages of 25 and 44 with a decent amount of disposable income, living in the U.S. and surfing this blog from your work computer (shame on you!).

Anyway, I am growing increasingly convinced that wine certification suits 1WineDude.com readers, and is growing more an more applicable to a larger and larger audience of wine lovers.  And I’m gonna give you three reasons why YOU should get a cert.  And No, I don’t work for any of those certification bodies.

I know what you might be thinking, which is something along the lines of “Why do I need a certification to be an expert on how much I like or dislike what I shove into my mouth?!??” And the answer of course is that you don’t need a certification for that.

You need it for other reasons.  Hear me out before you shut me out – first I need to take you to the hot salt flats of the Great Rift Valley in remote Kenya…

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Do You Take Wine Notes? (Giveaway! 33 Bottles of Wine Pocket Notebook Edition)

Vinted on April 26, 2010 binned in giveaways, wine products

Well… do ya?

We’ve got another nifty giveaway this week (this time courtesy of Scout Books) to help stimulate some stimulating conversation about taking detailed wine tasting notes.

The thing is, I don’t do it.

I know.  I suck.

Seriously, though, I don’t take copious notes when it comes to tasting wine.  At massive tastings such as Premiere Napa Valley I certainly do take notes, because otherwise it would be hopeless – but those notes certainly aren’t detailed, and usually are just enough text to jar my memory, where the real tasting notes are kept.

In similar fashion, I don’t keep a very good written record of what’s in my cellar (personal or wine samples), tough I’d argue that the record in my brain is pretty damn good.

Fallible?  Certainly, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing things down on 1WineDude.com so I’ve no plans to change it.  But that doesn’t mean that I advocate anyone else mimicking my behavior; in fact, I preach just the opposite, I’ve spent a lot of time studying systematic approaches to wine tasting, and I think it’s essential for those learning about wine to record detailed thoughts on their experiences. I just don’t do it myself, in the same way that my band can play successful gigs without practicing – there comes a time when you get comfortable enough that you don’t need to do those things as often (though of course you still benefit from doing them!).

Which is where tools like Scout’s 33 Bottles of Wine come in – and we’re giving away a three pack ($12 value) of their way-cool tasting journal

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