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What the Heck Kind of Wine are You, Anyway? An exercise in Blog Introspection

Vinted on July 30, 2008 binned in commentary, wine 2.0
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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!

I’ve been doing a bit of introspection here at 1WineDude.com. Since this is a blog, the introspection has been performed entirely on-line, using two different tools that other wine bloggers have been dabbling with as well. So, no chance of my becoming a better person in the real world – this is virtual introspection, people.

The first tool is one of those kitschy website polls, which don’t seem so kitschy anymore to us wine geeks, now that we have one that tells you What Kind of Wine You Are. Heck, I practically consider them to be brilliant now…

Anyway, my results:

You Are Sauvignon Blanc


Engaging and energetic, you have a lot to offer the world – most of it they’ve never seen anywhere else!

You are the type of person who carves your own path in life… and you invite everyone else to come along.

The only thing predictable about you is that you could have anything up your sleeve.

You’re all about sampling all of life’s experiences. Both the savory and unsavory ones.

Deep down you are: Laid back and young at heart.

Your partying style: Anything goes… seriously!

Your company is enjoyed best with: Smoked meats or spicy food.

Surprisingly, I could see myself in some of that description (especially the part about smoked meats and spicy food). And here I’ve always imagined myself to be a red – one of those interesting and offbeat blended ones, like Priorat. Wrong, baby!

I’m happy to take Sauv Blanc – even if they failed to mention my sometimes unpalatable bracing acidity, my low-to-moderate output but hardy vigor, the fact that I show my best in climates that aren’t too hot, and my propensity to rot. Happy they didn’t go into whether or not I should be considered high quality…


The other online tool in which plenty of blogosphere folks are dabbling is Wordle. Wordle is the kind of tool that you play around with for 15 minutes, wonder when / how you’d use it to do anything of significance, eventually scratch your head, shrug your shoulders, and then surf to another website. And pour yourself another glass of vino.

Having said that, you will enjoy the 15 minutes you spend on Wordle. I tried to create some interesting wine reviews using it – sort of a cross between my twitter ‘mini’ reviews & Chateau Petrogasm. No luck for me (if you figure it out, more power to ya).

Anyway, here’s the 1WineDude.com wordle (click for larger view). Note that many customization features are available on Wordle, but I left it to its own devices to randomly select them for me:


If I squint just right, it sort of looks like wine being poured from a decanter. Or maybe it will later, after another sip or two…

Just for giggles, I also fed the 1WineDude twitter ‘mini’ reviews RSS feed into Wordle – the result (click for larger view):


What I noticed first about this random creation was the proximity of the words “smokin / Bong” and “think / flowers.” Maybe this should be 1BluntDude.com?

Childish? Nah – it’s just me being “Laid back and young at heart” like my ‘spirit wine’, Sauv Blanc.

Here’s hoping, when my time comes, that I also rot nobly…

Cheers!

An Abolitionist Movement: Down With Wine Monopolies!

Vinted on July 29, 2008 binned in commentary, pennsylvania, PLCB, wine shipping


As many of you already know, I am no friend of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

I suppose that is putting it a bit mildly, since I’ve likened their unconcstitutional state-run wine monopoly to Communism, publicly ridiculed the 40%+ premium that they add to state wine prices (while at the same time limiting selection, reducing service quality, and boating some of the worst storage conditions in the country), and accused them of engaging in fear-mongering and sycophantic lobbying to protect their monopoly position.

But who’s bitter? Me?!? I’m not bitter!!! Who you callin’ a PSYCHO!??!!!

Anyway, the good news is that I no longer have to utilize previous 1WineDude.com real estate to fight the good fight against the PLCB. I’ve found a blog dedicated to that purpose, and I’d argue that its author (Lew Bryson) does a better job of it than I’d ever do!

I give you noplcb.blogspot.com, a.k.a. “Why The PLCB Should Be Abolished“!

For PA wine lovers, this blog will be hilariously funny in the same “cuts-so-close to reality that it kinda makes you wanna cry” way that Dilbert is hilariously funny for cubicle workers…

While I will probably defer to Lew on all matters PLCB from now on, I should note that I’m not an advocate for abolishing the PLCB – or any state-run liqour monopoly, for that matter. I simply want those monopolies to adhere to the decisions of their state and federal constitutions, and to ammend existing laws to permit competition with those monopolies.

Let them have their fair shot in the real world, and not in the ‘fake’ marketplace set up under the protection of state governments. Personally, I don’t think their business plans stand a snowball’s chance in hell, but let’s leave that to the open market to decide – and not the lobbyists.

When you’re talking about a monopoly that brings billions of dollars to those states, it’s a Sisyphusian struggle to be sure, and I’m sure that some of my rants about this topic sound downright naive.

But… the way that these state wine monopolies run is appalling; the message it sends is that the government will protect businesses from having to adhere to the Constitution, so long as those businesses make enough revenue for the state.

And that’s just not the kind of world in which I want my daughter to grow up.

Cheers!

An International Incident: Connecting with Wine Bloggers in the ‘Real World’

Vinted on July 28, 2008 binned in wine 2.0, wine appreciation

This past week, during a trip to Windsor I had the pleasure of meeting up with two very talented an knowledgeable wine bloggers – Robert McIntosh (the Wine Conversation), and Andrew Barrow (the venerable Spittoon.biz). In the ‘real world’ that is.

I also had the pleasure of sharing some bottles of real wine, sharing real food (at the Two Brewers pub), and having real honest-to-goodness conversation with like-minded wine geeks.

Personally, I love connecting with the wine blogging community online. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been accepted more quickly, or by a better group of folks – a large (and ever-expanding) one at that. And certainly the online wine world made our get-together possible, organized in record time via twitter.

But as I’m fond of saying, reading about wine tasting is like trying to learn how to french kiss by studying a diagram. At times, on-line conversations and friendships can reach a similar point on their trajectory. As Rob so aptly puts it in his recap of our ‘International Wine Bloggers Mini-Conference’, the ultimate point is to make real friends, in the real world…

Which is exactly what we did last week.

What do wine bloggers talk about when they get together face to face? We talk about the same things that we discuss on-line: wine, the state of its culture and service in our world today, and how to further the cause of making wine more accessible – with a smattering of personal tidbits for good measure.

In between sips, that is.

The highlight of our get-together for me was the near-instant camaraderie; never having met face to face before did not prevent us for a millisecond from striking up interesting conversation and enjoying one another’s company.

A close second was the match-up between the lamb entree and our bottle of 2000 Chateau Musar.

But that’s exactly the kind of thing that you need to have been there to truly appreciate.

Cheers!
(images: wineculture.blogspot.com)

Wine Dis-Service

Vinted on July 24, 2008 binned in commentary, wine tips

I recently received an e-mail response from a 1WineDude.com subscriber, in reaction to the previous post Does Wine Taste Better When You’re Dining Out? This response got me thinking about restaurant wine service in general, and it struck a cord in me because it touches on one of my pet peeves about wine service in many restaurants:

“…one thing I can control at home is proper rinsing and drying of my stemware. Nothing gets my goat more than shelling out good money for a favorite wine only to find that the restaurant’s stemware still smells of soap or rinsing/sheeting agents. If you encounter this problem when out on the town, don’t feel embarrassed to ask the server to have the glasses rinsed and hand dried again when having a special wine.”

Sound advice indeed, and I couldn’t agree more with it. For most wines, having a tulip-shaped glass is about all you need to get the maximum enjoyment out of the wine. Picking the right kind of stemware when drinking a special wine can really enhance the aromas and flavors. But I’d rather have a clean glass of any shape vs. a perfectly-matched but smelly glass!

Generally speaking, a little bit of wine knowledge can go a long way in making customers happy. Another pet peeve of mine when it comes to wine service: “the over-pour.” Filling a wine glass to the brim makes it almost impossible to enjoy all the aromas of a wine. It’s like eating a steak with a napkin draped over it. And just try to swirl the wine without spilling it…

Since we’re into complaining mode here, I’ll offer another one: serving wine at the wrong temperature. I’m not too precious about this – I just want it close. I’d rather have it too cold, because I easily enough warm the glass up in my hands (unless it’s been overpoured!). But getting a really, really cold red or a hot white is a total dining experience buzzkill for me.

Those are my wine service pet peeves. How about yours?


Cheers!
(images: stuff.co.nz, ggpht.com/vincent.vanwylick)

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