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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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2010-04-24

Vinted on April 24, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 08 Alamos Chardonnay (Mendoza): Things may get too tropical, toasty, or sweet for you, but things will *definitely* get interesting. $13 B- #
  • 05 Snows Lake “Two” (Lake County): CS/CF blend layered w/ berry, spices, cocoa, it’s like the whole pantry. Underpriced (for now) at $45 A #
  • 07 Talus Collection Zinfandel (Lodi): Almost improbably good. Like a 1st date that’s also a cheap date & ends with you getting lucky. $7 B- #
  • 07 Eola Hills Zinfandel (Lodi): A shot of booziness on the palate isn’t enough to spoil the spicy, jammy fruit & dusty-tannin party. $13 B- #
  • 07 Trefethen Double T (Napa Valley): Heavy on the fig, heavy on the smoky spice, heavy on the mellow smoothness, heavy on the value. $25 B+ #
  • 04 Sterling “Three Palms” Merlot (Napa Valley): Drinks like a Cab. It’s good but know what you’re in for (namely, dried black cherry) $30 B+ #
  • 08 Elviwines Clasico Red (Ribiera del Jucar): Juicy dried cherries, only the cherries are kinda under-ripe & leave you a bit wanting. $13 C #
  • 08 Hazlitt Homestead Reserve Riesling (Finger Lakes): Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the tartest lemony finish of them all? $18 B #
  • 08 Clos Cristal Hospices De Saumur (Saumur Champigny): And they ruled the land with a Violet fist! With a hint o’ green as well. $19 B #
  • 07 Seven Artisans Clayton Rd Ranches Petite Sirah (Suisan Valley): KISS’ “Hotter Than Hell” might have been referring to this wine. $17 C+ #
  • NV Campbells Tokay Liquid Gold (Rutherglen): Lusciously uber-extracted nutty caramel. Enough abv to pickle you soundly (twice over). $14 B+ #

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