Making Sense of Elliot Essman’s “Use Wine To Make Sense Of The World”

Vinted on February 11, 2010 binned in book reviews, wine books

I think I’m beginning to understand what draws me to certain things, whether they be people, works of art, musical pieces, bands, sports teams, or wines.  Yeah, it took me over 30 years, but I have made some progress.

And it’s not easy to describe, because there is no single word in the English language that really encapsulates it – at least, not one that I’ve found.

It’s a sense of being genuine.

I don’t mean transparent, or honest, or without fault.  I mean, something clearly being… itself.  What appeals to me most is when someone or something has a spark of originality that is obvious to its very core, because he/she/it simply doesn’t know how to be any other way.

Which is why I enjoyed Elliot Essman’s Use Wine To Make Sense Of The World (the author sent me a review copy).

In an odd way, Essman’s writing made me think about that, because at first I could not figure out why I liked his book, which at times felt a bit tedious (there are sections devoted to following his bouts with Internet dating, as told via the wine selections of each date that, while not nearly as cringe-inducing as it sounds, made me scratch my head and wonder what the hell I was reading).

But it all came together for me in the next-to-last chapter (“Use Wine To Make Sense Of Your Brain”).  Essman was playing me the whole time…

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Men Should Not Wear Cowboy Hats, and A Vision of Thomas Keller as A Psychopath (Tasting Rocca Vineyards Cab)

Vinted on February 9, 2010 binned in California wine, wine review

I’m sorry, but someone had to say it.

Men should not wear cowboy hats.  Well, most men shouldn’t wear cowboy hats.

They’re not cool.  Cowboy hats look cool on approximately 0.002% of the U.S. population, and most of those are women, so sorry guys – chances are you are not in that population subset.

As evidence, I submit two photos from the Rocca Family Vineyards website.  As is evident in the following examples, Patrick Swayze-style hair appears infinitely cooler than covering that same hair underneath a cowboy hat:

There is wine involved in this, of course – happily, Rocca Cabernet, from Napa’s Yountville area, is a darn sight tastier than Rocca’s cowboy hat-sportin’ fashion sense…

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The Wine Media, The Wine Brand, and The Wine Message (Read It Or Weep)

Vinted on February 8, 2010 binned in wine blogging, wine industry events

Last week, Vino 2010 (self-described as “the biggest Italian wine event ever held outside of Italy”) officially touched down in NYC.

One of the most anticipated discussions of Vino 2010, at least in the eyes of PR, media, and wine writers, was the panel “Blogging on Wine and Social Networking: New Tools in reaching Consumers of Italian Wine” moderated by Anthony Dias Blue.  1WineDude.com readers will already know that I was a bit concerned when I’d heard that Dias Blue would be moderating, as I felt that he was too publicly anti-blogging based on quite negative statements he’d made about wine bloggers last year.

That was before I learned of the panel members, who included some very pro-blogging (and very, very talented) friends of mine (blogger Alder Yarrow, PR wiz Steven Raye, and search guru Duog Cook), and the very public and open way in which the panel would be held.

The panel result is freely viewable on the Vino 2010 website, and has been included below in its entirety.  All 2+ hours of it.  If you care at all about wine PR, wine writing, wine blogging, and how to engage them all in the changing wine marketplace, then Id say all 2 hours are required viewing – and this is coming from a guy who normally cannot watch more than 3 consecutive minutes of video at any one time.

Why?  Because the panel members offer advice on how to engage wine writers in the new decade that is so spot-on it might as well be a blueprint for how it should be done.

Why is that important?  Because wine brands need to get into the engagement game if they have any prayer of truly understanding (and ultimately influencing) the conversations happening about their brands.

And I know of what I (virtually) speak here, because last week I started getting a firsthand lesson in brand-awareness…

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