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How Bad Is The Wine Biz At Digital? According To This, Really, Really Bad.

Vinted on July 1, 2014 binned in commentary, wine industry events
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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!

My friend Paul Mabray, of Vintank, recently gave a speech at the 2014 Wine Communicators of Australia event. The topic was, roughly speaking, the digital divide in the wine world. You can read a transcript of the entire talk given by Paul here. And if you’re in the wine biz, you really, really need to read the entire thing.

Yes, all 70+ pages of it. Because this speech shows just how bad the wine biz is at digital right now. How bad? Calling the wine biz staggeringly, hilariously bad at digital is probably slightly understating the scenario a little bit.

This is the wine biz at digital in 2014:

And here’s what the wine consuming populace wants wine to be when it comes to interacting with them in the digital space:

The disconnect is immense, which is what Paul’s speech deftly demonstrates in the kind of blood-splattering, gory, Mortal Kombat (“FINISH HIM!!!”) detail that is representative of ass that the wine biz ought to be kicking when it comes to digital (but doesn’t). Now, while I certainly appreciate that there will likely be at least some complainy-pants moaning criticism regarding the details of this topic, please read Paul’s entire speech before levying them. Seriously, there’s that much ammunition in this lengthy but excellent talk.

Below I offer some of the money-shots from Paul’s speech (emphasis mine), that I think illustrate just how far we in the wine world have to travel before being able to collectively call ourselves up-to-speed on the digital consumption of wine media…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For June 30, 2014

Vinted on June 30, 2014 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 12 Domaine Gerard Millet Sancerre Rose (Sancerre): Days of wine & roses, in this case mostly roses, & elegant, pithy ones at that. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Vitiano Verdicchio Vermentino (Umbria): Add "vivacious" and "vibrant" to the list of Vs in this series of vinous consonance. $11 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Mauricio Lorca Angel's Reserve Torrontes (La Rioja): The angels reserved a massive bouquet of fragrant white flowers, apparently. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Zenato Amarone Classico (Amarone della Valpolicella): Flexing into a complicated, terse, & glossy Mr. Universe competition pose. $70 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Merryvale Profile (Napa Valley): Why am I daydreaming about everything being constructed from extremely expensive, high-end silk? $165 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Old York Cellars Syrah (New Jersey): The toast is aggressive and thickly solid, but so is the earthiness, and so is the effort. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Domaine Bousquet Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Rose (Tupungato Valley): If you can get past bouts of sweet talk, it's enjoyable company $12 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Paul Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rose (Cotes du Rhone): The wheels on the red berries – & surprisingly, the finish – go 'round & 'round. $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Domaine Zinck Brut (Cremant d'Alsace): Low on complexity; very high on lively-drink-for-the-deck-watching-a-sunset deliciousness. $22 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Lioco Saveria Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains): So, we just stumbled into the potpourri section of the department store. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Lioco Estero Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Me gusto, with gusto; creamy, lithe, versatile & cozy like your fave comfort food. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<

Georgia (Sangiovese) On My Mind (Dispatch From The 2014 Critics Challenge)

Vinted on June 26, 2014 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review

No, you didn’t see one of these selections coming, okay?

Don’t even try it. No one, least of all me, would buy it for even a second.

This Summer, I once again had the pleasure of judging at the Critics Challenge in (stay classy) San Diego, my second stint as a judge there. A more well-executed U.S. wine competition you’re unlikely to encounter, and the judging panels boast some impressive collective credentials. Before I get into the two most memorable (for me) wines coming out of this year’s incarnation of the event (full results are here), I should give you a quick primer on how Critics Challenge works.

The judges are paid (well… duh), and for two days each is given a series of wine flights organized by category and tasted blind (residual sugar, grape variety, and category are known, in some cases vintage as well). The judges work in pairs, awarding (or denying) medals as they deem appropriate, and each wine is officially awarded the highest of the two medals determined by the pair of judges. The assumption, of course, is that as judges we all know what the hell we’re doing.

For 2014, I was fortunate enough to be paired of with writer and educator Deb Parker Wong, someone for whom the term “consummate professional” was invented, and a judge with a methodically brilliant tasting approach. I’ll stop here before this turns into a Deb valentine, but I feel compelled to add that Deb also possesses the rare and uncanny ability to double the elegance quotient of any room into which she walks (since I possess the equally rare and uncanny ability to halve a room’s elegance quotient, our judging table vicinity essentially remained elegance neutral)…

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From DCV To Rioja, By The Numbers (June 2014 Wine.Answers.com Article Round-up)

Vinted on June 24, 2014 binned in going pro, learning wine

This month over at Wine.Answers.com, the following tidbits ensued for your wine reading/learning/geeking pleasure. While several numbers are involved, math is not, so if you find math mind-numbingly boring as I do, you can proceed to the following articles without fear:

The 411 on DCV:

I recently took a junket jaunt to Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, more about which may unfold on these virtual pages later, but was impressed enough with some of the visits during that trip to offer up a quick take on 5 producers to watch in the area. Go forth, and Zin!

Bookish on 21 Wines:

In which I review yet another friggin’ coffee table style book about vino, “21 Wines.”This one has photos that are worth the admission price, though, and it’s a visual delight that manages to overcome the scattershot format of the text behind the Italian wine/producer recommendations (offered by the foodie authors).

The Surprisingly-Not-So-Weighty Power of 33:

Our product review this month comes via a sample of Angle 33’s concrete (yeah, that kind of concrete) wine bottle coaster. The summarized version is that I really dug this thing, which actually manages not to be too weighty, has a good deal of stylish options (provided you like Spartan, modern designs, which I do), and proves to be handy at ensuring your opened wine bottle doesn’t leave an irremovable stain from your furniture.

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Rioja:

Some of the tidbits that made it into my speeches during a recent gig in NYC with Wines of Rioja were just too geeky good to leave to the pages of my panel notes. So they made it to the virtual pages of Answers.com, in the form of three tidbits about the region of which you (most likely) were not aware.

Cheers – and enjoy!

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