Welcome to the post-Valentine’s Day Hangover edition of the Weekly Wine Web Wrap-up (where Dude highlights some of his favorite wine news items over the past week)!
Is it Getting Hot in Here, or is it Just Me?
You’d have been hard-pressed (ha-ha) to miss stories this week about the impact of global warming on the wine world, such as this nice article from the AFP. According to the report, the French in particular are in big trouble. The article does not state how the U.S. will save France this time around (we can only assume America will want to go for the “Bail France Out Trifecta” having already performed that service when France was threatened by phylloxera, and zee Germans…).
And the Winner Is…
Once again, Gallo is tops in U.S. domestic wine sales, shipping an estimated 66 million cases in America during 2007. That’s about 792 million bottles of wine, or 59.4 billion ml of our favorite beverage. The only comparison to that in the scientific world in terms of concentration is spermatozoa. Yuck. OK, let’s just agree to forget that I said that…
Looks like Tennessee is trying to do things right when it comes to Internet wine sales, according to this little blurb on TriCities.com. The article even cites the benefits that the state can reap by opening up their markets to Internet and mail-order wine sales. When will the other states listen to reason? Tennessee is showin’ you folks how it’s done (with good ol’ Southern hospitality)!
By contrast, Colorado is getting it way wrong, as liquor stores and grocery stores battle it out to see who will get the Sunday liquor business from the state’s consumers. Can’t we all just get along?
Never Judge An Appellation by its Label
If you think total wine consumption and wine sales are the only titles the U.S. is battling the French and Italians over for the #1 spot, you’ve obviously missed this SanLuisObispo.com article on the debate over proposed changes to their appellations’ wine labels. Because now it appears that CA is trying to catch up France & Italy in the battle of who has the most complex appellation and labeling laws. Drat.
The WORST News EVER!
This story is, like, the worst news EVER! I can’t even finish reading it… Oh the humanity!!! Close your eyes, Marion! Keep your eyes SHUT!!!
Searching for Wine 2.0
Finally, the San Francisco Chronicle has given some nice publicity to Doug Cook’s new wine search engine venture AbleGrape.com. Right On!!!
In January of 2008, I began to get into the Wine 2.0 conversation and started to post wine reviews on twitter. For those of you not familiar with twitter, it’s essentially a ‘micro-blogging’ platform that allows you to post short updates about what’s happening in your life. And when I say short, I mean it – there’s a 140 character limit enforced on each post (hence, the ‘micro’ part).
At about the same time, I also began participating in another form of Wine 2.0 wine review expression at Chateau Petrogasm, where no words are used – you review a wine with a sole image of your choosing.
You might expect that a limit of 140 characters (or 0 characters) would be, well, limiting. So far, I’ve found just the opposite to be true. Both processes have been far from limiting – in fact, they’ve been downright liberating.
When you’re forced to boil down your reactions and thoughts in just a few words (or no words), you chose what you’re going to say very, very carefully.
No scores. No detailed history of wines, regions, or winemakers. No BS. Just you and your deepest reactions to the wine!
Well, that, and the opportunity to write short, pithy posts – which is borderline irresistible to me…
For those of you not of the twitter persuasion, I’ve added a sidebar to the blog that will list my most recent wine ‘mini-reviews.’ I’ve also created this post, which will link to the twitter page and the RSS feed, and will show the last several mini-reviews I’ve posted. I will keep this post linked from the top menu as well – if nothing else, just to see how the mini-reviews evolve over time.
Hope you enjoy the recommendations (and heed the advice on the plonk to avoid)!
How to get the 1WineDude twitter wine Mini-Reviews:
And it’s not because the object of your desire becomes more desirable after you’ve put on the “wine goggles.”
According to a survey jointly sponsored by the Australian Wine Council and on-line dating service Match.com, having a healthy knowledge of the world’s most romantic beverage makes you more attractive, with those people preferring Italian wines being viewed as particularly “sexy” and “stylish.”
There’s still plenty of time for you to order up a copy of Vino Italiano and join us for the first Wine Book Club. Just sayin’…
Wine X Magazine (as reported by autumnilia) backs up the “wine = sexier” conclusion in an interview with sexpert Dr. Ruth, who tells us that wine is an essential element of foreplay (she prefers Beaujolais Nouveau, gewurztraminer, and CA white, so those may be some of the sexiest wine choices, seeing as how she’s a sexpert and whatnot- again, just sayin’).
Finally – If you’re totally desperate on this most Hallmark of holidays, Yahoo! Answers has a thread about what wine choices make a drinking partner appear the most attractive. Chianti and Sake got the nods there. Just sayin’.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
This month’s edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday comes to us courtesy of Spitton.biz, who have tasked the collective talents of the budding wine blogging community by asking us to review an Italian Red, using just seven words.
Tricky, to say the least (get it?); especially for those of us whose prose, how shall I put this… does not value highly the elegance of the concise.
But let’s not sell ourselves short (get it??), or wax too philosophically about the relative merits of our brief (get it?!?) and minute (get it?!??) contribution to the great big blogosphere.
Ok, ok… I’ll stop!
Anyway, for this excellent exercise in enological economy, Dude chose an old stand-by wine: Castello Banfi’s Rosso di Montalcino D.O.C. (2003, Tuscany). Before Dude delves deep into the diminutive depiction of this dapper delicacy, let us first examine some way-cool background information so you can get up close and personal with what Rosso di Montalcino is all about….
Most wine lovers have at least heard about the famed wines of Brunello di Montalcino, from Tuscany in Italy’s Central-west region. These suckers are famed because a) they’re expensive, b) they taste great and can make amazing matches with roast meat dishes and c) need upwards of 20 years of aging to tame their harsh tannins and bracing acidity, developing over long periods of time into a plum-fruit-filled, smoky, and leathery behemoth of a wine (Dude has personally tasted 25+ year old Brunellos that still could’ve used a few more years in the bottle to soften up!).
But what if a) you’re not rich and b) you don’t want to wait around for 20+ years until you’re old and gray in order to enjoy a big, bad Montalcino wine?
You can still get some of that good, down-home Montalcino love by going with a Rosso di Montalcino. Both Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino wines are made from the Brunello grape, which is a clone of Sangiovese, and both undergo similar wine-making techniques. But Rossos have a much lower minimum barrel aging requirement, and usually are made with grapes from younger vines than those that make it into the Brunellos. This makes them a) cheaper (usually under $20), and b) ready to drink without the multi-decade waiting period typically needed for good Brunellos. They’re not as heavy, heady, rich, or complex as Brunellos, but Rossos give you a tasty teaser of what their bigger brothers are like, and are well worth the effort of checking out in their own right.
Got it? Groovy!
Now, let’s get to this typically wordy Dude’s atypically “unwordy” review. My 7 words are meant to tell a story, so I enlisted the help of some pictures (hopefully that doesn’t mean I actually used 7,007 words… oh, drat!):