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Blurbs South Of The Border (On Evan Goldstein’s “Wines Of South America”)

Vinted on July 15, 2014 binned in wine books
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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!

There are moments that mark a sort of rite of passage for personalities in any field. With respect to writing on the topic of wine, there’s the first time you’re given a wine sample, the first time you’re invited to a tasting event or a tour of a wine region, the first time someone quotes your review of a wine, etc.

Like sex (okay, that’s a really poor comparison), they say you never forget your first time, and I suspect that in any case several of those first time events were almost as awkward an exchange as that first time.

Anyway

I was recently involved in another first (for me) when it comes to being a wine personality (for lack of a better term): being asked to write a blurb for someone else’s wine book, the soon-to-be-released Wines of South America: The Essential Guide” by Master Somm. Evan Goldstein.

On the finished product (a page proof copy of which I recently received), my blurb in support of Goldstein’s latest shares the back page with another blurb penned by the indefatigable Laura Catena of Catena Zapata; so I’m in very good company as far as covers go…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For July 14, 2014

Vinted on July 14, 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!

  • 11 Blackbird Vineyards Arise Proprietary Red (Napa Valley): Ohhhhh…. I like herbs and blackberries…. I like toast and jam…. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Rodney Strong Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): Smokey club, dark shadows, hot jazz, strong drinks, sultry evening. $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Terlato Vineyards Devil's Peak Red (Napa Valley): Overall looking good but it's too late to hit the treadmill & shed that midriff $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Michael Mondavi Family Emblem Oso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Smoooooth operataaaahhhh… Smoooooooth operatahhhhh. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Isabel Mondavi Chardonnay (Carneros): Tasteful tale with a long, elegant ending, longer than the admission price would suggest. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Hourglass Blueline Estate Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley): Not all the characters will make it out of this darkly complex tale alive. $135 A >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Hourglass Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Encapsulating all that's right about NV SB, jettisoning everything that ain't. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Hourglass Blueline Estate Malbec (Napa Valley): Big, but not letting go of its tastefully dusty, mineral, or tangy prettiness. $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Hourglass Blueline Estate Merlot (Napa Valley): Molding itself out of earthy clay with gorgeous, iron-like and plummy intensity. $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Rodney Strong Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): The crown is a heavy one, & laden with dark fruited jewels. $75 A- >>find this wine<<

Not Seeing Bottom Line Impact From Wine Social Media Efforts? Then You’re Using It Incorrectly!

Vinted on July 11, 2014 binned in commentary, wine news

Disappointed that your wine sales aren’t seeing an impact from your social media efforts?

Then this study of the social media impacts experienced by nearly 400 U.S. wineries strongly suggests that you are approaching social media incorrectly. Which will come as a surprise to exactly.no-one who reads this big regularly.

http://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=getArticle&dataid=135492

A quick quote:

“The results show that 87% of wineries in the sample report a perceived increase in wine sales due to social media practices.”

That’s it, we’re done here, the end. Seriously, go read the summary, and then if you decide that you’d rather not increase sales, don’t bitch and moan if your winery or band tanks eventually.

The debate on this topic is over. If you still think social media has no/little place in wine, then in the words of Obi-wan Kenobi, “you are lost!” If that remains your stance, I cannot help you; go back to sticking your head in the sand in your flat, 3,000-year-old earth where humans didn’t evolve from primates and the climate isn’t warming.

Cheers!

“Tough To Spit” (Dispatch From 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition)

Vinted on July 10, 2014 binned in elegant wines, going pro, sexy wines, wine industry events, wine review

Every once in a while, you get a gig that is so good, you just have to pinch yourself to test if it’s all real and you’re actually getting paid to have so much fun.

Such was the case at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition, which wrapped up a couple of weeks ago and recently announced its results. Over 30 countries and 26 U.S. states compete in this competition, which is billed as America’s largest such international vinous battle royale. The pinch-inducing vibe came courtesy of my lucky draw in amazing wine competition panel-mates, which included cult winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett (small tidbit of advice: do not get between her and shoe shopping!) and competition organizer Anthony Dias Blue. The latter meant, of course, that at some point our panel would probably be getting some of the better wines entered into the comp, and that indeed did come to pass when we kicked off the second day of judging and were greeted with the wine lover’s breakfast of champions: a stellar flight of mostly vintage bubbly.

Did I mention that I love my “job?” Well, I do.

As for the specifics: the judges were divvied up about 3-4 at a table, tasting several related flights blind, knowing basically only the residual sugar, grapes, and price points of each wine. A splendid time was had by all (at least as far as I could tell), and I was happy to have leant my judging palate to a competition that was so well-organized, well-run, and that represented such a stellar group of wine-biz-insider-type judges. As always, I felt that I was bringing the overall class levels down a few notches by my attendance, though I think I made up for it in humor (we laughed a lot at our table…).

Anyway, here are a few of the stellar picks from that stellar bubbly lineup that had my table more-or-less swooning..

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