I’ll be hitting the judging circuit this week at the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition, so it seemed a good time to get a jump on the June wine product round-up (my monthly attempt at working a path through the product samples that I receive that aren’t drinkable).
This month, I’m happy to report that I’ve got two strong recommendations to out forward; one for your mouth, and one for your brain.
First up, the RÖD Wine series of stemware (available in packs of three glasses for about $48 per pack). These come in three impressively-packed incarnations: glasses for red, and white wines, and flutes for bubbles (the latter of which I found superfluous, as will be explained in a moment).
The three designs all share a similar sturdy, restaurant-quality build that seems quite ready to stand up to everyday use; and the rims are juuuuust slender enough that the sturdiness doesn’t impact the delivery of the wine to your eager face. The base of the stemware takes a bit of getting used to, as it’s a thicker design than you’ll find in most stemware, but apart from that minor cavil, I thought that the RÖD Wine glasses sent to me struck an excellent balance between durability, price, and elegance. If picking one style, I’d recommend the white design; for me, they were the most versatile performers, handling white wines, delicate reds, and sparkling wines without breaking a sweat (or whatever the eqivalent of glassware sweating is)…
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Voting for the 2016 Wine Blog Awards is now open, so you need to get yer digital ass over to their website and cast your vote to help determine the winners.
Before you ask – no, I am not a finalist this year. I was a judge, and therefore requested that 1WD be recused from the awards (for all I know, 1WD wasn’t even nominated, so maybe that was an easy task for the organizers!).
On the negative side, I had to trudge through and eliminate a lot of (I’m being kind here) amateurish writing during the judging process. That is, however, to be expected; blogs are, at their heart of hearts, online journals open to anyone, not just those who write well. So I was unpleasantly not surprised by the volume of writing and media production that wasn’t (again, being kind) award-worthy material.
On the positive side, however, is that the writing that I did put forward from the nominees as potential finalists was, at turns, excellent; well-reasoned, deep, poignant, funny, useful, well-executed, and sporting personality. In other words, exactly what excellent blogging on any topic ought to be.
Those of you who have been following along with this WBA stuff for the last several years will see quite a lot of new faces among the list of finalists. Personally, that is the single most gratifying thing for me; seeing all of those “new” websites in the finalist lists, and realizing that I know so few of them (a situation that I will be changing with all speed).
When I won a WBA back in 2010, told the audience that I didn’t really want to win another one, because I sincerely hoped that the wine blogging community was more dynamic than that. Turns out, it really is much more dynamic than that. That’s heartwarming in a holy-crap-I’m-like-a-Wine-Blog-granddad kind of way.