Articles Tagged wine appreciation

Your Memory Sucks Donkey Bong (Or, “On The Importance Of Tasting Notes”)

Vinted on September 8, 2015 binned in commentary, wine appreciation

Because I am divorcing someone at fault, I have been on the receiving end of revisionist history, even when it seeks to conform to a false, self-serving narrative of cognitive dissonance.

It turns out, however, that revisionism towards an agenda of mollifying cognitive dissonance (“yeah, I did that nasty sh*t, but I am different and it’s ok because…”) is actually one of the core elements of a properly functioning human memory.

As strange as this may sound initially, revisionist memory is the reason why I am always carrying around pen and notebook when tasting wine, my friends, and why I think that any budding wine nerd needs to do the same (or an equivalent) when they are getting serious about appreciating wine (let alone criticizing it). Because if you’re anything like the majority of the human population (and, trust me, you are), then your memory is… well… crap.

Not only is your memory poor at capturing actual details as they happened (this includes about wine), it is an ever-changing, malleable storytelling machine, constantly revising and rewriting history, filling in the blanks between factual details in order to preserve whatever narrative best reduces any dissonance between what actually went down, and your (most likely overly-inflated) internal view of your self…

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Reader Mailbag: Trying New Wine Is A Pain In The Ass

Vinted on October 9, 2014 binned in best of, commentary, wine appreciation

1WD reader Matt (that’s all your getting, as I don’t have permission to print the person’s full name here) recently wrote to me via an email with a title so intriguing, it sparked the first-ever “reader mailbag” style post on this site in its seven-some-odd-year history:

“Trying New Wine Is A Pain In The Ass”

There’s much juiciness to be squeezed from Matt’s email, so I’ll first reprint it here before addressing Matt’s questions in detail:

“Let me rephrase that… Trying new *quality* wine is a pain in the ass, literally in the wallet. Its all a gamble really and I’d bet that the average person, let alone the active wine drinker wants to bet on a $50 bottle. We are not all in your position where nice wines may be shipped to us for tasting purposes in hopes that you blog about it.

So… My reason for contact is this. Today I read the article, ‘Wine execs are scared of the craft beer and spirits growth.’ You probably read it since its well circulated. Following the gambling terminology, beer and spirits have a relatively low buy-in. If that bet pays off and I like it, then I can opt for the higher price points. Quality wine, on the other hand, does not have this low cost of buy-in. It’s all or nothing and if you get burned once, then you will likely never go all-in on a 50+ bottle again.

I’m curious, do you have any opinions on opportunities of low buy-in options for higher priced wines? The tasting room is the only opportunity I can think of and that is not exactly mass market. When exactly does the average person opt for that $50 bottle cab? marketing fluff? friends advice? impressing the boss? Do wine drinkers randomly buy expensive wines that they have never had before? If not, when are they exposed to them that creates a buying opportunity? I’d love to hear your comments and what your readers may think. I’ve never met a wine I didn’t like… to try. Thanks Joe! Matt.”

Talk about food (or drink?) for thought! And Matt seems to want to hear your responses to all of this as well, so it’s giving us a nice opportunity to argue in the best internecine fashion that is the hallmark of modern wine discourse!

Well, Matt, following are my responses. I hope you don’t mind the delay, I just wanted to share the dialog with a (much) wider audience!…

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Everything That I Know About Investing (I Learned From Wine)

Vinted on September 23, 2014 binned in commentary, wine appreciation

[ Warning: This post has very little to do about wine. But, it might just help to make you a millionaire. Your mileage may vary. ]

Back in March, when I let the cat out of the bag on my personal financial situation, I got a lot of interesting reactions. Most of them were of the attah-boy! variety, but since that time there’s been no shortage of questions coming to me in private about it.

Most of those are some variation on the theme: “how the f*ck did you do that?!??”

I am here today to tell you everything that I know about investing. Interestingly, I learned the most important aspects of it from tasting wine, though I am not trying to fool anyone that one will lead to the other in any meaningful way.

The bottom line is that after spending some countless hours delving deep into the pits of wine and tasting knowledge, I emerged in nearly the same place where I began, which is to approach the topic humbly, simply, and with a plan that lets me tune out the “noise” of scores or similar attempts at taste-making / gate-keeping that purport to tell me what is “right” or “wrong” to drink. When it comes to personal satisfaction, 90% of what we see in terms of wine coverage is more or less “wine porn.”

And after spending the last two years delving deep into the pots of investing and finance knowledge, I’ve come to the conclusion that successful investing requires almost exactly the same approach: ignore the porn.

Ah, simplicity, thy name is investing!

Here’s the skinny on how (in my somewhat learned opinion) 90% of those reading this can find success and wealth through investing…

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“David, The Wine4.Me App Is Here. Hello Jeanine.”

Vinted on June 6, 2014 binned in wine appreciation, wine news

Those not getting the title reference today need to hang their heads in total shame! No wine for you!!

Anyway… remember, about a year ago, when we talked about the data behind a new wine app, Wine4.me?

Well, I’m pleased to tell you that the Wine4.me app is (finally!) available for download in iTunes.

The full disclosure part of all of this is that I was paid to be one of the expert tasters on the panels that formed the basis of Wine4.me’s data, and I am an ongoing contributor to their consumer-facing blog.  But they’re not paying me to tell you about the app’s release; I’m doing that because I’m genuinely excited to see it go live. Finally.

The bottom line is that while the mobile wine app space is insanely crowded right now, no other wine app out there (that I know of, anyway) is so steeped in data and the scientific method (we already know how I feel about that stuff, right?), so consumer-focused with a for-real value proposition (using that data to significantly increase your chances of finding a similar wine you will enjoy), and actually pops the corks on bottles themselves to get there. There also happen to be some lovely human beings involved in this project, and working with them has been nothing short of a total pleasure (and hey, it’s better we highlight the work of nice people, instead of that of a bunch of douchebags, I suppose)…

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