Articles Tagged wine bloggers conference 2014

Come Original (On Negative Reviews, #WBC14, Boring Wine Writing, & Non-Boring Wines)

Vinted on July 24, 2014 binned in commentary, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, wine review

“A warning to the crews out there who think they’re hot, if you’re not original rockers you will get shot
down by the kids neglectin’ your art, the stuff you did, eventually it get so bad puts you to bed
’cause when the lightning flashes sweet electricity, all the world then stands revealed with the clarity
of raw voltage, briefly we see and the hope is you’ll be able to tell just what dope is…”

Come Original by 311

Earlier this month, I attended the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara, CA, as a speaker on a panel titled “How The Pros Taste.” I was actually in town primarily to help a friend of mine, Wandering Wino, kick off  a post-WBC tasting event (called “Authentic Press”) that focused on small SB-area producers (happy to report that was well-attended, and nary a drop of under-performing juice was to be found among the stellar lineup that he selected to pour at the event), so the timing all worked out splendidly.

I enjoyed WBC14 (well, ok, apart from the big dinner, which always seems to fall flat at WBC for some reason, excepting Alan Kropf’s entertaining WBA presentation), and thought this was one of the best incarnations yet, particularly for those new to wine blogging. The WBC keynote address by Corbett Barr seemed divisive based on the twitter chatter, but I also enjoyed that talk; and for anyone who doubts Barr’s assertion that character trumps everything else when it comes to building up your brand online, consider as some evidence that what I make for writing about wine puts me in the top 5-10% of all U.S. wine writers (and it’s a sad commentary that amount is only bonus-level money compared to my previous corporate gig).

I won’t comment on the Wine Blog Awards. No offense meant to the winners (there are some fine blogs in that group), and I’m always touched to be nominated and to be named a finalist, but I’m still pretty “fringe” and gonzo when it comes to wine writing (which, after all these years blogging, is also a kind of sad commentary, when you think about it), so the things I value and want to see recognized (in almost any genre, not just wine writing) are usually not what get rewarded. Just imagine how I feel about the Grammy’s!

A few hiccups involving LA road rage delays impacting fellow panelist Patrick Comiskey aside, I also had fun participating on my panel (for those of you who were thinking that I was stroking moderator Steve Heimoff’s crotch under the table on stage, I was actually petting Steve’s adorable pet dog Gus, who was sitting quietly in Steve’s lap the entire time; that’s my story, anyway), waxing philosophic about how I go about critically tasting vino (and getting totally fooled by the final “mystery wine” of the lineup). I’m good for at least one or two re-tweetable money quotes per panel, and the one that got the most attention during the panel seemed to be my comment on negative wine reviews (“some wines need to be kicked in the crotch”), so I thought I’d talk a bit more about that stance here.

My view on negative wine reviews is that they, like serving rare vintages of the world’s finest wines, ought to be reserved for special occasions. I say this because only a few wines are epically bad enough –and were created with sufficient malicious intent – that they deserve your finest writing work…

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1WineDude.com TV Episode 61: “How The Pros Taste” From #WBC14

Vinted on July 22, 2014 binned in 1WineDude TV, on the road, wine bloggers conference

Some of you asked for it, so here it is: our panel on how the pros taste wine from the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara, CA. Or most of our panel, anyway; as much of it as could be recorded before my video camera lost its juice.

More thoughts on the wines that we tasted during that panel, as well as on WBC14 itself, later this week. In the meantime, you now have about 50 minutes of vid to peruse if you’re curious as to how Steve Heimoff, Patrick Comiskey, and I suck the joy out of wine by tasting it critically!

1WineDude.com TV Episode 61: How The Pros Taste From WBC14

Cheers!

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How The Pros Taste (Wine Bloggers Conference 2014)

Vinted on July 8, 2014 binned in wine bloggers conference

This weekend, I’ll be partying at attending the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara, an area with which, I’m happy to say, I am now quite familiar, and where I have quite a few friends trying to make a living in this crazy wine business of ours.

During the first full day of the conference (Friday, July 11), I will be part of a panel discussion (along with wine industry veterans Steve Heimoff (formerly running the CA wine beat for Wine Enthusiast) and Patrick Comiskey (a friend, and a great writer and taster, from Wine & Spirits Magazine).

Our topic, as described by the WBC organizers:

How do we analyze a wine while capturing its unique story? Discover more about the sensory and analytical process employed by wine pros as they translate what’s in the glass into words on the page. You’ll refine your own strategy for critiquing wine while learning more about the complexities and insights behind wine evaluation. The discussion will be led by Steve Heimoff (former California wine critic for The Wine Enthusiast) and features panelists Joe Roberts (acclaimed wine blogger) and Patrick Comiskey (wine critic for Wine & Spirits Magazine) as they reveal the methods behind effective wine assessment and wine writing for the public.

Critical wine tasting is a topic about which I think way, way, way too much, as in totally-unhealthy-obsessive-compulsive levels of “too much…”

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