Of Wine Competitions, Panty-less Drinkers, And The Next Punch Down Guest

Vinted on June 5, 2013 binned in on the road, The Punch Down, Wined Down (Playboy.com)

As you read this, I’ll be missing the after-after-after parties at the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference (insert your preferred sad face emoticon here) so that I can… work. Sort-of.

This week, I’ll be undermining the previously stellar reputation of the commercial wine competition portion of the California State Fair, acting as one of the judges. This is my first time judging at the event, and I’m stoked because the list of judges contains the names of several people I’m happy to be able to call friends, and many more that I deeply respect. I’ll try not to piss too many of them off as I drag their reputations in the mud with my presence.

While we’re here, I thought I’d also point out that you might be able to tell whether or not some people wear underwear based on the wines that they like. So sayeth Master of Wine Tim Hanni, anyway, in his recently-released book Why You Like The Wines You Like (about $20 on Amazon.com – full disclosure, I received a sample copy of the book, and Tim mentions me favorable on one of its pages), and my latest published piece for Playboy.com is an interview I conducted with the iconoclastic figure. We chat about the implications of his research on relationships, wine buying, and wine criticism; go check it out (and try not to get too distracted by the pictures…).

Finally, I wanted to officially announce the long-overdue guest for Episode Five of The Punch Down! Get ready, this one is gonna be a bit off the rails…

So far, we’ve had the NYT’s Eric Asimov, CA vintners hall of fame member Randall Grahm, best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk, and the world’s first citizen MW Jancis Robinson all on the TPD hot seat.

We continue the “go big or go home” theory of TPD guest invites for episode five, which will feature outspoken importer and author Terry Theise.

Theise’s Reading between the Wines (now also a now a full-length documentary film called Leading Between The Vines) was my #1 pick when judging the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year Awards a couple of years back, mostly because of how articulately unashamed he was about speaking his mind and championing wines that run counter to the big, focused, and extracted style that have come to define fine wine over the last few decades. Theise’s portfolio deals in the wines of Germany, Austria and Champagne, and hasn’t wavered an iota since the 1980s. As my co-host Tara wrote of Theise, “this is no shrinking violet – he’s articulate, extremely well-versed, well-spoken, opinionated, hard-nosed and boyish – in a word: entertaining!”

You won’t want to miss this! Pour a glass of Riesling and come geek out with us. Also, did we just talked about state fair, panties and German wine all within a contiguous 500 words? Awesome…

Join us for our live online chat with Terry on Tuesday June 11 (that’s next week, chumps!) at 1pm Eastern (6pm UK).




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