Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Aug 11, 2015

Mediocrity on the Eve of the Wine Bloggers Conference

The upcoming Wine Bloggers Conference in New York’s Finger Lakes region has me excited; probably because I was unable to attend last year’s conference and I miss the gathering. But it also has provided me the occasion to think about the process of blogging and blogging about wine. In fact, I recently took time to think again about what it takes to be a successful blogger and particularly a successful wine blogger (it’s not rocket science), and to assess whether…

Jul 30, 2015

Corrosion and Corruption in Alcohol Beverage Sales

One of the major battle grounds in the ongoing alcohol three tier war is the issue of Self Distribution: when producers sell their own product to either retailers or consumers without the use of a wholesaler. To craft brewers and craft distillers, a dynamic part of the alcohol beverage industry, this ability is crucial to their success. It is often argued only by the wholesaler tier that producer sales without use of a wholesaler is a corruption of the three…

Jul 24, 2015

The Newest Edition of Wine’s Most Important Reference Book

Drinks Business reports on the coming publication of the 4th Edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine (OCtW)—the most important wine reference book in history of wine reference books. What’s nearly as remarkable as the comprehensive nature of this great work is the effort that goes into updating it. According to the Drinks Business article as well as to the Oxford Companion to Wine website, over 60% of the nearly 4,000 (yes, 4,000!) entries will have been updated for this…

Jul 20, 2015

Wine Competitions and the Ethical Conundrum

At a wine competition the award that every winery wants to win is the “Sweepstakes” Award. Sometimes it is called the “Chairman’s Award. In short, these awards are given to the single best red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wine. Many red wines may get a gold or even a “double gold” award, but only one is awarded the “Sweepstakes Red” Award. Sweepstakes Awards are determined by all the judges at the competition on the basis of a vote. Throughout…

Jun 16, 2015

If You Only Read One Wine Book This Year

Matt Kramer’s latest book (really not more than a long, concise, finely argued essay) is subversive. While at once a bare knuckled take down of the now well established “flavor-descriptor-as-tasting-note” mode of wine review, True Taste: The Seven Essential Wine Words is also a manifesto for the return to values, judgment and discernment in both wine writing and wine reviewing. And it is a book that every wine writer, every wine industry participant and every true wine aficionado needs to read…