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Tag Archives: Wine Curmudgeon

Win two Savor Dallas tickets

Win two Savor Dallas tickets

Win two Savor Dallas ticketsAnd the winner is: KT, who picked 653. The winning number (screen shot below) was 797.

Win two Savor Dallas tickets for a Saturday winemaker tasting panel co-moderated by the Wine Curmudgeon, who may also mention a thing or two about the cheap wine book (and have some for sale).

Michael Green, formerly of the late and much missed Gourmet, is the other moderator. The panel is top notch: Dr. Richard Becker of Texas’ Becker Vineyards; Ralf Holdenried of Napa’s William Hill; and Sergio Cuadra of Texas’ Fall Creek.

How to win (and these are the rules for all Wine Curmudgeon contests): Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comments section of this post. At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose number is closest to the random number wins the prize — and no, you can’t pick a number someone else has picked. Only one entry per person.

The seminar is at 11 a.m. March 22 at Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Dallas.

randon savor

Where was the copy editor?

Several astute visitors noted what seemed to be basic math errors in yesterday’s Big Wine post, and I’m grateful for their help. The good news is that my math was correct. The bad news is that my typing wasn’t, because I transposed several numbers when I wrote the post. This made it seem like the biggest  of the big U.S. wine companies control substantially more of the market than they do. I have corrected the numbers.

The overall point of the post, though, hasn’t changed: The top 3 companies control slightly more than one half of the U.S. market, the top six control about two-thirds, and the top 30 control some 90 percent. “In other words, all the wine that those of us who write about wine love to write about? Hardly anyone drinks it.”

As I noted in the comments, I’d fire my copy editor, but then who would write the blog?

Five things consumers told me during the cheap wine book tours

winetrends

Five things consumers taught me during the cheap wine book toursFive things consumers told me during the cheap wine book tours, from last fall through this month:

1. They’re really, really tired of overpriced restaurant wine. I heard this a lot, but one instance stood out. Phil Cobb, the legendary Dallas restaurateur, was at one of the signings, and he asked me why restaurants charge so much money for wine. He said he always thought 2 1/2 times wholesale was a fair markup, but he sees prices that are much higher than that — including the $50 he paid recently. If Cobb, who can afford it and knows how the system works, thinks restaurant wine prices are too high, imagine what the others told me. So why haven’t restaurants figured this out?

2. White wine is for women, red wine is for men. This is something, despite all of the writing I do about wine marketing, that never occurred to me, and I’m still not sure I believe it. But a couple of El Centro College culinary students said that’s the way it seems to them, and they made a convincing argument. Look at the some of the best-selling brands and their names — Barefoot, Cupcake, Little Black Dress — and their biggest selling wines. Not too masculine, are they? For another, they said, look at pinot grigio, which skews heavily toward women.

3. Stop recommending wines that aren’t available. Yes, even the WC, who understands availability better than most, goofed up here. We tasted the 2012 Charles & Charles rose during my seminar at the American Wine Society conference, and a woman asked me where she could buy it. This vintage is sold out, I said, but the 2013 will be out in the spring. If it’s sold out, she said, and she looked like my mom the last time I messed up her kitchen when the food processor went blewy, then why did we taste it?

4. Don’t confuse me; just tell me what it tastes like. Consumers may or may not like scores (I heard both sides), but at least scores make it easier to buy wine. What doesn’t is the winespeak many of them find when they Goggle a wine they want to buy. One of the biggest laughs I got, every time, was my parody of post-modern wine writing, with its vanilla and leather and pomegranate descriptors.

5. How come we never knew about sparkling wine and rose? Consumers, who thought all sparkling wine was French and expensive, and that pink wine was sweet and un-manly, have embraced each with an enthusiasm that makes me almost giddy. That they’re willing to try each, let alone enjoy it, speaks to how far we’ve come in getting them off the California varietal merry-go-round.

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