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Tag Archives: wine writing

Winebits 338: Wine snobs edition

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wine snobs“I don’t drink that”: Radio host, wine judge, and raconteur Tim McNally addresses those of you, who, for no particular reason, refuse to drink certain wines. McNally takes on everyone who has ever turned up their nose at white, rose, riesling, imports, and most of what’s in between, calling it “something which is encapsulated in the ‘Don’t screw me up with the facts lifestyle.”  Plus, being a New Orleanian, he works in a football reference, which is nicely done.

Enough with the tasting notes already: Someone, no doubt heir to the English comedic tradition that is so admired here, stuck fake tasting notes over the real notes on wines at a London grocery store. “Agile clam flavours with a suspicion of red kryptonite,” anyone? Or, as, Jake Wallis Simons writes in The Telegraph: “I doubt I’m alone in suspecting that it’s all just a case of the Emperor’s new clothes.” Not that that sentiment has ever appeared anywhere on the blog, of course. The good news is that the world is changing, and the traditional tasting note — what the headline to this story calls “a load of old drivel” — seems to mean less than it used to. 

The truth about wine: This infographic from the Wine Folly website called “Being a Wine Connoisseur” pretty much says everything that needs to be said about too many wine drinkers (though it is a bit harsh on supermarket wine). My favorite: The “Wine over time” bit, describing how we feel about a crappy wine two hours after we drink it. Which, of course, is that it tastes much better. Wine Folly, which is part wine education site and part wine-related gifts retailer, does a very nice job, and makes me wish I had done some some of the things that it does.

Vote for your favorite Wine Blog Awards finalist

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wine bloog awardsBut you can’t vote for me, because I didn’t participate this year. Winning last year was enough — time to spread the wealth around and let the world see how many great blogs and websites there are.

The list of finalists is here. The quality of the finalists this year is outstanding, even without me. But if you’re going to vote, a few thoughts:

• My pal Alfonso Cevola is listed for best single subject blog for On the Wine Trail in Italy.

• Jon Thorsen, who does the Reverse Wine Snob and writes about cheap wine, is listed for best wine review.

• W. Blake Gray, who brings a reporter’s sensibility to what he does at The Gray Report, is a finalist for best writing.

Winebits 337: Coravin woes and crappy wine

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wine news coravinCoravin says whoops: Far be it for the Wine Curmudgeon to say “I told you so,” but the $300 Coravin wine opener has hit a snag. As in exploding bottles. The system exerts so much pressure that some bottles, likely with minute defects, burst when the Coravin is used. The company has halted sales until it fixes the problem, and has sent those who purchased the opener a patch. Who knew wine openers would be subject to recalls?

No more reviews: Lew Perdue, who runs the Wine Industry Insight news service, used to throw the occasional wine review in the mix. But no more: “…I’ve grown weary of panning bad wine. You probably don’t enjoy reading about it. Worse than that are all of the bad wines I’ve had the misfortune of buying. And tasting.” I’m sorry to see Lew go, but completely understand. Those of us who buy wine to review and take our chances with what we buy have had the same thing happen to us. Over and over. And over. Or, as I like to joke, I taste more bad wine than anyone in the world. Which actually isn’t very funny, is it?

Legitimate wine education: Or so promises a British supermarket chain, which is adding a taste test to its on-line store. Consumers will answer questions about their wine preferences, and the results will guide them to wines labeled sweet, fresh, smooth, or intense (as well as a numbered scale) that match their answers. Says the chain’s wine buyer: “Customers really love wines but they find buying it scary because they are really worried that they are going to buy the wrong products.” Wow. Who knew retailers knew that?

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