Posts Tagged ‘Do’

The critic.

The critic.

 

Influential critics have long played an important role in our discovery of many of life’s pleasures but are noticeably absent from others. Ardent fans of the movies, theater, literature and other areas of interest often look to familiar and trusted critics for guidance in unearthing new products and adventures as they emerge.

We tend to identify with a critic’s personal preferences and subjective direction on a range of important topics and use these “critiques” as suggestions, rather than point-driven rules, in steering the way to what might be appealing to us.

So why has the wine critic’s role taken on such a different and more rigid path in the appreciation, marketing and consequent production of wine by “awarding” completely objective scores behind a subjective facade?

A critic should be a reliable source of information for those interested, by conveying seasoned personal opinions through a review. But when a point score (without published derivation or computation) is attached, the review assumes the appearance of objectivity but remains couched in the more familiar subjective style.

Certainly there are expert reviewers and writers voicing their experienced personal opinions on what’s new in the market, but have you ever seen a dress with a 96-point rating or a perfume bearing an 85-point score? I doubt it. Yet the opinion makers in these industries do get their fair share of media time and space with detailed descriptions and observations that followers can accept or reject within their own frame of reference.

I guess this all leads to the basic question: “Is the critic’s role one of opinion or judgment?” And it’s often this question, phrased in different ways, that becomes the subject of many discussions I’ve had with others in and out of the wine industry.

 

Read on …

Jesse Jane do Tequila & beer!

Jesse Jane do Tequila & beer!

From Ron Jeremy’s love of rum to Jenna Jameson’s obsession with Irish whiskey, we reveal porn stars’ favourite drinks.
When the Ron de Jeremy rum launched in 2011, one reviewer said: “I honestly don’t think that there has been a rum – or any product for that matter – that I have had more people ask me for my opinion on in hushed tones than Ron de Jeremy.”

And that is, perhaps, no great shock. The marketers of the rum have adopted a rather tongue-in-cheek campaign, with the saying: “Long and smooth, it’s perfect naked” and it’s no surprise to see Jeremy surrounded by beautiful girls as he talks about the rum. There is even a Ron de Jeremy calendar available.

But Jeremy is not the only adult star to have crossed into the adult world of drinks, Jenna Jameson, once considered the “Queen of porn”, has also released a selection of wines after buying a vineyard in California.

In many of the interviews that these adult movie stars give they are often asked what is their favourite drink, possibly because many people think that you must be drunk to take part in such a film. Although one XXX-rated star, Tera Patrick, dismissed this when asked recently what is the biggest misconception about porn stars, she replied: “That we’re easy to hit on and that everyone’s on drugs – that’s insane. And that we’re all dumb. Some people in porn are so bright. Ron Jeremy, for example, is a special education schoolteacher. I’m a trained nurse.”

Well, that’s OK then. So with misconceptions firmly squashed, let’s take a look at the favourite drinks of some of these adult movie stars.

 

Read on …

 

 

Our most popular post from last year is brought current with the 2012 financial information. The question at hand is: “How much do wineries really make?
 
The answer of course is ……(drum roll please ….) Not enough. Finding the facts is almost as hard as chasing unicorns in this business because the wine business is private. Its a family owned industry with even the largest; Gallo a family owned company. But its really quite amazing from the perspective of what is shared between neighbors in the wine business. There isn’t the sense that your neighbor is a rival or competitor. Its more of a club feel in many ways. If you need something, its quite normal to check in with your neighbor. Need a tractor because yours went kerput? No problemo. Need a little welding and custom fabrication on a pump? I’ll be right over with a welding rig.
 
There is a competitive side that abounds in the business too of course. When it comes to sharing financial information and customer lists, good luck! Ask a winemaker neighbor how its going financially, and you’ll get a mixture of liars dice, false bravado, partial truths and ….. well ….. 

 

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The science of winemaking.

 

From refining a style to rescuing a difficult vintage, how outsiders can help a winery

 

WHEN MICHEL ROLLAND was named the winemaking consultant to France’s Château Figeac two months ago, a great protest was registered in certain wine-drinking circles. The St. Émilion grand cru would be ruined; the wine would be “Rolland-ized,” opined drinkers posting on a popular discussion board. One reader even declared that the move was “a disaster for all fans of Figeac.” The impassioned discussion ran to seven pages and lasted two weeks. Who would guess that a winemaking consultant—even the world’s most famous one—had the power to provoke such an outpouring of passion, not to mention a purported ability to destroy a Bordeaux estate?

Winemaking consultants range from professionals who might offer a word of advice on the final blend to those who are involved in every phase of the winemaking—from the vineyard to the bottling line. While consultants have been employed for decades, the profession has lately been the subject of much debate: Do consultants actually help elevate the wines of an individual estate, or do they simply stamp out the same wine over and over again? For example, to members of that particular discussion board, a “Michel Rolland wine” was shorthand for an “overripe, over-extracted, high-alcohol” product. But was that fair? I contacted some prominent winemaking consultants—starting with Mr. Rolland—to hear what they had to say.

 

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The various sources of tannin in wine.

 

In wine, tannin is a textural element that makes wine taste dry.

Tannin is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in plants, seeds, bark, wood, leaves and fruit skins. About 50% of the dry weight of plant leaves are tannins. As a characteristic of wine, tannin adds both bitterness and astringency as well as complexity. Wine tannins are most commonly found in red wine, although white wines have tannin from being aged in wooden barrels.

  • What Does Tannin Taste Like?

Tannin tastes dry and astringent and you can feel it specifically on the middle of your tongue and the front part of your mouth. Unsweetened black tea is a great example of nearly pure tannin dissolved in water.

  • High-Tannin Foods

Tea Leaves
Walnuts, Almonds and Nuts with Skins
Dark Chocolate
Cinnamon, Clove and other spices
Pomegranates, Grapes and Açaí Berries
Quince
Red Beans

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Global market research company Mintel recently estimated the spending power of the gay population to be between £6bn and £8bn per annum in the UK and US$464bn in the US.

 

With these kind of numbers in mind it is perhaps no surprise that some drinks companies have sought out the “pink pound”.

In the book Principles of Marketing, authors Frances Brassington and Stephen Pettit wrote: “Gay consumers are perceived to have a higher than average income, and almost 60% of gay men are either single or not cohabiting. Those who are cohabiting are likely to be in dual income households.” The book adds: “The lack of dependents and responsibilities gives gay consumers more opportunities for lifestyle spending with a strong focus on leisure and socialising.”

According to gay website Queerty.com, “if there are two things gays like to be at the forefront of it’s trends and liquor.” So, with this attitude and the knowledge that the Gay Times magazine claims that 80% of its readership comes from the ABC1 socioeconomic groups, compared with 43% of the general population, targeting the gay population should make sense for many drinks brands.

Read on …

How to behave at a wine fest.

How to behave at a wine fest.

 

A bit of advice from Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain, Washington:

– Don’t tether your wine glass to your neck
– Don’t pinch your fingers and say, “Just a little.” Dump it if you don’t want to finish it, but I’m going to pour as much as I damn well please
– Don’t violently lift your glass mid-pour and say, “That’s enough.” Same deal as above.
– Don’t say, “Give me the biggest thing you have.” This isn’t NASCAR.
– Let “smooth” take the day off from your vocabulary… the whole day
– Don’t shove. I mean… really
– Don’t say you hate Merlot. We all saw Sideways. Guess what: Miles didn’t want to drink Merlot because it reminded him of his ex-wife. That bottle he drank in the end—his most precious bottle—had a ton of Merlot in it. 
– Don’t tell every winemaker about the winery that was down the street while you lived in Lodi
– Don’t ask how the wine scored… ever. 
– Do wear a “Wine’er, Dine’er, 69’er T-shirt
– If you are going to wear one of the those little food trays that has a cutout for your glass, you better be damn sure you are cool enough to wear it. Note: no one is that cool
– Over-buff late thirties guy: Don’t try to impress your date by contradicting me. You’re going to fail. Yeah, try me
– Don’t lick your glass… pig
– Don’t talk about your sulfite allergy. There is a good chance you have no idea what you’re talking about
– Don’t dump into the water pitcher. And always look before you drink out of it
– Practice spitting at home; it will come in handy
– Don’t talk about the legs after you swirl the glass. Here’s a tip: the legs don’t matter.
– Don’t take your heels off and puke in the lobby
– Don’t ask what the most expensive wine on the table is
– Keep the rim of your glass food free
– If you proclaim that you don’t like white or rose, we will make fun of you when you walk away
– NO Perfume! And go light on the lipstick, honey

 

 

As a member of the “Wine Media” – I hear about medals won by wine all the time – in fact, I have been to a number of events where the wines were judged and awarded medals. My questions for consumers are:


– Does anyone in the general wine-drinking public care about these medals – most of which are from competitions many have never even heard of?
– When was the last time you purchased a wine simply based off of the medals it won in a competition?
– If you did make that kind of purchase, did you find your experience of the wine to collaborate with the medal(s) it earned i.e., gold. silver or bronze etc?
Example, you go into a winery tasting room here in Washington State and you’ll see notes about the wine or hear from the tasting room staff, things like: “This won a double-gold at the Tri-State Fair Wine Competition”. Call me a little naive here (really, go ahead, I promise I’ve been called worse) but how many of your typical “wine consumers” here in Washington State have either heard about or even care about that competition?

Read on …

Couple-selecting-wine-horiz-orig-640x427

The freedom to choose and drink wine.

 

Wine is old, ancient, neolithic. It has been consumed throughout recorded history. Yet wine as we know it today is relatively new. Where it originated, what it tasted like and represented, and how it was transformed over time are explored in Paul Lukacs’s fascinating new book, “Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasures,” published in December by W. W. Norton & Company.

One thing is clear from Mr. Lukacs’s work: most wine for much of history was vile, nasty stuff. If an ancient critic had etched a tasting note to describe the wine that most people drank, it might have read, “Wretched, horrible, vinegary, foul.” Yet people drank it anyway, because they had no choice. Other beverages like water and milk were disease ridden. Wine might have tasted awful, but alcohol was a built-in disinfectant.

It was not until the Renaissance, writes Mr. Lukacs (who, when not researching wine, is an English professor at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore), that familiar notions of discrimination came to be. Only then did wine connoisseurs, a minute group to be sure, begin to associate particular styles and qualities in wine with specific places, an early idea of terroir. And only then did astute wine drinkers begin to perceive that some wines could be appreciated intellectually and emotionally rather than just physically, and that the best wines conveyed a sense of balance, length and depth.

But it was really with the Enlightenment in the 18th century, when a series of revolutions began that would transform our understanding of grape-growing, wine production and wine storage, that wine began to resemble what we now take for granted.

Read on …

 

The average per annum wine consumption for a Canadian adult is now 15 litres.

 

Wine producers will be proposing a toast to Canadian consumers: a new study shows wine consumption in this country is growing three times faster than globally and Canada is projected to be the fifth fastest-growing wine market in the next five years.

Most of the wine consumed in Canada is imported but “Canada is now very strong on the production side and domestic wines are getting more popular,” said Vinexpo chairman Xavier de Eizaguirre in a telephone interview, speaking from Toronto.

“But the fact there is now a local industry, particularly here in Ontario, is helping the overall picture. Volume-wise it’s certainly a country where consumption is going up. Our forecast is it will continue to go up in the next five years.”

Growing market
De Eizaguirre said Canada’s per capita wine consumption is around 15 litres a year, compared to about 12 in the U.S.

“France, Italy, Spain, the traditional markets, consume somewhere around 50 litres per capita. England is about 25, Argentina is about 45, so there is a lot of potential” for Canada to increase its consumption, he said.

Between 2007 and 2011, Canadian wine consumption increased by 14.55 per cent. Consumption hit 43.21 million cases in 2011; one case represents 12 bottles.

Analysts said that between 2012 and 2016 Canadian wine consumption will go up 14.27 per cent, eventually reaching 50.7 million cases annually, which is three times greater than the global average.

Between 2012 and 2016, China, the United States, Russia and Germany will be ahead of Canada in wine consumption. In the previous five years, Canada was third behind China and the U.S.

“You’ve dropped back because the others have gone quite crazy,” de Eizaguirre said.
Read on …