The Grapes of Rant: Wine Blog Awards are Corked

It is apparent that Tom Wark knows and loves wine, is a serious and passionate blogger, and has a sincere desire to help and advance other bloggers. That said, for the second year in a row Tom has horribly botched the American Wine Blog Awards. The categories are narrow and then further limited by restrictions, yet the standard for what constitutes a blog is exceptionally broad. This is a terrible formula for giving awards that should be about promoting and advancing the diverse wine blogging community. Instead of being about recognizing the hard, unpaid effort that so many bloggers put into their labors of love, and the exceptional ability and skill of so many unsung writers that make up the real blogging community, the ones that seeks to push the envelope, these awards seem to be geared for recognizing the already recognized.

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Toasting my Father, Six Months After Ike

We went down to Kemah today to buy some seafood to go with a white wine we planned to drink for Open That Bottle Night and Twitter Taste Live. I’d heard it was bad. Hurricane Ike. Direct hit. I hadn’t gone anywhere near there in the daylight since the storm because I just didn’t want to see all the devastation. But since it’d been nearly six months, we thought perhaps our favorite place “Rose’s Seafood” would be open.

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Can a Pretty Bottle Improve Plonk?

Can Pretty Improve Plonk? Now while the attractiveness of the wine maker or the person pouring the wine might not, on its own, make one more inclined to give the wine a positive review, I think it might cause the taster to want to rate the wine more highly. Or for someone who prides himself on being completely unbiased towards a wine from a good-looking wine maker, that he might want to judge a wine more harshly when poured by a young, attractive pourer with very little wine knowledge to impart.

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Open post

To Hell with States’ Rights! – Part I

There are a number of states that make it next to impossible for a consumer to get wine direct-shipped to her. Most of these laws effectively protect the three-tiered system, that takes wine from the winery, to the distributor, to the retail establishment. And I would argue that there is a pretty strong lobby that seeks protectionism for its state-run wineries, and its distribution system.

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Wine, Writing and a Woman Named Lucinda

Despite being blessed with so much, I had lost “it”, and it was not coming back. The hole that it left was further eroded and grew like a sinkhole by seeing the country that I love attacked and then horribly botch everything that followed. Without straying too far into the political, I saw the American Dream seemingly following my music into the past. I love food and wine and writing about them. I love helping people become better at cooking, or encouraging them to try something new. I love the idea that I might be helping the neophyte wine drinker to enjoy it even more. Who knows? Maybe they think they lost it too, and I could be giving them what they need to be filled up some too.

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Social Media, MOM2.0SUMMIT & Wine!

Social Media is not new. What is new, however, is the almost frenetic way the business community is jumping on the social media bandwagon to establish, build, market and sell its “brand” by gathering what really amounts to a huge electronic Rolodex of prospects and targets. Where the disconnect lies; and what successful businesses have known all along, it that the success of your venture depends on the relationships you build, not just the contacts you make and names you collect. And sometimes wine makes it easier!

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W.I.N.E. – A Very Fine Antidote for W.O.R.K.

If you should come into contact with W.O.R.K. put your jacket on and take two good friends to the nearest pub. Purchase the antidote known as Work-Isolator-Neutralizer-Extractor (W.I.N.E.). The quickest acting W.I.N.E. type is called Swift-Hitting-Infiltrator-Remover-All-Zones (SHIRAZ) but this is only available for those who can afford it. The next best equivalent is Cheapest-Available-System-Killer (C.A.S.K.) We found a more potent variant; the Zealous-Isolator-Neutralizer (Z.I.N.) that we found to be incredibly effective.

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The Fine Art of Giving Back

I believe some of us are blessed with certain gifts — be it the ability to make money; the ability to build houses; the ability to advocate in court; or the ability to cook — that obligate us to “give back.” For me, it’s because I feel that God blesses some of us with gifts. And with this blessing also comes the the responsibility take care of those less fortunate. Wolfgang Puck talks about that same obligation to “give back,” in accepting Wine Spectator’s 2008 Distinguished Service Award.

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