A Matter of Taste?

January 30, 2013

File this one under “Too Much Time Stuck in LA Traffic and Does Budweiser Know the Implication of Their Ad?:”

Like Budweiser, who produces 47% of all beer sold in the US, mega-wine companies are in a pitched battle everyday for the wallet of the consumer (the heart, mind, and tastebud rarely factor into this pursuit). And because the amount of shelf space in the big chains is limited, mega wine companies (the top 6 wine companies account for more than 80% of wine sold in the US) often buy small wineries to “add” more space to the shelves (Mirassou Vineyards increased the number of Gallo facings in 2002). What is important is the Nielsen scan data not the integrity of the brand or the way the wine actually tastes. We all do have to actually sell wine, ultimately.

Part of me is in awe of the crassness of the whole exercise as embodied by Budweiser’s campaign. The tagline: “Taste Makes an Entrance….” So, up to this point, we can infbudweiser-black-crowner that all of the other Bud beers had no taste (the other possibility, if we are thinking qualitatively, is that they tasted of sh*t).  It is rare that a company comes right out and says, “hey, this stuff tastes like crap, but look at the shiny new bottle.” Awesome.

And speaking of taste…in this case good and educated being the operative words, Joe Roberts, the blogger extraordinaire behind 1winedude.com, shares some thoughts about a few La Rochelle wines here and Steven Kent wines here.

Take My Wine…Please

June 21, 2012

Joe Roberts of 1winedude.com fame recently posted a video manifesto of sorts about how wine bloggers should behave when asking for samples from wineries.  It was commonsensical and appropriate: Observe the golden rule.

More important, from my perspective, was Joe’s statement, and I’m paraphrasing: as a community, wine bloggers are gaining more and more influence; if an individual blogger understands that she is part of a larger movement that behaves professionally, the community’s (read: the individual blogger’s) ability to gain access through samples, invitations to events, etc. will be enhanced. Couldn’t agree more.

But what this post really is…is an invitation to serious bloggers, videographers, and writers to request samples from me. I want you to taste my wines…and write/talk about them too, of course. Now, I know some will immediately remark on how self-serving this is…and I happily, enthusiastically, and with alacrity…admit it!

There are thousands of brands out there. The vast majority of which serve the very important purpose of making everyday wine that is affordable and drinkable.

My mission is different. I make wine from the Livermore Valley, an appellation that is blessed with the viticultural chops to make world-class wine. My flagship wine is called Lineage. Lineage is my family’s past; my future, and my only vinous weapon against Time’s implacable obligation to erase.  If Lineage becomes one of the handful of iconic wines every serious wine lover must have, then I have done my job. I’m devoting a career to trying to make it happen.

What’s important to remember is that the level Lineage attains isn’t up to me. It’s up to you. Ultimately, the quality of a wine will win out…but the wine first needs the context that only the press and restaurateurs and wine shops can give it.

So, there you go. I’m willing to lay myself out on the line, willing to take the responses as they come.

My preference is to sit down with you at my Winery to provide the context for Lineage and the other wines you taste. If you can’t make it to the Livermore Valley but are serious, and have been communicating about wine, I’ll share with you.

Just comment with your blog url and address, and I’ll get wine to you (while sample supplies last).