“Fahrenheit 9/11″ for the Grape – Are blogs the cure?

There’s quite a buzz going around about a movie called ‘Mondovio’. Its a sort of expose film about the big-brand wine labels and the industry homogenizing wines, ultimately detracting from the very thing that makes people fanatical about wine – the sublties of the flavors.

MSNBC writes about the movie. In it, the review points out that:

Nossiter’s contention is that plenty of good wines from all over the world can be found for little more than the cost of a bottle of Yellow Tail. But most of us will never find them, because the market shoves big brands down our throats.

That article ends with this summary:

There are exceptions — Nossiter names Alsatian negociant Trimbach, for one — but he is unwavering in his belief that a mix of corporate muscle, permissive regulation and well-oiled marketing machines lead to more of us drinking boring, mass-produced wine. One look at the average supermarket wine shelf, and you can’t help but think he’s on to something.

Are Wine Blogs the cure?

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Wine Blogging Wednesday #7 Announced

Ah, the monthly opportunity to taste wine and publish your findings has arrived. The date is set for March 9th and the topic is Obscure Red Varietals hosted by Spittoon.biz. This is everyone’s chance to participate in a cyber-tasting party whether you’re a blogger or non-blogger. The rules are layed out in great detail on Spittoon and you can participate by drinking an obscure red varietal and posting on your blog or emailing them to either Andrew at Spittoon or you can send them to me and I will include them in our entry.

Looking forward to an interesting round of tastings!

Secret Wine Decoder Ring

Ever think people talking about wine sounds like a foriegn language or in a different, secret code and unless you got the secret club decoder ring you’ll have no idea whats going on? Julian Schultz of Oxford Wine Room put together this glossary of terms along with some humorous illustrations to go with. Enjoy the Wine Life!

A Discussion of Wine Tasting Terms in Illustration and Parody.

Juice Round-up – Wine Reviews

Here are the reviews from last week.

Collectively, the wine blogs of the world represent a little less “high and mighty” and more of an approachable view of wines they’ve tasted. In fact, they often rebuke “the establishment” of wine. More approachable wine discussions are good for everyone. Wine Blogs of the world make good reading and more often then not they find some smaller winery wines that may get overlooked elsewhere.
Enjoy the Wine Life!

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Wine Gadget for Serving Temperature

Serving temperature is a perpetual question that seems to come up in wine magazines, wine forums, wine blogs, and just about any other wine publication out there. And why not? For a beginner its sort of the first step into a life on the endless trail of trying to locate the perfect wine. This wine gadget seems dead set on making sure you get your wine absolutely perfect. If you don’t get it right? NO SOUP FOR YOU!

You could always pass on this and do what a buddy of mine did a couple years back – he thought his glass of red was too cold so he put it in the Microwave for about 45 seconds. Lets just say that method of finding the right temperature didn’t prove to be an exact science and leave it at that.

Anyway, I found the Bonjour Maestro Wine Thermometer while surfing for alternative wine thermometers today. You’re going to have to be quite the zealot to employ one of these wine gadgets but it seemed worth bringing your attention to it anyway. In general wine temperature are about 55-60 F for a red and 45 – 50 F for a white wine. You can get even more specific if you want. For instance, the following is a slightly more “fastideous” (a.k.a. anal, hard-core, tool, zealot) list of serving temperatures:

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Ethics in Wine Blogging

There has been a couple of thought patterns being transmitted out in the wine blogosphere about the ethics of ‘schwag’ or ‘media samples’ and what it means to review these in publications.  This is intriguing because it seems that some think the providing of samples is some sort of “payoff” or there is some ethical tie between being given a sample and the honest review of that sample.

That is very odd. 

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Queen Disses French Wines at IOC Event

BB&R is reporting that the Queen dropped French wines from the menu of a International Olympic Committee dinner as a show of support for the London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games!

“It probably is the first time menus for such an occasion have not been in French,” admitted one Palace aide. “It is very unusual. But, it is the British Olympic bid, and we wanted to showcase Britain, not France.”

The Queen opted for English Sparkling Wine as well as wines from Australia and New Zealand as the alternatives. You go Queen!

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WineHacker – What to do with extra Red part 2

“What to do with extra Red” WineHack sparked a few extra ideas from readers that were sent in to us. So as a follow-on here are a couple other interesting WineHacks for using up extra red wine.

Kristina from Funthingsforwine.com
suggest Spaghetti sauce! Great idea!

Here’s a recipe from a friend of mine:

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WineHacker – What to do with extra Red

It happens to everyone. You open a bottle of red (whatever varietal) and you don’t get back to it for a few days. If its not perfectly preserved it will never taste the same and more often than not it will taste pretty awful. What can you do with it? There is an answer other than “throw it out”. Save it for Sangria! You don’t want to use your best wine to create Sangria so left over wine, while OK to drink but not very tasty, is perfect to use in a nice Sangria. Here’s a recipe…

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Bottle Caps – The Next Generation

Susanne over at WineTalk.com started a thread with an article that takes the screw-cap discussion in yet another direction – Beer-bottle style caps on champagne bottles! The Independent is reporting that the Moet Hennessey will launch the first sparkling wine in Britain to be sealed with a beer-bottle cap. While they believe the traditional cork will never get completely phased out they do feel the bottle-cap will give the similar “pop” and that it is most certainly safer so people will get used to it. John West, Moët Hennessy brand director for wines, also points out the removal of any chance of cork “taint”.

The most interesting detail will be to see how much of champagne’s popularity is tied to that “flying cork”. We’ve stated before that the attachment to corks in wines is heavily emotional and it would seem that Champagne’s most identifiable feature is the popping cork (far more tied to its image than even cork in still wines). Can Champagne survive a corkless future? We’ll get an idea from Moet Hennessey’s latest move.

For the latest on the discussion of the topic head over to the forum.

Read more…