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Posts Tagged ‘#MWWC19’

Wednesday’s Meritage – Critic on Criticism, #MWWC19 Reminder, Wine and Food Festivals Abound, Allegrini Wine Dinner and more

September 9, 2015 9 comments

Meritage Time!

First, I want to bring to your attention an interesting article by none less than Jancis Robinson, who wrote a very interesting piece called “Jancis Robinson on wine experts versus amateurs“, recently published in Financial Times. In the article, she is talking about the challenges professional wine critics face in today’s world, where literally everyone have an opinion about wines, and not afraid to share it. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

Next up – a Monthly Wine Writing Challenge Number 19 (#MWWC19) reminder – there is less than a week left in the current challenge (last day is September 14th), and if I’m not mistaken, there were very few submissions so far. I understand that theme is challenging – “Choice” can mean all and nothing at the same time – but this is why it is a challenge, and this is why your participation is required! If this can be a source of inspiration, here is the link to my own mumbling on the subject – I’m sure you can do better. Write up, people!

Now, last weekend of September might be challenging for the food and wine lovers, as multiple events will be competing for your time and attention:

Greenwich Wine and Food Festival 2015, presented by Serendipity, will take place September 23-26 in Greenwich, Connecticut – lots of celebrities, Food Network Chefs, wine, food contests and more are in the program. Here is the link for detailed information, tickets and more.

The 10th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival will take place on September 25-27, 2015 at The Elms, Rosecliff & Marble House mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. Food& Wine Magazine will be hosting the festivities, and there is a very long list of celebrities and celebrity chefs who will be in attendance there – Martha Stewart, Jacques Pepin and many others will be present, so you can expect lots of delicious food, great wines and fun time. Here is the link for detailed information.

Georgian Food and Wine Festival should take place in New York City on September 25-27 at Chelsea Markets. At this point, this is all information I have – I can’t even give you a link – but just in case, if you are in New York city, see if a visit to Chelsea Markets will fit into your schedule – this will be a free event and I’m sure you will not regret making it.

Now, a bit more of a local event, but on Tuesday, September 15th, Vespa restaurant in Westport, Connecticut, will be hosting an Allegrini wine dinner, where 5 different wines from Allegrini & Poggio al Tesoro estates will be paired with the dishes specially created by the Chef David White. Allegrini is well known producer our of Veneto  in Italy (so yes, there will be Amarone on the list), and they also own Poggio al Tesoro vineyards in Tuscany. To get full information about the dinner and to reserve your spot, please visit Vespa Westport web site.

And the last one for today: WTSO, the best of the best in the world of the value wines, will conduct their famous “Anything Goes” Marathon on Monday, September 21st, starting at 9 AM US Eastern time. Wines will be offered in a rapid succession, new wines will be advertised only through the Twitter (no emails and no App notifications), no minimums to buy to get free shipping. But you better have all your information ready, as wines will be flying. If you are not already doing so, you might want to follow WTSO on Twitter. Happy hunting!

And this is all I have for you for today. The glass is empty, but the refill is on the way. Cheers!

 

The Drama of Choice

September 4, 2015 13 comments

This post is an entry for the 19th Monthly Wine Writing Challenge (#MWWC19), with the theme of “Choice”. Previous themes in the order of appearance were: Transportation, Trouble, Possession, Oops, Feast, Mystery, Devotion, Luck, Fear, Value, Friend, Local, Serendipity, Tradition, Success, Finish, Epiphany, Crisis.

MWWC_logoChoice. Simple word, isn’t it? But think about how powerful the concept of “choice” is. Or better yet, think about how scary the word actually is – think about times when simple phrase “this is your choice” sent chills down your spine? Yep, “choice” is an interesting word.

Choice is closely related to the concept of freedom. When you don’t have freedom, you usually have no choice – well, except may be one – to fight for your freedom or not. Surprising or not, but sometimes we prefer not to have that freedom of choice. Life becomes so much easier when the choice is already made for you. This might not be the best choice (it rarely is) but then a person is happy as the life seems simpler. Choice is hard, choice is difficult, choice is emotionally and intellectually draining. When choosing, we can not know if we are making the “right choice”, and that makes us wary, frustrated, tired and unhappy. It important to understand that “do nothing” is also a choice, not an absence of it. We are choosing it – “doing nothing” doesn’t happen by itself – this is what we decide, we “do nothing” by choice.

We make choices every day, from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. What to wear, what to eat, which book to read, which task requires our attention first, and which can wait. Most of the choices we make don’t have long term consequences – eggs Benedict versus scrambled eggs is important only for a few minutes you will enjoy your food. Black pants versus grey pants is not the matter as soon you step out of the house. But some of your choices can be extremely far reaching – taking or declining a job offer, going for the third child or not – these choices will shape your life and you will feel their effect for a long while.

a path forwward

Let’s now take a look at the winemaking. I would argue that a lot (most!) of choices made in the winemaking have long term consequences. The wine starts in the vineyard. Which grape to plant? Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc or Aglianico? Pinot Noir, you said? Which clone? Dijon (which one then exactly), Pommard, AS–2? Now you are growing the grapes with numerous choices regarding irrigation, pruning, canopy management, protection against insects. 5 years down the road your are ready to harvest grapes to make the wine. Harvest date? Hand versus machine? How to crush? Choice of fermentation temperature? Choice of yeast – natural or synthetic? If synthetic, which one of the thousands available in the catalog? Malolactic fermentation or not?

How to age – stainless steel, oak, ceramic, qvevri? For how long? New oak versus old, American versus French? What type of bottle should we use? Screw top, natural cork, synthetic? What is going to be on the label? Below is an example of choices made by the winemaker – captured in the format of the very informative back label – what grapes to use, how long to age, how to ferment – just a glimpse of all the choices which went into production of a bottle of wine…

Field Recordings Cabernet Franc Back LabelChoices, choices, choices… The effect of many choices will not be known for years, sometimes tens and tens of years, until someone will open a bottle of a 50 years old wine, take a sip and say “wow”. Only then we might know that we made right choice years back. Or not.

Yes, we face the drama of choice every day. You know what is important in dealing with this drama? Don’t look back. The choice is made, and it is a part of the past now. The worst thing you can do is to take yourself on the mesmerizing road of “what would’ve happen if I wouldn’t make that choice, if I would’ve chosen differently”. Here you have only one choice – to move forward. Yes, you can’t change or undo the past choices. But you can “do over” – it is always your choice. If you planted the wrong grape, you can replant vineyard with the new one. If you’ve chosen profession you are not happy with – make a choice to change that, learn something new and choose a new path.

You have no luxury of stopping. The very next moment, you will have to make a choice again. And again. And again. Life has an endless supply of the choices for us. Let’s embrace them. Cheers!

P.S. I will not be upset if you will find this post mumbling about nothing new or of substance. But I hope it will at least give ideas and will inspire  someone else to choose to write a post for the #MWWC19…

Wednesday’s Meritage: #MWWC19 Theme, Stumbling Upon and more

August 12, 2015 5 comments

Meritage Time!

Let’s start with the theme for the new round of the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge, #19 (#MWWC19 for short). The winner of the previous round, Traveling Wine Chick, have chosen the theme, and it is (drum roll, please) … “Choice”. This theme sounds a lot simpler than many of the recent ones, such as “Crisis” or “Serendipity”, but there lies the challenge of making such a regular word a main element of the blog post. Well, good luck to all, and for all rules and regulations, please consult this post – most important is the submission deadline, which is September 14th, so you have enough time to get your creative juices flowing.

Vineyard and The Sky

Just for your viewing enjoyment – a picture from the recent trip to the vineyard – more details later

Next I want to mention that Wine Bloggers Conference 2015 (WBC15 for short) will be starting on Thursday, August 13th, and it is taking place in the Finger Lakes region. Lately, Finger Lakes wineries had been producing the wines of notice, moving past excellent whites into the world of reds. I’m sure that all the attendees will be into a treat and will find quite a few surprises, such as Saperavi wines – I heard that they are delicious, and wineries have a hard time to keep them around (sell out very quickly). I will not be attending, but I wish to all the bloggers to have a great time and taste a lot of great wines. And I’m really curious what the location of WBC16 will be – I hope it will be the Texas, as Texas wines are nothing short of phenomenal and it is time for the people to get to know them.

Now, let’s talk about an interesting subject – promotion of your blog. When it comes to the blogging, most of us write because we enjoy it – but we also want to be found and our writing to be enjoyed by others, and that is what “blog promotion” is all about. I recently came across an interesting article called 30 ways to promote your blog posts, which contains wealth of great advice. Among other tools, I saw a mention of Stumble Upon, which I heard before, but never used. I checked with some of Connecticut bloggers on Facebook, and many people find Stumble Upon a great tool, so I decided to add this capability for the blog post sharing. I learned that WordPress.com used to offer the Stumble Upon sharing button, but not anymore – but then I came across this post which provides detailed instructions on how Stumble Upon button can be added. Without talking about promotion, I found lots of interesting articles with the help of StumbleUpon – here is one example for you – “22 Foods You’ve Probably Been Eating The Wrong Way Until Now“. If you use Stumble Upon, I would like to know what is your take on it. And by the way, I don’t know if you are aware of the two pages I have in this blog, under the menu of Resources – one of them is called Best Blogging Tips and second one is Technical Tips for Bloggers – I use those pages to collect interesting articles and “how to” as it relates to the blogging – check them out.

Last for today, really a local update – I made changes to the page called Grapes of the World, to properly reflect all the grapes I tasted  so far in my Wine Century Club journey. Why is that important? Will tell you very soon.

And we are done here – the glass is empty – but the refill is on the way. Until the next time – cheers!

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