My Photo

search the juice

January 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    


  • Food & Drink Blog Top Sites

13 September 2006

Do You ABV?


I've been reading The Scotch Blog - Kevin Erskine's super Scotch site - for a while. A few months ago he asked me to write a series on Sherry, as a number of whisky producers use retired Sherry barrels in which to age their Scotch. 

After a few back-and-forths, we discovered we had more in common than our love of alco-bevs - we had a similar view on how to write about these beverages.

After a while we decided that it would be interesting to form a loose coalition of independent sites who write passionality about wine & spirits. Today, we proudly announce the launch of The ABV network.

Members of ABV retain their independence, and continue to write in their own inimitable style.  However by joining forces, we hope to be able to offer a network of sites, which will cover the spectrum of dining, Scotch, wine, etc. - all with compelling voices.

Read our press release here.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

12 September 2006

Blogs Are Por[s]ches

Porsche By Guest Author Jeff Stai of  Twisted Oak Winery

This is in response to the post at Pinotblogger titled "Blogs Are Porches",

I had to drive down to the Bay Area the other day. When I got back I
flipped open the computer and saw (I swear): "Blogs Are Porsches".
Porsches? What is the Pinotblogger saying? Are blogs racy and sexy, or are bloggers just overcompensating for some shortcoming...?

Then I read the post (whew!) and started to catch on a little. What
Josh has to say is right:

a blog is a great way to create a sort of "online porch". A gathering place, a bulletin board, where you go to find out what's happening.

The trick is to not neglect your blog and turn it into a stale web site. Put another way, don't turn your Porsche into just a transportation device.

Fundamentally, blogs are nothing more than content management systems
for  Websites. A blog makes it possible for anyone to add content to a site without having to worry about page design issues. Just upload pictures, type in words, and click "Publish". The whole world can now see your creation - if they care to. If you disable comments and trackbacks, your blog is just a website with the most recent stuff on top.

Real Blogs take it further by adding commenting (to enable a two way conversation) and trackbacks (so you can see who is talking about you.) And with all this commenting and linking the whole thing snowballs.

The main issue for a winery isn't, "to blog or not to blog;" but whether or not to develop the changes necessary to keep your Website alive and interesting. Either you make the investment, or your Website is effectively a stagnant brochure.

editor's note -- see Jeff blog at the Twisted Oak blog, "El Bloggo Torcido."

Technorati Tags: , ,

04 April 2006

The Austrian Wine Adventure: Big PR

Lawa_colsize_2_3 The PR push for the Live Austrian Wine Adventure begins in earnest later this week.  If you're a PR type or know someone who is, feel free to grab the press release in either PDF or Word format.  And don't forget to join the adventure, beginning May 15!

22 February 2006

Long Island Globetrotter

OldsuitRemember way back when we decided to try a little blog-buzz experiment with  Macari's Cabernet Franc?  I sent samples to several food & wine bloggers.  Some enjoyed the wine; others - not so much.  One of the intended recipients of said samples was Sir Andrew of Spittoon.  I was curious to see how his British palate would take to this wine, which in my opinion, is a unique representative of Long Island vino.  And Long Island is where this wine's incredible journey began..

From Long Island, Macari's Cab Franc flew coach to Utah (shhhh. Don't tell anyone).  This was in October, mind you.  A few week's later, the wine & I took a drive to the local Ship-It Shop.  It was packed, wrapped and taped for a long, 3-4 week voyage to Britainia.  I expected it would arrive at the Spittoon household sometime around the Christmas holiday.  After contacting Andrew a few times, and fearing he felt I was full of fiction regarding the 'tale of the supposedly shipped bottle,' I began to suspect the wine had missed its intended recipient.  Perhaps it had found a home with one of Andrew's neighbors.  Perhaps, a courier, driver, or ship's captain had discovered the parcel somewhere along the route and treated themselves to a nice glass of Long Island's finest for dinner.  In any event, My Macari was missing.

Continue reading "Long Island Globetrotter" »

06 December 2005

More Macari & Methuselahs

More Macari
Chas the Winetaster took the Macari plunge and tried the freebie bottle of Cabernet Franc.  The meat of Chas's review:

"To my taste, the wine really demanded some food along with it – and some fatty food went perfectly"

Read the rest of the winetasting fun with Cabernet Franc here.  To summarize, we've got

What's the moral of this story?  More wineries/importers/brokers should join the conversation and see how their wine gets buzzed by the blogosphere.

More Methuselah
As I explained yesterday, a Methuselah is a large format bottle of Champagne or Burgundy - 8x bigger than the typical 750ml-er.  Below is an actual pic (click to enlarge) of Taittinger's big 'ol Methuselah.  It was opened at a party hosted by the WG in honor of her SO receiving a ProMo; alas she didn't invite ME..


17 November 2005

Slowly Bulding the Buzz

Macari2Some prefer the quick buzz.  I, however, prefer a nice, slowly building buzz that evolves into a roar.  Our little demonstration of blog power began with just a few bottles of Macari Cabernet Franc (Long Island, New York) sent to the following blogs:

Stephen kicked things off in a grand way by creating a recipe for the wine based on my initial tasting note.  Yesterday, Stephencooks reader, Dan, joined in the conversation:

"I'm a big fan of the Macari Cabernet Franc - I think it's one of the best ones on Long Island. One of the other things I like about Macari is their organic (and part of their vineyards are biodynamic) viticulture as well.

Cab Franc, by the way, is one of the ancestors of Cab Sauvignon - which is a cross between the Cab Franc and the white grape, Sauvignon Blanc."

I'm curious to see how our other freebie recipients contribute to this convo about Macari's Cab Franc.  I don't expect everyone to feel the same way as Stephen's reader.  In fact, I'm excited to see how the diversity represented by these five blogs shapes the Macari conversation.  More buzz roar coming soon..


09 November 2005

Follow freedom!

VinliberteTom of Fermentation has already declared 2006 the year of the wine blog.  Well, I see him one declaration and raise him another:  2006 will be the Year of the Revolution - it may not be televised, but it will definitely be blogged.

The revolution of which I speak (paraphrasing another blogger’s comment from his cave) is the overthrow of the Dictatorship of Style & Taste.  For too long, a privileged few have told wine lovers & timid wine newcomers what is good.  I see wine & food blogs as key elements in breaking through any notion of a monolithic ‘best style’ of wine.

Example one:  Stephen was one of the recipients of my mini blogger-freebie project with Macari Vineyards (superbig shoutout to Lenn & Macari).  Stephen doesn’t fancy himself a wine expert.  However, he crafted an amazing wine & food pairing with Macari’s Cabernet Franc.  He didn’t rate/score the wine; yet he did clearly communicate that this wine makes for a fine dinner companion (he also got confirmation from two neighbors).

Now, if I owned a vineyard, or imported/distributed wines that I believed were of good quality & value, I might just start looking towards the wine & food blogosphere as catalysts for creating buzz.

Just sayin.

Stay tuned for more examples of the blog revolution…

11 October 2005

Big Pimpin (or marketing with masses)

MicrophoneI've decided to widen the scope of Basic Juice.  Sadly, no, I won't be discussing celebrity sightings.  I will however be aiming to use this blog as a tool for good in the wide world of wine.  My goal is to help small wineries & lesser known producers take part in the wine blog conversation.

Why am I doing this?

Publishing Basic Juice is great fun  I've met a number of interesting folks and learned more about wine than I ever expected.  It is also extremely time demanding.  Those of you with your own blogs can attest to this.  And those of you (most wine bloggers) who pay for the wine you write about can also attest to the fact that this whole do-it-yourself wine reviewing thing is pricey.  So reason #1 is I want to make this blog a fresher, edgier destination for all things wine (& food, & spirits, & other good stuff).  That will take more time & more $.  I'm hoping that by doing some work with wineries who are eager to interact with our corner of cyberspace, I'll be able to make an extra buck or two, which will allow me to make Basic Juice even Juicier.  Reason #2 is that I want to increase wine diversity.  Huh?  Perhaps you've noticed the recent trend of mega-wine-conglomerates enveloping other wine-conglomerates.  I can't say that this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I do however think that it may lead to less wine diversity (and that would be bad, in my opinion).  I hope to highlight wines that have something different/unique to offer. 

How am I going to do this?

  • I'll be a catalyst for conversations about new and unique wines (think: something sort of meme-like)
  • I may work with a winery to get such a conversation started
  • I will never push plonk - I'm not interested in starting a conversation about some lame/boring/bad wine
  • Whenever I review a wine (i.e. I rate it from one to five stars - like I've done here) I will have purchased said wine with my own dough.  If I like it I'll tell you.  If I don't (and I paid $30) I'll also tell you
  • When I work with a winery to begin a wine blogosphere conversation, I will let you know up front.  In other words, you won't get any, "Oh man!  You've got to try JimBob's Chardonnay.  It's GREAT!"  Rather, you'll get something like, "Hey, I discovered this Oregon state Riesling.  The producer's an interesting cat.  If you're interested in sampling his wine, let me know, we can hook you up."

Finally, allow me to direct your attention to the upper right-hand column.  You'll notice Million Dollar Wine & a site sponsor ad.  MDW is my stab at an alterna-ad.  It's a long term virtual wine billboard project.  Read more about it here.  I'm also opening space up for site sponsorship (hence the "become a sponsor" ad).  You may say Basic Juice has sold out.  Well, I'm simply selling out just enough to build the site and grow it into one juicy chunk of blogoliciousness.

And that's all I have to say about that (for now).

site sponsors

Vino Voyeur