Archive - June, 2007

Correction: Wine Blog Watch

Derrick Schneider has corrected me and pointed out that Wine Blog Watch is not his creation but rather that of Jarrett Byrnes (whose other site can be found here).

I apologise for the error, and as one of the idea of Blogs is the permanence of the content over time, and adding to the sum of knowledge, I thought I would correct the original post.

However, for future reference you might want to check out Derrick’s food site anyway.

Wine Blog Watch

According to this article in Harpers from about 18 months ago (about the start of the Stormhoek phenomenon), there were 56 WINE blogs.

This number was according to the list on the Wine Blog Watch, a useful site created by Jarrett Byrnes in the US.

As a foodie with an interest in wine he helps to bring some order to the chaos of the blogosphere by listing all those wine blogs out there (there is a sort of arbitrary “must be 75% about wine” rule, which is fine by me) and even when they were last updated. Pretty nifty!

This site has just been added (I think the list must have refreshed recently) and now can be found amongst the other 448 currently listed.

448 represents pretty substantial growth for the category, but is a tiny fraction of all blogs. In fact, according to BlogPulse, “wine” is only mentioned in an average of about 0.35% of all posts.

Must do better!

UPDATED & CORRECTED 28/06/2007

The ultimate compliment?

From the back label of a bottle of Pizzicato Pinot Noir 2005, Coney Wines, Martinborough, New Zealand:

“Once in a while, in a blue moon they say
The weatherman smiles in a fatherly way.
Instead of capricious with night frosts pernicious
A hot sun shines bright making wines more delicious.
Two thousand and five was just such a year
Which is why Pizzicato is better than beer

?

Read more about … women

Is it a cynical ploy by Harpers to generate more traffic? Or maybe a case of watching how you tag your articles in future? I’m guessing the latter.

On a serious note, although I do not think that the entire business ought to be split between the sexes – with “wines for blokes” and “wines for women”, it would be interesting to see how two panels, male/female, would rate a similar selection of wines. Is it a case of different palates or is it a case of drinking occasions being different or “social factors” coming into play?

Read the whole article here.

Not Whiter than White

Interesting developments in varietal labelling and branding in recent days. (I have read about it in Harpers but for some reason it has not been posted to their site)

It appears that the EU authorities are finally catching up with the issue of the labelling of rose, or blush, wines labelled as “White X” – White Zinfandel, White Grenache, etc.

Once again this raises the question of clarity on labelling. From an EU perspective where NOTHING is allowed on the label unless it has been specifically approved, there is no such variety as “White Zinfandel” (interestingly enough there are mutations of otherwise black grapes called White Merlot and White Tempranillo) so it cannot be used on the label.

But in reality this is a classic example of where a phrase on a label has become a brand rather than a technical content description. Whatever you think of whether these should be sold as wine or alcopops, getting rid of the term “White Zinfandel” will only cause confusion for those for whom this is their only knowledge of wine.

White Zinfandel is a recognised brand/category of wine and useful beyond the description of the main variety of grape used to make it. It is all about simple, medium sweet, fruity, probably reasonably alcoholic, rosé wine.

What will the result be? Will consumers ignore the change and buy the same wine whatever it is called? Probably, but not all of them.

Will some move on to try and discover other wines (as some in the EU probably secretly hope)? I very much doubt it.

Will it simply confirm to many that wine labelling is too complicated and confusing and turn them off wine again? That is my worry.

Whilst I have every respect for those who need to enforce a level playing field and basic health and safety, I think this move is simply ridiculous and wrong.

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