Archive for September, 2008

Wine drinking habits of the average American.

Sunday, September 28th, 2008


Wine Bong

Wine changes. A bottle of wine displays different characteristics with changes in its own temperature as well as with those of the environment. Decanting changes a wine as well. Much of how a wine smells and tastes is a result of the wine serving ritual and drinking environment.

Steve Heimoff wrote about “tasting room bias” some time ago. I commented that much of that can be attributed to the differences in humidity, temperature and barometric pressure differences between the tasting room and his apartment.

Additionally, in the tasting room, a bottle is tipped numerous times before it goes empty. This oxygenates the wine and achieves the same effect as extended decanting. In my own tasting and assessment of wines I have noticed that a wine will display very different characteristics if I taste it in an air-conditioned room versus outside, on my patio. (more…)

Incidence of TCA Taint.

Friday, September 26th, 2008


Incidence of TCA taint.

Incidence of TCA taint.

Over a month ago, I wrote about a small experiment aimed to determine the incidence of TCA taint in a real-world setting. I created a survey on to gather data from volunteer contributors. The aim of the survey was to gather real-life data of the incidence of TCA taint in wines finished with natural closures. The survey was prompted by discussion of the true incidence of cork taint on the OpenWine Consortium (OWC), initiated by Remy Charest.

The participant cohort was comprised of 12 individuals (including myself): at least two winemakers and other wine professionals who describe themselves as writers, public relations professionals, wine education professionals and wine importers. (more…)

Bring back the thinker.

Thursday, September 25th, 2008


The Thinker, via archive,org

"The Pour" header image.

Some time ago, I wrote about the homogeneity in blog design. Just recently, I noticed that The Pour has undergone a few infrastructure changes.

The hallmark of the blog, “The Thinker”, has been replaced by a generic looking wine glass – part of the original design: photo of Rodin’s “The Thinker” pasted into a drawing of a table with a glass of wine on it.

Eric Asimov kindly responded to my query about the change, saying that the NY Times had done some software updates on their blogging platform and the header image had been changed. (more…)

Democratizing a luxury good diminishes its quality.

Sunday, September 21st, 2008


Jaguar X-type

Jaguar X-type

The wine world is changing. Wine is changing. Amidst recurring discussions of trends and the globalization of wine (as a result of the influence of a purported small cabal of people), and murmurs that not every wine-producing region has the stuff to make world-class, complex wines, there is one essential point that goes unmentioned:

Democratizing luxury goods – making them appealing and accessible to the average consumer – devalues them and causes a decline in quality standards.

A luxury commodity is devalued by democratization because increased supply makes the good more common and, thus, less desirable. This seems to be the basic tenet of this book. Additionally, quality inherently declines with increasing volume of production. (more…)

How to present research to the public.

Friday, September 19th, 2008


Science Conference

Science Conference. From

The general public is not science savvy and there is some truth to the notion that there is an anti-intellectual trend in our country. Too often, this is exploited for public relations purposes and for personal gain. Still, developments and advancements need to be brought to the attention and understanding of the average American.

The wine industry and wine blogging see announcements of health benefits of wine and other wine-related “studies” published and shot across the news wires almost daily.

I have been critical of how these publications are presented, interpreted, handled and served up for public consumption. My gripes have been that this is often done in a sensationalistic manner, with disregard for all sides and implications of an issue and with a sucking void where critical thinking should be. (more…)

Monday, September 15th, 2008 Logo Logo

This is a great site to follow if you want to know about wine harvest and crush – especially if you love pinot noir and double especially if you love California pinot noit.

The site was developed by Adam Lee and Brian Loring.

Last month, before its launch, I asked Brian Loring about the purpose of the site:

“Adam and I, as well as other winemakers and growers, regularly post on various wine bulletin boards about our harvest experiences. The format of those sites, with the back and forth interaction of other board members, doesn’t lend itself to presenting how harvest unfolds in a straightforward flow. (more…)