Archive for February, 2009

Should Korbel sue Craigslist?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009


Soap Box. From:

Soap Box.

The top story on today focuses on a lawsuit filed by Korbel Champagne Cellars. While many in the blogging world will see this as corporate intimidation or strong-arming, I think the case offers important lessons for web site, blog and forum owners and operators.

I am not defending Korbel, nor am I taking sides in this matter. Nonetheless, free speech is one thing and slander is another.

The internet and its forums are often a platform for attacks. Web site owners and blog and forum operators should be mindful of the potentially libelous or damaging nature of posts made by visitors and community members. (more…)

French wine policies: more questions than answers

Monday, February 23rd, 2009


"Straw Man". From:

"Straw Man". From:

Something strange is happening in France. The country, whose identity only 20-some years ago included a culture and appreciation of wine, appears to be under siege of an anti-alcohol faction. Most recently, we see evidence of this in ludicrous statements by the nation’s Ministry of Health that consumption of even small amounts of wine increases the risk of cancer.

I am a proponent of evidence-based medicine. This statement, however, is based on bad science. While the commentary on the Ministry’s assertion, or what appears to be the execution of an agenda, is strongly negative, I am at a loss for finding any background information for how this anti-alcohol trend in France came about. Other than blaming the teetotalism of President Sarkozy, the commentators whose writings on the matter I have read to date, offer no insights into more substantial and meaningful explanation of why France is experiencing this anti-alcohol movement. (more…)

“Closure” afterthoughts

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009


Wine Closures. From

Wine Closures

Last Friday, I posted about an informal tasting of wines finished with alternative closures at a MW seminar in Yountville. Given how many people seem to be interested in this topic, I’m seizing the spotlight opportunity to expand on the original post.

The tasting and the original article seemed innocuous to me because it didn’t seem to cover any new ground. I thought that, given the widespread use of synthetic closures in wine production, most people in the business would know a lot about synthetic corks, screw caps and glass stoppers, and that my 263-word blurb with very little commentary would not garner any interest. (more…)

Half a believer.

Monday, February 16th, 2009


Oxidized Wine. From Mark Fisher's "Uncorked" blog:

This past Friday, Jeff Lefevere wrote an interesting post about wine bloggers and wine samples. He makes some excellent points fleshing out the nature and utility of wine blogging to wine producers, marketers and consumers.

Jeff also makes the contention that wineries should send out wine samples in half bottles. I recognize that this has economic appeal, on the surface, but I must disagree with him. (more…)

No Closure

Friday, February 13th, 2009


Closures. From


Today, reported on an unusual tasting which took place in Yountville, CA three days ago. During a Maters of Wine seminar, participants blindly tasted four 2004 Washington sauvignon blancs – all finished with a different closure.

The point of the exercise seems to have been to correctly identify the type of closure used in each bottling and to select a group favorite. The participants were not given a list of choices, so it can be said that they were not suggested to make guesses or change their answers. (more…)

Do we need a reality check?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009


Reality Check

Reality Check

Voices from the past can not only make us revel in memories but nudge us – however inadvertently – to view our current circumstances in a new light. This can creep up on us unexpectedly. It can happen as a tangent to the catching up.

I recently re-connected with a fraternity brother. He was not a typical fraternity guy. Shiro came to the U.S. from Japan to study at my university. A stalwart friend and a dedicated brother, he immersed himself in American culture – down to buying a ’66 Mustang with a straight 6. He also shared his culture by teaching me a few Japanese turns of phrase, some of which I still remember. We had a lot of good times together and I was very sad the day a group of us saw him off at the airport.