Archive for April, 2009

Hanging it up

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009




In every profession and endeavor there comes a point when it’s time to quit. In most cases, physical abilities or endurance wane despite a wealth of experience, knowledge and competence. In some instances, sadly, it is the other way around. In other cases, the passion fades and there is nothing to drive one forward. Sometimes, the going simply gets too tough.

The inevitable senescence of our bodies forces many to detach themselves from the professional activities which were the embodiment of their identities. (more…)

Catfish and viognier.

Monday, April 27th, 2009



Pecan Coated Catfish.

When I was interviewing for a residency spot at Vanderbilt (waaaaay back in 1999), the senior resident took me out to a local joint for the traditional, off-campus lunch where you’re supposed to speak more openly and frankly about the training program and its faculty. We talked about the program and my personal career goals over a basket of battered and fried catfish chunks. (more…)

Wine writers weigh in on ethics

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009




The most recent post on Tyler Coleman’s DrVino continues to generate a flurry of comments, criticism and accusations regarding The Wine Advocate’s journalistic ethics. While this single publication is in the spotlight at the moment, many other wine journalists and publication have dealt with similar questions of ethics.

Questions of integrity, honesty and impartiality of wine writers or publications taking free samples, paid trips, etc aside, there is the unspoken but rather incendiary implication that some wine writers may be accepting samples, trips and the like for a personal benefit or gain. That gain, at least on one level, is the opportunity to experience the world of wine in a way that would otherwise be out of their reach. (more…)

Blogging. It’s not rants and rambling anymore.

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009


Tesla Tower.

Tesla Tower.

Subjects in the world of wine are not charged with any urgency or greater social import. Perhaps for that reason, the vast majority of people in the industry are rarely in any hurry to get a wine article published as soon as possible. Much of that may be rooted in the fact that wine writing and reporting has been largely limited to the weekend section of the local paper or a printed periodical focused on wine.

On-line publication platforms, on the other hand, can offer much greater immediacy. The turn-around times on stories and post are very short. This makes them the antithesis of static print. Yes they can be direct, raw and even frenetic. (more…)

Calling Dr. Vino. STAT.

Monday, April 20th, 2009


…and this just in: Wine lovers can’t seem to catch a break these days.

Not only can regular consumption of alcoholic beverages (including out beloved elixir) make you fat, it apparently is bad for the environment.

Tyler Coleman has written extensively about the carbon footprint associated with transporting wine. With the rising obesity epidemic (I hesitate to calculate my own BMI) there may be an additional, or secondary, carbon burden from wine that may be worth investigating. But then, Assemblyman Jim Beall Jr. (D-San Jose) would want to tax the airline travel of wine lovers based on their weight…

Should Robert Parker fire Mark Squires?

Thursday, April 16th, 2009


Woodshed. From:


The commercial success of any brand hinges on its flexibility and adaptability. For Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate brand, that issue is in the spotlight today. Yesterday, Tyler Coleman published an email exchange between Mark Squires and Slate’s Mike Steinberger over a deleted thread on the forum.

The post has prompted a deluge of criticism over the moderation policies on Parker’s forum – and to an extent on those of the Wine Spectator. (more…)

A little time in the spotlight.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009




I was honored to participate as the current subject of Tom Wark’s Bloggerview series. This is the wine blogging equivalent of the Charlie Rose Show. It’s an opportunity for bloggers to get a little time in the spotlight by answering intelligent questions in a free and unrestrained manner.

Tom is not only a champion of unrestrained wine shipping but of wine blogging. He asks every featured blogger the same set of questions which seek to explore the blogger’s personality, promote their blog and probe their views on the impact blogs on the wine industry.

I encourage all readers to visit the Bloggerview section on Tom’s blog and explore the 20 other interviews.