Archive for December, 2009

Menu for Hope 6. Win great glassware and great wines.

Monday, December 14th, 2009


Sixth annual Menu for Hope

Sixth annual Menu for Hope

This year has been hard on many of us, but there are many who have a tough year every year. As these coming holidays are a traditional time of giving and generosity, so now, for the sixth consecutive year, food and wine bloggers have organized to make a difference in the lives of people they don’t even know. This effort is called Menu for Hope.

This annual fund raising effort traditionally benefits the UN World Food Programme. The Sixth Annual Menu for Hope will benefit a new WFP program, called Purchase for Progress (P4P), which supports smallholder and low-income farmers. P4P helps farmers improve their farming practices and then allows them to sell their crops to WFP’s global operation.

The farmers win on two obvious fronts. You can win as well. (more…)

There is a point to this.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009


Please take a look at the image below. Then answer the question below.

(Click on image to enlarge)

(Click on image to enlarge)

Now select the option that best represents your feelings (click here if the poll does not show up):
[polldaddy poll="2363067"]

Check back in a few days as I’ll have something to say.

Basics of “palate” training

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009


Keying Up - the Court Jester. By William Merritt Chase. From:

Keying Up - the Court Jester.

I am a strong proponent of the idea that education is the best way to empower people as wine consumers. That certainly is a challenging task, which is why so many take the lower-resistance path of “democratizing” or “de-mystifying” wine.

These approaches often end up oversimplifying the subject as to not challenge anyone. Many approaches end up telling people that there is really no consensus about wine character and thus there is no way to organize and assimilate information which would quality benchmark for wine.

Combine this with the idea that wine writing must somehow be entertaining and you either end up with material straight out of Idiocracy, or find yourself putting more of your efforts into the shtick rather than the message.

Nevertheless, all approaches seem to endorse some notion of training one’s “palate”. Now, it’s been a while since I graduated from med school, but I’m pretty sure that the palate is not an organ of olfactory or gustatory sensation. (more…)