This site is now closed
and has been left here
for historical reference
Copyright © Ric Einstein 2009
Welcome to this weeks big Irregular Update.
Regular Readers will know that I am not afraid to tip a bucket on a winery or other wine related organisation if they deserve it, no matter how sacred the cow may be. Such was the case when I dropped in at Turkey Flat during my Tour Diary visit. You may remember the serving sizes we received were miniscule and made tasting wine a mockery. Once the winery heard about the experience, they tackled it head on with a very upfront email that explained their normal procedure and position. According to Jodhi Thomas, the Cellar Door Manager, "The less than generous pours were an oversight which had to do with inexperienced staff member, rather than any other cause." (When I told Brian he said, "It was probably all the Pie King's fault. As soon as the new guy in cellar door saw John, he would have taken one look at him and thought to himself, this was the guy they had warned us abouir wines so I could review them at my leisure. Those tasting notes can be found here.
Speaking of brick bats rather than bouquets, as a result of last weeks story, TORB's Review: The Wine Advocate 2007 Australian Segment I was doing some research to follow up a point made in the story. It resulted in a finding something I never expected from a well respected US importer. That finding gets them a dishonourable (brick bat) mention in dispatches (see story). Also, as a result of information obtained in discussion with a couple of wineries, it appears getting into the hard copy edition of Robert Parkers Wine Advocate is not as clear cut as it may look, and that even applies to wines that are well rated. Read all about both topics in the Update to the Review here.
This weeks story was (unusually) posted on the home page a few days ahead of time because it was bang on topic, and related aspects were being discussed on two wine forums and a wine blog. The eight page thread on the UK Wine Forum detailed chapter and verse about some of their members' experiences with being banned from the Squires/Parker Board. Nigel Williams who had over 12,000 posts of the Squires board started off being the main subject of interest after he was basically made persona non grata. That eventually linked to an enlightening story from Lyle Fass (on his Blog). Lyle was a well respected member of the Squires/Parker's board who was also banned recently. Neither the UK Forum thread or Lyle's excellent story have anything to do with my story, but they all have the same central theme; the behaviour of the board owner, Mark Squires. Neither Lyle or I have to try and make Mark Squires look silly or like a demented and paranoid dictator. As my article shows, he is a master at doing that himself. Wine Paranoia should give you a good laugh too.
Given all these negative "exposures" it looks like I could have have had u-no-wot on the liver or there hade been a month of full moons, but neither is the case, despite the last new item this week. Tesco, the giant UK supermarket is the largest UK importer of Oz wines, so when Dan Jago, the Director of Beer, Wines and Spirits addressed the Wine Industry Outlook Conference in Melbourne recently everyone would have been interested in his thoughts. This Snippet: "Tesco man gives our wine exporters an earful - and the room reeks of bull$hit" pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject. It certainly stirred up the Oz press and some winemakers too. It can be found here.
Next week will be the last Irregular Update for the year unless something extraordinary happens and it results in a story. The last issue for the year will contain a Feature Story that I have been working on for some time. When I embarked on the research, I never though in a thousand years I would come to the conclusions that I have come to, as they seem to be completely counter intuitive to accepted thinking. But accepted thinking may not always be right and this story is bound to cause a bit of a stir, but you will have to wait till next week for that one.
The News section has been almost dead over the past week and that trend is likely to continue as we enter into the silly season. Stories of possible interest are:
Those stories can be found here.
This weeks wine trivia. "In 2005 the publicly funded Mental Health
Foundation of Britain did a year-long study on the psychological reasons behind
alcohol use. Conclusion: People drink because it makes them feel better." They
didn't need to spend the money to find that out; any serious wine drinker could
have told them that for free!
Until next week .... Cheers!