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Wine of the Week Topic


CtznCane
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There's a lot of things I like about e-g. Not all mind you, but a lot. This however is about the positive. Pehaps it is not my place, but what fuels this type of site is participation. Sharing views. If we didn't care to learn or get something out of it, if only entertainment even, we'd do something else.

Other forums on e-g seem to have a lot more participation which to me is sad that the same type of participation doesn't take place here.Why is that? Is it feeling that there is more of a hierarchy here than on other forums? There isn't. More opinionated perhaps, but contrary to a recipe, wine appreciation is more subjective and at least from my viewpoint the only view that is wrong is one that doesn't entitle my opinion to be just as valid.

I thought this WOW thread, with a different wine to try and report back on every other week was a great idea. A great idea to get people talking more as well as sharing some interesting wines or wineries. I think the past 2 WOW wines, the Columbia Crest Merlot that Brad chose and the current Cline ZInfandel Jean chose are both excellent choices.

I'm more familiar with Cline as I stop by that winery frequently yet both Cline and Columbia Crest produce a variety of wines. For Cline, some of their wines are up there, both in terms of quality and price, yet still good values.

I didn't post to the Columbia Crest WOW so shame on me for that one, but it is really a shame to see that 145 people have viewed the post and there have been 2 who comment. What gives? The wine is under 10 bucks, with room to spare and easily found. We don't have to pay to use this site, and heck, for under 10 bucks to get a chance to participate as well as enjoy a good bottle of wine.

There is no right or wrong view. No view to simple either. Like it, don't like it, not a need to quantify it.

Similarly, there is a wine consumption thread. 45 posts and read by over 1300.

Hey, nobody has to participate but I know I'd like to hear the views of others. What gives? Rather than have it be a negative comment, what would make you respond more to posts?

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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Nice. Take off the blinders dude not all of us live in wine country. Cline Zin is not available in BC. The Columbia Crest merlot doesn't interest me. There have been 4 WOWs from the US, one Aussie, one Italian and an Alsatian. We have less and less participation as we skew more american. Wonder why? When people start expanding thier horizons in this forum then expect more participation.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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We won't all be able, or expected, to participate every time. And actually, the Wine of the Week exercise grew out of the East Coast vs. West Coast Palate thread, and is designed more to be a comparative discussion of our personal tastes than a collective review.

If you absolutely can’t get the wine, another vintage or similar wine will do as a close substitute.

Members who can't get the wine are still welcome to ask questions about the vintner or wine and join in the discussion.

Also, if you come across a previous wine of the week, that thread can always be accessed from the WOW Index, and you can add a review at any time.

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Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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......and then there's the, "I know next to nothing about wine palates, and I'm reading to catch up" factor.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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......and then there's the, "I know next to nothing about wine palates, and I'm reading to catch up" factor.

...and then there are those of us who know a (very) little about wine. While I *am* exploring and broadening my horizons, I have little interest in revisiting wines like the Cline or the Columbia Crest, which are by now profoundly familiar. Now if anyone wants to throw in a greek grape I've never heard of, or one of the oddball Italians the NYT wrote up a couple of months ago, I'd be delighted to share *that* journey.

Or, to put it another way: have you considered that the fault may be not in your stars... sorry, not in your fellow eGulleters but in WOW as it now stands?

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Poor CtznCane. I logged in earlier today, prepared to ask "why aren't more people participating!" only to see that someone - that would be Cane - had. Cool. Then, tonight, I see that Cane has asked the question I was fixing to ask and is being flayed for asking. Let's see...so far, we have:

1. Don't know enough to participate

2. Know too much to participate

3. Too US-centric (based on a sample space of 7)

and

4. A couple of polite (as befitting moderators and hosts) notes that not everyone will be able to participate or interested in participating.

Fair enough. But I think Cane asked a valid question, and isn't getting very polite answers (for the most part). I'm going to stick my neck out here - much as I hate to, because I'm pretty new to this forum and would prefer to continue feeling welcome - and ask the same question. Instead of slamming the poster or the WOW structure, how would you improve it?

Or is the participate/lurk ratio just to be expected?

Edited to correct a number

Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Odd ball Italian! Now you're talking. I did pick a Nero d'Avola from Sicily for my WOW. Why not Veneto or Campania or Provence or Mendoza or Greece or Mexico? This is the World Wide Web.

IMHO California wine just isn't that interesting. Don't feel scorned though I feel the same about Aussie wines too.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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I'm surprised you can't get the Cline Zin in BC, Coop, it's available here in Alberta. I was looking at a bottle last night, trying to decide whether it was one I wanted on the table over Easter (decided against it...don't have a good enough "feel" for Zin yet to commit to it).

Harking back to your original point, CtznCane, I can only offer up my own perspective. I usually come to eGullet late in the day, and rather fatigued. I participate primarily in the cooking and baking threads, where I have some expertise to share; and also I can tell myself that it's "professional development." WOW is something that I'll visit maybe once every week or two, and I definitely fall into the "lurker" category for the most part. I am still in the early stages of learning about wines; my knowledge is almost entirely of the "book" variety. While I do have definite likes and dislikes, my grasp of the necessary vocabulary, and my ability to articulate my perceptions, are still very rudimentary. Therefore, I tend to keep my mouth shut and "go to school" on the more knowledgeable members. There are probably others who feel the same. In fact, I guarantee it.

Over the coming months, I expect I will be here more regularly, and begin to participate more. I'm leeching as much info as I can from those around me, and beginning to be more confident in understanding what I taste. My goals for the year are to familiarize myself with the Italian varietals, and get a reasonable cross-section of Canadian wines under my belt. We'll see how that goes.

Does any of this help?

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Poor CtznCane.  I logged in earlier today, prepared to ask "why aren't more people participating!" only to see that someone - that would be Cane - had.  Cool.  Then, tonight, I see that Cane has asked the question I was fixing to ask and is being flayed for asking.  Let's see...so far, we have:

1. Don't know enough to participate

2. Know too much to participate

3. Too US-centric (based on a sample space of 7)

and

4. A couple of polite (as befitting moderators and hosts) notes that not everyone will be able to participate or interested in participating. 

Fair enough.  But I think Cane asked a valid question, and isn't getting very polite answers (for the most part).  I'm going to stick my neck out here - much as I hate to, because I'm pretty new to this forum and would prefer to continue feeling welcome - and ask the same question.  Instead of slamming the poster or the WOW structure, how would you improve it? 

Or is the participate/lurk ratio just to be expected?

Edited to correct a number

I don't know. I'm *guessing* it'll depend a great deal on the wine, and that the interested groups will vary in composition likewise. I have noticed that things have been pretty quiet in general, as in topics dying off quicker than I'd expect, there being fewer active topics than I seem to remember a couple of months ago... I don't know if it's a lull or faulty memory, plus I haven't been around long enough to gather a sample.

I guess I should also apologize for any flaying I might have commited. The integrity of 'Cane's epidermis was never my target. I *did* feel taken to task for my non-participation in WOW, so any terseness in my post was more likely defensive than offensive.

And I hope I didn't give the impression these things are somehow beneath me. My real point is that the specific wines chosen didn't interest me, for reasons parallel, but distinct from, the other respondents'. The plain fact is that I don't have the money or drinking time to tag along, unless the wine should happen to coincide with my own explorations. And I'm *not* suggesting the thread should be built around my interests, just accounting for my absence.

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I have a tough skin, I was in auto sales/mgmnt for 25+ years, so that I don't mind. I do however want to stimulate peoples thought and participation. I focused on the WOW threads as they seemed to be something people could get a little more involved in, regardless of their level, which in turn would lead to other topics with participation.

I am in total agreement that the threads seem to die off more quickly now. I still think the WOW idea is a good one just to get debate going but perhaps it could be changed slightly to a wine & region. Such as an Italian Barolo or a French Red Rhone, a South African Pinotage, or a Paso Robles Zinfandel or an Oregon Pinot Noir and leave which one as open. Again many of us might not be able to participate due to availablitly but I'd be interested in things like Canadian Wines and can at least gather some knowledge if people do participate.

A poplular thread on the cooking venue has been what did we fix/have for dinner? Perhaps the wine side should have a What did we drink? and what did we eat with it? thread.

I spend very little time on the wine threads any more as they seem at times stagnant. If there are ideas for making things more interesting, regardless of topic within the forum I'm up for it and would try to participate.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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Speaking only for myself.

I post tasting notes 95% of the time. And although I like EG and the participants, many of the posts on the wine board are "troll" oriented (eg. what is your favorite _______?) or point to articles in the press. There's nothing wrong with that, but I prefer tasting notes and the conversations that spin out of them to everything else.

But then, I post just about everywhere in the known universe so, in one way or another, I get what I came for.

You can do that, too, if you aren't getting what you want.

Or not.

It's supposed to be fun for everyone - and if it isn't, why bother?

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

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I understand the frustration and may sometimes share them myself.

Sometimes I see several go through my post and no comments.

Still, I enjoy posting, may enjoy the lack of comments and by all means enjoy the profssional attitude.

The hosts may be a be considered a bit passive but their professional attitude allows a more "natural" development of the threads and its participants on the expense of the lack of paricipations of the unsure or timid.

I try to contribute on a weekly basis fllowing with whatever pace others are sharing.

If I thought my location would have had any importance I would simply stick to the view overlooking the Haifa bay and may have kept my articles for myself [which may not be such a bad idea afterall ].

Etienne de Montille of Domaine de Montille is visiting my country next week. The city of Haifa, my residence, is of no interest to him and my locatiobn is no marketing advantage.

Forums are means to overcome problems like these and I enjoy the opportunity.

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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I'm rather a newbie, but have weighed in on several WOW's. I hosted one and had someone opine, offline, concerning the drop-off in interest...

Internet comminutes are fragile, sometimes proprietary, and often evolving. I think active site mgmt (overall) and then, forum stewardship, yield returns. eG is going through a period where the overall mgmt wants to create a kind of place - and then, on top of it - forum hosts moderate to create what they believe is their portion of that space. Given the many forums I've visited in this site, I have to believe that dynamic (including WOW, thread mgmt, etc.) is at work in Wine.

WOW seems (still does) like a great idea to me, I will still participate, even if I didn't have the time to attend the eG class (but have read) and don't know as much about wines as board oenophiles.

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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Having selected a bottle for WOW, I was and am concerned by the lack of response.

I think the concept is great but agree with prior posters that the selections may not have enough variety to be of interest. Having struggled through the question of what to recommend, I think it is a natural reaction to try to identify something that is readily accessible and that will often lead to California.

Perhaps a little more organization would be in order. I sure wouldn't mind if the forum host chose the wines with the specific intention of adding more variety to the choices. Participant suggestions could also be encouraged. I, for one, wouldn't mind being a passive participant in the process as I like the concept of comparing notes with others but don't really want the stress of trying to select a wine that will be both interesting and readily available again.

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I haven't participated in any of the WOWs because my wine purchasing habits don't really support the way its setup. I buy some of my wine when I’m out tasting in Napa/Sonoma/Paso/SLO, though I’ve been buying less and less California wine the past few years. The majority of my wines I buy from places like Premier Cru, or North Berkeley (when they have a 50% off sale) – and I like to buy in quantity so I can enjoy the wine as it ages. Sure I could go out to Safeway and buy a bottle of the WOW that has been standing in a 75*F space under a florescent light for who knows how long, but I’d sooner pull something with a few years of bottle age out of the cellar. Looking over cellar inventory, there is very little that is widely distributed which I suppose makes it even less likely that the WOW pick will be something I already have on hand.

If the WOW was a little more broad then it would be easy to participate. Mosel Riesling, Oakville Cabernet, Gigondas, or whatever for the bulk of them, toss in the occasional vintage based WOW (pre 1990, 1997 Italians, 2003 Germans, or whatever) and I suspect a lot more people would participate.

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I think the math tells the story. X% of eG'ers read the WOW posts. Y% of those will actually go out and get the WOW. And Z% of those will post a comment. Run those together and can get a small number. So if you can increase any of X, Y or Z you'll get more action.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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I haven't participated in any of the WOWs because my wine purchasing habits don't really support the way its setup.  I buy some of my wine when I’m out tasting in Napa/Sonoma/Paso/SLO, though I’ve been buying less and less California wine the past few years. The majority of my wines I buy from places like Premier Cru, or North Berkeley (when they have a 50% off sale) – and I like to buy in quantity so I can enjoy the wine as it ages.  Sure I could go out to Safeway and buy a bottle of the WOW that has been standing in a 75*F space under a florescent light for who knows how long, but I’d sooner pull something with a few years of bottle age out of the cellar.  Looking over cellar inventory, there is very little that is widely distributed which I suppose makes it even less likely that the WOW pick will be something I already have on hand. 

If the WOW was a little more broad then it would be easy to participate.  Mosel Riesling, Oakville Cabernet, Gigondas, or whatever for the bulk of them, toss in the occasional vintage based WOW (pre 1990, 1997 Italians, 2003 Germans, or whatever) and I suspect a lot more people would participate.

I'm with Melkor. I tried to find the first few bottles and could not. To go around calling every wine store in DC until I find the exact bottle is just not going to happen.

I think the idea of an appellation based choice would definately increase participation. As well, it would help broaden our knowledge of an area and what is good within. For example, if I was faced with a wine list with 5 Cotes de Rhones, I could probably suss out the best one at any given price because that's what I tend to drink most. Barolo? NZ Sauvignon Blancs? Napa Cabernets? I could not even tell you where to begin.

Edited for spelling

Edited by JPW (log)

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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I personally would like to see more variety in the wines chosen. Believe it or not, Vancouver is seriously lacking choice of wines. There are very few available here. Fortunately, I have the added benefit of a grandmother that lives just across the border and she can bring wine back for me, but I'm just not that interested in CA wines. I like them, but I find myself now only enjoying them when it's something special (like all the 15+ year old wine that my dad is now opening to clear out his cellar) What about trying more New World wines? I know that the obvious assumption is that CA wines will be available in more regions but that isn't necessarily the case. I think the idea of choosing a region or even a grape or blend and then listing a few wineries that are good examples of that particular style/region/grape. It would make it easier for people in areas with a lousy selection a better chance of finding something suitable.

I keep reading that people are surprised when the read that in BC we can't get certain wines. Yes, Vancouver is a major metropolitan centre, but we have a government controlled liquor board and it is very very difficult to have wines listed. The bubbly that I fell in love with at the recent Wine Festival has not been listed and at this time is still not available to purchase here. And just because a wine is really inexpensive in the States, it almost certainly will be double or sometimes triple what it is there. One of my favorite Zins is the Ravenswood, but at $24.99 a bottle, it's just not worth it. I would much rather pick up a Moreau Petit Chablis. Don't assume that because someone is in a large centre that there is a good selection of wine. They could be living here.

I say make the selection a little broader and then see what happens. I drink a lot of wine and so far, only one WOW has interested me and I couldn't get the wine here.

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I think the idea of an appelation based choice would definately increase participation.

I absolutely agree. It would be much easier for me to go to my local wine store & think "okay, I'm looking for an Aussie Shiraz-Cab [or whatever]" than have to find a more specific bottle.

I also tend to surf around on a lot of different areas of eG, mostly for reading knowledge, and tend to contribute most to my local board. I think WOW is a great idea though & would love to use it to learn more.

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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This is a great discussion. Thank you to Charles for the call to arms. It sounds as though it would be a welcome idea to open the WOW threads to wines based more on a regional varietal choice, with an occasional vintage challenge thrown in. I'm very excited that more people would like to participate, as the whole idea of WOW is to give us more opportunities to sit down at our virtual table and share experiences. It will certainly make for richer tasting discussions as we move forward. So, let's do it!

I'd like to share my vision of what the wine forum can be, because you all have the ability to add to it, refine it, and improve it. When I first started dropping in here as a new member, less than a year ago, the forum was highly informative but very single-offering specific, and populated almost entirely by extremely knowledgeable consumers.

I have focused my initial efforts (I've only been a forum host for about six months) on increasing novice-friendly threads, fun threads, and more information about wine production. Ideally, I'd like to see threads covering three levels of experience:

the Wine 101 and eGCI threads to welcome wine novitiates, expanding coverage of reviews and posts on specific wines and industry topics for the more experienced wine consumers, and a wide open "table" where sophisticates, intermediates (such as myself) and novices alike can meet to share opinions and ask questions. Florida Jim, I still remember your post last fall about the light filtering through the trees, and Diane's incredible fall menu paired with the wines. These are the kind of posts that may not generate a lot of participation but are precious and valuable to us because they give us all a glimpse into a perfect moment, and a sometimes a perfect wine. Some threads are meant to be enjoyed, like poetry, and others are meant to start discussions, like this one.

If you have ideas for anything else you'd like to see developed in the forum, I hope you'll post it here or send me a PM. Over the next few months you'll also notice that we're merging threads on common topics into single, ongoing threads, for example "Oregon Pinot Noir" and "Glassware."

And finally, I see some concerns about a lull in recent wine forum activity, but I'm quite sure it's just that. The forum is busiest Monday through Thursday, very quiet on weekends, and participation drops significantly when the weather is generally nice. (Don't think I'm not watching you! :laugh: )

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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Florida Jim, I still remember your post last fall about the light filtering through the trees, and Diane's incredible fall menu paired with the wines.  These are the kind of posts that may not generate a lot of participation but are precious and valuable to us because they give us all a glimpse into a perfect moment, and a sometimes a perfect wine.  Some threads are meant to be enjoyed, like poetry, and others are meant to start discussions, like this one. 

Mary,

I admit an ulterior motive to my posts; I hope they pave the way for face to face meetings. That is why I don't worry about not getting a lot of responses.

Reading is enough to give us common ground and shared experiences - good stuff to start with if you want to make friends.

I travel a lot, so I meet alot of the people I correspond with. The number of friends made makes all the posting more than worthwhile.

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

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guilty of lurking instead of participating in this particular forum but a thought:

I enjoy the idea of the wine of the week and quite often purchase the wine to try b/c it is mentioned as the WOW. I also appreciate the fact that some "run-of-the mill" wines have been mentioned b/c it gives an opportunity to "re-explore" and re-evaluate some old chestnuts that we had either ignored or forgotten about.

That being said....

instead of Wine of the Week why not Wine of the Month? I know many of us buy in bulk to get the case savings and being cheap I hate to go in to the wine store to get a single bottle knowing I could save 10%+ if I could put together a case (...but I just bought a case last week and my accountant looks at me funny when he sees three checks in a row to the wine & liquor store--especially when each is for well over $200). Not to mention that by the time we find the WOW, get to the store to purchase it, plan a dinner around it, pull some thing fr/ the freezer or head to the grocery, put together our tasting notes, get ready to post we are reading about the WOW for the next week. I realize there are no hard & fast rules that you must post about the WOW the week it is mentioned but it seems some what futile and tardy to be discussing the WOW fr/ last week especially when the entire board is moving forward to the next wine. Extending the period fr/ a week to a month--& granted it lacks the lovely alliterative charm and fun acronym--but it might make more sense in the long run and give folks some time to work with and plan around the wine.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--the best cat ever.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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  • 2 months later...

Here's an idea--how do you think this will work?

* The chosen wine of the week is just a starting point for discussion. This week's wine is a Paso Robles rose' (for the simple reason that I want it anyway.) But the discussion can veer towards rose's, Paso Robles Rhone-style rose's, and wines to pair with antipasto plates.

* It's perfectly okay to ask questions about the wine, the winery, the style, etc. without feeling committed to try the wine.

* Suggestions for wines can be PM'd to me or to Brad Ballinger. Members can either ask to start a WOW thread or simply send a suggestion and ask one of us to start it.

There have also been good suggestions to try thematic tastings, like, say 2004 Alsatians, where we all find something and chip in. That might work out best, as availability is so variable.

I would like everyone to feel that they can participate in a Wine of the Week, even if they are not necessarily drinking the wine. Perhaps after the Garretson Celeidh, we could do a specific vintage & region? Any suggestions?

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Mary Baker

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