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Wine Slang: Keep it on the D.L.

Wine_grafitti

Sigh. The things I do in the name of research. Hunter S. Thompson I am not, however. I just traffic areas of the web better leftto folks a decade my junior.

Iwas researching a recent post and came across urbandictionary.com. In the event that you think you’re missingout on the lingo of today, I present a selection of wine related slang (pleasenote that some <most> didn’t pass the Good Grape censors).

Wine

Formof dance, involves gyration of hips, can be slow or fast must always be sexy. Performedto mainly West Indian music like reggae, calypso and soca.

Wine(Pt. II from the infinite teen slang dictionary)

n.A vulgar hand gesture.

WineHead

Alsoknown as a wino; a staggering, scraggly, usually disheveled and smelly homelessbum who spends his daily allowance of $2 on another pint of Thunderbird.

WineLine

Aline of wine bottles, amassed from several nights of drunken debauchery.

WineSpodiodie

Foundin the song "Drink’n wine spodee-o-dee" by R&B artist StickMcGhee, and later covered by Jerry Lee Lewis. A wine spodiodie (also spelledSpodiodi) is a shot that has a layer of Port Wine on the bottom, then a layerof (cheap) bourbon, finished on the top by another layer of Port. It can alsobe made simpler by just combining port and bourbon in a glass. Some people alsocall jungle juice Spodi. The film Rolling Kansas has actor Rip Torncarrying a skin of Wine Spodiodie, defined in that film as fox urine and flatbeer.

Wine-puss

Someonewho constantly whines

Winegasm

Thatfeeling of euphoric glee at finding a bottle of wine that is being sought forspecial brand name, vintage, kind, or even price - any of which may make thatparticular bottle of wine to be very rare and/or desirable

Wineography

1.The recording of wine reviews or tasting notes

2.Analysis and classification of wine varietals by growing region.

WineBladder

Thecondition resulting from the consumption of large quantities of wine causingthe need for frequent urination.

WineFrog

Aderogatory word for (the) French.

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WineZap that Wine and Save $$$

Winezap

Inthe past, I have politely questioned some of the pricing tactics of one of themajor independent wine retailers in Indianapolis.

There’snot much competition and they are the only game in town for library wines, so Isometimes feel like I’m paying the owners dues for the country club as much asI feel like a customer.

I’vebeen nailed in the wallet a couple of times where a wine has gone up in costappreciably from visit to visit and several other times where I purchased abottle, did some research on it later at home and found that I paid $5 - $10more than anywhere else in the country.

But,occasionally, they do have pretty good advertised deals—the “Lowest Price inTown” kind.

Myhypothesis is that they use some wines as loss leaders and then make it up onsomething that’s a smaller lot that you’re not familiar with and they sock itto you with an uplift.

Froma business perspective, I understand if a guy wants to maintain gross marginsat a set level, I just don’t want to be the one that’s contributing $5 more tothe cause then I have to. And, I don’thave to agree that it’s the way that I would handle pricing.

So,it is with great interest that I check out a press release from Winezap.comthat indicates that they are rolling out a service that allows consumers totext message from their phone to mobile@winezap.comthe vintage year and the name of the wine along with the buying zip code and itwill text you back with local pricing for that wine.

Awesome!

Thepress release says:

MichaelStajer, WineCommune’s (WineZap’s parent company) CEO, sees the new service as aconsumer friendly advance: “WineZap Mobile gives consumers a huge advantage intheir wine purchasing. Most wine buying still happens in wine shops andsupermarkets. With our service, you can see a wine at a store, send a textmessage and find out right away if it is a good price. You can even see a listof other nearby retailers and their pricing!”

“Thistype of service is what’s next. People want access to product information andpricing data wherever and whenever they make purchases, not just in front oftheir computer,” continued Stajer.

Here’sthe next challenge for wine retailers: withtransparency in pricing it is no longer acceptable for retailers to try andmaintain some level of gross margin on wines using a sale to lure in traffic.

That’sso 1985.

Thenew challenge is for them to match prices. Prices that I will have at my finger tips.

Thewine shop that matches pricing based on WineZap wins mybusiness and my loyalty.

And,the smart retailers will make up for the pricing pressure by adding highervalue services like education that are margin rich.

And, I don’t feel bad about this for a second ... this type of activity has been going on in the technology space for at least the last seven years.  Product pimps lose.  Solutions win. 

Kudosto WineZap!


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News, Notes & Dusty Bottle Items

Winedine

Iam on the Board of Directors at a non-profit agency in Indianapolis that does food rescue andjob training. Essentially, theorganization takes in food from grocers and other places with a surplus (thinkmeat that has a tagged expiration date in a day, but in actuality is still goodfor another 5 days) and they prepare that food into meals to provide toother non-profit services agencies i.e. homeless shelters, etc. And, they also do kitchen training for folksthat need a helping hand to become employable—providing enough kitchen skillsto take a beginning line job in a restaurant.

It’sa fantastic model and they do excellent work in the community. On a national level, their model is similarto America’s Second Harvest, a foodbank with affiliate distribution. Though, the local version includes the addition of the actual foodpreparation and training.

Froma Board perspective, one of the ongoing challenges in any non-profit is theactive engagement of volunteers—folks that would like to offer their generosityin time and money.

Wecall this community engagement a POE—Point of Engagement. Many people are interested in giving back totheir local community, they just need to be engaged and asked to help. If the mission of the organization resonatescombined with a request to help, most people will.

So,it is with mild interest that I see that America’s Second Harvest is doinga massive consumer “POE” in conjunction with epicurious.com called:

Wine. Dine. Donate.

Thepremise is simple—pick a menu from a celebrity chef, host a dinner party andask for donations at the party that can be given to America’s Second Harvest. The Web site has plenty of tips, tricks andtemplates to make it super easy to host the party, as well. Then, all you have to do is post your picturesand give the highlights.

Alternatively,if you live in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston or Dallas, you can go to the actualrestaurant (from which the chefs have provided dinner party planning menus) andattend a benefit.

Thisis an excellent cause, and one that I would love to see take hold in the wineblogging and foodie community in the blogosphere—one area that they seemed tomiss as a target, but  is getting some  notice anyways. 

Checkout all the details here. And some blog posts here and here.  

 

Continuingwith the food theme, has anybody read the current issue of Wine Spectator? The issue dated September 30, 2006?

Anybodybesides me wonder if the editors at WS are operating in a post-Summer paralleluniverse?

First,the issue leads off with an essay from James Laube who decries the ’05 futuresprices that Bordeaux is fetching—saying that he stopped buying a couple ofyears ago. In and of itself this is okay because Laube covers California but,it was just an issue ago that James Suckling, who covers Bordeaux for WS, saidthat he recently came back around to California reds after a period of Californiawine drinking inactivity. Now he is extollingits virtues. Laube—California beat, down on Bordeaux. Suckling—Bordeaux beat, up on California.

And,in fact, it was the same James Suckling who was making love to the camera withMichele Rolland on the WS site a month or three back talking about theexceptional finesse of the ’05 Bordeaux’s contributing to the record-settingpricing of the 1st Growths—the very same prices that has Laubepeeved to the point he says:

“Idon’t think there’s anything rational, or sane, about paying $750to $1000 abottle for any wine.”

Thisis a curious comment because in the previous restaurant issue his boss MarvShanken had an anecdote about how to tip on wine because he hosted a dinner ata restaurant where the wine bill was $2500, or something similar. Not too mention the fact that I guaranteethat most, if not all of the high award restaurant winners from the previousissue have dozens of wines on their list that cost at least $750 bucks.

Isall of that confusing? Somewhere Abbott& Costello are doing a wine version of “Who’s on First” in Heaven. 

I’mgoing to start keeping track of continuity errors in WS like some movie wonksdo for flicks—uh oh, Chevy Chase had his shirt tucked in the previous camerashot in Caddyshack and now it is partially untucked mere moments later.

But,all this is leading up to the real mystery with the current issue of WS and the fact that all of the content related to food is a head scratcher on aTitantic level.

Howabout this gem from page 68:

CastIron Skillets

Castiron is the preferred material for cookware in the South. Although it is slow to warm up, it retainsheat well and cooks evenly, making it excellent for frying—something Southernersdo a lot of.

Areyou kidding me?

Whew,thank goodness for the lesson.

Or,maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe this issuewas a cross-promotion for subscribers to the Robb Report that have people doall of these things for them, so the lessons in WS are actually quite quaintfor the intended audience target.

It’sjust ponderous. Very ponderous.Seriously. Pick up the issue and read itand then pick up your 4th grader’s history book and tell me they arenot written in the same style.


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New World

Inspired by a post at The Pour and Josh from Pinotblogger writing at Wine Sediments on the current state of Merlot in the marketplace.

Newworld_merlot


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Free Always Comes at a Price:  Open Source Wine?

Freesign

Firstthings first: Free beer doesn’t REALLYmean Free Beer. Free beer means thatthe intellectual property is free—as in unlocking the boundaries of sharing andfreedom. But, the beer actually costsmoney. Bottles, hops and such costmoney. But, the beer is dispensed in 24oz. bottles so the size is actually quite generous. And, if you’re inclined, you can actually improve upon therecipe, brew up a batch yourself and use the Free Beer label and distribute it. 

Makescomplete sense, right? 

LawrenceLessig, a noted technology intellectual and Professor at Stanford University,wrote an interesting article in the September issue of Wired magazine thatdiscusses a project based in Denmark that borrows from the open source/Linuxtechnology world into the world of the quaffable arts.

Excerptfrom the Freebeer.org web site.

FREE BEER
is a beer which is free in the sense of freedom, not in the sense of freebeer.

Theproject, originally conceived by Copenhagen-based artist collective Superflexand students at the Copenhagen IT University, applies modern free software /open source methods to a traditional real-world product - namely the alcoholicbeverage loved and enjoyed globally, and commonly known as beer.

FREEBEER is based on classic ale brewing traditions, but with added Guaraná for anatural energy boost. The recipe and branding elements of FREE BEER ispublished under a Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5) license, whichmeans that anyone can use the recipe to brew their own FREE BEER or create aderivative of the recipe. Anyone is free to earn money from FREE BEER, but theymust publish the recipe under the same license and credit our work. All designand branding elements are available to beer brewers, and can be modified tosuit, provided changes are published under the same license (”Attribution &Share Alike”)

Thisis an interesting idea.

Ironicallyenough, and counter to a free beer recipe, over at RadCru.com today, the wineof the day is the McDowell Valley Vineyards 2003 Coro Mendocino—a first ever ofits kind collaborative blend from Mendocino fruit. From the RadCru site:

CoroMendocino is a unique collaborative effort by Mendocino winemakers to create aclass of ultra-premium wines that showcase the rich heritage and uniquecharacteristics of Mendocino County. Coro means chorus in Italian and Spanishand is reflective of the spirit of this project… many voices singing the samesong. This is the first time in U.S. history that winemakers from a region haveset blending/aging parameters for a wine distinctive to the area.

Wow. This is the first time in U.S. history thatwinemakers have come together to set blending/aging parameters for a wine froma region.

Tome, what would really be interesting is for winemakers to come together in aspecific region, create a cuvee, and then open source the blending percentagesala Free Beer—break down the proprietary blending walls that currentlyexist. 

Wineriesas a part of a to-be-created cooperative could then license their bulk lot wineto the cooperative and then allow consumers to create their own customblend. You could do this for a case ora thousand cases. With the success of pro-am crush services like Crushpad youcould use this model to create consumer micro wineries in addition to theenthusiast that wants to compete with Michele Rolland for blending expertise.

Customercould then share their blends with others in a ‘pay it forward’ mode.

LikeI said, it is an interesting concept. If art students in Denmark can create this concept and get pr surely thewine industry can do something similarly cutting edge—consumer centric and witha benevolent bent. 

What do YOU think?  Is creating a bulk wine collaborative effort that is consumer-centric and allows them to do their own blending a viable concept?  The best blend "recipes" would then be shared for the less intrepid wine enthusiast.


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