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Paging John Feinstein

It has only been the last week that I realized that the world of wine has crossed the chasm and is in the midst of a radical transformation.

Put another way, the convergence of wine and technology has crossed the 50-yard line and is moving the chains, first down, after first down.

Before, I simply liked to view the shift in the world of wine, as it relates to technology, as a splinter effort that had not yet coalesced into the greater industry.

That is no longer true.

I am wont to be hyperbolic, but this is not one of those times.  The reason for this epiphany is, yes, “RockawayGate” or whatever else you want to call it. Personally, I simply call it an unfortunate signpost in the rearview mirror.  Yet, that story in and of itself is not that interesting.  What is interesting is everything that happened around it—Twitter, Podcasts, YouTube, an incredible mobilization of opinion on a couple of sites and the kudzu-like spread of other blog posts watching the train wreck.

If you take this little brouhaha coupled with the Wine.com debacle earlier this year, and the Wine Spectator restaurant award snafu from a couple of weeks back, Alice Feiring’s book, and a few others items, arguably the most interesting and dramatic things to happen in the U.S. based wine world this year have all bubbled up or been blown up by bloggers.

That is influence and that is footing that is equal to or commensurate to other blogging niches—areas where demonstrable currency has already been earned.

The other fascinating thing about these events in 2008 is they make for fascinating drama with a story arc.

In 1999 Po Bronson wrote a non-fiction book called, “The Nudist on the Late Shift” that captured the zeitgeist of the dot-com era.

John Feinstein, noted author, has written dozens of non-fiction sports books, most of them capturing a story arc in the life of a season for a team or individual.

The reason that I think wine and technology has crossed the chasm is because the things that are happening right now are interesting enough to be captured in a story arc in book form.

Gary Vaynerchuk, Twitter, the stories mentioned above, the Wine Blogger Conference, Wine 2.0, wine tech companies and all of the denizens that inhabit these places and companies would make for very interesting reading as a year in the life. 

Unfortunately, the cynic in me says that all of these things won’t be as interesting in 2009 when a publisher gets mobilized, yet, it would seem that drama is always just days away.

Wine and technology, as a force, has reached the tipping point.  I am paging John Feinstein.  Somebody needs to chronicle it.


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Vin de Napkin - The Week that Was

Take this as you will, but last week was longer than a year of snowy Sundays.  Happy to be moving on ...


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What the Hell is in the Water in Minnesota?

So, I tune into the Republican National Convention last night to see what a 44 year-old attractive, archconservative, gun-totin’, female Governor, with an infant son, a husband who wins snowmobile races and a teen daughter who is pregnant, a self-styled Hockey Mom, who believes global warming isn’t man made and that drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge seems like a dandy idea, has to say as the VP candidate on the Republican ticket.

And then I hear her talking about energy independence and the wild-eyed, pasty young white dudes and blue hairs start chanting “Drill baby, drill” in regards to exploring oil in Alaska.

And, while I’m no politico, and stay somewhat neutral to both camps, I’m thinking to myself are these people friggin’ nuts?  If these people aren’t nuts, they have to be drunk.

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Sure enough, I think they were plied with some wine to loosen them up prior to Rudy Giuliani’s speech.  Again, I’m not political, but I think the hook needs to come on Giuliani from stage right ... enough with the 9/11 glory mongering. 

A quick bit of research led me to this special wine for all of the RNC convention-goers.  Not even a U.S. wine—S. African. 

But, last nights events make a whole lot more sense now.  Too much wine leads to social lubrication and some crazy cheers like, “Drill, baby, Drill.”


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