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‘03 Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel, Barrel Cuvee

This post marks the first time that I have officially posted a wine review, aside from the occasional Wine Blogging Wednesday.  As periodically as I find a meritorious wine, I will now begin to post wine reviews and tasting notes.

The reason behind this change is pretty simple—I have been convinced that, done judiciously amongst other content, wine reviews have a very valuable place in the wine blogosphere.

The epiphany was driven by Tom Wark’s recent survey in which 68% of survey takers indicated that a wine blog wine review had influenced them—a truly astounding number. Dr. Debs from Good Wine Under $20 gave me additional insight when she indicated in an exchanged email that she viewed wine blogs in three categorical buckets:

1)  Business-oriented blogs (Newsy/analysis blogs)
2)  Review blogs
3)  Blogs that try to bridge these two worlds (Vinography, Spittoon, Dr. Vino, Lenndevours, Winecast, etc.).

Dr. Debs noted that the biggest gap existed between the review blogs and the newsy/analysis blogs.  I hadn’t given it much thought, but as Dr. Vino, Vinography, Lenndevours and Wincast all know, reviews are an important and self-satisfying function in their blogging lives.  There’s no reason I shouldn’t be cataloging my tasting, as well.  Well, there is one slight reason:  because of this blog I now work for a technology company in the wine industry and there are some slight conflict of interest reasons I need to be cognizant of.  In order to address these potential conflicts of interest, I will only be reviewing samples and nationally distributed wines; those found at the Costco’s, Target’s, grocery stores, World Markets of the world.  In addition, the wines that I select will also be, predominantly, wines that have been submitted for judging in competitions—wines that have opened themselves to opinion.

My wine reviews won’t be exactly business as usual.  I have adopted a hybrid style that fits the way I want to approach scoring wines.  Wines will be reviewed using a modified Napa Valley College (NVC) 25 point system and cross-referenced against the wine blogosphere scoring system championed by Tim from Winecast.  So, every wine will be tasted with notes using the NVC tasting notes and point system and given an analogous star rating to support the wine blogosphere.

In addition, and unique to Good Grape, is the category rankings I provide that indicate “Who Would This Wine Interest.”

I’ve taken my own marketing-centric views of wine consumers, cross-referenced it against lifestyle segmentations and the Constellation Project Genome customer study to come up with six categories for wine consumers, which I will denote as the primary target for whom the wine reviewed might be enjoyable or most appreciated.

The categories are:

Terroirista:  A “terroirista” is a connoisseur, somebody inclined to go after “Parker Points,” buy wine futures and generally be a wine lover of repute with a nuanced worldly wine palate.

Enthusiast: This is the category I place myself in.  I’m confident in my palate, knowledgeable, with a credible amount of depth in tasting.  However, I haven’t crossed over to “terroirista,” nor have I lost touch with understanding what it’s like to be less initiated in the grape. 

Lifestyler: This is a category for wine lovers who are interested in the lifestyle aspects of wine: wine country, tastings, and the associated collateral benefits of being identified as a wine lover, however they are less confident and less experienced in their palate and overall knowledge, despite their ongoing love of the grape. 

Adventurer/Fashionista: This is the adventurous, non-wine monogamous, import-lovin’ Generation Y wine consumer. 

Social Sipper: This is a category for the wine consumer who enjoys wine with meals, and while socializing—they know what they like, but frequently have a hard time translating that to a palate pattern—these folks are the ones likely to either buy wine at wine-friendly shops and/or seek the assistance of a Sommelier or a wine shop employee.

Aisle Daze: This is the wine consumer who occasionally buys and enjoys wine and is inclined to buy by label—something that visually engages them from the shelf.

Each wine review will be presented as a downloadable tasting notes file.  The first tasting note file can be found here.

Please take a look and leave a comment.  Do you like it? Do you have feedback that would make it better?


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