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Field Notes from a Wine Life – Into the Mystic

… Odds and ends from a life lived through the prism of the wine glass …

Get your Chi in Check

10-years ago, it would have been a full-fledged fad and cultural phenomenon, a meteor heading to a flameout, with collateral damage occurring in its wake.  In today’s Internet-driven world, you have to tune your radar and watch the slow burn ... too many competing interests nowadays.  Nonetheless, there are many people that are buying and using these so-called “energy bracelets,” including unpaid college football players and professional athletes.

Going by brand names like, “PowerBalance,” “iRenew,” “Trion,” “Phiton” and “Deuce brand,” these bracelets generally, in one form or another, promise to positively affect a wearer’s energy. PowerBalance, with a hologram, claims to effect energy with energy waves at specific positive frequencies. The frequencies react with the wearer’s naturally occurring energy fields. Once the hologram encounters a user’s body, energy flow is then supposedly improved for the wearer and therefore improves balance, flexibility, and strength.

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Uh-huh.

At around the cost of a nice bottle of wine—$25 or so – it’s a lot of “suspension of disbelief.” 

The thing is, however, who is going to call bullshit on it?  Even without a scientific claim, and a business predicated on eastern philosophy, some well-respected athletes are endorsing it (which probably also explains the unpaid trickle down to college athletes) – NBA center Shaquille O’Neal, NFL Quarterback Matthew Stafford, MLB baseball players and niche professional athletes in sports from surfing to volleyball.

And, with those endorsements, robust consumer sales aren’t likely too far away.

This sounds familiar right?  Junk science, unsubstantiated claims, premium prices, and respected people doing it with correlating consumer interest … the difference is that Biodynamic wine isn’t going to be a fad.  Nope.  It’s here to stay as a trend with some endurance.

The only real difference between an “energy bracelet” and BioD however is the origination of the shtick … PowerBalance and the energy bracelets based on “eastern philosophy” and BioD based on an Austrian into progressive western philosophy.

Methinks that if BioD originated in eastern agricultural practices, or alongside the ancient art of acupuncture treatment, or a Tao of some sort, the backlash wouldn’t be as swift as it was against a twentieth century philosopher and esotericist, somebody who, allegedly, should have known better.

You see, precious few really understand eastern philosophy and our politically correct nature means we are not going to dump on an entire culture, NYC mosques notwithstanding.  However, an ex-pat Austrian philosopher whose death in the twentieth century is within spitting distance of our contemporary cultural understanding is easy pickings for the naysayers.

There are literally thousands of things that humans do not fully understand, but it’s easier to take a dump on something if the dumper isn’t likely to get a backlash based on cultural insensitivity from the dumpee and dumpee sympathizers.  BioD then is the perfect foil.  Its assailants commit almost a victimless assault.

Meanwhile, while the ant-BioD folks duke it out, I’m going to wear my energy bracelet, find my chi, and hope it translates some life-force energy to a glass of wine.

360-degree Wine Reviews

Speaking of naysayers … the anti-point brigade doesn’t grow weary of the conversation, do they?

I have been paying attention to points of all kinds and I think it’s going to grow deeper before it goes away.

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As an example of points (this time a 10-point scale), GoodGuide is a modern day Consumer Reports that provides proprietary analysis of everyday consumable items measured against the so-called “Triple bottom-line.” They measure a product based on a producing company’s performance against three criteria – health, green and social responsibility.

According to their web site:

GoodGuide is in business to provide authoritative information about the health, environmental and social performance of products and companies.  Our mission is to help consumers make purchasing decisions that reflect their preferences and values.  We believe that better information can transform the marketplace: as more consumers buy better products, retailers and manufacturers face compelling incentives to make products that are safe, environmentally sustainable and produced using ethical sourcing of raw materials and labor.

While GoodGuide does not feature any wine at this time, it’s probably a short leap before they start doing so.  However, the thing is, wineries are already measured in a number of areas at present – product quality via mainstream media criticism, product quality via consumer criticism (CellarTracker), hospitality via Yelp.com, and a persistent drumbeat of popular opinion regarding their marketing efforts.

If you ladle in Wal-Mart’s attempt at a widely adopted sustainability index and you start to see how a confusing consumer culture can be governed by points of all kinds.

So, unfortunately, for the anti-points brigade, I think a future outcome is likely whereby wineries are measured against a point score for their wine from a mainstream critic (perhaps even touted based on aggregation from a service like Wine BlueBook), an aggregate score from consumers via CellarTracker, a hospitality score from Yelp.com, a score from a sustainability index AND a score against the Triple-bottom Line from a service like GoodGuide. 

Points going away?  I don’t think so.  In fact, one could argue, that a winery who is proactive against developing and leveraging this scoring would be serving themselves well as most of these measurements are well within the positively achievable for the way most small-to-medium size wineries conduct their business.



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Posted in, Free Run: Field Notes From a Wine Life. Permalink | Comments (4) |


Comments

On 09/07, Thomas Pellechia wrote:

...and a cigar is sometimes just cigar.

I think the older I get, the more annoyed I become with the gullibility of the human species, right down to how we manage to fool ourselves into thinking that we aren’t fools, and that by following various gurus (guri?) the secret of life will be revealed to us—or at least the secret of a good wine!

On 09/07, Jeff wrote:

Thomas,

One thing is certain, the world is populated with Lemmings ready to follow something or somebody ... more followers than leaders, for sure.

Jeff

On 07/04, laptop cooling wrote:

In addition to the base radiator,laptop cooling the market also appeared on the PC card heatsink. This radiator can be directly inserted into the notebook’s PC Card slot, using the exhaust fan rotation outwards in order to achieve the purpose of rapid cooling notebook. Another is the radiator air vents, this radiator is out air, but is installed in the notebook’s air vents, therefore, to work with the notebook internal ventilation direction of air flow in the same direction, the cooling effect is very good .

On 09/10, Brianna wrote:

You should cleanup a little bit your website. It’s full with spam comments and other similar things.


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