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News, Notes and Dusty Bottle Items – Compost Heap Edition

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

Missed by a Country Mile

Two weeks ago, I did a playful handicapping of Wine Enthusiasts Wine Star Awards making my guesses at the potential winners.  For the effort, I received a, “You are quite intuitive” comment from publisher Adam Strum and a, “They are VERY well educated guesses” from Communications Manager Jacqueline Strum. I subsequently basked in the notion of, “What if I nailed all of them …?”

What were my results against the actual winners announced, you ask?  I hit a measly four out of 11 categories correctly – not exactly a winning day if I were wagering …

My Bad Etiquette

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about my woeful disdain for the oft incorrect spelling of the word “palate” and the people who use it incorrectly.  Hard to believe, but there are wine enthusiasts (who should know better) who refer to their palate in writing as a “pallet” or a “palette.”  Now, I’m no grammarian, but it drives me nuts … and, well, I have another small peccadillo, too …

One of the joys of this digital interconnectedness is you make friends and acquaintances with people all across the country, and, if fortune favors you, the opportunity for privilege from PR folks may arise as well, even if far-flung. 

In fact, some of these newfound acquaintances and PR folks might invite you to events via email with an RSVP – usually an RSVP with difficult to discern contact information and no deadline.

Ahem.  My mother raised a polite boy grateful for fellowship and opportunity for experiences … but, can we all agree that an RSVP required invite when coming across email or Facebook to a mass of people that can be, at best, charitably described as an acquaintance coming from an acquaintance or professional contact, may be better served by not using the Mrs. Manners approved, but inadequate abbreviation for the French, “Répondez s’il vous plait?”

This isn’t a wedding for a dear friend, after all. 

How about using this instead of “RSVP” at the end of the invite:

“Thank you in advance for the courtesy of your reply so that we may conduct appropriate hospitality planning for guests of the party.  Please reply, “Yes, I’m coming” or “Regrets, I can’t make it” by this date at this time to this person via this email or this phone number.  Thank you and we hope to see you.”

It is simple, sets expectations and places the onus on the recipient to reply by a certain date and time while also absolving the guilt-inclined who don’t like to be ungracious by giving them their next action.  Easy peasy.

The World is Flat?!

There was a couple of month period last year when I thought the recession might bring the U.S. back to a cultural sensibility governed by U.S. provincialism, but no longer ... indeed, the world is quickly becoming a global village.

This is by no means analysis … more observation … but, the last couple of weeks continue to indicate the changing nature of our wine world with a strong international wine sensibility coming in (from almost everywhere, but the traditional Francophile movement) with our wine going out to Asia.

As examples, see the ability to buy a brokered vineyard in Argentina and Spain here and here.  Likewise, check out this article on a Hong Kong trade visit to the Finger Lakes and see also this article on Hong Kong’s increasing interest in Napa wine.

The time is coming hard and fast when the first decade of the 2000s is going to seem positively quaint from a global wine perspective.

Make note because we will all remember when …

Eastern Europe Here we Come

Speaking of the global wine village, the worldwide demand for attention from U.S. wine consumers continues unabated and either one of two things is happening – either my radar has become more finely tuned lately or Eastern Europe is starting to more heavily push their wine – how else to explain Web sightings of the wines of Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia in the past couple of months?


Posted in, News, Notes & Dusty Bottle Items. Permalink | Comments (1) |


On 10/28, Kimberly wrote:

The palette/palate thing makes me crazy too!  But here’s the thing—I always write “palate” when writing about wine and food related things, and thought myself just a wee bit smarter than those who use “palette” instead. But recently I’ve noticed(even in a major wine pub,no less) the word “palette” used, so I thought, “heck, maybe I’M the doofus.”  Now I feel better. smile


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