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News, Notes and Dusty Bottle Items Pt. II

Friday evening is your last chance to vote for the American Wine Blog Awards.  If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to vote here.

And, some other errata and miscellaneous from the week so far … I wrote a post on the Inertia Beverage Group blog yesterday … you can check it out here.  Normally I wouldn’t write about the professional blog here on my site, but I wrote about Spot Runner, an Internet advertising agency that lets virtually anybody buy inexpensive ad space in television markets nationally.  Quickly, you realize that Stormhoek with their quirky YouTube videos and Gary Vay-Ner-Chuk at could be in a living room near you before too long.  Frankly, I think it would be pretty cool.  They could cozy up to Jennifer The Watson’s Spa Girl and Don from Don’s Gun’s for local Indianapolis infamy.

I decided to take the bait with the press release/email I received yesterday.  QPRwines renamed themselves The WineBlueBook.  According to the release,

“WineBlueBook’s new name (formerly QPRwines) plays off the “blue book” metaphor and works with the company’s strategy to best serve wine consumers with an easy to read guide to purchasing wines and understanding scores versus price.  Neil Monnens adds, “blue books are one step research books for most industries – why shouldn’t a crowded market like wine not have its own resource.”

Hmm … I don’t have enough information to pass sound judgment on this one, but my instincts tell me that forsaking the unique equity built up with QPR and trading that for “Blue Book” which is associated most predominantly with used cars is not a good branding decision.  I’m sending Neil an email to see if I can find out …  check out the new site here.

At, Tim posted the round-up from Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW) on Monday.  A lot of wine and food bloggers are taking part in this fun little monthly exercise in group wine drinking and blogging.  Dare I say a critical mass has been met.  Rumor has it that Lenn is developing some organization around the event.  ’07 could see WBW graduate to high school.

Over at, Josh recounts the first part of what will be two parts in how he met his wife, Candace.  It doesn’t get much better than combining the words “diddling” and “banging” within two sentences of each other within the context of talking about a reality television show on MTV.  Nice. 

Speaking of banging, or diddling, or something like that ... the site, unfortunately the password protected portion, has a blurb about Dr. Ruth Westheimer doing an appearance at Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit in New York to promote the recently published 3rd Edition of her book Sex for Dummies.  In the short article blurb she says,

“Well, I do tell people, especially in today’s world where everybody has a hectic schedule, if you’re going to have a romantic encounter, make sure you drink a glass of red wine, or maybe two, but not more!” said Westheimer. “Men, if they drink too much, will fall asleep, or not be able to function, and women might say things that they’ll regret.”

My wife is Dr. Ruth’s editor for the aforementioned Sex for Dummies.  And, yes, it’s true—it’s as fun of a job as it sounds.  Dr. Ruth, according to my wife, is a peach of a lady, too.  As soon as somebody in the marketing department at Wiley Publishing can get their act together, I’ll post a link for the Sex for Dummies podcast that hostess, Lindsay Lefevere, conducted with Dr. Ruth, too.

For Valentine’s Day Lindsay and I agreed that we wouldn’t do any gifts or even spend money on a card, we would simply go out to a very nice dinner.

I was excited to go to one of the best restaurants in the city, a place that won Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence five years in a row ’01 – ’05 and best restaurant of the year, critic’s choice by Indianapolis Monthly in 2005.  We decided to not go to our favorite restaurant and try something new.

Not necessarily a mistake, but the restaurant didn’t live up to the hype.  The prices on the web site were a little off from the prices on the Valentine’s dinner menu, wringing a couple of extra bucks out of patrons here and there including on my appetizer and my entrée.  Our service was casual, casual to an extent that you don’t expect to experience while enjoying fine dining.  No 2nd tier of support for our waiter who had casualness you would expect at a chain restaurant.  I half expected him to crouch down with suspender buttons twinkling and ask what he could get for us.  The ’03 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir I ordered was in fact a ’05, delicious just the same and to top it all of they had a mandatory 18% gratuity included on the bill—for a two person party.  I know a lot of people that don’t go out on New Year’s and Valentine’s Day because it is amateur hour, but a mandatory included gratuity for a two person party is an insult.  It’s even more ridiculous that I didn’t get a choice on the gratuity as they hit me full-on for the wine, too.  I don’t mind tipping for wine service, but unfortunately I didn’t get wine service.  I got a bottle opened for me and that’s about it.  It’s too bad for the waiter because I usually tip 20% because the math is easier, especially after drinking 2/3’s of a bottle in an hour or so. 

Despite some of the shortcomings, the Patz & Hall wine made it worthwhile—an absolute beauty of a wine to complement the beauty of my wife and best friend, Lindsay!  Despite Dr. Ruth’s warnings, though, I did have more than two glasses. 


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


On 09/10, Kim Da Cook wrote:

Lovely post, and how could you not have less that 2 glasses, I am really enjoying this site and look forward to reading here.


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