Thursday, April 23, 2015
EPHEMERA: Poodles and Fires
I’m very relieved. It appears that HoseMaster of Wine™ has not been nominated for a Poodle Award. In fact, I only noticed the nominations were open by accident. I’m not sure anyone cares, it appeared there were far fewer nominations than usual, except those who took the time to nominate their own blog seventeen times. I skimmed the nominations, and was happy to see I wasn’t listed. I don’t want to win another one. I didn’t want to win the first three either. I’d love to win a MacArthur “Genius” grant. I’d be thrilled to be nominated for a James Beard Award, or a Roederer Award, but there’s absolutely zero chance of any of those. I’m more likely to win Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, or Miss Congeniality.
The folks behind the Wine Blog Awards, in their wisdom, eliminated the “Best Writing on a Wine Blog” Category. Their reasoning was that by winning any of the other awards, well, best writing was understood. Morons. I can state without fear of contradiction that nearly all of the “Best Overall Wine Blog” winners, while perhaps deserving of that award, are barely above average writers. What eliminating that category does is diminish the importance of language, the importance of originality and talent. Oh, I suppose they eliminated it for budgetary reasons. You just can’t hand out awards worth absolutely nothing willy-nilly. What are they, made of penury? I won that award the previous two years (so what?), but I will say that the other people that were nominated in that category, all of whom deserved it more than I, are the most talented people nominated, the most original, the most interesting to read. So, yeah, get those people out of here! They’re making us all look bad.
So, once again, I won’t be attending the Wine Bloggers Conference. The keynote speaker this year is Mother Karen MacNeil previewing the second coming of her “Wine Bible.” With any luck, there will be a Poodle Rapture.
I was generously invited to attend a new event in the Sierra Foothills that looks like a pretty cool deal. It’s called Amador Four Fires (not Amador For Fires, which is the prestigious annual convention of pyromaniacs—no wine, but plenty of cocktails, mostly Molotov), and you should check out the website, see if you can attend, too.
There is a lot happening up in Amador County, and it’s been too long since I’ve been there. I love the Zinfandels from Amador, always have. So different than Dry Creek Zin or Paso Robles Zin or Napa Zin. I find the Amador Zins show more high-tones in their aromatics, yet have great richness and power on the palate, a prettiness you don’t get that often elsewhere. The best ones, say from Jeff Runquist or Scott Harvey or Shenandoah Vineyards, can be mesmerizing. I’m hoping to find some new producers as well.
And let’s not forget Barbera! Oh, man, I have a great fondness for Barbera. There’s something about good Barbera that reminds me that what I’m drinking came from the earth. Cabernet, as much as I love it, doesn’t do that for me, nor Pinot Noir. Mostly, they’re too pure, too polished and seductive. Barbera (and maybe old vines Carignane) has that edge, that wildness, that, when it’s right, reminds me just what a miracle wine is, this utterly captivating, intoxicating liquid that grows from the ground. I’ll taste a lot of Barberas.
This looks like a great event. Plenty of Rhône varieties available as well, so I’m going to be one happy taster. They were kind enough to invite me, so consider this a gratuituous and fawning plug. It looks to be a great event, and the price ($75) seems well worth it. If you’re anywhere near Amador on May 2nd, and you love the wines from that underrated region, you should attend. If you see me there, make a point to say Hello. I’m the one wearing the designer hair shirt.