Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Those who read Tom Wark’s blog, Fermentations, already know about the annual American Wine Blog Awards, or whatever he calls it. Seems a rather straightforward thing: a few rules for bloggers, a few nominations called for, a few votes for those nominated, a few winners—and a lot of losers.

You are of course reading the blog of one of the losers. I managed one nomination—from Jack, at Fork and Bottle. I have a suspicion he did it out of pity, since I wasn’t faring too well in the nomination camp, nothing like the outfit that had all its friends and employees submit not only nominations, but glowing reports on the outfit’s stellar station in the universe (I do think Tom should have zapped that nonsense from the nominating process, but, hey, that’s only my opinion, and if I go on, it will seem like sour grapes.)

Not winning is one thing, but learning from the loss is quite another. For instance, if it wasn’t for the award loss, I would never have found out that wine blogging is an industry. I found out because of a discussion that took place online—see below.

Incidentally, you may have noticed that I place all my reference links at the bottom of the page. I do that because I am one of those nuts who hates the links inside the text; it creates the desire to click on it, and that creates the condition of either losing my place in the text that I was reading or being taken so far away from it that I don’t go back to it. It's reading-interruptus to me.

It’s these kinds of opinions that probably lost me the nomination, let alone the award!

To be serious (did you know that I wasn’t being serious?), the wine forum world seems to have again had an implosion. Small as it is—the implosion, not the Internet world—the happening kind of supports my position in my last blog entry, when I said that in wine geekdom, it’s often about the geek rather than about the wine.

On the Parker/Squires/Leve site a long-standing member has been banned—again. This time, he was banned for responding to the ramblings of the moderator. I’ll probably get banned for saying this, but Squires really ought to bow out from being a forum moderator—he’s too divisive for the job and he’s too ready to pounce on diverging opinions, not to mention that he seems touchy about criticism, which isn’t unusual.

It seems that critics are quite thin-skinned about being criticized. I believe it has something to do with the fact that they believe that they are the answer, so how is it possible for them to be criticized?

Then, over on Therapy, something happened, and I swear I cannot figure out what it was, to cause one of our own bloggers and wine people, Lyle, to pack his bags (RocksandFruit.com link below).

I don’t know what’s going on: two implosions and someone so eloquent as I can’t win an award. Could they be related???

Nah, it was just the full moon.

While you ponder that lofty possibility, think about this:

In my world, Chardonnay should be crisp, clean (sans a lot of that oak thing). The wine should show one of the singular traits of that grape: a malt-apple quality (if you’ve ever tasted the grape off the vine, you’d know what I mean). Those melon-like Chardonnays are to me what a pizza topped with pineapple is—yuck!

Last night, I found a Chardonnay that made me smile with pleasure. Cuvee Delaye, 2006 Saint-Veran (Les Pierres Grises). It’s exactly how I like my Chardonnay and it was great with a sage chicken breast breaded cutlet.

The wine cost me an unbelievable $13 after discount. I think its listed price is closer to $17. The wine is imported by Michael Skurnick Wines, NY, a company that often comes up with winners.




Copyright Thomas Pellechia
March 2008. All rights reserved.


  1. Thomas,
    You are rendering a great service to many wine nuts without outsized egos. Awards are often tailored to show ponys and rain-makers. Keep up the intriguing insights.

  2. Ah, Jay,

    I already know that about awards, not so sure about my services rendered...

    Anyway, I remember clearly the physical checkup I got before my first day of grade school. The doctor told me that I had an unusual heartbeat; then, he laughed and said, "you'll have to find that different drummer inside you."

    I think I have!

  3. I am learning that about awards. This award event shows as though it was mainly a tool for promoting a few. Many long-standing US wine blogs are not nominated. Craig Camp's and Alice Feiring's are notably missing.
    A few blogs that get very high readership are not nominated in any category. Here are some examples:
    7200 people/month at Dr Vino's
    5400 people/month for Winecast
    4000 people/month at Boxwines
    (The amounts are approximative and come from public figures.)
    For what it's worth I attempt an easier competion with an objective ranking of wine websites.

  4. Unless there is a marketing thing behind your post, I have no idea what the purpose of the ranking is. In any event, this blog doesn't show up in the top 50 so I either have to get the word out or take a walk...

  5. Oh, and I went to the public figures you referenced. There is no information on this blog's traffic, so that tells me that your information is incomplete.

  6. Tom, I don't think I've ever seen you post anywhere except on eBob, so, it's obviously your desire to keep the low profile you have.

    I've suggested to Tom Wark to have a Commentary category next year (to replace the Graphics category).

  7. Jack,

    I've been posting on Robin Garr's site for a few years, but not as much these days. I started posting on Therapy a while ago, but lost interest in the schoolyard mentality.

    I started on Jerry Mead's old site back in the stone age--that is not a real name board; I used the name "foodie" there. I miss Jerry.

    Bounced around looking at other sites, but realized that I was not cut out for the dual life of an Internet-wine geek. Realized that I am not geeky enough to keep up the chest pounding!

    Anyway, I sent you a book that I'm not sure you ever read. Did you get it?

  8. Keep on drumming to your own beat. You are coming through loud and clear.

  9. Boom-beat-boom-beat-boom-beat, beat-bam.

    That's thank you, Marco, from my heart-beat.

  10. Seriously, I think the full moon had something to do with it. Don't worry about the awards: Bloggers voting for other bloggers. I didn't know about your blog until 10 minutes ago, great content though... I've heard that cellarer.com doesn't have accurate stats...
    Personally, I liken online forums to flipping people off from the anonymity of your car but with words. I can do without it, but that's me.

  11. taster b,

    A lovely description of what goes on in the online forum world. Had it happen to em just yesterday from someone who thinks he knows everything there is to know about wine...