01 May 2005

On Wine Websites and Names

Consider this an addendum to the manifesto... I'm deeply annoyed by the number of wine-related websites that make you jump through an age verification hurdle in order to just read about the wine. Because we all know that if kids read about malolactic fermentation, they'll become drug addicts and cook a baby in a microwave. One of the big arguments against online sales of wine in certain states is that kids will order wine over the internet. Yep, a kid will take a credit card and order a case of $350 a bottle Montrachet (plus tax and shipping) and ditch school in order to meet the UPS man at the door and wear a false beard and glasses in order to fool the delivery driver. Puh-leeze. Any kid that wants a drink will do one of three things: 1) steal sips from Mom and Dad's stash; 2) get an older friend to buy it; or 3) pay a homeless guy to buy something for them. Meanwhile in the state of Tennessee, there's no way for me to legally consume the products of many smaller wineries. I'm anxious to try some of the creative offerings of Virginia and Texas, but I can't unless I beg one of my distributor friends to get it for me. Which is basically just like #2 above, except that I'm an adult now and refuse to engage in such behavior.

Unrelated, but I guess it's part of the manifesto: In these reviews, I attempt to properly spell all elements of the wine's name. I realize I probably don't get everything 100% correct, but I do make the attempt. And since they influence pronunciation, I dig up all the ASCII codes to properly display letters with the proper diacritical marks above or below them. In a few cases, I think that going to the trouble of spelling these wines properly will actually reduce the number of Google hits that show up. Also, why do I always put the year first? It's a habit. It's also pretty much the only wine label info that's standard across the entire globe, and if a wine is non-vintage, you can generally assume it's of table quality or fairly informal. Generally I try to do Year - Producer - Grape, simplifying everything to the vaguely Californian label convention. Naturally for Old World wines, I stick to region or family or whatever is appropriate. And a lot of domestic wines tend to place the subregion on the label, but I don't typically include that unless the producer has a line of similar products from slightly different regions.

1 comment:

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