Thursday, July 19, 2007

Did You See That?

In Did You See That? I try to highlight a few posts that moved me for some reason, because I want to share them with you. It's sort of like when you were in college and you went to a friend's house and they made you listen to their new tunes. Just think of it as 1991 on my somewhat ratty couch drinking a beer, and I'm making you to listen to Pavement's Perfect Sound Forever, or something. And you like it because it totally rocks!

Dan Berger, an Editor-at-large at Appellation America wrote an interesting piece recently called Is Pinot Dead? Clearly his arguments must be taken with a dash of salt, as he has California leanings. Even so, he asks good questions about Burgundy price and quality and compares this with price and quality in the Russian River Valley. Sadly he does not offer specific comparisons (as is noted by one somewhat agitated commenter), but that is almost beside the point. Have things gone too far in Burgundy? Is it reasonable for a top Grand Cru wine to sell for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars, and for that wine to be snapped up in its entirety by the industry and several filthy rich buyers? Can us normal folk like us ever hope to actually taste a Mugnier Musigny, or are we relegated to village wines and the occasional 1er Cru? Berger recommends looking to the Russian River Valley as an alternative to playing the Burgundy game, and he makes an interesting, if not water-tight case. I re-read the post a few times because it made me think about wine buying strategy in general. See what you think...

On a more romantic note, check out this lovely post on Lenndevours by Finger Lakes Correspondent Jason Feulner. I admire the way Lenn consistently reaches out to people and enlists them in his work, using his position as a highly read and respected blogger to showcase other people's talents. Some people hold on tight when they have that type of power, like Michael Jackson or Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, for example. But not Lenn. He shares the wealth and uses his site to promote other folks. He's got a wine poet, beer podcaster, a photographer, a new website devoted to Wine Blogging Wednesday, and he has a Finger Lakes Correspondent who wrote this piece. It describes a farmer who makes tiny quantities of wine for his own personal pleasure, using old equipment and even older family techniques from back in Italy. If you missed this, take a peek - it will brighten up your day and remind you of the romance of wine.

Finally, there is this provocative piece by Dr. Debs from Good Wine Under $20. Debs laments the lack of women (people of color too, and men without ties) at Wine Spadvocator. Her post generated over 20 c0mments, including a response from an editor at Wine Spadvocator. I highlight this piece because I think it's great that Debs raised the question regarding women working at the Spad. It is not easy to raise this kind of question, as it can trigger an emotional response from people and things can get out of hand. Everything Debs wrote and all of the comments too seem to be thoughtful and well considered.

I cannot resist adding my .02 cents though: I think the piece does more than simply raise a question, it makes a claim that cannot be supported.

Debs never outrightly calls Spadvocator a sexist organization, but it is clear from the piece that she feels that the Spad is ignoring or discriminating against the female gender as potential hires. I disagree with the logic that says if there are no women (or Latinos, Jews, people over 65, people in wheelchairs, and so on) in prominent positions at Wine Spadvocator, then the Spad must be discriminating against women.

I am wary of jumping to conclusions like that because it's just too simple. We don't know how and why Spad hires writers, what their applicant pool looks like, and what work is required in order to get promotions, etc. The sexism claim is possible, but it is one of a dozen factors that might or might not explain the situation. Is it possible that the Spad is purposefully discriminating against women in hiring and promotional practices? Yes. Whether or not it is true cannot be gleaned from the arguments my pal Debs presents in her piece.

Read the thought provoking piece and the comments and see what you think...


Marcus said...

Bguy, do you have a huge Pavement collection?

Man, another reason to swing by Brooklyn.

Have you discovered this gem: Gold Sounds (2005)

Brooklynguy said...

Hey Dok - I loved them and had everything but lost interest after the album with cut your hair and gold soundz. i thought wowee zowee stunk and i never went back. i still throw on perfect sounds forever and slanted and enchanted sometimes when i'm alone in the house.

Marcus said...

You might have more luck with the wife and kid playing the jazzified version of Pavement included at the link I left above. At the very least, could definitely tide you over until they leave you alone in the house!