What it Takes to Become Featured

 

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Over the previous months, and increasingly over the coming months, you are going to see more and more wineries becoming featured on this website. I have spent and continue to spend a huge amount of time working on this site and its social media accounts (and I’m having great fun doing it) . I therefore thought it was worth explaining the criteria a winery needs to meet in order to officially become featured, and what my overall intentions are.

 

 

 


~Criteria~
Taste

Hmmm, seems like an obvious first point, but I thought it was worth pointing out that you will never see a wine featured on this website which I wouldn’t quite happily imbibe myself. Granted, some are going to drink better than others; some might be “everyday drinkers”, and some might be a little higher-end and more apt for a special occasion. The one thing you can be assured of is that all wines will be what I consider GOOD JUICE!
If I don’t already know the winery, I request samples in advance to taste. If I do know the winery and already know them to produce a quality product, the feature will start.
To provide a total contradiction to this point, I would like to say that just because I like the taste of a particular wine, doesn’t mean that you are going to feel the same way. For this reason, my tasting notes are as matter-of-fact as possible (according to my own palate) and I don’t use any kind of point system based on what I believe the quality level to be of a specific bottle.

 

Price

Like everyone, I always like to see a good price to quality ratio, but this is a little less cut and dry than the previous point. What’s perceived as value to some people, is outrageous to others. I therefore use my own judgment on this one, and for what it’s worth (when it comes to wine) I tend to be a kind of a cheap skate…

 

Availability

I can’t always guarantee the featured wines will be carried by a vast quantity of retailers or restaurants (that’s at their discretion), but they will be available to the majority of consumers in some capacity. If it isn’t very widely stocked, I will always point you in the direction of the wine distributor who carries the wine, so you can pass on the message to your local-friendly-independently-owned wine retailer.

 

Belief

Kind of a hard thing to quantify, but if I’m going to work with a winery,  the wines need to be something I personally “believe in”. I’ve never been one to half-arse anything, and I’ve not exactly one to deceive people, so there’s no way I can feature (and essentially put my name on) wines which I’m not 100% behind.

 

Let the Feature Begin!

After all the above points are satisfied, the feature can start. Going-forward, I expect normal winery features to last around a week, but some may be shorter depending on how I view that winery and the range of wines they produce. If I think a week is too long for a particular winery, the feature will be shortened.

 

 

~ Intentions ~

If you truly want to know exactly what I am looking for the reader to gain out of these features, my ideal scenario would play out as follows:

1. I feature a winery / wine brand.

2. You read the feature.

3a. At some point, whether it’s in a retail location or in a restaurant, whether it’s the next week or 6 months from when you first read the article, you happen to stumble across one of those wines.

or

3b. Maybe you even trust my judgment SO MUCH that you decide to just go ahead and purposefully seek-out a bottle. Hey, crazier things have happened!

4. Whichever happens, hopefully you will be approaching wine with a little more inside information than if you hadn’t stumbled across this website. The content will hopefully serve to help you make a more informed purchasing decision.
Even if you don’t happen to too frequently see the wines which are featured on this site, there is still a lot of info that will help you gain a better understanding of the general subject of wine as a whole. Those are my true intentions.

I have no doubt that as these features continue, my motives for featuring wineries will be questioned; but that comes with the territory, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a pretty genuine guy. I just thought I maybe should get ahead of myself a little and set the record straight. Thanks for reading.

5 Comments

  • March 30, 2011

    Sediment blog

    Which is all well and good, EXCEPT…that you will never criticise anything?

    If everything is a recommendation, you will never tell us what to avoid, what’s appalling, what’s the lower benchmark – only what’s “good juice”.

    Leaving people like us to suffer the rest…

  • March 30, 2011

    Ian Mitchell

    Best of luck to you….I’d try the same thing and throw in food tasting with it, but I’d like maybe to see my 65th birthday in 4 months………!

  • March 30, 2011

    Kris Chislett

    Thanks for the comment as always guys!
    Totally agree with what you are saying. I think my biggest problem is that my wine reviews take quite a while to write (and a little while to read). I tell people about the grape(s), facts, place, food pairing, and then obviously the taste. Reading all of that would probably seem like a big waste of time for the reader, only to get to the end of the review for them to discover that I personally think the wine drinks like “…cat piss”.

    Once again, I don’t disagree with you, but I subscribe to the idea that taste is a very personal thing, and I would really prefer for people to be their own judge on wine. This for this same reason why I don’t use (or like) point scores.
    I’m personally not a huge fan of Beringer White Zinfandel, Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, or Yellow Tail (to name but a few), however these wines still remain some of the most dominant wine brands in the U.S. market. My readers still deserve to hear the story on such wines, but I can’t say that I will ever make a full feature of a wine I don’t like.

    I think I maybe just need to spend a little more time in the tasting section of my wine reviews, and talk generally about why I like that particular wine and how it similar products on the market. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks again for the comment. I always appreciate your candor. Comments like this are my best source of feedback.

  • March 30, 2011

    Kris Chislett

    :)

  • March 31, 2011

    Sediment blog

    There are such things as important failures.

    Chateau Margaux has just announced they are launching a third wine; if it’s terrible, it needs to be written about, because otherwise the chateau will just cash in on its brand.

    If wineries trade on particular marketing terms (“mature claret”); if a wine is particularly bad value for money; if a wine is not representative of its region or varietal… it needs to be written about.

    Perhaps sometimes it’s important for those with the knowledge and the palate to highlight important failures as well as interesting successes?

    Or you can leave that to us ;)

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