Paywall, sustainable, eco-labels, blogs – sipped and spit

SPIT: the free in freedom of speech
Effective immediately, the forums on will convert to subscriber-only. End of an era.

SIPPED: Greenwashing?
Blake Gray, formerly a staff writer at the SF Chronicle, posts about the new Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program. After reviewing each of the 227 points and finding many of them redundant or meaningless, he concludes “This is not sustainability, it’s greenwashing, and it’s done just to get greenwashed SKUs for Whole Foods.” [Gray Market Report]

SWALLOWED: conclusions; SPIT: eco-labels?
Reuters reports on a consulting group’s survey that found wine consumers cared most about price and least about organic or other eco-friendly labeling. They did not provide a link to the survey results, nor did they state who commissioned the survey, or anything about the respondents, such as their age or if they are wine drinkers. Details!

SIPPED: free wine information
Paul Gregutt rounds up free wine sites that he likes–including this one. Check out the story for others. [Seattle Times]

SPIT: egos
And if any free sites think they can conquer the world, there’s always the Hosemaster to take ’em down a notch. Check out the blog for some LOLz.

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12 Responses to “Paywall, sustainable, eco-labels, blogs – sipped and spit”

  1. What kind of wine storage is in that picture? Looks very neat.

    Thanks Dr. Vino

  2. Spit – Wine forums give me indigestion and sometimes the same amount of gas that I read there.

    Sipped – Let me find my surprise face…

    Swallowed – nah, I spit that out

    Sipped – Gregutt is how I found you

    Spit – I think I can make money blogging about Vitis Rotundophilia, err.. Rotundifolia.

  3. Rose, if you click on the image, it will take you to more information.

    DEP, welcome!

  4. Tyler,

    Thank you for the plug! I had no idea you read my blog. Still don’t know why. There are hundreds and hundreds of wine blogs, most of them abandoned, that fulfill the need for wine misinformation. I just try to make folks laugh at the whole ridiculous world. I hope your legion of readers visits, and then finds me amusing enough to revisit.

    Careful, be nice to me and I may just show up here now and then.

  5. I know this Hosemaster. Very provocative. No target left untended. Thinks Robt Parker is already dead–or did he just predict the end of EBob correctly? Oh, and this is the man who has proclaimed that the 100-point system is also dead and useless and has invented the 1,000,000 point system.

    This is easily the home of the most biting satire in the wine blogosphere. But, be forewarned, this site is “R” rated and is not for the squeamish. And remember, this guy is not just the Master of Wine. He is the HoseMaster of Wine.

    Truth in blogging. I love reading it.

  6. I don’t know where Reuters’ report came from but Danny Brager, the wine guy for Nielsen, told me the same when I was writing WE wine story on “Why we buy what we buy,” in January.
    This was based on Nielsen weekly off-premise surveys – 2009. I think this was a shift in the trend from years before.
    I’d guess it had to do with trying to make the green side of the pocket grow last year. Danny can probably offer some insight into 2010.
    Will be interested in reading what else comes out of the Green-Green seminar in Napa/Sonoma this week. Haven’t read Blake’s piece yet. When I did a piece two years ago, wineries around the world were all over the place on this. The funniest was Pernod that filed its EU compliance report at at time when publicly traded companies had to create benchmarks. The report kept mentioning that they’d changed the light bulbs. I cracked up. But things have moved on.
    One more thought is that for the publicly traded companies, there was a lot of pressure from shareholders to go green. Given the fate of the last two years, I wonder whether that sentiment is holding water.
    (I love Hosemaster. I gave him top marks in the writing category when I judged wine bloggers two years ago – you were up there, too.)

  7. Charlie,

    Rated R? Man, been to the movies lately? I’m barely a PG-13. But thanks for your kind words.


    Thank you. I’m honored. I love you too!

  8. Ron – my pleasure; welcome!

    Charlie and Kathy – what’s all this Ron love? This is my blob, so you must love me here! 😉

    Kathy – yes, environmental awareness is very popular now, especially with them there young folks.

  9. I know when I did the judging you were at the top, too, dear doc, in news category. There is news, there is commentary and there is satire (amongst others). The wine blog world is only beginning to see that a healthy writing world must include all types of writing.

    Ah, but environmental awareness means eggs at Safeway that are three times the price of others; milk is a good two times. Kids who believe in and want this (like my kids) find they have to compromise. One of the kids (native Napan) compromises but not with eggs. Another one compromises but not with produce. And so on. Where is wine when they are in school (because of no jobs) or earning less as teachers in ’10 due to budget cuts in ’09? As a mom, if organic/biodynamic wine is more expensive, it had better be pretty low on the list.

  10. Dear Doctor–

    Take two aspirin and call me in the morning. This too shall pass.

    And the thing about The HoseMaster of Wine is that he is an acquired taste–sort of like Gruner Veltliner. But once you have the taste, you are addicted. He has labored in virtual obscurity despite our addiction (I think he ranks 69th on the wine blog hit list–and is proud of it), so those of us who admire his work are delighted to see you have shared in the joy.

    I have often compared what is going on here in the wine blogosphere with the old community bulletin board approach that is all but faded away. The blogs, especially blogs like The Hosemaster, Brooklyn Guy, Samantha Sans Dosage have small enough followings that they are like communities.

    Folks like you, Alder, Steve Heimoff, Eric Asimov and even young guys like 1WineDude (Joe Roberts) and Good Grape (Jeff Lefevere) have wider audiences and engage in a broader form of journalism. Some days it drags us in. Other days, we read and go away without comment to return the next day.

    It is different with the smaller, more personal blogs. So, take your aspirin for that headache we have given you. Sorry about that, and go read today’s installment of The HoseMaster of Wine in which he instructs us in the true history of some of our favorite grapes.

  11. Dr. Vino,

    Thanks for your hospitality and allowing these poor souls to say nice things about me.


    A small clarification–I think of myself as an acquired lack of taste.

  12. I care about eco-friendly and sustainable processes (wine making, grape growing or just drinking from a glass instead of a plastic bottle). But there is SOOOOOOO much toward the top of that “go green” list that I am just not at a point where I care to drop an extra few bucks on (agreed here) “greenwashed” products of any sort.

    BTW, not that it is the focus of the blog but as a graphics design gal I love your blog design and banner.

    Your friendly fans over at


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