This Week in Wine February 10, 2019 – James Melendez

“I just can’t stop the rain” Tina Turn sang multiple of decades ago.  And this is the week that the rain is a bit much for me.  For several winters in San Francisco there was not a drop of rain during winter–and yes it was an issue.  But it seems in terms of weather pattern it is a state of only wet or only dry.  Moderation or a wider distribution of rain seems not possible.


I remember speaking to a wine maker in December and I remember saying when will we see 15% and above ABV Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs?  He said he hoped never.  I said I think we will see them…  I dread the notion though.  And just as I had predicted I would taste a 15% ABV wine sooner rather than later.  I am A-OK with Zinfandel being in 15% or above–not loving it usually but I can accept it.  I actually find Zinfandel lower than 15% much more appreciable.

15% and above Pinot Noir is not something I want to experience routinely.  I do not accept–“well.. it doesn’t taste hot” I do taste the heat and it is on the initial palate exposure that it is completely understood as highly alcoholic.


This week I was excited to reach 400k clicks on my wine channel on YouTube.  I won’t belabour that milestone but for me I like to highlight it because it is excruciatingly hard to get there.



In other news, I have been more proactive in requesting from producers wines to sample–the old way of crossing fingers and hoping someone reads your mind is terribly ineffective.  One producer I reached to this week said they knew who I was and appreciated positive comments on past vintages of their wine.  I did give a compelling reason and not the “just give me a bottle” but more of a media kit reason with data points of performance and I was told “no.” And I paraphrase “but if you get a high profile publication then we will consider giving a bottle.”   What that told me was this person and I suspect some  producers see only print as valuable and all other media as useless.  I am not going to pitch to a publication on a potential yes of a sample bottle and do that for wines that most likely won’t make any publications future printings.  C’est la Vin.

More wine news… next week!



James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

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About James Melendez

II love wine and business. I am obsessed with the subject, the art, the history, the sciences, organization management, and making things less complex I have been a former national wine marketing manager for a large off-premise food and wine retailer (280+ retail locations in 30 US States); the love for wine taught me the good practice of using the best methodologies to right side a business which unto itself is complex. Further complexity is wine. Wine simple to enjoy and yet profoundly complex because of many factors: Many grape varieties States of wine: sparkling, still and fortified wines Vintage Blends Regions/AVAs/DOCs etc. Many producer styles Many producers Limited supply Limited and often restricted distribution My experience is still a lot of intimidation with respect to wine. Wine means many things to many people; status, fear, success, ‘you’ve arrived’, enjoyment, good times, tradition and even ceremony. I have consulted with wine producers and association. I have spoken on Wine and Social Media, Wine and Video and The Business of Wine in conferences in the United States and Europe. Beer and spirits do have the same dynamics–there are many producers but compared to wine there is no other consumer product like it. I have been writing about since November 2006 on my site and I have over 2,890 wine videos on my YouTube channel talking about general wine subject matter as well as specific educational topics on wine and reviews. I have been a wine judge and have traveled to many wine countries in the new and old world. Wine has taken me to great places. Life is tough for most of us and it is nice to celebrate life with those near and even far. What wine is really about is sitting around a table with family and friends raising your wine glass and saying—to life! I love to write about travel, food, technology and business–please subscribe! Salute, *** A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine © 2020, 2018, 2017, 2010 James P. Melendez – All Rights Reserved.
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