Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wine 2.0 - Slightly less digital than 1.0

For some reason it feels like we slipped somewhere. There is so much great technology out there, so many new and interesting things, and somehow I saw none of them at Wine 2.0. In fact, I felt like it was very 1.0.

First of all the tasting happened at Webster Hall. This is the place where I go to rock out to upcoming bands, check out some awesome face-melting DJ's. I even think I saw my friend David, the drummer of Sweatheart play there. By the way, in case you wanted to know one of my songs of Sweatheart is "Finger Bangin'." It just has such a catchy chorus, you cannot help but get hooked.

But Webster Hall is a dark music venue. Fun for a night out on the town to do something more interesting than going to another cocktail bar. Not a place where I really felt the technology of and around wine tasting really shined.

And then there was the technology. Not a whole lot of technology was present. You had Snooth, Bottlenotes, Wine Twits, and one or two more. Nothing I found exciting or new or different. Maybe my expectations were set too high, but I thought this was going to be a melding of technology and wine. I found lots of wine, but not a whole lot of technology.

Thank goodness for the wine. There were some great wines there, and I have no idea why. Seriously, at two tables there were wines which had a total production of less than 500 cases. In the grand scheme of wine that is TINY. I asked David Rossi, the owner/winemaker of Fulcrum Wines, a winery that only sells wine through its mailing list, why he decided to come to this event. His response was that he wanted to find out more about the technology of wine consumers. He made a great point about how we now have a good idea of where we are right now. We have twitter, bloggers, rating aggregates, and cellar recording software. Everyone wants to know the answer to a big question, "where is this going?" What is the next evolution of technology? Does it matter? Are wines selling through these channels?

Man, if I knew those answers I could retire to a life of wine tasting and cool ocean breezes.

Another great wine I tasted was 2006 Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a big wine, ready for a year or two on the shelf, but also great with a steak. And a fatty steak at that. Avoid the Fillet with this one. That said, there is some great balance and fruit in this wine.

Another great Cabernet that I tried was from Arkenstone. The first photo that appears on this website could easily be from the bluff of Echo Hill Camp (ah, so many good summers). This is the other winery that I thought had no reason to be at this tasting. These were excellent wines, for appropraitely high prices ($120 for the Cab), and extremely limited productions which were only available through their mailing list.

I did taste a few other wines, but these were my highlights.

Note: Hahn Family Wines paid my entrance fee for this event.
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