How to make a living by wineblogging and 31 days come to an end

dirty south

A “hardy” mazel tov for Hardy Wallace (above), author of the excellent blog Dirty South Wine, who has emerged as the winner in the Really Goode Job contest and will be heading to Sonoma for a six-month tenure of blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking — and getting paid a handsome sum all the while! All I can say, Dirty, is chapeau bas, you did it: you figured out how to make a living by wineblogging! Tracie B and me have always enjoyed your blog and we’re thrilled that you won the contest. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy or a cooler blogger… I won’t bother explaining what the Really Goode Job contest was but I will say that it was an ingenious marketing tool and it is indicative of how the lexicon and lexicography of wine marketing is rapidly being transfigured. Hardy congratulations, Dirty!

Like Tracie B and me, Dirty contributed to Saignée’s 31 Days of Natural Wine blogging series: the blogilicious event ended today with a post by Joe Dressner, whom many would consider one of the pioneers of wine blogging and whom we all revere as one of the fathers of the natural wine movement in this country.

The 31 Days series got a great writeup at The Cellarist by Jon Bonné, who also participated in the blogging event, as did a lot of our bloggy friends.

There were so many awesome posts among the 31 (and I recommend you read them all, whether you’re just getting into natural wine or whether you are already a natural wine fanatic) but one highlight for me (beyond Tracie B’s post on our visit to Joly, of course!) was Arjun’s treatise on sulfur and sulfites, a subject so hard to get a grasp on and so often misunderstood by wine lovers.

In other news…

I’m about to get on a plane for Vegas and then San Diego, where I’ll be hawking natural wine tonight at Jaynes Gastropub and talking up the first-ever San Diego Natural Wine Summit, where I’ll be presenting natural wines next month (August 9). (Click on the link and you can read a little manifesto of natural wine that I authored.) I saw the above license plate in the Austin airport gift shop and remembered the one that Tracie B brought me the first time she came to visit me in San Diego last year. It rode on the dash board of my old Volvo (“la Dama Azzurra”) all the way from the Pacific Ocean to Central Texas. Tracie B and I have only been apart since this morning and I already miss her…

Day 2 of 31 Days of Natural Wine: nothing natural about it

This post is the second installment of Saignée’s 31 Days of Natural Wine. Click the link below for more…

“Natural wine” is something of a misnomer. Wine is, after all, an act of humankind.

It’s true that wine occurs naturally. Aleš Kristančič of Movia once explained to me how when a grape falls from the vine, it is a natural winemaking vessel: the hole at the top of the berry (where the stem has broken away) is a natural valve that allows yeast on the skin to enter the berry and begin turning the sugar into alcohol.

Wine was a gift from the gods (think Bacchus), or a gift of G-d (think Noah), or an accident (think mother Natura), depending on how you look at it: the magic of grape juice being turned into wine was probably discovered by someone who forgot some grapes in an amphora, only to open the vessel later and find that they had been turned into wine (the original carbonic maceration). But the moment that someone employed this stumbled-upon technology (tehnê, meaning art or craft) a second time, it became an act of humankind…

Click here to read more…

In other news…

Dany the Red is now Dany the Green. Remember this post from East Germany back in September 2008? That’s me stage left, above, rocking out with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who was in the news today and whose “Europe Écologie coalition of European Green parties came in third in French voting for the [European] Parliament, winning 16.28 percent of the vote. It was just behind the squabbling Socialists, who had only 16.48 percent, and ahead of a presumptive presidential candidate, François Bayrou of the centrist Democratic Movement, or Modem.” Check out this article in the Times. I love how the girl in the photo above is wearing a bright red outfit.

By now you should know the identity of the mystery girl to whom I threw the kiss!