? Daniel Rogov dies: A couple of years ago, I got an email from a Israeli wine writer who had seen the blog and thought we had much in common. As he put it: “Perhaps the formation of a ‘club’ might be in the works? Our motto could be something to the effect of ‘Curmudgeons of the World, Unite!’ That man was Daniel Rogov, who died last week. Rogov was not only the leading wine writer in Israel, but one of the world’s most interesting wine writers and a self-professed wine curmudgeon. It’s not so much that Rogov was passionate about wine or that he wrote well, but that he wanted to share that passion and knowledge with as many people as possible. Wine, to Rogov, was not something reserved for an elite, but something everyone should enjoy. Which, in the wine world, made him one hell of a curmudgeon.
? Buy wine, own the winery: One winery may have figured out a way around the silliness that is the wine business — distributors, critics, restaurants and retailers. Mondo Cellars in Paso Robles is selling 50 percent of the winery’s land and 30 percent of its buildings to members of its wine club to raise $2.68 million for renovations. Which is a brilliant idea. If your wine club members are part-owners, you’ve multiplied their incentive to buy your wine, visit your tasting room, and stay in your bed and breakfast. In fact, your new minority shareholders could well buy all the wine themselves, in order to increase the value of their investment, and you wouldn’t have to sell any wine to stores or restaurants or worry about what those pesky critics thought. I wonder: Can I sell 50 percent of the blog and get in on the same forever upward cycle, forcing my visitors to visit ever more often to protect their investment?
? Terroir or not — that is the question: Mike Veseth at the Wine Economist blog offers a thoughtful look about whether wine can only be taken seriously if it has terroir — that is, if there is a sense of place to to it. His remarks come a in review of a book that proclaims the terroir theory, by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop. Writes Veseth: “Wine is not a single thing, it is many things and I think it that monolithic thinking is the wrong approach. Wine travels many roads and I don ?t really see the harm if some wines are industrialized so long as that doesn ?t stop other wines from taking a more arts and crafts approach.” What makes this particularly interesting is that Veseth is a terroir-ist (like the Wine Curmudgeon), and mostly agrees with the authors that the best wines are those with a sense of place.