Tag Archives: Wine Curmudgeon

Meet Churro, the new Wine Curmudgeon blog associate editor

Churro

Churro, left, and the Wine Curmudgeon want the blog to reach even more young consumers.

Churro, the new member of the Wine Curmudgeon blog, will help the WC extend his cheap wine mantra to younger consumers

Churro, an 11-month-old Chihuahua mix, has joined the blog as an associate editor. He’ll help Wine Curmudgeon Jeff Siegel in his continual quest to convince younger consumers that wine can be cheap and fun.

“Everyone knows that that the wine business doesn’t understand young people,” says Siegel, proprietor of the world-famous Wine Curmudgeon blog. “Now, with a younger voice and palate — as well as a keen sense to help me sniff out new and exciting wines — the blog will appeal even more to young people. Churro and I will be able to show them that wine is a lot more fun than hard seltzer, and not just something for their parents and grandparents.”

Churro, from suburban Dallas, was among the dozen or so applicants for the job, and was easily the most qualified. “He’s really the only one I talked to who thought wine should be fun and not be about winespeak or scores or initials after your name,” says Siegel.

“I can’t tell you what an honor it will be to work with someone who cares about wine as much as the Wine Curmudgeon does,” says Churro. “He wants to help people enjoy wine as much as he enjoys it, and that’s something that’s rare to find in the wine business these days. Mostly they want to sell you overpriced wine and don’t care about much else.”

No word yet on whether Churro will wear a hat. He did say he was excited to use an Asus eee netbook running Lubuntu to write and edit for the blog, since he says Linux as the future of the computing world.

Join the Wine Curmudgeon for a virtual Happy Hour tonight

virtual tasting

“Damn. Who knew a WC virtual tasting would be this popular?”

The WC will taste two great cheap wines, take questions, and maybe even go off on a rant or two

Blog readers spoke, and the Wine Curmudgeon made it work – with lots and lots of help from my friends at the American Wine Society. Hence, a virtual happy Hour at 7 p.m. EDT tonight. Best yet, everyone is welcome, even if you’re not a member of the AWS.

So what will we taste? Cheap wine, of course – one of the blog’s favorite roses, the La Vieille Ferme, as well as one of the best cheap pinot noirs out there, from the always top-notch McManis family.

Don’t have those? Not to worry – drink what’s on hand, and we can visit anyway. I’ll talk about why I do what I do and why cheap wine is important, discuss the two wines, offer a few thoughts about wine during the duration, and perhaps go off on a rant or two. Plus, of course, take questions. Click this link to join the fun; the AWS uses Zoom for their events.

Join the Wine Curmudgeon for a virtual Happy Hour on June 11

virtual tasting

“Damn. Who knew a WC virtual tasting would be this popular?”

The WC will taste two great cheap wines, take questions, and maybe even go off on a rant or two

Blog readers spoke, and the Wine Curmudgeon made it work – with lots and lots of help from my friends at the American Wine Society. Hence, a virtual happy Hour at 7 p.m. EDT on June 11. Best yet, everyone is welcome, even if you’re not a member of the AWS.

So what will we taste? Cheap wine, of course – one of the blog’s favorite roses, the La Vieille Ferme, as well as one of the best cheap pinot noirs out there, from the always top-notch McManis family.

Don’t have those? Not to worry – drink what’s on hand, and we can visit anyway. I’ll talk about why I do what I do and why cheap wine is important, discuss the two wines, offer a few thoughts about wine during the duration, and perhaps go off on a rant or two. Plus, of course, take questions.

Click this link to join the fun; the AWS uses Zoom for their events. I’m part of an impressive group doing this for the AWS that includes Marnie Old of California’s Boisset Collection; Chris Pearmund of Virginia’s Pearmund Wine Cellars; and Meaghan Frank of New York’s Dr. Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars.

And a tip o’ the WC’s fedora to AWS executive director Dave Falchek for putting this thing together and asking me to participate. Few people are as passionate about showing Americans how much fun wine is than Dave.

60 days in: Your favorite WC posts during the duration

favorite

No doubt more of us would wear masks if we all looked this stylish.

You’re looking for wine advice, crappy wine TV ads, and Barefoot wine (still)

Blog traffic has evened out since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., and we’re back to more or less normal daily numbers. The intriguing thing? Traffic was approaching holiday season levels for the first couple of weeks of April. I’m guessing people wanted to find quality cheap wine to stock up on, and what better place to find those wines than here?

Cue GIF of WC patting himself on the back.

The good news is that the pandemic outlook seems to be better. But that doesn’t mean we should be any less careful.  So stay home unless you need to go out (and no, the mall food court isn’t a necessity), wash your hands, and keep out of sneezing range when you go to the supermarket.

Your favorite posts during past 60 days:

Ask the WC 1: I figured out why this seven-year-old post has been so popular — cava recommendations. You wanted to stock up on good, cheap bubbly, and why not?

• The Kim Crawford TV ad: I’m not the only who dislikes it, and that dislike has been shared by increasing numbers of visitors.

Residual sugar in wine: Note to wine business: Wine drinkers want to know how sweet you’re making their wine. So why not be honest with us?

Changes in the three-tier system after the pandemic: How do I know this post has made an impact? Because I lost a dozen or so email subscriptions in the couple of days after it ran, always a sure sign I annoyed someone.

• Barefoot wine, three times: Because Google. In those deep, dark nights when I grow despondent about the future of wine, I think about the time and effort I put into the blog, and that it doesn’t matter because Google sends people to these three posts. And then I get even more despondent.

The wine bottle workout: Because Google, again. This was a bit of humor that no one paid much attention to when it ran almost three years ago. But if you’re stuck at home and start searching for “workout,” I guess it shows up.

The Grocery Outlet cheap wine story: Note to wine business: We want to find retailers who sell quality cheap wine. So make some for them to sell.

The Mafia winery story: Just wish there was a way to update this, short of repeating denials from the winery’s corporate headquarters.

What’s missing? The do-it-yourself “Wine during the duration” post. It’s pretty damn funny.

Photo (and mask): Lynne Kleinpeter, using a Creative Commons license

Eight things the Wine Curmudgeon is doing during the duration (sort of wine related)

drinking wine

Dear magazine editor: Any work today?

Baking bread, scheduling virtual tastings, and, of course, drinking wine

1. Log in to Amazon every morning to see if the delivery date for the new coffee maker has changed. The old one broke the second week of March, and I am using an old Melitta to drip coffee until the new one arrives – which it finally did, at the end of last week.

2. Decide what kind of bread to bake this week. So far, I’ve made pitas, an Italian-style bread loaf, hamburger buns, English muffins, James Beard’s microwave English muffin bread (quite intriguing), and biscuits. Yes, you can have the recipes. Also, despite the buzz in the cyber-ether, sourdough is much overrated.

3. Figure what to make for dinner, which is not just about what’s in the refrigerator. Do I have wine to match? What’s the point of making my Mom’s spaghetti and meatballs if the only wine in the house is sauvignon blanc?

4. Check in with my Mom.

5. Plan wine buying trips around supermarket visits. Can I get the food I need, as well as some drinkable wine, at the same place? Jimmy’s, Dallas’ legendary Italian grocery, has terrific cheap wine, but it doesn’t carry milk. On the other hand, lots of milk at Kroger and not much wine I want to buy.

6. Try not to annoy my various magazine editors to see if there is any freelance work. So far, it hasn’t been too bad, and they have all been terrific.

7. Do virtual tastings. So far, I’ve done seven, including one with the Big Guy and an epic five-screen tasting with friends in Boulder, Colo., southern Arizona, and Scranton, Pa. Plus, I missed a tasting with those of us who started Drink Local Wine all those years ago. The technology works for small groups, but I’m not sure it would be efficient for a blog virtual tasting. It might be possible, though, to do a live Q & A. We can do that through the website, and don’t need third party software. I’ll post something this week or next.

8. Keep the blog current with what’s going on in the world, while not losing sight of why the blog exists. Because a rant about the three-tier system reminds us that this thing will eventually end, and we’ll have our usual – and much more welcome – aggravations.

30 days in: Your favorite WC posts during the duration

favorite

“Where’s that toilet paper thing that cranky guy wrote?

You’re looking for wine advice, Mafia news, and Barefoot wine (of course)

Blog traffic has rebounded since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., for which I am grateful. Maybe it means we’re trying to keep our lives on a more even keel, with more emphasis on beating this thing and less emphasis on hording toilet paper.

Regardless, the blog is here for the duration. As my pal Bart Hubbuch, who lives in New York City, told me: “This thing is as real as a heart attack, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” So let’s stay home, wash our hands, and keep out of sneezing range when we go to the supermarket. Because driving around out of boredom doesn’t do anyone any good. The last thing we need is more people on ventilators when there aren’t enough to go around.

Your favorite posts during the duration:

Ask the WC 1: This seven-year-old post is the first in the Ask the WC series, and it never attracted much interest. About 10 days ago, though, people started reading it. It looks like it may be being passed around on Facebook, but I still can’t tell what makes it so unique all of a sudden.

• Barefoot wine, twice: Because Google, and discussing it further will just irritate me.

The Mafia winery story: This post has been up for four days, and has rocketed to the top. Hopefully, I can update it.

Residual sugar in wine: Always a visitor favorite.

Boone’s Farm TV ad: Again, this post didn’t do all that well when it first appeared about a year ago, but you love it now. And why not? It’s funny, and don’t we need funny now?

Do wine critics matter? Another surprise. Maybe there are a lot bored wine critics trolling the Internet.

Wine blogging in the time of coronavirus: If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

• The toilet paper post. Thank you.

What’s missing? 10 things to do during the pandemic. Bake some bread, dammit.

Hoarding toilet paper and what it says about us in the time of the coronavirus

toilet paper

This is where the toilet paper wasn’t on my trip to a Dallas Kroger on Thursday morning.

Is hoarding toilet paper really the best way to fight the disease?

How screwed up is this country at this place and time, even though the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is barely here? So screwed up that the best advice I’ve heard came from a couple of sports radio hosts, who are hardly the source one would expect. They told their Dallas audience on Thursday morning to ignore everything they hear and read about the illness unless it comes from an expert – and no, Twitter trolls do not count as experts.

Yes, this has nothing to do with wine. But I just got back from my local Kroger, and the picture with this post is where the toilet paper should be. How did we get to the point where our reaction to a global crisis is to horde toilet paper? When that happens, someone needs to say something, and I’ve never shirked that responsibility.

This is the United States, and we’re supposed to be the best and the brightest and to set an example for the rest of the world. That was the point of our experiment in self-government 244 years ago; as Benjamin Franklin put it: “Our cause is the cause of all mankind….

Instead, we’re hording toilet paper.

We should be leading the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), not banning travel from Europe. Talk about locking the barn door. The virus is here – banning travel isn’t going to make it go away or slow its spread. That’s what makes a pandemic a pandemic. Instead, we should be spending the time and energy and money we’re wasting on the travel ban for testing kits and medical supplies, and for research to understand what this thing is, and how it spreads, and how to contain it.

But we’re hording toilet paper.

Says one leading scientist: It’s “clear from genomic evidence that community spread is occurring in Washington state and beyond. That kind of distortion and denial is dangerous and almost certainly contributed to the federal government’s sluggish response. … Transmission rates and death rates are not measurements that can be changed with will and an extroverted presentation.”

Hopefully, we figure this thing out sooner rather than later. Until then, people will die. But not to worry, right? We’ll have enough toilet paper.