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Think Fast: 10 Questions with Dr Vino

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An interesting shift has been occurring particularly in the last few years: The books we read are written by people we actually interact with online...

Last year I read Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink by Tyler Colman. I really enjoyed it. It helps explain why interstate wine shipping laws are so fouled up.

Tyler is known as Dr Vino on his wine blog where he usually writes in short form - but sometimes goes more in depth as he did with this piece exploring ethical standards at The Wine Advocate way back in 2009.

One thing I appreciate about his writing is that it's always mindful of the acquisition process. He was in the Boston area for a visit recently so we were comparing notes on wine retailers. It was a good time to reach out to him for this 10 question interview.

If you have a chance before you read this, get a better feel for his personality from his appearance on Wine Library TV.

Q1:  Dr Vino – what kind of PhD do you carry?

Dr Vino: I got into wine writing the way so many people do, by doing a Ph.D. in Political Science.

Q2: Wine that got you into wine?

Dr Vino: There wasn't any one wine, just a lot of wines from different places--in an age of globalization and standardization around big brands, wine represents something distinctive, from a certain bend in a river, bottled at the source. It's so intellectually interesting, not to mention tasty, that it didn't take much to pique my interest.

Q3: What kind of stemware do you use?

Dr Vino: Good stemware makes a difference--I have several kinds but probably the Schott Zwiesel has survived the longest because of the titanium-infused crystal. (Schott Zwiesel on Amazon)

Q4: If you could only buy wine from one retailer in the US for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?

Dr Vino: Chambers Street Wines. They have a terrific selection, reasonable prices, and exert a tremendous influence on wine in America, one that belies their one small shop.

Q5: Best current release red wine value under $25?

Dr Vino: Jean-Paul Brun "L'Ancien" 2009 ($15) from Beaujolais is amazing if you can still find it. CellarTracker

Q6: Best white value?

Dr Vino: Domaine de la Pepiere, Clos des Briords, 2010 ($16). The 2010 has crackling acidity; fantastic wine under $20 with any food from the sea. CellarTracker

Q7: What grape variety is going to break through in the next 5 years?

Dr Vino: Romorantin! This white grape grown almost in the tiny Cour-Cheverny appellation in the Loire has got breakout written all over it! ;-)

Q8: Instantaneous wine aerators: Fad or legitimate handy accessory?

Dr Vino: I haven't tried one but I did just see the results of a recent blind tasting of NYC sommeliers -- they gave them the thumbs down. If I think a wine needs some air, I usually have time for a traditional decanter, which also showcase the wine beautifully on the table.

Q9: If you could only drink one wine every night for the rest of your life, price a consideration, what would it be?

Dr Vino: I couldn't do it! Part of the appeal of wine is that there are so many different wines out there and the seasons are always changing.

Q10: Best tip for someone that’s just starting to go wine berserkers?

Dr Vino: Try something new. Many states offer free tastings at shops--go and taste through everything. Have a wine themed party and challenge friends to bring different wines.

My thanks to Tyler for answering these questions!

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