Monday, April 23, 2012
An excellent blog post popped up in my Flipboard Google Reader feed this morning. It has nothing to do with wine but it was useful, interesting and made me think a lot about the things I write about here on this blog.
The post is about procuring new wheels and tires for a BMW by Chris Parente. The steps Chris went though researching, ordering, tracking, negotiating, receiving and assembling the order were very familiar to me. They're eerily similar to what we go through as wine deal hounds.
With the exception of installation, I do all of these things when I'm buying wine. Sure, there's the occasional impulse buy at a local wine shop or grocery store, but the bulk of my buying these days is online, in response to email offers, or winery direct. Like Chris with his interest in specific wheels and tires, once you've gone Wine Berserkers you want very specific wines.
What I liked about the post is that he gave specific examples of resources he used and how he went about the process. I can see my way to leveraging his techniques and having a more enjoyable experience by getting better products and service at the best possible prices. Coincidentally, if I had once sentence to describe the mission of this blog that would be it.
What got me thinking the most about his post, though, is the question of whether it's worth it. Or rather, whether I'm interested in getting into another high involvement hobby. You can tell how much time and research went into tires and wheels for one of his cars - imagine extending that across the entire enthusiast experience. You've got to want it and it's got to be a priority to do it well.
I spend hours each week thinking about wine. Reading articles, blogs, consulting and contributing to CellarTracker, looking for deals on wine-searcher.com. Buying it, drinking it, visiting wineries, attending events - writing about it.
When I need new tires or wheels I just got down to DirectTire and they take care of it. Similarly when I needed a new bike for our 7 year old recently. We just went to a couple shops nearby and bought what seemed to be a good fit for our needs. And maybe that's fine for the occasional purchase. Spend the time saved burning up the web for the best deal on healthier pursuits. Life in balance, right?
But I wouldn't mind being more savvy in more domains. And that's why I enjoy acquiring and sharing knowledge via blogs and social networks. Mainstream publications just don't cover this stuff in a way that's as focused on the consumer experience.
You can't go too deep into too many hobbies. But you can learn a little from someone who's deep in a topic and can share useful information. Chris does that and reading his post reminded me to try to do a little more of that here on this blog.
Check it his blog here: Work, Wine and Wheels
You can follow Chris on Twitter: @cparente
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PS This post was written on an iPad with Blogsy.