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Rosé Wine: Good or Great?

A glass being full of rosé wine

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Summer brought bliss and blush. Rosé wine towered wine displays everywhere. It has been enjoyable, right? You must admit it was fun. But can you honestly admit to your friends that you prefer blush to bizarre in wine. Or, are you ashamed of it? Is rosé good or great?

For the full article, see Rosé Wine: Good or Great? (html),  Color Magazine USA, Ed. 40, September 2011.

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Pop Culture & Wine

Porn star Savanna Samson at the 2010 Adult Ent...

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Athletes, musicians and even adult film stars are tackling the terroir.  The “How Wine Became Modern” exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last month focused on Design + Wine. It was a pop-culture typography of wine-bottle labels that portrayed everything from high fashion to playful low-brow. In movies, wine is very real, in celebrity culture it is very surreal, and in books it is wrapped in mystery, according to pop culture.

For the full article, see Pop Culture & Wine (html), Color Magazine USA, Ed. 38, June-July 2011.

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Wine With Your Trip?

Renzo Piano: The New York Times Building

Image by Dom Dada via Flickr

In today’s New York Times, wine writer Jonathan Mackay documents the dynamics of the online flash wine market such as Wines Til Sold Out, Wine Access, Cinderella WineWine.Woot or Lot18. With this emerging model, wine is heavily discounted because of innovative ways of procuring small batches of the good stuff in a limited time window.  Jonathan muses on the future of wine as a commodity  bundled with other stuff  (wine trips, meals, etc.).


Wine Prices Slashed; This Offer Won’t Last

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Dreaming of Wine in Provence

French wine from Bandol

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We all have dreams. Try dreaming of Provence. The terrain is stunning: hills, bushes and shrubs in green and ochre. Soft herbal smells of wild lavender, rosemary and thyme fill your nose. Winds surround you. The Mediterranean ocean is in front of you. Then there is wine. But in the winter, spending hours in fascinating conversation in people’s wine cellars is a cold pleasure. The good thing is, you are almost alone. I recommend Norwegian wool underwear, or going in Summer, Spring or Fall. Failing that, simply dream about it, and read on (Dreaming of Wine in Provence, Color Magazine – Ed. 34 – Feb. 2011).

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Why another book?


The clarification process can bring out the cl...

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Thinking about the Book’s Introduction, the first I needs to answer, I would imagine, is why write a book on this topic. Why, after all, white another book on wine? What could I possibly add to the flow of information on wine today, the hundreds of useful books published on the subject every year, the already numerous experts on the topic, the thousands of bloggers who produce hundreds of thousands of blog entries, maybe more?

Without having amassed all the bright answers one would usually come up with in a polished book, here are some initial thoughts:

  • A Sociology of Wine will not be a book on wine as such. It is more about the people.
  • The sociology of wine can tell us a lot about social change, identity, lifestyle, and the dynamics of markets.
  • A lot has happened since the world was divided into old world and new world–but as most cultures are old, and constantly reinvent themselves, or not, the distinction is meaningless.
  • My angle is quite specific: I want to portray the diversity of wine makers, wine growers and wine cultures.
  • I looked around and there does not seem to be a decent textbook out there–at least not a fun one.
  • I do have a Ph.D in sociology and despite a decade or so immersed in technology, I miss my roots.
  • I already wrote the management book Leadership From Below, so I know what it takes.
  • I have lots of stories, examples, inspiration beause of my role as wine columnist in Color Magazine, the premier US publication for multicultural professionals.
  • I have a unique perspective being Norwegian, a country that has absolutely nothing to defend in terms of wine culture. When Brits, French, Italians, Spaniards or Americans write about wine, they cannot but speak from their own vantage point. Of course, I will speak from mine, but it is not that of a wine culture. In fact, my family has been largely de facto teetotalers for various reasons.

Finally, I am so far, even though this may change, quite unconnected to the wine industry as such. This helps when you want to portray a full picture of what seems to be going on, or at least document what the players themselves say is going on. I do not work for a winery, a wine publication (I am the only wine writer at Color Magazine), or anything of that sort. In fact, I am barely a professional wine critic. I am simply somebody who likes wine and who discovered I had an opportunity to start writing about the people surrounding this pastime. I also happen to have some thoughts about how wine fits into a larger societal picture of changing consumption, lifestyle, technology and culture. There are few areas where the tensions between the global and the local, globalization and terroir, if you will, become so apparent.

These tensions produce possibly lasting changes in the fundamental social systems and institutions that make up society, such as the family, the economy, the state, and the increasingly important non state actors that seek to uproot the establishment, or indeed re-create it. In short, a fascinating set of issues with the realistic fringe benefit of a good glass of wine nearby when working them out.

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