OK, the truth is that I don’t actually get asked many questions, frequently or not. But if people did ask me questions about my wine blogging, I imagine the most-Frequently Asked would be the following:
What kind of wines do you write about?
My Wine Wednesday entries mostly focus on under-$10 wines. I’m a wine lover on a budget and I’m always excited to share affordable gems! Occasionally I’ll write about higher-priced wines but mostly I’m searching for “everyday” bargains.
More philosophically, I see my Wine Wednesday entries as an average-consumer’s-eye-view of the wine world. There are plenty of blogs and newspaper columns where you can read about the latest $75 gem from a vineyard in Napa that only ships to their wine club members. Those wines are great, but knowing about them doesn’t help you pick a bottle off the shelf when you’re looking for something to bring to dinner or trying to stay under a budget for a big party.
What is your rating system?
I give out 5 ratings:
- Buy a case — A fabulous wine, worth seeking out
- Buy a bottle — A good wine, try it out if you see it on the shelves
- Not for me — A wine that seems well-made, but isn’t the type of wine that appeals to me personally (see: buttery Chardonnay)
- Eh, it’s OK — Drinkable but not exciting
- Ick — A bad wine, avoid at all costs
As the names would suggest, I don’t take this rating system particularly seriously — I just want you to get a sense of whether I’d recommend this wine to a friend. And sometimes I find the need for new ratings, like “Sangria” (somewhere between Eh, it’s OK and Ick).
What qualifies you to write about wine?
I drink wine. That’s pretty much my only qualification. Oh, and I’ve read some books about the history of winemaking. See? I’m totally an expert.
In all seriousness: I’m not an expert on wine. I enjoy drinking wine and trying new ones, but there’s still a whole heck of a lot I don’t know and I would never pretend otherwise. I’m not trying to turn this blog into a wine-writing career, I’m just trying to have some fun and share some finds. Think of me as your co-worker who likes to go to wine tastings and is happy to tell you about the $8 bargain she found at the local liquor store.
Where do you get off pretending you know something about wine, you little cheapskate? Everyone knows good wine costs $$$.
I’ll be the first to admit that truly great wine is worth the cost. And, if I’m being honest, I’d love to have infinite money and drink nothing but Cakebread Cellars Cabernet and Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux (2005 vintage please!). But I’m an entry-level academic on an entry-level academic salary and that’s not in the cards. So I focus on wines I can afford to drink more than once a year. If that offends your sensibilities this probably isn’t the blog for you.
The good news is that there’s no reason to drink swill on any budget. Some $10 wines will be horrible, but many will be at least palatable, and some will be shockingly good. My goal is to find the ones in the third category.
Sometimes you buy wine at the LCBO and publish the price in Canadian dollars. Sometimes you buy wine at Trader Joe’s in US dollars. What gives?
There was a period of time when I was dividing time between Ontario and the US, so my wine shopping was binational. Unfortunately, this means that some of the LCBO wines I wrote about won’t be available in the US, and (more frequently) the US wines I write about aren’t stocked by the LCBO.
More questions? Have at it in the comments!