Food & Drink

November 14, 2010

Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto, a great wine blogger in the spotlight

This week’s blogger in the spotlight is unique, thought provoking, and all around intriguing. Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto is the only wine site of its kind written in an op-ed/ columnist style; so yes as you can imagine takes on “the sacred grapes” and sometimes produces a juice a little too tannic for some and yet this is exactly how Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto has become one of the top ten wine blogs on the internet. Uncommon, diverse and stimulating Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto gets the juices flowing. This week’s blogger in the spotlight weaves his site like the mighty vines of Bordeaux you will experience nothing like it and once you begin the Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto journey there’s no going backwards.

South Florida Food and Wine: How did you start wine blogging/writing?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: I started investigating it in 2005 and I finally got up and going the first of January in 2006. I started it as a creative outlet combining my Journalism background (which I don’t do anything with professionally) and my passion for wine. So far, so good.

South Florida Food and Wine: Do you do anything else other than blog/write about wine?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: I work 50 or more hours a week for a digital agency, I’m married to a wife I love, I have four nieces, I’m a huge Notre Dame football fan and I do some community volunteering, as well. That keeps me as busy as I want to be …

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about blogging/writing?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: It’s a huge commitment to do it consistently and consistently well — a big commitment in time, research, and maintenance. It’s a 20+ hr. a week unpaid part-time job. The hardest part is being interesting and answering the question of what is “interesting” to a readership.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the greatest opportunity that has come from blogging/writing for you?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: I don’t really look at blogging in terms of what I get out of it. I look at in terms of what I can give. I subscribe to the “life’s a circle” philosophy and what you do comes back to you. So, in that sense, I feel like I’m working for altruism and not my own personal benefit.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your most memorable blogging/writing moment?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: I led a little wine marketing program with a winery that caused quite a kerfuffle in the summer of ’08. People still talk about it as a watershed moment in wine blogging. Google “Rockaway wine and blogger ethics.” You’ll find plenty of reading.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal and wine be?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: Sushi. I’m a sushi pig. A nice German Riesling to accompany it would be just fine by me.

South Florida Food and Wine: What super-action-hero would you like to be and why?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: I grew up on Spiderman comic books so I’d have to go with the Spidey and his superhuman strength and “Spider sense.”

South Florida Food and Wine: Do you have any wacky cooking habits?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: Besides letting my wife do it (who is a fantastic cook)? Really, it’s that I’m uptight about a whistle-clean kitchen and I clean as I go!

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best wine advice you have to share?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: For wine beginners, they tend to lean on what they know, so any exploration should be around style families – i.e. if you’re wine-interested and you like Malbec and you buy Malbec over and over, try a Zinfandel. Wine is about exploration, but getting people comfortable in exploration is a challenge. So, experiment in your comfort zone until you grow out of it and move on and they will move on. Palates evolve and the Malbec turned Zinfandel drinker will soon enough get turned onto something new and start their exploration within a different style over again.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one obsessive kitchen habit?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: The clean kitchen. Maybe this is why I’m not a big fan of potlucks and pitch-ins. If I haven’t seen your kitchen, I’m not too comfortable eating somebody else’s food.

South Florida Food and Wine: If you could choose to be any wine, what would it be?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: I’m with Miles from Sideways on this one. In the movie he says, “Uh, I don’t know, I don’t know. Um, it’s a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It’s uh, it’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and… ancient on the planet.” My wife is a patient woman, what can I say?

South Florida Food and Wine: If looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: A stuffed fridge. My wife and I haven’t started our family yet, but we have enough food in the house for a two month blizzard-induced shut-in – a lot of Trader Joe cheeses, ½ dozen in-progress wine bottles, and a slew of condiments! Do you need any mustards?

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one “staple” wine you always have in your “cellar”?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: Caparone from the Central Coast. It’s not for everybody because they oak the heck out of the wines, but they are very age worthy, all of them, and they’re inexpensive. More than anything I’m curious to see what happens as they mellow out. And, they make a Nebbiolo which is rare for a winery in the U.S.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your beverage of choice?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: I tend to talk red wines, but drink whites. I like unoaked chards, German Rieslings, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier from anywhere …

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite comfort food?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: Chili. I love when fall comes around and its chili season! And, cheese and crackers is another one. A plate of salumi and some nice cheeses and I’m in my happy place.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is in your kitchen junk drawer?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: Chargers from the last decade of electronic devices and phones. The first person to come up with a universal charger is going to be my hero.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best culinary gift you ever received?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: La Creuset enameled cast iron. Everybody should have a skillet and a French oven. Don’t buy the knock-off’s, get the real thing. They’ll last a lifetime.

South Florida Food and Wine: What kitchen chore do you dislike the most?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: Emptying the dishwasher. It’s the “clean the windows” equivalent for the culinary minded.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most exotic food you have ever eaten and where?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: I ate the penis of a snake in Hong Kong – purported to have medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. Or, maybe I just dreamt that after watching too much Andrew Zimmerman on the Travel Channel.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most extravagant food or beverage item or culinary tool you spent money on?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: Extravagant? Hmm … I’m pretty frugal with a dollar. I did eat the “Triple Bypass Burger” at the Vortex in Atlanta – triple cheeseburger with bacon and a fried egg. I didn’t eat for a day and ½ after that and my heart thanked my cholesterol medicine.

South Florida Food and Wine: Where was the best meal with a bottle of wine you ever had?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: My wife and I had a wine pairing dinner at Esca in New York. Epic pairings that were magical plus I got turned on to share a bottle of wine with anyone who would it be and why? Probably my Barbaresco which is a wine that holds a special place in my wine-loving heart.

South Florida Food and Wine: If you could share a bottle of wine with anyone who would it be and why?
Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto: If you could buddy Ed Vodrazka who is a Peace Officer is Southern California. He lives in an amazing bungalow inside Torrey Pines state park with a million dollar view of the Pacific. He’s kind of my wine mentor and wine-loving brother-in-arms. What’s a good glass of wine if it’s not in simpatico company?

Follow the blog Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto  and on Twitter @goodgrape

To read previous bloggers in the spotlight click here







 
 

 
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