Category: Featured
5 Noteworthy Wines Made from Uncommon Varieties at Vintage Spokane
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You know that famous saying about opposites attracting? What the saying leaves out is that the attraction can occasionally lead to sudden repulsion when certain aspects of the opposing personality manifest. Take, for instance, a case in which a husband, who is prone to ADD fits of absentmindedness, remembers on the way to a certain food and wine event that [...]

By Ben Simons with 3 comments
My Vintage Spokane Preview at Masselow’s Restaurant
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It will likely come as no surprise to anyone that I like to eat. Strike that. I LOVE to eat. Now I’m no food snob, (I’ve been known to eat at the local Chili’s, and to even leave happy with that decision) but I especially love to eat food that is prepared from quality ingredients, by someone who knows their [...]

By Ben Simons with 7 comments
Wearing a Lot of Hats in the Wine Biz
Don Draper

I’ve always liked to wear a lot of hats. Since I was a kid I have lamented the fact that I didn’t grow up in the era of the Humphrey Bogart movies that my mom used to love watching. Sure, there were always ball caps, but you never saw men walking down the street in their suits and a nice [...]

By Ben Simons with 0 comments
“Jesus Saves” or “Let the Winery Make a Dollar”
Jusus Saves Piggy Bank

We live in a commercial world. Even the most sacred things are often mired in a bog of commerce. The only thing truly sacred in this society is commerce itself. I think my first experience with the cold facts of our consumerist society was on a childhood trip to a Christian book store with my mom, which was a pretty [...]

By Ben Simons with 2 comments
Like a Phoenix From the Ashes
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Like so many of my wine blogging compatriots, I have displayed a troubling habit of periodically releasing a flurry of articles, only to then spend months without posting a single thing, only to then launch into an apology and subsequent flurry of articles. Like a vino-swilling Ouroboros, I keep the cycle repeating as the years pass by. Well, here we [...]

By Ben Simons with 10 comments
The Continuing Legacy of Sokol Blosser Winery
Alex and Alison Sokol Blosser

Relative to the rest of the world, the wine industry in the United States is still very young. This is especially true of the wineries of the Northwest. Several of the pioneers of the industry in Washington and Oregon are still active in those industries, or are a mere generation removed from involvement. The origin stories of most wineries and [...]

By Ben Simons with 4 comments
The Women of the New Wine Media
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Wine writing in the traditional media has long been somewhat of a boys club. Although there are a handful of women who have managed to penetrate the Riedel Ceiling, such as Jancis Robinson and Alice Feiring, the overwhelming majority of wine writers in print have been male. Thanks to the new DIY options that have sprung up with the advent [...]

By Ben Simons with 23 comments
The Continuing Odyssey of Randall Grahm
The Continuing Odyssey of Randall Grahm

I still remember the first time that I heard Johnny Cash’s original American Recordings album. There is something haunting about the vulnerability of an aged Cash’s gravelly voice singing over a simple acoustic guitar. There is an intense honesty that comes across in the music once you have stripped away all of the excess instrumentation and production that had gone [...]

By Ben Simons with 18 comments
Portland, Here We Come!
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Although my activity as a blogger has slowed to a trickle here on Vinotology, I still count myself as a part of the blogging community. I keep telling myself, and all of you, that I am going to start blogging regularly again. I suppose that I have, if you consider once or twice a month to be “regular”. Most social [...]

By Ben Simons with 1 comment
Put a QR Code On It
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I know that this is probably shocking to you, but the wine industry is not the most agile market for adoption of new technologies. That said, there is a tendency within the industry to latch onto marketing fads with the wild abandon of a rabid honey badger. Although the initial reaction to some of these efforts is to applaud wineries [...]

By Ben Simons with 30 comments