2013 in review

February 5, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 39,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The mighty food and wine blogger

April 6, 2013

halenberg1

I enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal, especially the weekend issues with the addition on food, culture, arts and wine. The 5-7 April edition contained an essay written by Lettie Teague titled: “Five wine blogs I really click with”.

This one was again about the wine blogger and his or her influence on the wine industry in general. Lettie claims to have scrolled through 10,000 pages of wine blogs. I wonder if she has come about The Man from Mosel River, but I guess not.

Lettie claims that wine drinkers hardly read wine blogs. Well, maybe so. Of the five blogs she recommends as the best bloggers beyond tasting notes, I knew only one (Brooklynguy). Shame on me.

I learned from the essay that there are about 1,450 odd wine blogs out there (I guess she includes only the ones written in English), of which about 1,000 are amateurs, non-professionals, people who do it for the glory, for personal satisfaction.

Well, people in the wine industry have called wine bloggers a “powerful force, capable of challenging or even eclipsing traditional media and conventional wine critics”. That might be an exaggeration.

According to Allen Wright, who has organized various wine bloggers conferences in North America, only about 18% of all wine bloggers today have been blogging for more than six years.

Hurrah, I call out, I must be one of them since I have started my The Man from Mosel River blog in January 2007. I do not recall all these years but I can also confirm that it is getting harder and harder to keep going.

Regular visitor know about my predicament. Lettie also identifies the one and most important constraint: time. There are so many things out there one could do, and blogging takes time and effort, drains energy, and one needs a lot of passion to just stumble along.

However that may be. Let us have a look at her selection. The five select bloggers are:

1. Brooklynguy
Brooklynguyloveswine.blogspot.com

2. Cellar-Book
Cellarbook.wordpress.com

3. Odd Bacchus
oddbacchus.com

4. The Cellar-Fella
cellarfella.com

5. Benito’s Wine Reviews
wine-by-benito.blogspot.com

I visited all of the blogs above and must say they are a bloody good choice.

To all of us I say, keep on blogging. Some people seem to read our ruminations. Thanks Lettie for letting us know.


My Valentines: Australian wine industry outlook

February 14, 2013

I know it is Valentines day, but I could not care less. Today I would like to draw your attention to a topic right at my heart, the Australian wine industry.

The questions which occupieds me most is what can we expect during the next few years after the “wine lake burst its banks”, overproduction made producer prices drop and many businesses collapsed in the wake of overplanting and overproduction.

Is the boom and bust of the primary industry in grape and wine production coming to an end any time soon?

According to a recent study by the International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) commissioned by Vinexpo, this will not be the case. The Australian wine industry is contracting further (by about 15%) whereas global wine production will,only shrink by less than 3%.

But in the long run (longer than 5 years from now) prospects are much better. And this is what I am interested in. Sure there will be less volume, but better quality and better prices. The adjustment will not make everybody happy though.

But I am confident that I can continue my boutique vineyard once the restructuring is completed. One of my daughters is also keen to let this opportunity not slip away. This should make me optimistic too.

Cheers to you all, and happy Valentines day.


Schnapps made in Thailand – Licci by PB Valley Estate

February 9, 2013

Licci 1

My twin daughters 18th birthday in November last year, was accompanied by a dinner party. The Great Hornbill Bistro in Soi Sukhumvit 39 had kindly provided the venue, the food and the wine.

Together with about 20 of their friends, Lucy and Charlotte held a celebratory birthday dinner at the mezzanine floor of the bistro. I had selected the wines. My choice was the entry level wines of PB Valley Winery, one of my favourite Thai winery.

The ‘2010 Sawasdee Khao Yai Chenin Blanc’ and the ‘2010 Sawasdee Khao Yai Shiraz’, both very fruity and lively wines, seemed to be ideally suited for newcomers to the world of fine wine.

Licci 2

My daughters had asked me to serve them shots when the meal was over to conclude the event. It was also a signal that the night was still young and that they could troupe out to spend the rest of the evening at a place of their choice, probably near Khaosan road and surroundings.

Fortunately, PB Valley Estate produces a fine Schnapps (40% alcohol) distilled from fresh Lychee fruit grown in Northern Thailand. The kids, used to shots of vodka and other taste-neutral alcohols, could not believe it. The intense Lychee aromas just blew them away. They all liked it.

For me, it was also the first time that I had a go at this “Schnapps”. I just loved it. Licci, although not cheap (quality has its price), is a great product and ideally suited as a digestive after a beautiful Thai or Western meal.

PS: PB Valley Estate is currently celebrating their vintage festival. You should visit. Have a look and enjoy to explore Thai vineyards and wineries. The Khao Yai national park is just next door.

Address:
The Great Hornbill Bistro
59/3 Soi Sukhumvit 39, Sukhumvit Road,
Klongton Nua, Wattana,
Bangkok, Thailand 10110
Opening hours: Mo – So. 11-22 h
Tel.: +66-2 262 0030
Email:hospitality@pb-partners.com

The Great Hornbill Bistro is the cellar door of PB Valley Khao Yai Winery in Bangkok.

PB Valley Khao Yai Winery
102 Moo 5, Phaya Yen,
Pak Chong 30320, Thailand
Tel.: +66 (0) 2 262 0030
www.khaoyaiwinery.com


2012 in review

January 2, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 72,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


To blog or not to blog?

December 23, 2012

Mosel Bullay

Mosel in mid December near Bullay (shot taken from the train)

Is the retirement of the Man from Mosel River imminent?

Every December I ponder the very same question. Shall I continue this blog or not?

You might have noticed that I am struggling this year. The last three months were particularly painful. My day job is sucking up all my energies. I have been feeling drained and empty for a while. One could say that I am Gulliverized by my professional responsibilities, which have grown over the years and weigh more heavily on me now that I am getting older.

My stats show this too. I have been sliding a little, and continue to slide a little every month.

I started this blog in January 2007 and have posted a couple of hundred entries. At the end of this month I have six years of blogging under my belt. They say ‘people do not read blogs any more’; these days people are on Twitter and Facebook instead.

So why waste so much energy and time?

When I scroll though older posts I also notice that I am repeating myself. I eat the same food, visit the same places, and tend to drink (if possible) my favourite wines. Am I spent?

Not quite, I think.

Let me tell you what happened to me last weekend in my home town Trier. I had only about 43 hours available. I arrived late the first evening and was much too tired to do anything.

Saturday night, after a family meal, we watched some slides and family photos, before I could go on a stroll and check out the Christmas market. I also intended to have a glass of wine. My favourite wine bar, ‘Weinsinnig’ was my destination.

The place was crowded and I only found a table at the back. That table, however, was reserved and I was asked to swap with a place right across the “wine list”, a wall with about 20 or so wine bottles in metal holders and a description of the wine and the producer. I will tell you another time which wines I sampled that night.

When I went up to that wall with my phone to document what I had tasted (two reds) and returned to my table, a woman approached me and asked: “Are you the Man from Mosel River”? You cannot image how flabbergasted I was. How could she know?

It turned out the the woman was Manuela Schewe, the owner and initiator of ‘Weinsinnig’. She had seen my last post about the wine bar. After the introduction, we had a good chat about wine, wine bars, the vagaries of life and so on.

Well, and when I was leaving I thought that I should think it over again before giving up my blog and retiring the Man from Mosel River.


Red and white in the snow

December 21, 2012

R and W in snow

Without words!

Merry Christmas to all my readers