Why did I start publishing my thoughts on wine several years ago? Why have I basically quit publishing my thoughts on wine in 2014? Calliope, where are you?
Nope, I’m not considering my wine writing as epic poetry. And no, Calliope’s still around – she hasn’t abandoned me. Yet. However, my two daughters, soon five and seven years old, seeks our attention even more now and where priority is put is a no-brainer. It’s a gorgeous age; seven. Anticipation; school’s around the corner combined with breaking one code after the other. Learning to ride a bike, learning to read, swim and handle emotions. Five. The innocence is still evident yet the craving for knowledge bursts. Taking the first steps towards learning the alphabet. Spotting stuff that we adults for long has stopped putting any notice of. Simply put; parenting is pretty amazing right now although I also admit I’d wish time were on my side for regular writing.
For the love of Sárgamuskotály
But then I’m having a wine that really moves me. A wine I’d love to draw your attention to. The 2011 Diós dűlő Sárgamuskotály from Attila Gabor Nemet’s N.A.G. in Gyöngyöstarján. Sárgamuskotály, that is Muscat Blanc à Petits Grain. I love it and do try as many as possible. Muscat tends to be generalized even if this one has little in common with Muscat d’Alexandrie. It’s cool to mock floral wines in general among wine people; I’ve heard it numerous times.
The 2011 Diós dűlő intensifies the brain activity. Attila and his winery N.A.G. in the Mátra region in Hungary demonstrates how great and complex the wine world has become. There are basically no limits of how many fantastic discoveries you will experience – if you’re up to it that is. And that is where Attila’s Sárgamuskotály makes me wonder what happened to wine blogging.
Sorry to have to say this but I can’t deny there’s a feeling of “fed-upness” when it comes to wine blogging. Of course I’m exaggerating – there are plenty of great content out there in the www-world – but sometimes it feels like the quality content barely reaches the surface, being pushed down by ambigous wine communication with a hidden agenda. There was a time when wine blogging felt like the dichotomy between pure passion and the established conservative wine writing world. That moment sadly didn’t last long.
With the increased attention many wine bloggers has forgotten why they started in the first place, now instead nurturing the wine writer dream or having a profit in mind. It’s easy to feel flattered when the offers keep coming in; wine samples, premium winemaker dinners, trips, you name it. Honestly; there’s nothing wrong with that, if the agenda is clear and it doesn’t compromise one’s ambitions. The problem is that is has – to an extent I guess few would have realized a few years ago.
Half a decade ago wine blogging were more individual. Today you get to read wine bloggers impressions from the same winemaker’s dinner as a complement to the thoughts of the established writers. You get to read about samples sent to the bloggers for reviewing and not wines the blogger has identified themselves. You get mass information from organized blogger events. Flow, visibility and impressions count. Quantity means the world and quality is simply hidden in the huge flow of “see me, hear me” content.
You don’t have to stop accepting invitations, saying no to samples, joining group trips and start paying for everything yourself. Just ask yourself, before accepting, who’s the real winner both in the short or longer term. What do I gain and is it actually relevant that I do? Does it correlate with my interest areas or am I just flattered being invited? Am I afraid of reporting back in a negative tone, if I don’t think highly of what is presented to me? Afraid in the sense that I might not receive further invitations or samples. In the end, why did I start wine blogging?
What a prick!
“Who does he think he are; Eric Asimov or what? Isn’t it great that anyone can write today and that we’re not limited to the traditional channels. Wine writing has never been better. Besides, where were you, before www?”
For most people I’m a nobody and I’m more than fine with that. Recognition isn’t a target of mine. If I deserve it and get it, it should purely be based on my content and ability to inspire. Nor do I believe there’s a possibility for me to live on my writing. For that I’m to much of a realist (pragmatic my wife says) – and specialist, having my focus areas which hardly will send me any huge piles of dineros. I’d like to focus in inspiring. Sometimes I fail in my writing. Those are my worst posts. I will however not delete content I don’t like. They should be there, reminding me what I can do better. That I, myself, primarily should seek the content of my writing.
I would be honored if I would receive an email from a producer that had read my ‘about’ section, identified my interest areas and wanted to hear my opinion about his or her wine (which of course would correlate with my passion). I never receive those emails which honestly I’m more than fine with. Those I cherish, fall for and love to find, are rarely active on the web or social media, are small family run estates or don’t have the finances for having a PR agency chasing bloggers among others. That is why we wine bloggers can make the difference we wanted from the start, share stories of wines little heard of (but still great) and allowing our very own curiosity and amateur version of investigative wine journalism to lead the way.
N.A.G. in Mátra
Back to N.A.G. and Attila Gabor Nemet in Gyöngyöstarján. His 2011 Diós dűlő is one big wow. Attila owns two single vineyards planted with the grape. each is 0.5 hectares small. Cserepes and Diós. Mátra is roughly one hour north-east of Budapest and is one of several volcanic soil regions of Hungary.
Restrained and yet with a classic Sárgamuskotály character. Floral in a gentle way, a dash of quince and elderflowers, but it’s mainly oozing of cool wet rocks and has a most inviting freshness. The sweetness on the palate is on level with an Aszú 5 Puttonyos. 144 grams of suger per liter. Pure honeyed yellow fruit, white flowers, wet rocks and an impeccable balance. Acidity is furthermore the backbone of the wine. Such purity on the finale with notes of tropical fruits.
Again; the wine moves me. It’s the very reason I write about wine, why I blog, or at least should do more often here. Because impressions should be all about the effect a wine can have on your intellect, feelings or conscience. Not how many times your post is shown.
Do think of me as a complete idiot but please, give more thought to great Sárgamuskotály.