“I don’t claim to understand wine, inside and out, but I’m working on it.” – Arthur Z. Przebinda.
Wine Sooth was created in June of 2008 to complement the content of redwinebuzz.com. This venue is intended as an Op/Ed section where I can engage a more frequent commentary on the world of wine – Central Coast and other.
The global wine landscape is changing. While I do not claim to possess special powers of prognostication, I think global wine culture and industry are at some crossroads and not all choices before us will lead to optimal outcomes.
It is my belief that a commentator should be less of an ambassador of an industry or spokesperson for the preferences of the masses and more a thinker who challenges beliefs, warns of consequences and points to less obvious options. This has been the more real role of soothsayers in ancient times.
I am not setting out to be a misanthrope, a nihilist or an agitator. Like that ancient Cynic Diogenes, who carried a lit lantern in daytime through the streets of ancient Greece in search of an honest man, I embark on a search for truth in wine.
I ask that, as we engage in discussion, comments focus on the ideas and that debate be kept civil. Do not attack or insult people participating in the discussion. Argue the idea, not the person. Comments failing to follow this simple rule will be deleted.
I started redwinebuzz.com in 2006 as a one-stop web portal for general wine information with a focus on California’s Central Coast wine region, wineries and winemakers. Since then, redwinebuzz.com has grown to be the foremost authority on Central Coast wine. I am the web site’s editor and sole wine critic. More background info here.
In addition, I have created educational content and other materials for local wine festivals. My articles and commentaries have been featured on Appellation America, CaliforniaWineryAdvisor.com, eBacchus.com, Vinography.com, WineBusiness.com and the Los Angeles Times’ “Blowback” section.
Recently, I joined Palate Press, The online wine magazine as a Contributor and Assistant Editor, California/Central Coast.
> Suisun Valley winemaker Jeff Miller said (regarding my first piece on wine and food pairings, featured on PalatePress.com): “It’s a pleasure to see someone actually going to the trouble of trying to understand something about how wine works, instead of the more common soap-boxing without any effort to garner evidence in support of the often dubious claims.”
> Tom Wark has called my posts “smart, opinionated and well-informed, a deadly combination“. Tom interviewed me for his “Bloggerview” series. In his introduction, Tom said: “…Arthur’s serious and sometimes gregarious approach to opining on things wine has something of an urgency to it. I think this is because he’s a thoughtful person who puts good thinking behind his writing“. You can read my answers to Tom’s “20 questions” here.
> Former Los Angeles Times wine critic Dan Berger said in his April 3rd 2009 newsletter: “The vast majority of wine blogging these days is pretty much a lot of blather based on opinion and few facts… So it was refreshing to see a blog the other day from a man who seems to use his brain for cogent purpose. I don’t know much about Arthur Z. Przebinda but his web site hits on a number of fascinating wine topics.” (“Blog v, Journalism” – pg.1, right hand column). On another occasion, Berger said: “Arthur is a thorough researcher who goes beyond the standard to get at the heart of wine and as such exceeds expectations“.
> Renown British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson calls redwinebuzz.com: “admirably thoughtful and well-researched“.
> Jim Caudill, formerly Public Relations, Brown-Forman Corp. and Wine Group and now Principal at James Caudill Communications: “I first met Arthur at the World of Pinot Noir, where he was busy checking out Central Coast Pinot Noirs, engaging winemakers in deep conversations that went searching for the very soul of their wines. I was reading redwinebuzz.com as wine blogging was just beginning, and recognize in hindsight that Arthur is what defines a true aficionado: he digs deep, loves what he’s doing, earns our respect and then shares his valuable insights in an easily available, widely accessible forum. He’s really quite a remarkable “wine guy” which I reserve for only those I’ve truly come to appreciate in the world of wine.”
> Santa Barbara County Winemaker, Richard Longoria, commenting on my redwinebuzz.com article exploring the character of Central Coast Albariño: “It is refreshing to read about wines and their attributes and their pairing with food, rather than focusing on how impressive they are for their weight, tannins, etc, etc. Keep up your excellent coverage of wines.”
> Oregon’s Patton Valley Vineyard winemaker Jerry D. Murray commenting on my writing: “Well researched, something largely lacking in the bloggosphere.“
> Nathan Carlson, Director of Winemaking, at Paso Robles EOS Estate Winery says: “By focusing his attention primarily upon the Central Coast wine industry, Arthur has some key insights that are lost on many other writers. His close and ongoing communications with key figures in the business regionally enable him to have some real depth and understanding of the trends and realities of this complex business, and the ability to translate what that means for the interested consumer or collector of wines.”
> David Honig, Publisher of PALATE PRESS: The Online Wine Magazine, commenting on the collaborative work I do with Tom Mansell for the publication: “May I say, the work the two of you do is absolutely superlative, and may well make PALATE PRESS: The Online Wine Magazine renown for your scientific coverage of wine. I thank you both.”
>In a 2009 academic paper evaluating wine rating systems for their their “utility for producers, consumers, and oenologic researchers“, authors Domenic V Cichetti (Yale University) and Arnold F Cicchetti (Consulting Specialist of Wine, Director of National Accounts, Wine Warehouse, San Anselmo, CA) said of the redwinebuzz.com rating system: “This scale is quite sophisticated in its psychometric structure, with carefully considered, quite comprehensive, nonoverlapping descriptors for each of the aforementioned wine characteristics” and summarized: “This carefully crafted wine scale would have appeal and be quite useful for the wine producer, the consumer, and the oenologic research scientist.“
> Winemaker Gary Burk (Costa de Oro) and festival organizer Craig Smith (Wine in the Pines), talking about me and redwinebuzz.com on “The Wine Show” with DeWayne Holmdahl on KINF, AM 1440 (Santa Maria/Lompoc, CA) May 10, 2008.
Click on “Play” button to listen to the show excerpt:
Samples and product review policy.
> Yes, I do accept wine samples. I really try to keep it focused on Central Coast wines, though I am happy to give an assessment of any wine. Two (2) bottles of each wine are preferable. For complete information on submitting wines and shipping address, see here.
Wine reviews are published on redwinebuzz.com after first being published in the Central Coast Wine Guide. It takes time to publish content and I have to follow a schedule. So, please, be patient. Remember, that I may also choose not to publish a review. In the latter case, I am happy to provide feedback privately.
> I very rarely review books or magazines. If your publication looks interesting to me, I may take it on.
> Decisions to accept wine gadgets, accessories and paraphernalia for assessment and review are made on a case-by-case basis. In general, if the product does not seem like something I would choose to use myself (and be comfortable endorsing) I will have to respectfully decline.
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