Brooklyn chutzpah, or just good, clean ambition?
Oded Shakked, at Longboard Vineyards, shared the below email with me yesterday. He thought I’d get a kick out of it. I’m reproducing it here, because I think you’ll get a kick out of it. (I’ve edited the email a little, and also removed the sender’s name.)
“My name is M.___ and I am reviewer of wine. I live in Brooklyn, NY and I am meticulous with keeping a record of every wine I drink. I am one of the highest sheer volume reviewers on wine social networking site Snooth (I am not an employee of Snooth)…and I have synched up my Twitter account to automatically post any wine I review on Snooth. (I have over 1,300 Twitter followers)
I would love to be added to your mailing list for sample bottles. I can GUARANTEE an online review of any bottle you send me. I realize that there are many wine bloggers out there and you must be inundated with requests, but I don’t know how many bloggers can guarantee a review (along with any descriptive info you send along). If a bottle is flawed or oxidized I will email you before I write anything about it. I also generally wait at least month from receiving the bottle to account for travel or bottle shock.
I just would like for you to think about the percentage of the bloggers you send samples to that actually give you coverage…i know for a fact that many bloggers out there simply write about a few of the sample bottles they receive and either re-gift or drink the rest without any fanfare…I can guarantee a review on a website that is almost always on the first page of natural search results on Google when someone searches for a particular wine.”
Oded used the word “chutzpah” to describe M.____. Chutzpah, in case you don’t know, is a Yiddish word, derived from the Hebrew, and is used with reference to people who are so audacious in their approach as to approach insolence. It can be used positively (e.g., George Steinbrenner was said to possess chutzpah, which is a quality New Yorkers like) or negatively, in the sense of tasteless self-promotion.
Let’s look at this from M.____’s point of view. Of course he would “love” to be added to Oded’s sample list. (And how many other vintners did M.____ blast his email to?) Think of all the free wine! I can’t say for sure whether or not M.____ is correct when he accuses “many bloggers out there” of not even bothering to write about the samples they get. Maybe some P.R. and marketing people who read my blog will write in and let us know how they determine which bloggers to send samples to, and how they follow up to see if the wines are actually written about.
I did a little Googling on M.____ and found that he’s been sending this same email out for more than a year. He seems to be a young guy; his Facebook page (at least, I think it’s his; all the clues add up) says his interests are “poker, TV, red wine, live comedy, live music, Sirius satellite radio” and he’s married. M.____ and I have 14 Facebook friends in common, all from the wine industry.
Actually, I can’t get too upset about M.____ and his email. He’s just using today’s technology to bust into the industry. When I was busting in, I used the telephone and the U.S. Postal Service, and I was pretty aggressive in my own way. I knew what I wanted, I knew whom I wanted it from, and I pounded on their door until I got it. I had, in other words, chutzpah. So does M.____. I don’t know what else he’s doing to become a wine critic, other than sending out blast emails. I would hope he has a few other tricks up his sleeve. But you know what? I wish the guy luck.
Dept. of Oops!
“Napa Wine Co., which annually crushes 7,000 tons of grapes for more than 60 wineries, apparently contaminated some wine with cleaning detergent,“ the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat is reporting. The paper says Jayson Pahlmeyer’s Pinot Noir “was being tested to determine how much, if any, was impacted by the accident.”