Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shoe On The Other Foot...

So when I think of the one moment that flipped the switch, that one little thing that made this all possible, I think of Tom Wark. The man, The myth, The legend…
Tom is the Blog Guy, he is… “The Cat” that makes it all go. Ask any blogger when their stat counter went all haywire, they will tell you, “It was after Tom interviewed me”..I am no different, hell I damn near peed myself when Tom asked if he could shine his little blogger light on me…I was fa-klepmt….I answered his questions, got my 6 comments and sat back waiting for the flood of adoring fans….yeah.

So I found myself struggling for content, just aching for something to write about, and after hearing me whine on facebook Tom just said, “well, you could interview me” I took it! I sat here in my humble abode, drinking Sauvignon de Saint Bris thinking…. “oh yeah, I gots some stuff I wanna know”
So this is what happens when you give a buzzy girl the floor…

When did you begin blogging and why on earth did you think anyone would give a rat’s ass?

I started FERMENTATION in late 2004. At the time I had no doubt that I could write a blog every bit as compelling as the other 3 wine blogs that existed at the time. As it turned out, for the first few months folks seemed to care more about the condition of rodents’ assess than they did about my blog.

Do you ever wish you had never started?

I never have wished that.

Boxers or Briefs?

Well, I’ve always been a big fan of the guys who get in the ring and practice the sweet science. On the other hand, I do love reading a well crafted legal argument. But for overall entertainment, I’ll take a welterweight championship bout over a well-argued brief.

How many blogs do you read daily?

I scan about 50 wine blogs per day. I don’t necessarily read them all, but I look for headlines that interest me, then I’ll dig down into them. I’m looking for blog posts that offer well informed opinion.

Are you afraid that I am going to ask you which ones?

There are a variety of things I fear in this world. Listing the blogs I scan is not one of them. Also, I’ve never been shy about saying which wine blogs I like.

How do you really feel about the three tier system for alcohol distribution?

I feel that the State-Mandated three tier system is the single biggest impediment to consumer welfare where wine is concerned. I feel the state-mandated three-tier system must result in political and economic corruption. I feel the state-mandated three tier system props up businesses that otherwise would have failed.

I’ve been sensing a twiterpation in some of you newer posts…are you like in love and junk?

Of course I’m in love. It’s the only rational alternative I have.

Do you accept samples, if so….who the hell is sending you samples, you don’t review wine!

When solicited, I refuse samples of wine. However, I still have many samples sent to me that are unsolicited and just show up at my door step. After a while folks will realize I don’t review wine and they won't send me a second sample. I don’t review wines at FERMENTATION primarily because it would be a conflict of interest with my day job, which is as a wine publicist and marketer. Also, I don’t think most wine reviews are very interesting. And finally, there are folks out there with far better palates than me, so I think it best to leave the work of reviewing wines to them.

Have you ever sneezed while peeing?

No. I never have. But it’s not the worst thing that could happen to me.

Single best bottle of wine you ever had?

1984 Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Special Reserve. It was the first great wine I ever tasted when I started learning about wine. I couldn’t afford it at the time. However, the person at the register at the liquor store I found it at was a dolt. So it was easy to switch price tags on the wine with a non-vintage Barefoot Cellars Red Blend. I could afford it then.

Absolute worst, (flawed not included) bottle of wine you ever had?

Warm Retsina on a hot day in Greece.

What tools have you used to pimp your blog….if you say, “My readers are the biggest tools” it will sting a bit…

Twitter. Facebook. Speaking at events. The American Wine Blog Awards. And being as helpful as possible to other bloggers I respect.

Why don’t you comment on blogs?

I don’t? I’m pretty sure I do. But keep in mind I’m a pretty busy man. It’s called the “DAILY” wine blog. Plus, I have a number of clients I service. Then there’s the golf and driving range to fit into the day. I have two cats to take care of. And I have to feel myself. It’s all a lot of work. But I’ll make a point of commenting on more blogs now.

Do you think blogs have or will change anything in the wine business? Their emergence has already changed the way I approach the promotion of my clients wineries and businesses. There are so many more people with followers who are watching and reporting on the wine business and wines. Understanding the markets perception of a product or brand is more complex now.

What really happened between you and Millie Ennial of WineWiped?

Nothing that I can talk about in public without first consulting my lawyer. Can we move on?

When you play Rock Star in your car, who do you pretend to be?

Adam Duritz and McCoy Tyner.

What inspires your Bloggerviews?

If you are asking how do I choose the people I invite to be interviewed in my “bloggerviews”, it really all comes down to which bloggers I like. I only ask those bloggers to participate if I respect their work, think their blogs should be read by my audience and if I really like their work. I remember seeing your blog and thinking, “wow…this is different and a really fun real. There is something going on behind Sans Dosage.” I liked Sans Dosage a great deal and knew it after reading it one time. That’s why you were bloggerviewed.

How often do you delete comments from your blog?

Very rarely. I’m not even vigilant about deleting the occasional spam comment that is pushing Viagra. I figure maybe one of my readers will appreciate a link to where they can find cheap and easily accessible erections. However, I’ll never allow FERMENTATION to be used by a commenter to attack another person simply because the attacker is vile. Those I will delete.

Are you the first or last person on the dance floor?

I took tap dancing lessons for 7 years. I’ve got some game. So, while I’m not the first, I’m rarely the last.

What do you think it will really take to overturn those archaic out of state shipping laws?

Lawsuits, shame and consumer action.

Pet: Ferret or Hamster?


Vacation: Detroit or Paris?

I didn’t even know Detroit was still open.

White Zinfandel or Almond Flavored, “Champagne”?

This is a tough one. I love love Champagne. I love Sparkling wine in general. But, I also have a sweet tooth. Remember “Arbor Mist”. Love that drink. Over ice on a hot day. Damn. Tastes like summer. I like to drink most White Zin the same way…over ice. However, I have had some beautiful White Zins. Hook & Ladder Winery in the Russian River Valley is best known for wonderful Zins and Pinots. But they also made the best White Zin I’ve ever had. It was better than nearly any Rose I’d ever drunk. Forced to choose, I’ll go with White Zin.

Hangover cure of choice?

Bloody Mary and Friends.

Airplane reading: Mutineer or Playboy?

Playboy. We like to make jokes about Playboy (“I read it for the articles), but the fact is Playboy is a damn good magazine. Take out the pictorials and you’ve got a compelling Mens magazine. They always recruited excellent writers. Because I may not be in the mood for drinks-related reading and because there is always a bit of drinks-related copy in Playboy, I’ll go with Playboy.

How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot?

A little odd. But you are good at this. It’s fun to answer the questions here by striking a balance between earnestness and comedy. But most of all I like the idea of giving my blog, FERMENTATION: The Daily Wine Blog, a boost in readership due to being interviewed at Sans Dosage.

You are charged with launching a bunch of blogs on the unsuspecting public…how do you plea?

If there is even a tiny bit of truth to the idea that I’ve helped a few blogs get off the ground and find an audience then I am a very happy man.

Paper or plastic?

Plastic is much more convenient. And usually stronger. But I can go either way. Don’t they make environmentally-sensitive “plastic” bags now?

If you could give me one bottle of California wine to try and change my French leaning palate, which would you choose?

The 1995 Stony Hill Chardonnay. It has 15 years of age on it now and should be drinking just great with those muted citrus, caramel and sage characteristics that this great Californian wine delivers after a few years. Also. Try the Failla Estate Syrah and the Mayo Family Winery Ricci Vineyard Zinfandel.

You showcased me and The HoseMaster of Wine at around the same time…what the hell was going on with you that month?!

Too many Manhattans. No. I jest. I think at that time I was really looking for something unique and different from the wine blog world. I was looking for really unique, well written, and compelling to introduce my readers to. Sans Dosage and Hosemaster of Wine are both great blogs.

If I told you that you taking the time to showcase this silly blog, bringing me new and fiercely intellectual readers, meant the world to me…would you buy me a goddamn drink?

Probably not. But if you interviewed me and posted the interview on your blog I’d probably buy you that drink.

Thank you Tom Wark, both for featuring Samantha Sans Dosage on your fancy pants blog and for taking the time to answer my questions. Not sure it is every wine blogger that can say, "Tom Wark said; erection, feel myself and weasel" on my blog"....


Thomas said...


You will make that guy's blog famous. What's his name again???

Samantha Dugan said...

I forgot but he said erection, (snicker). This was super fun and wicked easy on me, so I just may do it again, wonder how what's his name will feel about me stealing his gig?

Thomas said...


He must be a nice guy--anyone who adores McCoy Tyner's chops has to be either a nice guy or smart! Either that or he understands a Love Supreme.

Ron Washam, HMW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Wow, you scored the elusive Tom Wark interview. You're like the Katie Couric of wine bloggers and Tom is like Octomom giving birth to all those bloggers. And without a uterus!

A lot of Tom's answers can be explained by his reading 50 or so wine blogs on a regular basis. This is akin to watching the Home Shopping Network 26 hours a day--it can only loosen a few screws.

Now get him to put a link to your interview with him on Fermentation. An endless Wark loop. Like riding the teacups at Disneyland when you're really drunk.

Why didn't you ask him which wine blogs stink? Space considerations?

So who's next in your interview series? Charlie Olken? Thomas? Alder Yarrow? Steve Heimoff? Alice Feiring? I've got my fingers crossed for BrixChicks!!

I love you!

Your HoseMaster

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Sorry for the deleted comment--a bunch of stupid typos. I must be reading too many blogs.

I love you!

Your HoseMaster

Benito said...

This was a really fun way to start out the day. Fascinating choice of questions, Sam.

roger said...

Sup? I was checking up on your shizz and stumbled across a photog of Makers Mark. I thought "Awesome! Sam has finally crossed over to the dark side!". Unfortunately, the post was not about delicious Makers or Manhattans. However, I am very happy for you that you got to interview one of your blog heros...sweet! The interview was great and I was glad to see he mentioned Manhattans (he obviously knows what he is talking about).

You fukin shred HB. Can't wait to see you and Call-O in The D!

Love and kisses,
Sexy Bitch

Jessica said...

Love it! and thanks to Tom for introducing me to Sans Dosage and ultimately my new friends Samantha, Callo, Vicki, Brittany and Wabe! And all the others I have met through Samantha - all great characters and wine lovers.

Hopefully I will be seeing you all soon!

vickibarkley said...

Awesome interview! You ask the good, hard questions!

It was fun reading this early in the morning....

Good writing is good.

And, Jess, thanks for the shout out!!

Samantha Dugan said...

From what I can tell he is both smart and nice...not sure about his Love Supreme, dammit where were you when I was buzzed and typing my questions?!

Ron My Love,
I did indeed score by getting a behind stage pass to Fermentation and a one-on-one, as it were, with The Wine Blog King. I'm just worried now, where the hell can I go from here?! Oh maybe I could do the winners of The Cutest Wine Blog Couple award...you and Charlie Olken up for it? I would so love to know how often Charlie screams, "Who's your Puff Daddy?!"...I adore you!

Yeah, I learned my skills about hard hitting reporting when I was a janitor at The Star. Glad you liked it, some very important issues that I felt needed to be answered.

Sexy Bitch,
Damn, I miss you so much...give kisses to Our Little Chef for me. Nope, sorry dude....still not sown with the brown for my cocktails, (holding my tongue here as there is a very funny but somewhat crude joke in there somewhere)it's clear or cloudy, (again with the holding) for me baby! It was fun to ask Tom the questions and he happens to be a very cool cat so I knew he would just run with it..that boxer or brief thing was great. I will continue to "shred" here love and I simply cannot wait for a big Sexy Bitch hug.

Dang you are getting caught up, 3 comments in one night...feel so lucky! Seems like most of my readers found me after Tom was kind enough to interview me, cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to him for that, and all of you that stuck with me after. Getting on almost a year ago that Sans Dosage was featured on Fermentation, you all are super cool....or insane, but I'll take you either way!

Charlie Olken said...

Cutest Wine Blog Couple?

I'm afraid to ask how you are going to find out the answer?

Of course, if you are suggesting that the choices are

You and Ron
You and me
Me and Ron
Arthur and Tom P

and a host of others among your legion of unrequited lovers, then I am up to try--at least until we get through option 2.

And, Sam, those are not puffs, they are stars. I usually scream, "I am tasting stars" at appropriate moments.

Samantha Dugan said...

You snuck in between comments. That is the second mention of morning reading, feeling a bit thankful I am an online, "reporter" least I won't be folded up next to the potty. Congrats on the 1st publication lady, really very cool.

Legions? I have legions...fuck, is there like a cream or pill for that? This is so embarrassing. Don't know nothing about unrequited lovers, all my lovers know I love them...and it's not just anyone that I am willing to say, "A sharp slap on the ass and I may ride hard too" (must read HoseMaster of Wine to get that) to, just sayin.

Hey I often scream, "I feel puffy" at inappropriate times, together we might just make sense.

Once again I am humbled to find you here and your comments and attention, not to mention countless shout outs on other blogs...well, they make me feel legit, big sloppy, ass spanking kisses to you Sir.

Damn, got Tom, Ron, Sir Charles, Thomas, the newly published Vicki...don't I feel kinda fancy? All I need is Alice, Eric, The Tree Guy, and Gary Vandercereal and I will like explode and junk.

Thomas said...

Tree Guy?

Charlie Olken said...


Have you never heard of the Yarrow tree? It is a western variety so perhaps you do not have in New Yawck. We have one here in San Francisco and it is quite prolific.

El Jefe said...

God, I love a good manhattan.

Great interview!

Samantha Dugan said...

It's a little like Voldemort from the Harry Potter books, we don't use the name for fear it will show up.

Proflific indeed, yet not terribly profound....kinda like Pinot Grigio.

El Jefe,
Thanks dude, might just have to keep doing these....

Richard said...

Nice job, Sam. Failla Syrah and Manhattans are two of "My Favorite Things", McCoy Tyner does not suck either. And I pray I can remember the Boxers or Briefs answer in case anybody ever asks!


Thomas said...

Yarrow? Blog?

Who can you possibly mean???

Samantha Dugan said...

Awe, how sweet of you...you like gave me credit for Tom's answers, whatever I will take it! I bow to you, (I bow because my thighs chafe when I curtsy) to you kind Sir.

Whoa there buddy, you are getting dangerously close to bring the....Pinot Grigio.

Nancy Deprez said...

Hilarious and perfect!!!

Amy Atwood said...

Awesome interview with Tom. Made me laugh out loud.
Cheers, Amy

Charlie Olken said...

Re Tom on Adam Duritz--

I was told over the weekend that Adam Durwitz is so yesterday's thinking. OK, I can take it when a guy I knew as a teenager (he and my son played on the same soccer team in Oakland) is past prime. Because I consider the source, and it is likely to be some peach-fuzzed kid who thinks Boone's Farm is just peachy.

So, I don't know what that says about Tom, but I prefer to think that is says he is mature. It helps when I have to think what I rate as.

Still, did I say great interview? You are getting really good at this blogging business. :-}

Samantha Dugan said...

Thanks Charlie Baby! So...um, would you consider letting me do an interview with you?