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? Weasel.
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"....