Archive for the ‘Rare Rant’ Category


I’m so old that… Boutique Winery Just Doesn’t Cut It

I remember poodle skirts, bouffant hair, cotton candy, putrid pink, heavy perfume, and it all came under the word “boutique.” That word – boutique – is now fingernails screeching down a blackboard, so when you call your winery a “boutique” winery… Artisan, it’s so sophisticated… It lets the listener know that you take yourself craft […]


Boutique ~ Who’s with me on this one

Every time I hear the word “boutique, you might as well be dragging your fingers down a blackboard in my world. When I entered my freshman English class in high school, Miss Samways immediately said to us, “Don’t ever use the word ‘nice’ in anything you write in this class. I have one idiosyncrasy, and […]


Charm School Dropouts at Wine Tastings

This is a rerun, people, because it’s still so relevant. I know that not everyone in the business had read this – in fact, probably most people haven’t.  But, everyone I know who pours wine can relate, once they’ve read the following story. I love W. Blake Gray, of the Gray Market Report. When he […]


I’ve been thinking about this “Lite Wine for Women,” and I’m not so happy

Yeah, yeah, I know… Guys love “lite” beer, targeted at men who have developed an extra pack. “Drink as much, but at a fraction of the calories.” Seems like something so great. I’ve always felt there’s something wrong with “diet” food, though. Eating and drinking “on a diet” is not eating and drinking as a […]


What’s in it for them? Oodles and oodles of money… Why don’t we all just become politicians?

Check out our great French wine prices and save. William T. Haines, my fraternal great grandfather, was a Maine Republican, career politician: 1882 to 1887 ~ Kennebec County’s county attorney 1888 to 1892 ~ Maine State Senate 1895 to 1896 ~ Maine House of Representatives 1896 to 1901 ~ Attorney General of Maine 1901 to […]


Everything on the Internet is Free, Including Customer Service

Everything on the Internet is free, including customer service for something you haven’t paid for… It’s become a funny world. I enjoy sharing the requests I get, because they always hit me with a “What?” moment, and getting them out of me is great stress release. This is a new one… Dear Jo: Hello, I […]


Thanks to social media, I’ve just had the most disturbing PR experience ever

It’s just amazing. I recently had a couple of people create #badPR on Twitter, because one of them felt slighted at not being invited to something that I had organized. Jose discovered what was being written on Twitter after the event and said to me, “You need to know what’s going on on Twitter.” I […]


Plastic corks are going to be the death of me

It all began at a bridal shower, when I had brought some wine. Had I known the wine that I purchased had plastic corks, I wouldn’t have bought those brands. (I’m creating an unshopping list in my head as I write this.) I forgot to have a corkscrew in my purse… I usually travel with […]


Wine Blogger Conferences ~ It’s a Matter of Taste

I’ve been to both the American Wine Bloggers Conference (Santa Rosa 2008) and the European Wine Bloggers Conference (Lisbon 2009). What I’m about to write is something that’s controversial and now rumbling underground, as people think this through and begin to discuss their opinions. I was just reminded of it as I read Paul Gregutt’s […]


How do you feel about plagiarism ~ Is it worth getting in a twit about it?

DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) exists; although it’s on the owner to police his or her own words, and then take action. I’ve heard some wine bloggers say that they don’t care if they’re information and images are used elsewhere on the Internet; others aren’t appreciating it at all. I’ve written about being aggregated; now, […]