Organic Wine Review is a new blog with video reviews of organic wine. I like the site because it makes me laugh. It also introduces me to many organic wines that I didn't know about. I’ve noticed that there are organic wines throughout my usual wine store that aren’t displayed in the organic section. I’m amassing a list of wines from OWR that I can search for when I’m at the wine store.
I contacted the wine lovers at Organic Wine Review with some questions. Brent, OWR’s Average Wine Guy, was happy to answer them for me.
MNN: Who are the principal players behind Organic Wine Review are and what are their wine backgrounds?
Winston Jones, Host –Winston is the hippest Floridian-turned-Californian dude you will ever meet. He is also the San Francisco Peninsula’s best wine bartender at Savvy Cellar Wines in Redwood City, Calif. Twitter: @Winston_Jones.
Jennifer Ayre, Savvy Sommelier– Jennifer is a certified sommelier, blogging as The Savvy Sommelier. She teaches the best wine classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the owner of Savvy Cellar Wine Bar & Wine Shop in Redwood City and Mountain View (coming soon) in California. Twitter: @SavvySommelier.
Brent, Average Wine Guy- Brent is surrounded by sommeliers and wine snobs, and his goal is to make Organic Wine Review relevant to the “average” wine drinker. Brent will drink pretty much anything that is put in front of him and attempt to comment on it. Twitter: @smokeJumper
What’s your goal with Organic Wine Review? What do you want your viewers to get out of it?
Our goal is simple — we want viewers to learn, be entertained and become comfortable with wines of various organic designations. Organic Wine Review’s mission is to popularize organic and biodynamic wines — one short, irreverent and informative video review at a time.
What is the criteria for the wines you review?
Wines must fit in one of four categories:
Organic grapes (which are wines made from certified organically grown grapes)
Organic grapes (uncertified) which are grapes which are claimed to be organically grown but the vineyard has not been formally certified organic
Organic wine (which are wines that have been certified as organic)
To date "organic grapes" is the largest category we have reviewed. We have chosen not to focus on sustainably farmed grapes, but we applaud the practice. Our website has more information on our designations.
Earlier this year, I bought several bottles of organic or sustainably made wines to review for this blog. There was one bottle that I disliked so much that I didn’t review it. Have you had any bottles so far that were so bad you couldn’t review them?
While we find there are a range of organic wines from great to not very good, and while we attempt to find redeeming qualities in each wine we review (noting that everyone's palate varies), we will review all wines, even when we think they are "bad".
In fact, as a result of our own early experiences in tasting organic wines, we, like many others, were put off and, for a period of time, discounted the prospect of drinking organic wine due to our perceptions of their quality.
Part of the motivation for Organic Wine Review is to recognize that reticence among some wine consumers with regard to organic wine and help them be open to the prospect that organic wines, just like conventional wines, come in all sorts of varietals, taste profiles and quality. We believe there is something for every palate among the wines we review.
Your videos are all under two minutes. Why so short?
Each of us are diagnosed with ADD (kidding ... mostly). Actually, the length of the videos is something we are really listening to feedback from our users on. The basic premise for short videos comes from my consulting work with Internet video companies — with the exception of branded "long-form" videos such as TV shows, most Internet consumers of video tend to "snack" and either won't watch videos from an unknown source that are more than 2-3 minutes long or will drop off within 60-90 seconds.
Rather than fight that trend, we aspire to be direct and succinct with our reviews. I've had many people tell me that they think wine review videos that are 20-30 minutes long are "tedious and self-indulgent." If our viewers are consistently clamoring for more details, we will experiment with lengthening our reviews. So far some viewers are, but even more have noted they like the short form.
Note: our interviews with winemakers are longer, typically 4-6 minutes in length.
Of all the wines you’ve reviewed so far, what has been your favorite red? Your favorite white?