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James Roscoe

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Conversation vs. Information WTN

by James Roscoe » Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:26 pm

I am interested in the issue of the purpose of tasting notes. I am a big fan of WTNs (wine tasting notes), especially if they come from some of our experts like Joe P., David B., Doris (a.k.a. Bob P.), Robin, David L. and a host of others. Yet I get the sense that some of our writers are somewhat dismayed with the current conversation that takes place when they post a WTN. Here is a post by David B. on another thread:

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Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:43 pm Post subject: Re: Parker has but faint praise for ESJ 2005s

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Robin,

Not to take away from the intended topic, but perhaps Isaac shares similar feelings: I like to discuss the wines I drink. Perhaps many are too esoteric & do not strike a chord, but if there's no discussion then it's not much worht it to me to post. (Jay Selman echoed similar feelings with the lack of comments on Grape Radio...perhaps we just really want to talk/type about the wines.)
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Is he alone in his feelings? I mostly read WTNs and do not comment on them. Why not? I don't know. What do other people think? I had never thought about it in this light before. Am I beating a dead horse here?

In the same thread another good WTN writer said he has given up writing WTNs. Is this the case with many of us? What's going on? Should we spend more thoughtful time discussing WTNs? How?

I thought I would start a new thread instead of taking over the Parker-bashing thread.
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John Tomasso

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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by John Tomasso » Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:31 pm

My reaction to a tasting note depends upon whether or not I've had the wine. If I have, then I might respond with my take on it. Another reason I might respond to a tn is to ask a question about the wine - if neither of these situations apply, I will usually move on without comment. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate or value the note, however.

I don't post tns on every wine I drink - but if I take the time to construct a written tn, then I will post it here. Maybe I post on 30% of the wines I taste. I welcome comments, but I don't expect them, nor do I take offense if nobody sees the need to respond.

Like Bill Spohn, I like having them in the data base in case I ever want to look them up.
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Howie Hart

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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by Howie Hart » Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:19 am

John Tomasso wrote:I don't post tns on every wine I drink ...
Likewise. For instance, this past Spring, while on a trip to Knoxville, I had dinner with BobH and he gave me a bottle of '06 Bone Jolly. I drank this a few weeks ago, but so many people had already posted TNs, that I thought posting another would be redundant. The wine was great and lived up to what others had posted.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by David M. Bueker » Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am

Since I made the original comment let me elaborate a bit.

What I am getting at is that I really enjoy the discourse about wine that occurs around the table at a tasting. I like hearing different folks' views on the wines, similar wines, rocks that are similar to rocks in the vineyard, why the mole on the vignerons face looks like a profile of the Virgin Mary, etc.

I really enjoy it when we get into that kind of back & forth on a wine here. It doesn't happen a lot, but when a discussion really takes off it is incredibly interesting and engaging.

As with others I do not post on every wine I drink (especially if I drink the same wine many times), but do post on a good 50%.

One thing that I have seen on other sites is that when someone has a wine that has been discussed before (e.g. ESJ Bone-Jolly Rosé they dig up the old thread and append their tasting note to it. I like that policy & it really helps people to delve deeply into the wine and how it has evolved over time (I've seen threads like I describe go over several years), food matches, etc.

So it's about getting deeply into the discussion. I hope that's a better explanation than I have given in the past. (My latest "nobody ever reads them" comment was mostly a jab at Bill Spohn for telling me to post TNs on wines that I had already posted on. Use the search function folks.)
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Hoke

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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by Hoke » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:20 pm

I'm with you, David.

Sure, I'm here for information, but what really keeps me here is the discourse, the back and forth. I can get information from a lot of sources. It's the involvement, the human involvement, that makes this place different.
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James Roscoe

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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by James Roscoe » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:23 pm

I appreciate the thoughtful reply David. It has given me new insights as to how to approach this site and that is a good thing!
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JoePerry

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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by JoePerry » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:30 pm

Well, I only post TNs if I drink the wines with friends, or if there is something remarkable about the wines in question. If the wines are drunk with other Internet wine geeks, there is almost always discussion to be had.

The reason why I post notes is for my own enjoyment of stamping a memory into print, and sharing it with others. Going back and searching an old tasting note on a wine I loved (or hated) is the next closest thing to tasting the wine again. Dialogue is fun, but it's not so much my intention.

Of course, sometimes I write TNs just to make trouble...

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David M. Bueker

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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by David M. Bueker » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:03 pm

JoePerry wrote:
Of course, sometimes I write TNs just to make trouble...

Best,
Joe


I never would have thought so... :twisted:
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Håvard Flatland

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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by Håvard Flatland » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:02 pm

I post TNs from time to time and hope that some might reply. I sometimes comment on wines I have drunk or have in the cellar. But I haven't been into wine seriously a long time, so my experiance is limited. I have started buying wine for cellaring since most of my friends are not into wine like I am. So in ten years time when some of my wines have come around, perhaps some of my friends have as well? 8)
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Re: Conversation vs. Information WTN

by Jenise » Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:15 pm

Jim, I post TNs for two reasons: personal archival purposes and to create content on this site, because if the more prolific posters suddenly stopped posting, then what would the non-posters like yourself have to read when you come here? Someone's got to do it....

And it doesn't take copious note-taking every time one tastes a wine to have enough to say for meaningful content. Unless I'm at a tasting where writing stuff down helps me keep track of the experience, I don't write anything down. 90% of the TNs I post are just the most salient points of what I remember about the wine from the day or three before. I say 'or three' because it may take a few days to accumulate a few meaningful wine experiences to put into a note--I rarely post one note on one wine, unless I expect it to be controversial. Grouping of TNs typically ensures that something in the note will strike a chord in someone out there and at least there will be one or two responses.

And make no mistake--I love to get responses. Who doesn't? Makes you feel that your note made some tiny difference to someone, that it added to The Greater Discourse, as it were. And that's good. Though I'm not hurt per se if no one responds (though it took me years to develop a thicker skin about that--I relate to people newer to wine tasting who haven't.)

It is and will always be your right and your choice to be a passive participant. But if you, and others like you, are not going to be creators of original content, then it is in your best interests to creators of feedback because without feedback the original content providers have less reason to post. And without original content in the form of tasting notes, this board would shrivel up and go away.

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