The six-month dream job of Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent at Murphy-Goode Winery has been blowing up the blogosphere. $10,000 per month to live at the winery in Sonoma Valley, write, and ride the social media wave. It's a sweet gig for whoever gets it.
And I threw my glass into the ring.
Initially, I learned about the opportunity from my father-in-law who lives 9,167 miles from home, in Australia. Hell, if there's ever been an example of social networking efficacy, it's this one. He exclaimed through a Facebook post: "This is something you should consider!" I smiled to myself, then laughed it off.
At the Loaf offices the next day, the news was everywhere. This was groundbreaking. Traditionally, the wine industry hasn't been a stewpot of cutting-edge marketing, and the urge to blog about this washed over me. Post-blog, one friend commented on Facebook, "I can't believe you're spreading the word about this ... you'd be perfect for that job." After four others repeated the sentiment, I listened.
The cash looked sexy, of course, but the opportunity to spread the word of wine even further than Corkscrew enraptured me. My passion in life -- even listed on my formerly dusty resume -- is to place a glass of wine in every American's hand. But to demonstrate this passion and my qualifications in the 60-second film required for the application? Tougher than it sounds.
Unlike 90 percent of the applications, I couldn't recite a script monotonously in front of a camera -- not my style. Two requirements for the video: state why you deserve the job and do it in an entertaining way. So I uncorked some creative juice and started daydreaming.
I wrote a full-on interview of myself. Too long. Then I tried scripting a wine tasting. Yawn. But after a second glass of juice, a hybrid emerged. Normally, alcohol-inspired ideas don't float, but I bounced it off a few friends. A winner. I story-boarded the shots, carefully chose filming locales, roped in friends, spent a day in production and another in editing mode. After far too much fretting, I said goodbye to my baby and uploaded it into the online ether.
Then the voting commenced. Yes, à la American Idol, the public gets to choose their favorite video from the Murphy-Goode Web site. After Twitter'ing, Facebook'ing, blogging and numerous e-mail blasts, a familiar adolescent sensation surfaced. Ohmigawd, I'm running for Most Popular Wine Geek. With stomach churning, I checked my tally like a nervous bunny in a wolf pack. It's pathetic, really: In the blogosphere arena, he who networks loudest and hardest wins. And those who started early in the process got a huge jump on stragglers. Here's hoping, like in a presidential election, the popular vote doesn't matter that much.
By the time this column prints, the folks at Murphy-Goode will be whittling down the applicants to 50, and announce their picks on June 26. After another round of popular voting, they'll fly 10 applicants out to the winery for face-to-face interviews. And then the fun really begins. Wish me luck.
Clos de Los Siete 2007 Red Wine Mendoza (Argentina) Possibly the best value from Argentina today, this luscious red blend has malbec, merlot, syrah and cabernet. Crafted by legendary winemaker Michel Rolland. Rich and jammy with loads of fruit and flavor like soft leather, blackberry, blueberry, candied cherry, bittersweet chocolate, sweet vanilla and coffee. Stunning for the price. Sw=1. $16. *****.
Helfrich 2007 Riesling Alsace (France) This semi-dry riesling smells like Estee Lauder perfume then eases into honeyed tangerine, lemon and luscious honeysuckle. Finishes with crisp acidity and wet stone minerality. Complex and deliciously affordable. Sw=2. $12. **** 1/2.