Wine Talk

Snooth User: Carly Wray

Nobody Parties Like Snooth

Posted by Carly Wray, Feb 19, 2010.

Thanks to our own Gregory Dal Piaz, last night's Snooth team dinner was an epic success. It turns out all you need to make a conference room into an enviable destination is a five-course meal, twelve wines, twenty glasses, nine Snooth employees, and at least one remote control helicopter. (The tinier the better:

The evening kicked-off with antipasto paired with two remarkable--and remarkably different--bottles of Chateauneuf du Pape: a 1990 Bosquet des Papes ( and a 1990 Les Cailloux ( Everyone was still sussing out their relative merits when Greg broke out the Barolos -- a 1990 Parusso Mariondino ( and a 1990 Elio Grasso Casa Mate ( -- served alongside a porcini tortellini tossed with hazelnuts.

The main event was Basque-style roasted top round of lamb and a set of killer flights: 1988 Cos d'Estournel ( v. 1988 Lynch-Bages (; and 1994 Ridge Monte Bello ( v. 1995 Phelps Backus (

We rounded out with a cheese course (Taleggio, Camembert, La Peral, and Casera Valtellina) and a stack of pecan pie squares and turtle brownies accompanied by a 2003 Corino Barolo Rocche ( 2006 Lava Cap Barbera ( and two electric bottles of Tokaji: a 1993 Hilltop Neszmely ( and a 1999 from the Royal Tokaji Wine Company.

All of our gratitude goes out to Greg, as always, for sharing his cellar, stories, and expertise.


Reply by masonmc, Feb 19, 2010.

good lord, i wish i'd been there. especially for the monte bello!

Reply by Philip James, Feb 19, 2010.

Some of the pics might not be fit to share, but here's Chris buzzing the Snooth sign (still on the floor after 9 months) with one of the toy helicopters:

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Feb 19, 2010.

An excellent night. I hope that soon we'll get to party with the greater Snooth community!

Reply by dmcker, Feb 19, 2010.

Sounds most enjoyable, and there are a whole number of great wines there, not just the Montebello.

Who did the cooking? And cleaning up? ;-)

And how about posting the tasting notes here?

Reply by zufrieden, Feb 19, 2010.

I've got to get out to NYC more often. This summer, perhaps.

Reply by Philip James, Feb 19, 2010.

DM - Greg, unsurprisingly, took care of the food and wine selection. It was 1am when we finished, i think the alcohol ensured a speedy and efficient cleanup process.

Everyone is in the process of posting their tasting notes on the wine pages directly - Nicki and I are done, the rest to follow soon.

Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Feb 19, 2010.

Quelle decadence, I am suffering a serious relative deprivation, but managing a pitiful vicarious participation in spite of it. Will this perfect Arizona starry night compensate, maybe not!! My only criticism is I would have suggested a trou normand between the tortellini and the lamb! I am hoping you sent everyone home with a cup of turkish coffee jump start, cheers

Reply by dmcker, Feb 20, 2010.

Ah, but Philip, it's so much more efficient and informative to see all the notes in one place (such as this forum thread). Also easier to see if I agree across the breadth of a reviewer's tasting notes, rather than having to traipse to each one of the wines, look up and down the notes, go to the next, then the next, and so on. Otherwise, why even introduce the topic and list of wines here?

Sounds like a lot of work for Greg. Does he does this every Friday? And is it open to non-staffers? ;-)

Reply by Philip James, Feb 20, 2010.

We have wine fridays each week (multiple times per week?), but the food (other than pretzels) was a special occasion.

Your first paragraph raises an interesting point that we debate frequently in the office - posting all the reviews here would be most helpful to you, or any current forum reader. Posting the reviews to each wine details page is least helpful to you now, but most helpful to everyone else in the long run. The details pages get the vast majority of the reviews. Posting the content in both places would work for everyone, except its a drag on the reviewer (i'm thinking more broadly than snooth employees here, of course). Its a major talking point for us.

Reply by GregT, Feb 20, 2010.

Link them?

If there were a code that someone could put at the beginning of a review here, then maybe it could auto-link the paragraph that follows?

You could even have an icon available for people to click if that's what they wanted to do. And an input mask for the name of the wine/region, that might help with misspellings. THere's not much functionality on the forum anyway - no way to modify fonts, or edit, but a feature like that might make things more useful for all?

Reply by dmcker, Feb 20, 2010.

Philip, though I assume I'm preaching to the choir, there's a *lot* more added value to an integrated compilation. If you're going to mention a list of wines here that you all tasted, you should present a compilation of them with tasting notes. That doesn't mean no seperate posting to the wine databanks, which hold Snooth's wealth and coin, available for anyone to access at anytime. These are two fundamentally different things. An informative, useful, idea-generating, participation-promoting, audience-pleasing, discussion-generating forum on the one hand, and a massive bank of wine descriptions in standardized format, universally available for access from multiple platforms, on the other. If you're working for Snooth, wouldn't it be in Snooth's interest to post in both places (and I'm sure an understanding boss would want to support staff members in doing so... ;-) )? And once the review is written in one spot, how much trouble is it to cut and paste to the other (though depending on how they're executed, GretT's idea of hot links is intriguing).

Frankly, I almost certainly *will not* chase each bottle down on its own page. It's too inefficient, and time too valuable, unless they happen to be bottles I'm already chasing down. I *will* look at an integrated presentation here in the forum, though, and perhaps also discuss it with other viewers (and posters). Without the compilation, perhaps on another occasion when I'm looking for a particular bottle in the databanks I will encounter one or two of those you tried. But without an integrated writeup here I will likely end up missing several of the bottles, and the stories about them that might make me want to chase them down in the marketplace or otherwise arrange to try them.

One aspect of this discussion, obviously, is how you want to use this forum so as to be as effective, entertaining and inclusive as possible. And to exaggerate a bit to make my point more clearly, it's nice to know you all had some excellent-looking bottles and a pleasant time at the office, but where's the value for the readers?

Perhaps we've all been spoiled by Greg DP's excellent writeups of so many tastings in the past. But hey, once you've opened that door, it's hard to close it back up....

Reply by atonalprime, Feb 21, 2010.

Props to Greg DP for his Chardonnay review, and I loved the separate page of reviews:

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Feb 23, 2010.

DM -- If there were a comfortable way in the forum to write a wine review/tasting note, would you do it?

If there were a way to write a review other than in the forum, but not an individual wine page, would you use that? (I mean, a page where you could just write a review.)

Or are you mostly interested in seeing other's tasting notes in the forum?

Anyone else is welcome to weigh in on that too, I'm not singling out DM.

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Feb 23, 2010.

I also should add that a forum feature is coming very soon which may or may not have to do with Greg T's comment about forum text formatting.

Reply by dmcker, Feb 23, 2010.

Not sure what you're asking, Mark. I have written a number of reviews of wines and posted them in various threads.

Anyway, you don't seem to be talking about what I was, which is the value of a comparitive compilation all in one location.

Reply by dmcker, Feb 23, 2010.

And yes, I am interested in seeing people's reviews of wines they've tasted, here in the forum. Not one wine at a time, but compilations around special events like your dinner at the Snooth offices (or Greg's many other tastings) are very useful--even more so if we have the opportunity to see notes from more than one taster. There are so many wines out there that many of us won't encounter unless we go to the trouble to chase them down, and these compilations are the kind of thing that make me, at least, want to chase down a bottle or three in them that look(s) particularly appetizing.

Reply by GregT, Feb 23, 2010.

Mark, Phillip, et. al., it's a conversation worth having.

There are articles, and then there's commentary on those, and they are completely and utterly separate from the "regular" forum. Why? If they were on this forum, it might drive people to the articles and spark more discussion. Why write something if it's off the radar in a day, where on this forum someone asks a question like "what's a good wine to drink" and it's revived after years?

Second, if there are reviews, and if there were a link to the review that someone could click, that would again be useful to the person looking for the wine, the merchant(s) who have it, and the people who talk about it. Again, conversation about something sears it into the brain and may encourage a purchase here and there. In other words, it's symbiotic.

I think you work against yourself by having different fora. Personally, I just log on here. But I was looking at some of the articles the other day and in fact, there's some interesting stuff there. Why keep it in a separate area? I realize that the software isn't necessarily going to let everything link perfectly, but I think you are working against yourself by parsing the site too finely.

Reply by dmcker, Feb 24, 2010.

Philip and Mark, GregT has brought up something here that I've PM'd GregDP about on a couple of occasions.

I think you need to figure a way to bring the articles back into the forum in a way that allows ongoing discussion on their content. In effect you've gutted a lot of content that used to be in the forum, thus weakening the forum itself, yet also neutered that comment by isolating it in a space where no comment and discussion takes place after the first day or two subsequent to the article's posting. It's hard to know if people here in the forum are even aware of the articles, and vice versa for the people who view the articles (would be fun to have those special interest groups of people supporting Wilamette pinots or renewable fisheries here! ;-) -- I've made an effort to try to pull people posting article comments into the forum, but have only had a few successes, even if one or two like Dirk have been notable...). And I've already commented above on the limited value to just doing reviews on the wine pages and not making a full presentation in these forum threads.

You are, in effect, dividing and conquering yourself. Instead of splitting and dissipating, how about linking and catalyzing?

Reply by amour, Mar 2, 2010.

Some  interesting  points  here.

I  am  bringing the thread  forward  not

only  to  bring  it  to  the  attention  of

others, but moreover to stimulate real action, possibly.

Reply by UWSNapaLover, Mar 2, 2010.

wow, that all sounds good

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