Food – General

How About “Valid” Flow of Information for a bona fide Food, Wine and Hospitality “Industry” in North America in 2014?


And Wednesday is here. My days are no longer days or nights. It is dark now and I have been up for several hours, commuted over 30 miles and early for work. I crashed here where I can type a note quickly. Since my new routine allows me to do more than I did which is more than what an average person does, I now have more time to dig into wine. And? I was riding the train and since I am very used to following technology news, I not only have blogs of value that are well-established and efficient hence easy to follow and be informed but also I can use more novel means of acquiring information such as video and audio. I have a Youtube account dedicated to such technology broadcasts which are also part marketing by established news agencies BUT do provide accurate and timely information. I was curious today and tried to add wine into this Youtube just to see the effects. Nothing. The Sommelier affiliations I have? Major wine publications? They barely led anywhere. Even local popular magazines which can have timely info barely have any leads. What does all this mean? They are so primitive or backward?

I like to think they refuse to divulge information unless is being sold. Marketing is a low priority. Local news of value to the wine trade is available in the resources that sell them! The same can be said of others. This is not an article about criticizing such venues but to ask where is one to receive information of value besides Decanter emails? I like to think we are so advanced in 2014 that I can dedicate one of my tablets to technology activities AND acquire a second tablet which may be used daily once or two or three times weekly for the purposes of gathering all incoming leads, news and so on BUT do these sources exist? If I were to take a simple step of acquiring a tablet and installing a RSS reader would I be able to receive whole and valuable (garbage is endless in this business) industry and trade information by adding say 8 to 12 blogs? Logically, I should be able to click my RSS Reader app icon daily as I have done for technology forever on my tablet and flip through the articles of recent that have value and bother to stop and read as much of what gets my attention before moving on! Shouldn’t I? I don’t think so. I think one reason is those who gather and provide news and information as third party are interested in “selling” them and have no interest in “informing” the trade or individuals in trade. I also think the organizations and institutions which are in the relevant businesses are only fronts for powerful people and money in the business until go out of business hence information is not their business nor is “industry.” I like to think that it is a responsibility of major publications to have at least one solid blog that pushes the most needed news AND skips the masses of garbage (that probably are created by them also) from this flow. I also think the bodies that operate in the field “assuming” an industry exists in some form beyond the facade and the businesses pretending ought to have some way of timely publishing their angle of the top or valuable news. Court of Master Sommelier? Wine and Spirit Trust? That is a random throw of the many bodies in business. If there is an industry also in existence there has to be a routine publication including “industry” needed information and news. Decanter is not IT. An entire industry cannot be run by tidbits thrown at us by one magazine. I like to think it is a duty in 2014 for those organizations and institutions which get so much out of this business to run a daily “original” blog of news and information no matter how brief or infrequent as long as is informative and valuable so if there is an “industry” out there and individuals whom are not wrongfully an “industry” structure is in place, what is worth knowing will be available. Two conditions must be met in this pursuit. If information is to be sold which may be necessary, a free version MUST exist or this is not beneficial for an industry and benefits the buyers and sellers only. Secondly, the format is very important or these contents are worthless. Many blogs, publications and sources provide the information but the format and the packaging of information together with all the garbage included in this flow of information make it impossible to make any use of the info. In a way, it would be disturbing to have a solid, clear and collective flow of valuable, accurate and mildly biased information and news of the industry in one place as say a RSS Reader. One step further would be video clips when worthy hence enhancing the value.

There are those who argue no “industry” exists and a bunch of traders with the most money hold everyone from employees to public hostage by their activities and provide “fake” versions of what may be needed from products, organizations, marketing to what you may name so it appears this Special Interest is really a solid, organized and healthy industry of many trained and qualified men, women and organizations doing what a healthy industry does. I agree and disagree but probably is the best description of Food, Wine and Hospitality in United States during the first two decades of 21st century. How about violating this standard? There are enough independent organizations and bodies and persons whom can initiate or clean up what is already available hence making the flow of information practical and useful and we have a new level of organization for what we have in place. It may be a fake “industry” and a solid coalition of businesses with no interest in an “industry” but in financial transactions short and long terms but we can operate another level on top of this by having many “valid” flows of information for the sake of information. An “industry” man or woman would be able to participate and be in tune with the “industry” that fights to exist beyond the controls of “profiteers” and we would in time have some level of organization that functions for more objectives than money changing hands or bank accounts. I think a multi-billion dollar industry needs such a basic level of activities to be flexible through times. People who are on the same page of what is going on in the industry form a group that has effect on the industry. Today, this is only insider experts or those who can “buy” information. A system of “valid” and “current” resources of flowing information would put the majority or large portions of those in the “industry” that is suppressed on the same page hence they have more effect and hopefully the common cause of a healthy “industry” will stand better chance of success against its own troubles.

How about that?

22 Jan 2014 7:30 am Downtown San Francisco, California

How Shall We Write So We Are Professional Sommelier Writers?


What is the solution? I like my material to be presentation quality which is easy. I just have to proofread before publishing and minor changes. The trouble is I have so little time. I have too little time. I can barely type up something of value while I eat breakfast or ride the train and proofreading delays the entire process to indefinite. I have always agreed with the feedback that I am a “vicious writer” and try to avoid that. A vicious writer knows too much about audience and how people read, think and follow thought. He can write so knocks the reader off one’s seat everytime. All it takes is reading first draft slowly and fixing a little so there are no breaks in the vicious line of thought. Sometimes leaving draft for later makes for a better entire rewrite that is vicious rather than ambiguous. And what is the benefit of writing for audience whom need to try extremely hard to come up with something that creates an exchange? Writing at the level of the reader achieves such an exchange and that is best achieved by first drafts in my case. They are more humane! And now once again I have another objective. My blogs also represent professional level work. After a week I finally was able to grasp the idea presented by Wine Advice that some sommeliers write and achieve professional contribution rather than traditional duties of the trade! And it was added to that later how about doing more of that while doing the traditional stuff? How do I do that? Same way I did my photography. A Flickr handpick of under 200 from some 3000 uploaded says more about my signature style than all the blog posts I wrote on photography. I think I do what I did with an older blog. I write and post what I write but change some posts to private later. In time, what is left are posts that meet selection criteria. I won’t censor old posts beyond what is now. In time, I hope my wine writing parallel my photography in saying a great deal about us and our philosophy rather than a river of blog posts that may have good content but…. We see if this works. 4 Jan 2014 9:06 am Lake Merritt, California

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January 1st 2014


I am going to concentrate on a backward approach. Wine Advice (that means the person who advised me and talks to others who discuss blah blah) says I write plenty to get back in. They do have a valid point. I learned about wine through specific wine bottles then ended up in studies which are hard and general in nature. The next step is same again and I need to make friends with many wine bottles to cover the whole spectrum. That is a difficult approach but necessary and what is meant by wine writing first. Wine experts are now identified differently. As one progresses through this field one comes across many. They all speak the same language and more or less same things but careful systems make us deal with them properly. It is like living in a community. We come across many people and all of them pass as “people” but we know by cultural learning who is who and what is what. We avoid. We approach and so on. Culture teaches us how to choose. Wine people are similar. Everyone talks of wine and has their angle on wine. Most need to be banned from discussing wine. Culture teaches us that. Dealing with them leads to losses. Many sell wine. Many write on wine. Most drink or serve wine. They need care in handling. Their angles on wine and industry are very incomplete if not destructive. Avoiding them is the rule. A few and a very few of those few know what they talk about. They naturally avoid you and all the rest. That is not a bad thing. The time has come once again to go through the field and one comes across so many “people” who are known collectively as “wine people” and most have this introductory line of “I have been in wine business for X number of years and….” and “I have been in restaurant business for X number of years and ….” These are the people to avoid the most. They think they are authorities. They have the worst and most biased and possibly most erroneous ideas of the field and don’t you dare have an alternate view as they told X number of years right in their opinions. We need avoid them. And personally, I have to deal with another group in my quest. The so-called knowledge people who have some education or a lot, have some name or drag a celebrity of the field as being part in their work and are equally a problem. The higher folks have a good name for them. They are called “professional wine drinkers.” These folks have had enough background to be in the field at a higher than casual or tenure point and cannot be pushed off their step but their primary knowledge and ability lies in “drinking” a lot of wines and throwing labels, names, vintages, tastes and stories out at audience as their “knowledge” you cannot argue with unless you also drink their same and then can battle them. It sounds like there are not many left in the field. I guess that is why most “wine people” fit the nickname “doushbags” so aptly. We don’t have an industry in spite of what we are told. I have told people and I have been told by higher folks what the hell I am talking about. Experience will prove they are right. Food, wine, liquor, hospitality and the rest at least on the West Coast are just businesses. They market themselves and persons as many things but all in all are just that. They don’t have a deeper foundation of common principles and organization making them an industry. That means some level of regulation which fights easy dollars and let’s face it at least the restaurant part of this great “industry” (don’t forget great! That is a needed adjective in wine and food writing or upset some) many illegal activities are housed inside “restaurant biz” fronts and the existence of an industry structure would create serious conflicts with their “business” activities hence we promote “industry” but lack one. That is still the state of a lot of things on the West Coast. Who cares? We do so we avoid them. We need to look for and spend time with “good” parts of the food, wine, liquor and hospitality industry. That does not mean promoting them blindly but there are many “good” and “notable” things out there. The bads outnumber the “goods” by too many hence waste of time unless we are criminologists. The future needs more of “good” of this whatever we call “the industry.” Let’s stick to that in our path of visits, exploration and findings. 1 Jan 2013 12:05 pm San Leandro, California

Resurrected Finally…..


It is 2014 and Wine by Cush is definitely resurrected. It was not dead but was returned from being under lock and key of passworded blogs that get filed just in case. The trouble that followed was how hard it is for one to write stuff and post while on the move most of the time. Months passed until I tried one day and what do you know Windows Mobile WordPress App does allow multiple log ins. That was a victory for wine writing right there! A non-diluted app unlike Android and think iOS (was so long ago) enabled me to dump content in here as I pleased. I regret my most recent posts express the lack of appreciation by professional writers or artists in general with editors or censors in general. They are not the enemy but get on your nerves hence if somebody shoots one of them, it may be much less of a loss than generally believed. That is a joke and I am glad we are all on good terms. I shall have editors and am sure in exchange for not paying my editor or editors they will run a tight and rigid blog that will be hard to breath in for any non-paying and rebellious writer. The result may be good. Content that has value but lacks deliberate typos and insistence on insulting the reader. That is the state of this blog. Editor or not, it will keep publishing and publishing in 2014 or as long as Windows Mobile shall live on. I will be very busy but between here and my My Week in Wine blog I shall do my damage and will be praised as done contributing to the industry! This is a tough year. I have to blog write on wine which requires physical events. That means I have to be places which is not my favorite thing to do. Writing is the less troublesome part. I have a full proof system to avoid a few things not appreciated hence making the prediction “You will make many enemies this year” not come true. I don’t have bad things to say or I mix them up real good with other stuff and good luck getting me on them. I deny I did it and you get it. I shall mark good not bad. Too many bads out there and San Francisco Chronicle writers will whitewash them or be on the run for pointing them out. Independent writers need not worry about anything but good. I read 13% into a generic wine book and feel like vomiting already. I cannot read any more. This happens everytime and the trouble is I know these contents so well I want to cry and say SO WHAT? I know all this shit and why do I have to hear it again and again. Wine writing seems to be stuck in a foundation loop majority can never rise above. Same stupid questions and same stupid answers and they call it wine writing. I cannot do that. I have a huge load of writing ahead and after hearing the command to blah blah write first blah blah kick everyones ass blah blah then wine business again I felt like I am in graduate school. Comprehensive and fair writing to cover enough of an industry to actually matter is a lot of activity and writing. One cannot get anything valuable out of incidental writing done to record events and experiences in time and space unless rarely or if a huge quantity is made available. I am called to do that. So be it. I am confused and lost and can care less. That is 2014 for now. I rip anything wine related apart limb by limb and detail the events in writing making the folks at top of wine education field very happy while a new format of writing will shield me from accusation that I have said bad things about somebody or somebody’s wine! Uncle Cush does not do that. We tried to return to wine business and sort of worked out. Wine industry cares little for another employee even us. They have business standards. Wine power folk are not that easy. I have been gone for a while when they had to hold fort against doushbags that roam and rob and destroy as industry folk. They demand I match their workload likewise before we are all on good terms and everyone say them, them and oh there is that asshole Cush again and he is one of them for sure. I shall write again. Everyone better be nice to me or my editor may be in danger. You just behave out there so nothing bad happens. 1 January 2013 11:34 am San Leandro, California

Tuesday the 31st


Happy New Year! I should call my readers idiots or morons as I do in my other blogs but I am a professional wine person so I CAN be polite. Just don’t forget the CAN part. It can change. I am upset. Everything is fine but I am getting pushed. My ostracized art adviser says I should begin by Googling finding an editor. I did. It was too easy. As Monk put it in Barton Fink restaurant scene all Fink had to do was throw a rock in the room and would hit another writer to help him with his problem. Apparently editors are in large supply and I even found out why! Half upfront and half after? Are they talking about money? I can get any question I have answered by the top of the top people in any industry locally and turn around and insult them in writing the next day AND they still insist to answer future questions! Pay? Uncle Cush does not like that! In better or worse feedback I am told to find a school teacher to correct my typos and grammar before posting AND they tell me the life of the teacher is not in danger regardless what I write about wine business. “Who would target a school teacher for correcting my grammar?” I get a lot of help. I ask Department of State to find me an editor and if gets hit will be remembered as lost in action while serving the country! They really like to help. I will find a brave soul to edit my wine blog and threats are real hence editorial help is a must. Some of us have all kinds of protection but is not fair to the injured party to have such a hard time getting back for their loss so editorial help is recruited. They fear nothing. Humble writers eat and drink and write obscene criticisms. That is not a balanced equation. When the editor goes down it becomes fair and square. I am just kidding but I am famous. I need a strong editor who can handle a famous person. 31 Dec 2013 5:09 pm Hayward, California

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Important Bulletin


This hereby notifies all persons reading this notice the package of Burrito in purple is suspected of containing some manner of truth chemicals possibly loaded by Federal Government of United States. The side effects are average 30 minutes of involuntary truth telling to any audience available! You are hereby advised to take preventive measures against potential damage to your life, career and relationships. The other two packets taste good. Be careful after microwaving you may burn your tongue once in a while. These packages are experimental samples of breakfast for all survivors of current government in a post-liberal America. You will have to eat them to stay employed or alive in this country. The next government will not tolerate non-burrito eating population and takes serious measures. Feed the purple to whom you don’t like and ruin their lives some bad person may say and it is not me but seriously you could do it! Right? Hint. Hint. Bunaprti. Nice spelling! 28 Dec 20137:24 pm Hayward, California

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I Thought Pizza Turns Round Easy (Mentioned)


I had plans to try and make pizza at home but did it by accident today. My memory served me well that I could buy the premade pizza dough balls at the grocery store but since nothing showed online I postponed that. I did find by accident packages that did the job. The only problem is when I visited Kmart they could not be found contrary to the online quantities. I did find another package by accident and gave it a try! The photos of kids playing with the pizza (on the box) made sense when I was to spread the dough. I made no effort to round it up because original pizza is cooked and cut into rectangular. This was close enough but I know what they meant. There is no way to get this pizza right which means it will be made my way regardless. I added cheese and made one with cooked chicken. I will do it again but differently.

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