Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The "Smackdown" Cometh

It's a slang term-staple at Kid Rock concerts, on Kid Rock albums, at Kid Rock cover-band shows, and probably anywhere Kid Rock fans flock (including Kid Rock concerts, Kid Rock cover-band shows, crystal meth dens, WWE Summer Slam- especially if Kid Rock is presiding, Departments of Family and Childrens' Services, Univerity of Florida tailgate parties, episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras, and Burger King).

Rarely, if ever, is the term "smackdown" nestled into the haughty company of fine wine.

But, when the competitive spirit of the human animal is interwoven with a subject-matter of great debate, we droop- like Ric Flair's aging man breasts- to the basest of lows (especially men). We boil it down to "we're better than you", whether it be sports, politics, or... Pinot Noir.

This red grape, often praised for its uncanny ability to express the place from whence it came, really only thrives in some distinct pockets of the world. However, due to it's ability- when shepherded properly from vine to glass- to create complex, elegant, even haunting wines; wines that perform as perfectly by themselves as they do with meals, these specific growing areas are limited, but prolific. The extraordinary demand requires availability.

Outstanding examples of Pinot Noir-based wines are found in Burgundy (France), Oregon, California, Canada, New York, Washington State, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Argentina, and Chile (and probably somewhere I missed). So many great Pinots out there... and so many opinions on which are the best.

Naturally, we need to fight about this. To quench our primal urge for combat, the Pinot Smackdown was created. However, despite rampant jibs and jabs, the Smackdown is more-closely akin to professional wrestling: fake competition in the spirit of entertainment for all. Ultimately, if the whole world is united with a glass of Pinot Noir on Thursday, August 18th (via the Twitter community), then there are no losers...

...except those who don't participate. So, if you do have a glass of Pinot Noir in your hand on Thursday, and you like to make magic on the Twitters, just join in the conversation:

1) Get some Pinot Noir. Drink it with friends. Drink it with Ric Flair. He might put you in a figure four leg-lock and steal your wine. Which sucks. You'll need some to dull the indescribable pain.

2) Use a site like, or free software such as Tweetdeck or Seesmic to create a flow of tweets containing the hashtag "#pinotsmackdown". You can see the conversation from around the world.

3) Tweet, if you wish. If you do, make sure to tag your tweet with #pinotsmackdown. Furthermore, if you're drinking a wine from a certain region, throw an additional hashtag in for the region! We've simplified things this year, so make sure you keep it at a high level, in order for the number of referenced tweets to be collected (for example, don't tweet "I like this Sólena Pinot from Willamette Valley... #pinotsmackdown #WV". Say, "I like this Sólena Pinot from Willamette Valley... #pinotsmackdown #OR"). Keep it simple, and unify for your favorite region.

4) Go crazy with it! You can "vote" as often as you want with tweets, and for as many regions as you please (fake wrestling, remember? Very few rules). You can see the details HERE, or I'll just break down all the qualifying regions for you now, because I think you're attractive:

#OR - Oregon
#CA - California
#WA - Washington
#NY - New York
#46 - U.S. The "Other 46," outside of the Big Four
#FR - France
#IT - Italy
#DE - Germany (Deutschland)
#EU - Europe, beyond France, Germany, Italy
#CN - Canada
#NZ - New Zealand
#CH - Chile
#AR - Argentina
#AU - Australia
#SA - South Africa
#WD - World, as in none previously listed

5) Most importanly, enjoy the wine. That's really why were all here. It's a very elaborate excuse.

And seriously, Flair. I learned a long time ago, at my tender age, to keep my shirt on. Time for you to do the same. Them's some flapjacks, brother.

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