Cork Dork

Once upon a time, wine was simple. Someone in the neighborhood grew grapes and someone in the family turned the grapes into wine and put it in barrels and traded it for other goods (or drank it themselves). Actually, nearly everyone grew grapes or knew someone who did, so wine was plentiful and cheap and[…]

You Don’t Know Me

There are, quite literally, hundreds of thousands of wines produced across the planet every year. Some small, really insignificant number of those are submitted to a panel of judges or a wine critic, who then offer opinions as to the quality of the wine, generally, as compared to other wines. There is no laboratory involved,[…]

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror Great wine is about nuance, surprise, subtlety, expression, qualities that keep you coming back for another taste.  Rejecting a wine a wine because it is not big enough is like rejecting a book because it is not long enough, or a piece of music because it is not loud enough. – Kermit Lynch,[…]

Self Taught?

I read an opinion piece this morning that was defending wine critics and writers by claiming that wine is too ‘mystical’ and ‘complex’ to be properly understood except by those that study and truly venerate wine. I couldn’t disagree with that contention more. Yes, wine is complicated, and the more one learns about wine, the[…]

Grilled

Ah, summer! Time for vacation! And whether you decamp for the beach or the lake or the mountains (or if you just stay at home) a common activity is grilling! And regardless of what (or where) you’re grilling, the wine to drink with grilled foods is Rioja. No question about it. Riojas work with burgers[…]

Sour Grapes

Today’s New York Times (online) featured an editorial by Eric Asimov, bashing wine ‘populists’ for bashing wine ‘experts’. Full disclosure: I seldom agree with Mr. Asimov, so no one really should be surprised to learn that I don’t entirely agree with him in this instance either. But rather than undertaking a point by point criticism,[…]

Viva La France!

Viva la France! It’s the eve of Bastille Day, the common name for the French holiday, la Fête Nationale, which is roughly equivalent to our Independence Day. And although one could criticize the actual significance of the storming of the Bastille (which was actually holding 7 prisoners at the time, none of notable political importance),[…]

Ode to Joy

I know that I complain too much about wine critics. Some would say that I’ve already lost the war; that the critics and the ‘point’ system are here to stay and anyway, why does it matter? The contention is that ‘scores’ are nothing more than shorthand to allow the consumer to understand quickly the opinion[…]