Wednesday, September 5, 2012
What We're Reading
Compiled by the editors of HoseMaster of Wine™
WINE SPECTATOR: Matt Kramer insightfully equates what he does for Wine Spectator with blogging in a column entitled, “Phoning It In.” “I, basically, rehash thoughts I’ve expressed over the years, make sure and format it for a lot of paragraphs to fill my allotted space, and, BANG, hit Publish. Only I get paid! And I have the next four years of columns already recycled. Truth be known, I invented blogging.” James Laube writes a touching confessional about his secret addiction to sulfites. “I knew I was in trouble,” he writes, “when I snorted them from Helen Turley’s navel.” Tim Fish ponders how twelve bottles became a case.
JAMIE GOODE: On being notified that his blog had won the essentially worthless Wine Blog Award for Best Overall Wine Blog, Jamie’s reaction is clear. “I’m not a bloody blogger.” Goode asserts that he is, in fact, an “authentic” wine blogger. “The only bloggers worth reading are authentic bloggers. Too many people waste their time on bloggers who are clearly manipulated and unnatural, and many of whom seem to be at the keyboard manipulating themselves.” Now there’s an idea.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: A fascinating article by Jay McInerney about the current fad among very wealthy people to compete for who has the biggest collection of fraudulent wines. “Ever since the Dr. Conti scandal revealed that many very wealthy collectors had cellars full of counterfeit bottles, there’s been a competition to see who has the most. You have to remember, these are people who celebrate hair plugs and fake tits.” At a recent vertical tasting of every vintage of Chateau Petrus at Warren Buffett’s house, McInerney tastes the “greatest wine of my life”—the ’47 Petrus, which turns out to be ’78 Silver Oak blended with Red Bull. “It embarrassed the ’37 La Landonne.” Lettie Teague waxes poetic about whole cluster press. “They published my first book.”
FERMENTATION: Tom Wark writes a long, improvised, vaguely factual post about what the wine industry needs to turn itself around in a sluggish economy. “1. Don’t look back, look forward. Or, at the very least, walk backwards and look over your shoulder. 2. Be a visionary. The greatest names in wine were visionaries You should be one. Where are the new visionaries coming from? I’d say the new visionaries are already here, but we can’t see them. Unless you focus just to the right of one and then you can see one, like he’s a star, or something dead on your windshield. 3. Mount a campaign against the Three Tier System and then sell wine by advertising on my blog. It’s only by implementing these three points that the wine business will recover.”
WINE ENTHUSIAST: Steve Heimoff has a long piece about “Where Winemakers Get Their Haircuts.” “At least in St. Helena,” he writes, “it’s all about Jim Barbour.” He also observes, “If you swept up all the clippings from a single month from the Sonoma barbers most often patronized by our finest winemakers, why, you could have a shirt just like the one I’m wearing now.” Paul Gregutt interviews Washington winemakers about the latest craze—winery ferrets. One winemaker remarks, “They’re small and furry, like Jon Bonné.” Paul wanders out of his territory to visit the furry critter at Buehler Vineyards in Napa Valley, only, as it turns out, it’s Buehler’s Ferret’s Day Off. Roger Voss travels to the Jura and forgets why he went there.
ON THE WINE TRAIL IN ITALY: Alfonso Cevola chides young sommeliers who “only buy wines that will sell, a shortsighted strategy that foolishly leaves out most of my portfolio.” He remembers a time, early in his career, when he was asked if he wanted Vietti. “Only alla Bolognese,” he responds. And somehow Dante is involved, it’s pretty hard to figure out how.
BON APPETIT: The annual Thanksgiving issue focuses on the wines of Turkey. “What could be more engaging than serving a bottle of vintage Öküzgözü? Though, in a pinch, you could substitute Robitussin. We’re pretty sure the Pilgrims drank Musket-det.” Also, a stunning seven-page pictorial on how to open a wine bottle with simple household objects—a plunger, a spatula or your grandparent with dementia. Finally, a Q and A with Angela Lansbury, as hip as Bon Appetit gets, on how to win a Tony award pissed on Cribari.
CONNOISSEURS’ GUIDE: Charlie Olken writes about how much he likes Steve Heimoff’s new winemaker hair shirt. “Do they make one where the sleeves have Puffs?” Stephen Eliot explains blind tasting and why they use Connoisseurs’ Guide Dogs.