Thursday, June 7, 2012

What We're Reading

Compiled by the editors of HoseMaster of Wine

EATER: Talia Baiocchi takes another “hyperfresh” look at innovative wine lists around the country. With a writing style far more hyper than fresh, Talia includes the wine list at New York’s Kentucky Fried Foie Gras, where the sommelier was force-fed through a tube, and whose list is exclusively dessert wines and Beano-infused spirits. It’s worth a gander. As usual, Talia also interviews the most arrogant sommeliers she can find on topics of little interest to anyone.

SAVEUR: A fascinating article on the trendiest wine region invading restaurants, the Jura. Poised to replace the much-reviled Austrian wine Grüner Veltliner, the wines of the Jura are the current darling of sommeliers eager to impress their peers with their knowledge of obscure wines consumers have no desire to taste. The article gives a brief background of the region’s most important grape Savagnin, and explains why it is particularly suited to produce wines of such profound indifference. Written in the usual overblown prose that has made Saveur a must-read for those suffering from eating disorders.

STEVE HEIMOFF: Lots of interesting topics on Steve Heimoff’s eponymous blog this week. First, Steve mourns the passing of the Hospice du Rhone in a post entitled “I Interviewed Everyone of Any Importance in My Book, Now in Paperback.” An earlier post redefines great wine writing, tracing a line from Saintsbury (“I rated their 09 Pinot Noir 88 points) through Leon Ames (“loved him with Fess Parker in ‘Daniel Boone’”) and ending with Steve Heimoff in a post entitled, “I, Ames, to Please Buy My Classic Book, now in Paperback.” And you won’t want to miss Steve’s post in which he waxes philosophical, and Brazilian, about the importance of tight shorts in winemaking entitled,
“Winemakers Go Commando in My Newest Book, Now Available, And It’s Important.”

MUTINEER MAGAZINE: OK, no, you’re right, this is not What We’re Reading. It’s just Wine X written for smaller attention spans. What was I saying?

WINE SPECTATOR: A lively profile of Wine Spectator’s Man of the Year, Dr. Jay Miller. James Laube on the 2009 vintage remarks, “It falls somewhere between the 2008 and 2010 vintages, especially around December.” Matt Kramer on why he tastes wines when he already knows whether he likes them or not before he pulls the corks. And Tim Fish on features writing in, “Why Delving Beneath the Surface is Overrated.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Jay McInerney spends an evening talking wine and sex with Dr. Ruth Westheimer. As it turns out, he knows just as little about sex, and he vows to make Dr. Ruth his bride No. 5. He says her new wine is, “…just like her, simple and easy, something you take to bed with you when your self-awareness that you’re a fraud kicks in and you don’t want to be alone.” Ooooh, can that boy write. Also, Lettie Teague on some subject, I forget what it is, maybe wines some movie star drinks, I don’t know, I can never remember anything she says after she says it.

PALATE PRESS: In a world of wine blog flavors, Palate Press is vanilla. Here’s the kind of challenging reading usually only found wrapped around Bazooka gum. But make sure and read Meg Houston “We Have a Problem” Maker’s post on how writing about wine is a matter of words, most of them just there to up the word count. W. Blinky Gray on how he’s foreseen every trend in the wine business over the past ten years, yet still doesn’t get enough credit, though it may just be that everyone’s jealous, a post certain to attract the attention of the Wine Blog Awards since he nominated it. And, finally, a powerful post on the purpose of Palate Press entitled “Submit Samples.”

VORNOGRAPHY: Alderpated concludes his photographic essay series illustrating common aromas found in wines with his favorite, “Lots of Expensive New Oak.” He also tastes 14,000 wines from the 2009 vintage of Bordeaux while visiting there for a weekend. 12,368 rate “About 9.5 to 10.0.” On that basis, Yarrowminded rates the vintage “8.5 to 9.0” Also, don’t miss his opinion piece, “If I don’t taste it, it’s not there.” Is the same true if no one reads it?

SERMONTATION: Tom Wark on his acceptance speech for the Best Wine Blog Award 2012, and why Portland should be honored to be hosting the Wine Bloggers Conference (“Consider this: Those 500 Wine Bloggers have nearly the IQ of the Algonquin Round Table. Not the members of the Round Table, the actual table.”)


David Vergari said...

I roared at the comment comparing the Bloggers' collective IQ to the Algonquin Round Table! Who's your shrink?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey David,

My shrink? That would be like turning a garden hose on a New Mexico wildfire.

Marcia Macomber said...

"Profound indifference" - gotta luv it!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,

I actually like a bunch of wines from the Jura, but it seems that lately the region has been "discovered." However, I can't say I'm a big fan of Vin Jaune. In fact, I'm rather indifferent to it. Vin Jaune is to Sherry what Prosecco is to Champagne.

Man, I'm just full of stupid generalizations today. It's like I'm trying to win a Poodle.

Thomas said...

Aha! He admitted it.

Beau said...

"hyperfresh". What a stupid, stupid word. Well done sir, but what kind of list is this if 1WineDoody isn't on it?!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Yeah, that's me, clamoring for awards for this crap.


1WineDoody is in the What We're Skimming section.

Bill Klapp said...

I am just thankful that David Schildknecht does not know that this blog exists. Otherwise, it is likely that he would post 50,000 words rebutting the slights directed at Jura wines. Written in the style of Goethe. And in German. Or if not, it might as well have been...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Bill,

On the contrary, this blog is unaware that Schildknecht exists. I guess the Jura's still out on that.

Maybe I should do a Mickey Spillane parody of "I, the Jura."

Well, I've often been told, "Jura moron."

To which I respond, "Goethe hell."

Anonymous 3 said...

Yesterday he was guzzling Screaming Eagle. Today he's guzzling '60 Inglenook. what will Doody guzzle tomorrow? Perhaps a Splooge Estate Reserve?

Subhuman Ed said...

Fortunately, I can't read.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Anonymous 3,

The proper way to taste Splooge Estate Reserve isn't guzzling, it's gargling. He should be so lucky.

Subhuman Ed,

"Fortunately, I can't read" should be the tagline for your blog.

Mine should be, "Fortunately, I can't write."

Bill Klapp said...

"On the contrary, this blog is unaware that Schildknecht exists." Wow! Something that this blog and Parker apparently have in common these days!

Just so you will know, I was tempted by the "Jura", but out of deference to you (but I hasten to add, certainly not out of respect), I left it on the table. On Jura table.

Thomas said...

Jurall trying too hard.

Jurgen said...

Oh Hosemaster, why do you hate Gruener Veltliner so much?
Is it personal, because of the Austrians?
I quite like their wine.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Dear Jura-gen,

It's not so much that I HATE Gruner Veltliner. No, I HATE Prosecco. Gruner just fills a niche so much better filled by Riesling and Scheurebe and Visine.

And you just might be my first commenter from the Netherlands. I get a lot from Never Never Land. Thanks for chiming in! Let's make it a regular thing.

Dean Tudor said...

In spring 2010, i tasted some 100 Jura wines (all kinds) at a trade show. I lost my palate the next day -- yes, I could not taste any wines the way that I used to..Took me TWO months to recover.

In spring 2012, I again tasted some 100 Jura wines (all kinds) at a trade show. Again, I lost my palate the next day, and I could not regain it for at least two weeks.

I'm improving, but it was bizarre...both times.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Dean,

I'd actually be interested in tasting 100 Jura wines, though I lost my palate several years ago in a Winn-Dixie. I use a rental now. It's actually a James Suckling ripoff, which is redundant.

Thomas said...

I lost a pallet once, too. Cost me dearly.

Subhuman Ed said...

I still have a blog?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Subhuman Wino,

It's never been better!

Avvinare said...

You are truly funny, with or without a poodle. I am very glad that I found your blog. Looking forward to reading it assiduously.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Well, thank you! I put the "ass" in assiduously.

Don't just read, feel free to chime in. Poodles don't bite. Much.