SCANNING THE NEWS (or Two Months of Wine Rags
I skim the articles in Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast
magazines and place the magazines in a spot where I can read them at my
pleasure. Many times, the
best place to read them is on an airplane.
While I can say that I flew over 16,000 miles in the past two
months, I didn’t get much time to catch up due to circumstances beyond
my control. Here’s my
synopsis of what seemed interesting.
(Wine Spectator) May 31 issue profiled 210 wines listed as a great value
(all chosen were under $40. Gang,
I have had it with these types of articles.
There are probably 50,000 wines in the world that sell for under
$40. To think that the
Spec’s staff perused all of the inventory and gave you a list of the
“best of the best” is wrong. Get
the list, see if you can find any available in your neck of the woods, and
tell me how they tasted compared to the stuff you normally buy (and I’m
assuming that most of our faithful readers buy stuff for under $40 per
bottle/box). I did find the
writeups of the major wine regions in the world informative and filed away
the vineyards cited in those writeups.
And, as with all ratings issues in the Spec, you get a handy tear
out for shopping purposes (use that for the shopping trip I recommended
also wrote an interesting article on California Sauvignon Blanc.
They called it the perfect summer wine.
As some of you know, Wino Bob and I are having a summer white wine
taste off. We haven’t
conducted it yet, but I promise it will happen shortly.
I didn’t select a single Sauvignon Blanc.
It wasn’t due to my hatred of SB’s, but rather because I have
become a big Chardonnay fan. However,
an article I read in the Baltimore Sun reminded me that most of us
were introduced to wines through sweeter grapes than the overpowering
Chards. Recently, our guest
log featured a question from Laura from Michigan who was searching for the
sugar content on a box of Franzia, the best selling wine in the United
States. Laura (and others),
read this article if you’d like to start drinking some sweeter wines
(that come in bottles) that might help you become acquainted with the
wider variety of white wines (and possibly reds).
an amusing article on burgers in the May 31 Spec.
This two pager talks about the best ways to make a burger, starting
with the selection of meat. The
author concludes with a brief discussion about wines that go with burgers.
While the author states that beer is his first choice (and a nice
McHenry or Clipper City from Baltimore would go best), he likes Rhones,
Zinfandels, Petite Sirahs, Beaujolais crus, and Argentinean Malbecs.
Malcolm Forbes like Chateau Margaux (and I know that’s what Wino
John sucks down with his burgers).
15 Wine Spectator profiles San Francisco.
Find this issue and save it if you’re headed out there anytime
soon. If you’re not headed
to SF, find the issue and book a trip using your frequent flyers or cheap
fares. San Francisco and New
York are two of my favorite cities to visit and this issue provides a
guide (well dog-eared in the case of mine).
There are also quickie references to one day wine trips to Napa,
Sonoma, and Santa Cruz (my recommendation, go for three or four days to
wine country and do it right).
vintage wasn’t great for California’s Zinfandel and the June 15th
Spec provides an article listing the best vintages of that group and what
to look forward to or look out for. Unpredictable
is probably a kind word in this article.
issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine is a little sparse, content-wise
(WEB opinion, the issue did have articles other than the ones I mention; I
just wasn’t interested). I was pleased with the article about the Robert Mondavi
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon vertical tasting.
Mondavi was one of the major reasons for the explosion of quality
wines from California and his Reserve Cabs were the start of higher
quality wines on a major scale (Wino John:
I think I still have a bottle of the ’85 in my cellar and the
article says to drink it now). “Adventures
in California Wine Country” is an interesting article, perhaps more
slanted to someone who becomes bored after a day of touring wineries.
Spectator’s June 30th issue profiles several major regions:
Burgundy, Alsace, and Tuscany. Tear
out the buying guide and skip the reading if you’re short on time.
The Brunellos from Tuscany are high on my shopping list this week.
There’s also an article on Edinburgh, Scotland for the
The July Wine
Enthusiast picks up in content over its June issue.
A Sonoma sojourn is a great article on a four day trip through
Sonoma County, one of my favorite places to visit.
File this article for reference if you’re headed out anytime
soon. Another article worth
clipping is titled “Beyond White Wine with Fish”.
I was looking for Wino Bob’s byline, but couldn’t find it.
I plan on buying a few of the recommendations for my next fish
July 31st issue takes us to tasting articles on California
Chardonnay and Bordeaux. Clip
the buying guide and get out there now before this issue becomes
dog-eared. There’s an
interesting article on seven pioneering California winemakers, but if you
don’t need the fodder for B.S. around a wine tasting, bag it.
A review of Boston area restaurants caps this issue, but since I am
not headed that far north anytime soon, I can’t tell you whether the
selections are good or not (how about it, Boston area winos?).
all for now. I’ll update
you in another couple of months or so.
July 14, 2002