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With the arrival of The Wine Spectator’s 25th Anniversary issue, I realized that I had not read a single issue since the September 15th issue.  Shocking that it may be to many of the Winos that follow our site, this was a tragedy.  The voluminous data contained in the average Wine Spectator cannot be digested on a single night.  Normally, I throw a few in the traveling bag or briefcase and read them while seated in First Class 35,000 feet above America.  However, I realized that since September 11, I haven’t flown first class.  My miles are on United, but I’m flying Southwest.  No one on Southwest reads Wine Spectator.  However, their flights are on time and they have not cut back on flights since September 11.  So, in order to clean out the office in time for the family Thanksgiving wine fest, I found a bottle of 1996 Heitz Chardonnay and settled down for a long Fall night.

Great Getaways – September 30, 2001 issue

The Wine Spectator profiles 15 U.S. resorts that share a passion for food and wine.  I consider myself fortunate to have been to five of the 15.  Two of those, The Inn at Little Washington (Washington, VA) and the Inn of the Anasazi (Santa Fe, NM –, are in our restaurant profile on Wino Stuff (thanks to the fact that my brother in law publishes my occasional reviews).  The others are:

Auberge de Soleil – Napa, CA (one of my five) – 707-963-1211 –

Highlands Inn – Carmel, CA (one of my five) – 831-620-1234 –

            Bernardus Lodge – Carmel, CA – 831-659-3131 –

Emerson Inn and Spa – Mount Tremper, NY – 845-688-7900 –

The Inn at Saw Mill Farm – West Dover, VT – 800-493-1133 –

The Lodge at Pebble Beach – Pebble Beach, CA (one of my five) – 831-624-3811 –

Meadowood Napa Valley – St. Helena, CA – 707-963-3646 –

            The Point – Saranac Lake, NY – 800-255-3530 –

            Post Ranch Inn – Big Sur, CA – 831-667-2200 –

Salish Lodge and Spa – Snoqualmie, WA – 425-888-2556 –

            Stein Eriksen Lodge – Park City, UT – 435-649-3700 –

            Twin Farms – Barnard, VT – 800-894-6327 –

            The Wauwinet – Nantucket, MA – 508-228-0145 –

I’m not going to steal the Wine Spectator’s thunder, they did all the work after all.  However, there are some interesting points to be made here.  All of these places have excellent wine lists (duh, they’re Grand Award winners).  The service at the five I’ve been fortunate to visit is WORLD CLASS (take your spouse to a place like The Inn at Little Washington or, if they’re a golfer, The Lodge at Pebble Beach and you’ll like the result).  If you’re fortunate enough to have the time to schedule a golf trip to the Monterey Peninsula, you could play golf at some of the finest courses in the world by day and dine at some of the finest restaurants at night.  Tee times are reduced for guests at The Lodge.

Overlooked Treasures – October 15, 2001 Issue

Overlooked Treasures is the Wine Spectators’ fancy way of profiling inexpensive wines.  They profile six categories, Beaujolais, Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Kabinett, Muscadet, and California Sauvignon Blanc, where low-priced bargains are available.  Of these categories, I concur with them on the Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.  I don’t really care for much in the other five categories.  However, that’s only my opinion and taste and is not based on fact (unless it’s stated as such by Wino John).

California’ Greatest Cabernet – October 31, 2001 Issue

If you read enough about the California wine industry, practically everyone with an opinion states that the first world class wine from California was Inglenook Napa Valley from 1933 to 1964.  John Daniel, the family scion during this period, sold Inglenook in 1964 to United Vintners who later merged with Heublein.  Many baby boomers are unaware that the Inglenook jug wine of the 1970’s cannot hold a candle to the classic Inglenooks created by Daniel.  The article is worth reading providing much fodder for the next conversation you have with a Wino Bob wannabe at a Bacchus-type bar.

This issue also profiles 475 California Cabernets.

Special 25th Anniversary Issue – November 15, 2001

This one should still be on the stands by the time you read this (unless Wino John slacks off).  Buy it!!!! There are a ton of ads promoting products that only true Winos buy (like Porsche’s and BMW’s, right Wino Bob?).  However, the issue looks at the last 25 years of developments in the world of wine, the history of Wine Spectator, creates a Hall of Fame for the most significant contributors to wine’s development in the past 25 years, and discusses the marriage of technology and winemaking.  Many of the 54 individuals honored would be recognized by an avid reader.  My only disappointment was that Robert Parker, the noted critic, was not named.  However, he has taken the position that the Wine Spectator is biased in its reviews due to the substantial advertising it accepts.  At least the magazine didn’t name its publisher, Marvin Shankin.  Marvin was a guest log visitor to winostuff in our early days. 

Hope this catches everyone up.  Have a great Thanksgiving and buy a bottle of Valley of the Moon Zinfandel to go with your turkey.  You won’t regret it.

Wino Wally

November 20, 2001

Editor's note:  Slacking off?  Do you think these updates post themselves?  Just deciphering the drunken ramblings of one member of this team is  a full time job.   Slacking off...  that's it!  No soup for you!! 



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