Hey, remember a long, long time ago when I was shopping for wine magazines? I never got back to you on which I chose, but I did order some. I confess that I’ve gone really non-mainstream, so far… But the first one arrived! My first International Wine Cellar came in the mail today!
It’s so thick and weighty, with such impenetrable columns of small type and no pictures! Ful-O-Pep, certainly, but in a very serious, Oliver Wendell Holmes kind of way.
And it discusses the wines coming in my first shipment from my Xmas present this year: a Tablas Creek Wine Club membership! (Thank you Dr. Debs for the recommendation.) And the wines arrive on Friday! And Tanzer gave most of them 90+ point ratings! And the wines arrive on Friday!
I leave on a trip to Oregon on Sunday and I’ve been wondering what to read on the plane, or rather how many books and what types I should bring. Now I can bring a magazine, too! And I can make little notes in the margins like my mom used to do in her theological texts while in grad school! I’m in wine grad school!
Why Tanzer, you ask, and not Parker? Well, two reasons. First, I’ve received Parker’s zine before and I wanted to try something new. Second, I must confess that the stinkiness from the eBob board brouhahas wafting around the wine blogosphere lately has put a bit of a bad taste in my mouth about the Advocate. On top of that distastefulness surrounding the eBob board (and thus, name), I don’t get that “champion of the consumer” vibe from Mr. P any more; I’m feeling him much more as an institution and less as an industry outsider with some wine tips for little old me.
Also, I feel that Tanzer’s 90 point ratings are a little harder to come by, and he’s not AS seduced by the old fruit-bomb, high alcohol, high extraction style of wine that Mr. P prefers and lauds. Not that I’m adversely inclined toward a fruity-tuity-big-booty-patootie myself, but lately the booziness of a 16% bottle will get to me, and I’m really enjoying more balanced, structured juice these days. Really interesting interview with Stephen Tanzer over at Grape Radio, by the way. Check it out; I very much enjoyed it.
I’ve never regularly read Tanzer (he wasn’t very influential in my market when I was in the business), so I’m really looking forward to getting to know his work. The other magazine I’ve subscribed to is Restaurant Wine, which is another industry-focused publication. I’m thinking I’ll also pick up Wine Enthusiast or the Spectator, just to keep an eye on the more consumer-oriented print mags.
But away with these sober reflections and plans! I’m going to pour myself a glass of something and dig in to my new tome.
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You got Tablas Creek! You must have been VERY nice this year. It’s a great club, they treat you like royalty when you visit, and Tanzer is Da Bomb. I like his focus on international wines. He reviews wines nobody else does (except bloggers 🙂 )
Congrats on recent acquisitions. Now I also have to confess that I’ve been slack in my blog-reading, and just caught wind of the eBob messiness via your post. I have to admit after reading Lyle’s and Alice’s posts, I have had similar experiences on Chowhound…anybody else?
Good luck with the new reading. I’m heading to Portland sunday too ( visiting the parents) Tanzer looks like a great read. I had fun reading up on the ebob mess. whoah.. drama!
Enjoy the new wine mags! When I was selling wine for a wholesaler, in Mr. Parker’s home market, you better believe that I read the WA if for no other reason than to help move some cases and pay bills! So I can relate to that. These days, I will read what Schildnecht has to say because I like the way he decribes wines (and because he reviews wines that I like), but other than that, no WA. There is nothing more boring than reading tasting notes, oft repeated stories about wineries lowering yields, ‘improving’ their winemaking in other ways, etc. In format and concept, I think IWC is similar. Text, TN’s, 100 pt scale. So it doesn’t interest me either, though I respect it for not doling out the 90, and now 94+ pt ratings, Parker and Jay Miller style.
As a fellow blogger I’m biased, of course, but for me the blogs are where it’s at. This is where I have learned the most about wine this year. Let me re-phrase that. Second to tasting, blogs are where I have learned the most about wine this year. And it’s fun. Pics, in-depth travelogues, unfiltered, opinionated views, youtube clips, what’s their not to like? That being said, I hope you enjoy IWC and I would consider Wines & Spirits instead of Wine Enthusiast.