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11.12.2005

The Dangers of Buying Wine in Dallas

no_tonys.jpgI got angry when I read this story. Really angry. It's bad enough that owner Michel Monzain of Tony's Wine Warehouse in Dallas is fleecing customers by charging them outrageous prices for wines, sometimes two or three times the typical retail price elsewhere in the country, but the classes he holds to "educate his customers" are some of the most horrific sounding collections of misinformation and lies I've ever heard of.

From outrageous explanations of why French and American Oak aged wines taste different (French Oak barrels are made from trees that grow near mushrooms, while American Oak barrels are scorched on the inside), to ridiculous theories as to why some wines are better than others (the grape vines' roots go deeper), the "instructors" at this large retailer in Dallas spout such rot it's hard to believe it's possible.

It's hard enough to slowly educate the wine drinking public of America, and eliminate the stigma of wine being a complicated and high-class beverage without jerks running sham businesses like this one. I applaud the Dallas Observer for their expose. Take a read.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.