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02.22.2006

Vinography in The LA Times

I was as surprised as some of my readers (thanks, Hector, for the tipoff) to discover that Vinography was featured today as part of an LA times article surveying the best wine sites on the Internet. Vinography, Joe Dressner's blog, and Red Wine Haiku are all highlighted in the blog category along with other wine sites and bulletin boards.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"As you delve into wine blogs through a clearinghouse website such as wineblogwatch.arrr.net, what will amaze you is the variety, intensity and occasionally the hilarity of wine-world views on display. The ones I like to read are more curious about wine than opinionated, more about wonder than authority.

Vinography.com, by San Franciscan Alder Yarrow, has spirited opinions on everything from corkage to screw caps. Yarrow is exactly the kind of blogger who would write an opus on your coveted Barbera — witness his recent tasting note on a wine from Rhône producer Auguste Clape, a 1,000-word entry at once preposterously overlong and completely absorbing."

I love the fact that the author, Patrick Comisky, took the time to call out Vinography (and other great sites) as a favorite source, but I can't help but bristle a little bit at the backhanded compliment. The fact that Comisky calls my 902 word (ahem) review of the Clape Blanc a "tasting note" makes it clear, regardless of his absorption, just how much he (and I'm sure some other readers) misses the point of what I'm trying to do. My reviews are so very much NOT tasting notes in any way, shape, or form. You want pithy, purple, 25 word tasting notes? Go see Jancis! I'm about telling stories. Vinography is the campfire story time version of wine reviews; the leisurely chat with a friend in a sunny drawing room; the stroll down the garden path; the PBS miniseries; the not-reducing-the-complex-world-to-fifteen-adjectives way of talking about wine.

Perhaps that is preposterous, but only because so many wine reviews are the dull, barely informative tasting notes that fill so many other outlets for wine information. Somehow the world has gotten used to that being the only way wine is reviewed.

Well I say: NO LONGER! Down with the short tasting note! Up with the stories inside wine!

Stepping down off my soap box now. Quietly.

Go read the article -- there are lots of good sites featured in it.

Also, if the site makes you register to view the story, and you'd like to avoid LA Times spam, this site may be useful to you.

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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.