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Alder's American Wines of the Year

2012_notebook.jpgOne of my embarrassing personal secrets has always been that I have a lousy memory for what I drink. People often ask me, have you had this or that wine, and quite often my answer involves fumbling for my mobile phone in an attempt to search my own website to answer the question. Half the reason I have my blog in the first place derives from my desire to perform just such an operation, since paging through several years' worth of Moleskine notebooks hardly provides a practical way to answer such a query. I write things down, or more often, type them, because my brain isn't particularly good at holding on to them.

In contemplating this column to conclude the year with the best American wines that passed my lips, please imagine me, arms behind my head, reclined on a comfortable chair in front of the fire, lost in the reverie of the many flavours of 2012. Such a scene better captures the emotional intent of this column, even if it diverges wildly from the boring reality of creating pivot tables in Excel capable of telling me the American wines to which I gave the highest scores in the past 12 months.

Continue reading this article on JancisRobinson.Com.

This article is my monthly column at JancisRobinson.Com, Alder on America, and is available only to subscribers of her web site. If you're not familiar with the site, I urge you to give it a try. It's only £6.99 a month or £69 per year ($11/mo or $109 a year for you Americans) and well worth the cost, especially considering you basically get free, searchable access to the Oxford Companion to Wine ($65) and the World Atlas of Wine ($50) as part of the subscription costs. Click here to sign up.

Comments (4)

Alder wrote:
12.19.12 at 3:28 PM

I'm sure this post will be more of an annoyance to my normal readers than normal. I apologize, and offer to explain myself thusly:

I don't believe in the "best of," "top 100," etc. kinds of lists that are so prevalent this time of year. I think they're a bit trite and reductionist.

So why did I write one? Because I'm writing it for a primarily European audience (of Jancis' web site) that has much less familiarity with American wine than my normal readers. It serves a much more educational purpose than it would for my normal audience.

Of course, it doesn't escape me that ironically my U.S. audience might want such a list more than the average Purple Pager. To those who are pissed because they want to read this article and don't want to subscribe to Jancis just to do so, I apologize (though do heartily suggest you subscribe, as it's worth it). Back to regular (free) programming, immediately.

Happy holidays,


12.21.12 at 1:01 PM

I can't help but feel the same way about these kind of lists as you do. I typically stay away from any article that counts down the best.

Luckily, many of the reviews and stories you tell through your posts open me up to a wide array of good wine to check out throughout the year, so I don't have to commit to any list at the end of a year, that could possibly leave some great finds out, just to see what's worth my time.

Thank you for all the articles.

Chris Wood wrote:
12.26.12 at 7:29 AM

Maybe when Janicis' current issue rotates into another issue, you can give us your thoughts on this subject. It's of interest for comparing your readers' respective tastes with yours, for discussing the individual wines and wineries and of course for potential purchases - even if you have a "Parker-esque" impact on the wine markets, there may be a morsel or two left on the retailers' shelves for us who don't wish to add another wine letter (i.e., Janicis') to our inbox/mailbox. Thanks.

11.16.14 at 7:30 AM

Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The
text in your article seem to be running off the
screen in Firefox. I'm not sure if this is a formatting
issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I'd post to let you know.
The layout look great though! Hope you get the
problem resolved soon. Many thanks

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