Wine Spectator and The National Enquirer and Matt Kramer

I have received WS for the past 20 years. Everytime the subscription comes up for renewal I tell my wife "No, I don't really read it." She doesn't read it, but notices I do. I can't live the lifestyle that WS espouses, but I do like that Matt Kramer guy. In the current issue he talks about the new Pinot Noir standard, which is Burgundy, but maybe not for long. Has Matt Kramer ever written a book? I would buy it. When WS arrives I go first to his column, And he is doing Italy!
I guess I still read WS for Kramer's editorials. Anyone like me? WS is like National Enquirer: Interesting, but you would never admit you read it.
Rich -- The journey is the reward.
Reply to
Rich R
Rich asks: "Has Matt Kramer ever written a book?"
Making Sense of Wine (do not know details)
Making Sense of Burgundy, Quill, William Morrow, New York, copyright 1990, paperback, 528pp.
I have the Burgundy book, but have no idea if the two mentioned books are still in print or if he has more recent books in the "Making Sense" series. A Google or Amazon search might turn up more recent books.
Reply to
Cwdjrx _
I used to subscribe just to give it a quick read and deposit it in the waiting room pile.
It got so bad that I finally allowed my subscription to lapse.
Reply to
Bill Spohn
I subscribe to the but lost interest years ago in the magazine. I have virtually lost interest in the online as well.
While I am sure there is something redeeming in there I have a hard time with a reference that makes money on advertising and rates wines. I am sure there is no conflict of interest but I am somewhat suspect anyway.
Plus I have heard to many stories of James Laube in Napa that I personally find disturbing with regards to wine snobbery at restaurants. I must admit I have never met the man.
Reply to
It was also recently updated in the 2nd edition.
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I was extremely tempted to buy it but decided to grab oxford, atlas to wine, instead. Seems like a great book to read, but maybe not necessarily to own.
Reply to
Peter Muto
I don't subscribe anymore, but agree that Kramer is one of prime reasons one might read. I've haven't read either of his books, but "Making Sense of Burgundy" has been on my "buy one day" list for ages.
Then of course there's Suckling. Who apparently is still declaring the '96 vintage mediocre (true on Right Bank, but a DAMN FINE Medoc vintage).
Dale Williams Drop "damnspam" to reply
Reply to
Dale Williams
(The opportunities opened by this thread are more numerous than some may know. I could almost suspect targeted trolling.)
I don't know the W. S. well. Though I live in the US I have only bought specific issues, for articles of interest. It got many comments over the years here in the Wine Newsgroup (which I again remind you is the _original_ public wine forum online: begun in 1982 as net.wines, renamed late 1986, migrated to a.f.w. in 1994, where it has remained, after the latter group was created in a moment of impatience. The history of this group in the good FAQ document understates its full impact. Enough rambling, I'll correspond privately on that.) For example, one highly critical comment appeared from a regular and respected contributor to the wine newsgroup in 1988, which I recall vividly:
From: snipped-for-privacy@mtxinu.UUCP (Alan Tobey) Newsgroups: Date: 17 Jun 88 15:41:38 GMT Message-ID: References: | |> After a previous discussion on wine, someone suggested that we |> look into the Wine Spectator ... But the buying guide has |> caused us to have some interesting (funny) experiences.... |> recently, we have been in ... stores carrying a copy of the buying |> guide and looking for specific wines. Out of the woodwork, the |> wine buyers in each of the stores has come up to us and offered to |> help locate things... | | Well, no wonder: the average subscriber to the Wine Spectator | has an an annual household income of $140,000! Carrying the WS | into a wine store is like carrying a cat through the Westminster | Kennel Club dog show, guaranteed to gain attention. My local | (and unimpressible) merchant calls it the Wine Speculator, says | the average person who walks in carrying it is both inexperienced | and insecure, but will buy anything that WS recommends as long | as it has an impressive label and ant least LOOKS LIKE it cost a lot!
I'll skip over the 1990 Finger Lakes ("Enquirer") incident and mention finally Kramer.
Before association with WS, Matt Kramer was known in the Pacific Northwestern US as a precocious young Portland-area dining critic of sharp standards and wit. I still have some of that stuff on file, but don't need to look it up. Who could possibly forget Kramer's exasperation with pieces of beef filet "mounted on the seemingly inevitable slice of soggy bread" and sauces repeatedly "so heavily floured, if it were baked, it might have become bread." (These two clichés of his reflected no dislike of baking, that I know.) But he saved his best offense for pretence. He accused one restaurant of knowing no French but placing fake French on the menu. "Like an adolescent trying to appear suave, nothing is more pitiable ..." In another situation, a restaurateur with multiple sites where Kramer consistently found show rather than go, he described waiting in an entryway with a display of bottles on their sides; on inspection the bottles were empty, the capsules carefully replaced. "This row of empty bottles, slyly pretending to greater riches than actually lie within, captures the spirit of [this restaurant]."
At the same time he published recipes and celebrations of food, and taught the region how to make a traditional (almond-milk) Blancmange, updated from Carême (no more isinglass). I last used that recipe a year ago.
Reply to
Max Hauser
Matt Kramer has a column in our local newspaper. It used to appear every other Sundays but it is now less frequent since he went to Italy. It seems like he will not be back until May. Here is the link:
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You can find some of his past columns.
Reply to
Kitty Luke

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