I read quite a bit about wine online and on crushed trees smeared with oil. On the latter format, I’ve been converting of late to the online editions of magazines like Wine Spectator as I don’t find the features too interesting and I can browse the tasting notes just as efficiently online (more so, actually) as in their print counterpart. So call this my contribution to the environment. By the way, I don’t count the Wine Advocate or International Wine Cellar as a “glossy” here; those are still best consumed in their classic, paper format.
One of my daily online sources is Decanter which publishes a fine RSS news feed which keeps me somewhat current with the thinking on wine “across the pond.” Whilst on a visit to downtown Minneapolis this weekend I noted the print version of this British wine journal on offer at a local news agent. I eagerly plunked down my Ã‚Â£3.60 to sample the best wine magazine from the UK (eight bucks over here).
What a revelation.
As an old print guy, the production is excellent; much better, technically, than the Spectator or any other wine glossy in North America. But the writing is what drew me in. Instead of browsing features, I actually read them, and have a boatload more to read making this a fine value. I also appreciated the focus on Bordeaux and Burgundy which gave me an appreciation for the debate over the 2005 (a Parker favorite) and 2006 vintages like no other wine journal.
I also enjoyed comments like Steven Spurrier’s assessment of ’06 Bordeaux as, “…not a vintage to buy off the peg.” My translation would be that 2006 Bordeaux is, in general, a bad value, but Mr. Spurrier’s understatement allows for the reader to infer their own experience. I enjoyed Mr. Broadbent’s comments comparing Madeira to the “morning coffee” at Christie’s with equal gusto. This took me back to my days working in London some years back, but I digress.
So the point here is to pick up a copy of Decanter when you see it, North American readers. It’s very worth your hard-earned eight U.S. Dollars or ten Canadian Dollars.