An answer

I hope you were all able to read the second comment on yesterday's post. I want to offer my sincere thanks to Mr. Matthews for stopping by and sharing his opinion. You are always welcome here, sir.

Looking back, I believe my rhetoric was a little sharper than it needed to be. And for that, I apologize.

I agree with Mr. Matthews that Wine Spectator is an ally. We all share the same passion.

But I think Wine Spectator comes up woefully short when it comes to people new to wine. Even before I started learning about wine, I knew what Wine Spectator was and I knew it was the authority in the industry. With such brand recognition, Wine Spectator seems to be in the perfect position to offer advice to those of us feeling our way through the vineyard.

By and large, wine newbies aren't their audience, of course. But I feel they are missing a considerable segment of the wine-drinking population. I think Wine Spectator can bridge the gap between newbies and experienced wine drinkers.

The one thing I always wished I had was a beginner's guide to wine drinking. Take, for instance, 10 of the most well-known varietals out there: chardonnay, pinot grigio, riesling, sauvignon blanc, viognier, cab, merlot, zin, pinot noir, syrah. Give me a brief description of the grape and its history.

Now, using the vast repository of knowledge that Wine Spectator has, give me three wines in a range of prices that best exemplify those varietals. Give me one under $20, one under $60 and one over $60. If possible, use ones that are likely to be found in major wine stores.

Then, tell me exactly what I should be noticing, from nose to palate to finish. Like that the defining characteristic of sauv is its grassiness in the nose. Find easy-to-understand terms and give me a sense of how that can change from location to location.

A thorough, knowledgeable guide would be a boon to newbies, like myself, everywhere. Think of it like the old GM ladder (if you can forgive their current financial mess): you started off young with a Chevy, moved to Buick when you were older and then, perhaps, a Cadillac.

By providing that steppingstone, I think Wine Spectator can only build its brand awareness. When newbies feel comfortable enough to step up to the regular magazine, you'll be there for them.

Currently, Wine Spectator does not do this. And that remains my greatest frustration with their products.

1 comment:

Stormy said...

If you're a noob, what am I? Grassiness???