Why the Winestream Media makes me crazy (still)

The Wine Curmudgeon's antipathy toward the Winestream Media is well known, but sometimes even I'm surprised by how foolish its members can be. We've had a couple of examples in recent days — more, after the jump:


First, Charles Passy of the Wall Street Journal asked why we need so many wineries in the U.S., especially since so many of them are regional and don't make wine the way it's supposed to be made. This is a true dilemma for real oenophiles, he wrote.

My pal Dave McIntrye has a well-written and reasoned response to Passy, which I'll quote, My response, though it would be well-written, would probably not be polite and would include the term snob more than once. Wrote Dave:

[N]ote the elitism in that passage: 'real oenophiles' and the question of whether the growth of the wine industry is 'good for wine.' Back in the ?60s and ?70s, when Napa Valley ?s wine boom began, there were similar naysayers. … Yet can we really say that wine tourism didn ?t go hand in hand with the growth of Napa Valley and its identification in our minds as 'wine country'?

It always amazes me thatr so many wine writers feel it's their duty to protect the wine business from people who want to drink wine. How many times do you see auto writers tell consumers that people driving cars are bad for the car business?

The second example came from the Atlantic's Wire blog, where Jen Doll decries the rise of celebrity wine. This is a good thing, as the Wine Curmudgeon has noted many times. But why does she dislike the trend?

…[N]ot only are celebs co-opting our wine and calling it their own, they're taking that most easy-drinking and accessible of wines ?the one that doesn't taste awful, the one that you can choke down if necessary even if it's gone off, and at any rate it doesn't cost too much ?the pinot grigio.

This may be even more stunning that Passy's argument; he, at least, pretended to talk about quality. Doll doesn't even care about that. She just wants cheap wine, and it doesn't seem to matter to her what it tastes like. Can you imagine someone writing about food that way in The Atlantic?

Ms. Doll, if you need some cheap wine to replace the junk you're apparently drinking, give me a call. None of the wines I like have been endorsed by celebrities, and you don't have to choke any of them down.

3 thoughts on “Why the Winestream Media makes me crazy (still)

  • By Alfonso - Reply

    I learned something from her article, “that most average yet reliable of blends: Our pinot grigio”
    oy!oy!!oy!!!

  • By Noblewines.wordpress.com - Reply

    Nice, keep up the heat on crappy wine articles. I commend you on reading that drivel from the Atlantic about Celeb wines, I saw and read a couple of lines before I dumped it the other day.

  • By Christine - Reply

    I thought Passy’s essay was more of a musing than a screed. He raises a few questions, but allows that he enjoyed himself – he liked the cranberry wine, for Pete’s sake! I really like your posts generally, but dumping on him for being part of the “winestream media” is just name-calling – wine is just one of many things he writes about – and your summary of what he wrote gives him a dismissive tone that isn’t in his actual words.
    Do I agree with everything he wrote? No. For starters, I don’t agree that wine-in-every-state hurts wine overall, but what he really seems to be unhappy with is a wine tourism philosophy that isn’t really focused on the wine. It’s a point on which reasonable people can disagree, but I see nothing inherently offensive about it.

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