Opinion

  • When is a review not a review?

    … The San Francisco Chronicle’s restaurant reviewer, Michael Bauer, really stirred up a dust storm with this post, “DNR: Three restaurants I’m not reviewing,” on his blog. First, let me say that I’m a Bauer fan. If I’m checking out a restaurant in the Bay Area, I first want to know what Michael said about it. I might look at Yelp, but I don’t…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 8 readers -
  • How about some fruit juice with that Chardonnay?

    … It must drive some winemakers crazy to hear that two-thirds of younger wine drinkers (ages 25 to 40) in America are mixing their wine with fruit juice, that nearly half are making club soda-based “cocktails” with wine, and 46% actually add ice to their vino! Those are some of the findings from a new consumer survey by E&J Gallo…

    STEVE HEIMOFFin Chardonnay- 3 readers -
  • Real wine-drinking countries don’t need wine critics

    …, Matt’s argument runs thus: “Context is everything—or nearly so.” A humble little Tuscan wine that was so good in Florence is “a little thin” back home in the States. Port on a hot summer day just doesn’t work. A big Napa Cabernet that tasted so good at Farmstead can be “a little too strong” someplace else. Yes, “context” as such is of supreme…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 2 readers -
  • On those mega “wine rooms” that are so popular out there

    … I myself don’t have a “wine room,” as these new mega-cellars are being called. In fact, Mr. Casimano’s “wine room” is bigger than my entire condo! I do rent space at K&L Wine Merchants for some bottles, and I have one of those 120-bottle Eurocaves, but that’s about it. I never did see the sense of piling up a vast collection of wines…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 1 readers -
  • Those Parker scores: Score inflation?

    … Quite a lot of buzz in the brouhaha-sphere over all the perfect 100s Parker have been bestowing lately. This time the commentary is from Narsai David, the food and wine critic for our local KCBS radio affiliate in San Francisco, and an old acquaintance. The most common reaction in the commentariat has been to use the word “exponential…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 2 readers -
  • Lots of wine books, not very many good ones

    … and skills of literacy. (Actually, a great many wine books, especially those little pocket guidebooks, aren’t written by the famous authors on the cover. They hire anonymous writers and pay them, say, 20 cents a word, or $2 a review, although the reader would have no way of knowing that.) It is, though, even harder to write a good wine book, not only…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 2 readers -
  • A nation that twitters together fritters together

    … of “celebrity perks” that, in the end, are worthless from a moral, family and human perspective. Is crashing the “velvet rope” to some kind of faux-“celebrity status” really what Millennials aspire to? If Mr. Lee reads this, I hope you find a “thing” that’s more productive and lastingly satisfying than tweeting 200 times a day. It may mean less swag, but it could lead to a fuller life and a better job, and you might even discover that your neighbors are real people worth knowing. …

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 3 readers -
  • O.K. , you have your social media data. Now, what good is it?

    …, though, what does this mean? It’s not at all clear that counting your Twitter followers, or measuring your online engagement rate, suggests anything at all in terms of strategy. “The squishy world of intangibles,” writes the Wall Street Journal, means that “Data is worthless if you don’t know how to use it to make money.” That statement is patently…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 4 readers -
  • Matt Kramer got it right about bullies who put wine down

    … This think piece by Matt Kramer is a little opaque.(I hope you can open the Wine Spectator link.) I had to read it twice to understand it—and I’m not sure I do even now—but it seems to be a rebuttal to the notion, widespread in America and somewhat anti-intellectual, that expertise is a form of pretentious bull. With specific regard to wine…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 1 readers -
  • Monday Mayhem: Drinking too much, and memories of a P.R. guy

    … It’s important for us to have a conversation about drinking too much—about alcoholism—for two reasons. One is because there’s always been, and still is, a neo-prohibitionist mindset in this country that frowns on any use of alcoholic beverages at all; and so, as if in advance of an impending flood, we have to pile the sandbags around the door…

    STEVE HEIMOFF- 4 readers -
  • The importance of an editor ~ So get over it

    … as we know they should be, not as they are. I’ve had some of my stories printed in magazines, and some mistakes are still missed by an editor. It happens. When this meme below showed up on Facebook, I thought, “This is so me.” I’ll never forget the agitated reader, who decided that because he didn’t agree with my opinion, he’d leave a comment…

    Jo Diaz/ Wine Blog- 4 readers -
  • The emotional intelligence of wine blogging and its vitriol eruption

    … OPINION: Recently, poop finally hit the fan for the wine blogging community. Everything that’s right with it and everything that’s wrong with it collided in the biggest mess I’ve yet to witness. I believe it’s finally hit a paradigm shift that’s been so needed, but not without its pain and suffering. Imagine creating a wine blog because…

    Jo Diaz/ Wine Blog- 6 readers -
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