Wine Talk

Snooth User: RandyFisher

Wine Magazine

Posted by RandyFisher, May 19, 2014.

I would like to subscribe to a wine related magazine. Which magazines do you subscribe to and if you could only have one, which would it be?

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Reply by EMark, May 19, 2014.

I subscribe to Wine Spectator and AutoWeek.  If I had to or wanted to cut it down to one, I would keep AutoWeek.

Mrs. EMark, on the other hand must subscribe to about 20 magazines.  Of those, Food & Wine might be construed as "wine related."  It is the only one of hers that I will, semi-regularly, open up, but that is to look at recipes more than the wine articles.  In all honesty, I'm going to learn more about wine here, at Snooth, than from Food & Wine.

Reply by JonDerry, May 19, 2014.

No magazines for me, and as print is dying I don't expect to be picking up any. Don't really see anything other than Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Of the two I'd go Ethusiast if forced to pick.

Reply by Mike Madaio, May 19, 2014.

I wouldn't subscribe to Wine Spectator unless you are independently wealthy and appreciate those that suck up to you because of this fact. If this applies, it's written for you. If not, it's not.

I don't subscribe to Wine Enthusiast but do occasionally find it enjoyable.

Reply by EMark, May 19, 2014.

MM, I like WS because I love to feel superior to the poseurs.

Reply by dvogler, May 19, 2014.

Why not just come here?  :)


Reply by JenniferT, May 19, 2014.

Nice one! I actually like WS. 

Trying to wean myself onto more digital content but I really do like the printed word. 

WS, WE, and Decanter - I cherry pick these as opportunity arises and pay newstand prices for what I want.

For more something more substantial that I can also use as a reference, I love this magazine called "The World of Fine Wine".

I've also learned a lot from the good people here at Snooth. :)

Reply by GregT, May 19, 2014.

A lot of it depends on what you want.

Wine Advocate was one of the first devoted to rating wines exclusively. Now it's digital and they do summaries of regions, etc. It also used to be Robert Parker only. Now there are other writers.

Wine Spectator was smart enough to realize that wine could be treated like a luxury good. There are wine reviews and pieces on various regions, but an emphasis on travel and lifestyle. It pays the bills I guess. He's launched magazines for Scotch and cigars too, so he's on to something. Some of the critics are pretty good, some not so much, so you have to pay attention to who's reviewing what region.

Wine Enthusiast is pretty much a carbon copy of Wine Spectator but to avoid looking like a complete clone they also review spirits in the wine magazine. Again, with them you have to know the writer. Some are pretty useless. Others pretty good.

Food and Wine tends to rely on one or two people for a lot of the notes. They're even more superficial when it comes to wine however.

Wine and Spirits takes a different approach - they have a panel of evaluators, so it's not a single voice. That has plusses and minuses because you can't really say anything about their scores that applies in a general sense. So a 90 from them on one wine means, well, you're not sure when it comes to a similar wine because the panel may be different.

World of Fine Wine is something I don't understand other than to imagine that they have a lot of money because that's an expensive mag. Can have nice articles but again, it all depends on the author.

Decanter is all over. I would usually read them for the articles rather than any wine reviews.

There's a lot on line and seems like every day there's a new blog started by someone who is going to teach us all about wine. Dr. Vino doesn't review wine but ferrets out a lot of information about things in the wine business. Hosemaster is the funniest writer out there IMO - he has no patience for much to do with wine. The Wine Anorak can be interesting. And there's a new one called Vino 24/7 that you might want to look at.

And I suppose I should disclose that some of the writers for some of these magazines are friends FWIW.

For more technical stuff online without the ads for tours and trips, Wine Business is a good magazine for content related to the business. In addition, the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, The Journal of Wine Research, Sommelier Journal, the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, the Wine & Viticulture Journal, and the International Journal of Vine and Wine Sciences are a few that I have bookmarked and read fairly regularly.

It really depends on what you want and what you're comfortable reading. I like free, so that's a big consideration, but I'll pay for some content. Usually not someones ruminations however - there has to be some knowledge to be gleaned. Hope this helps!

Reply by RandyFisher, May 20, 2014.

Thanks for all your input guys. Think I'll take Jen,s suggestion and go down to the bookstore to pick up some to help me decide. I love Snooth and come here daily but paper has it attraction too.

Reply by EMark, May 20, 2014.

paper has it attraction too

Thank you.  

Story 1.

Every morning I take the newspaper down to the coffee shop.  Read it and work a couple puzzles.  My coffee shop buddy Ron, with his iPhone and his iPad, gives me grief.  "What industry were you in before retirement?" is one of his favorite barbs.  Well, you know that every once in a while there is a problem with the router and nobody in the coffee shop can get on-line.  It is on those days that I ruffle my paper a little extra loudly and brag about my "proven technology."

Story 2.

A couple years ago my wife decided to buy an iPad. We go to the store and I mention to the eager young salesman that I like to read the newspaper when I visit the coffee shop in the morning.  Well,he jumped all over that and explained that many such shops have free wi-fi and I could do the same thing, and more, with an iPad.

"Yeah, that's what people keep telling me, but there is one thing that I just don't think I could do."

"What is that?"  He's almost foaming at the mouth eager to overcome whatever objection I raised.

"With one of these, where do I wipe the bacon grease off my fingers?"

You could almost hear the air go out of him.

But we bought the iPad and my wife loves it.  

Reply by dmcker, May 20, 2014.

Or line the birdcage or cat's litter box, or serve in the kindling process in a fireplace or pit or...!  ;-)

I've been professionally involved from early on in many forms of IT and particularly the building of Internet and electronic commerce infrastructures, followed by Web 2.0 evolutions including social media and mobile apps. I did pay my way through college by working at oldskool newspapers as reporter and photo-journalist before that, though.

I increasingly use devices to view my news but don't consider that a better solution very much of the time. Love the folding and straightening and crisp crackling of working a newspaper for reading--whether at a coffee shop or on a patio/balcony/veranda/lanai with breakfast while traveling or at home, or standing on a rush-hour commuter train. Even the smell of newsprint is nostalgic, as is the banter with a regular newsstand operator as I buy the paper. Even more important, however, is how I miss the assured reliability of good reporting and good writing with a first-class newspaper. Where are those on the internet? 'Curation' is a great buzzword in site/product/service design but in practice it all too often works out shabbily because of lack of understanding or lack of desire to invest resources regarding what it takes to make that curation work well and valuably. Quick & dirty fixes are the norm. And that's when people even worry about curation at all.

Part of me is happy about all the work I did from the end of the '80s, all through the '90s and into the naughties, to help change things regarding information distribution for huge parts of the world. Another part is unhappy in recognizing that nothing comes without its cost. My efforts during those periods helped put paid to the traditional newspaper (and bookselling) business and many journalists' livelihoods, while forcing the rest of us to wade through gallons and barrels and oceans of info-dreck on a daily basis, often despairing of whether we'll see the real, good stuff. 

Wonder if your coffeeshop barista, Mark, would get what I'm talking about?

Reply by dmcker, May 20, 2014.

BTW, Greg, outstanding listing of print/online wine journals. How about a listing of those wine blogs worth following?  ;-)

Reply by JenniferT, May 20, 2014.

Excellent list, Greg! I will check out some of the Journals and other resources you outlined. 

I will say that I used to care a lot about points and reviews when I just started learning. Not knowing anything else about wine, I just scanned the shelves for bottles that proclaimed to have higher ratings. Now I just buy truly randomly, sometimes asking staff about bottles that look interesting or their recommendations (especially people that have already recommended things I like). It's strange, but I've been more happy with my wine purchases since I started ignoring points and reviews.  


Reply by GregT, May 21, 2014.

There's no reason not to pay attention to various points, etc. And as far as blogs go, some are very good. Snooth has linked to a number and many people who post here, at least from time to time, have blogs. Occasionally I get asked to contribute to some of them but I figure nobody would read it so it's hard to get motivated.

If you care about Spain, these are some friends who collectively know more about Spanish wine than just about anyone I can think of:

And then there's Catavino and a few others that are very good. If you can read Spanish, check out Verema.

There's a relatively new online mag called "Loam Baby" but it's a little to cutesy for me. Then Kermit Lynch had a blog - maybe still does? Hard to keep up actually since there are so many.


Reply by dmcker, May 21, 2014.

Have seen your first link before, but thanks for refreshing memory on it. Your 2nd link is dead for me.

KLWM's blog is OK, IMHO. Sometimes informative and interesting, sometimes a bit too much spin and cutesyness (but nowhere near, say, a Rimmerman, and in different ways), though that's usually not from KL himself but one of his staff. Overall worth consuming. Rarewineco has something similar, though I haven't looked for it recently.


BTW, where do you go to see Snooth's blog links??

Reply by GregT, May 21, 2014.

Fixed the link. It's in beta form, not really up yet but they have high hopes. Good question about the Snooth links.

RWC sends me a paper version of their sales sheets and sometimes the articles are nice but they're generally geared towards sales. Didn't know that they had any other kind of blog articles. Problem with them is that they seem to accept anybody as an expert - take a look at their list of raters. It will be over 100 pretty soon.

Actually, that's a good idea. I'd have a list like

MCJ - My Cousin Joe

GDS - Guy Down the Street

RG - Random Girl

and so on.

Reply by napagirl68, May 24, 2014.

I don't like any particular critic/ writer of wines... they tend to bore me.  I tend to seek our sommeliers that I respect, and I love to listen to my friends here at Snooth. I have been directed to some great wines here (thanks, OT). 

That said, of all the critics, I find my palate most on par with Stephen Tanzer. . He tends to like what I like, so I give him some credence.  I think his website is clunky, tho.

Reply by dmcker, May 24, 2014.

So would you say there's nothing to be gained from GregT answering a series of questions about what he thinks of various wine writers?

I know there would be for me and perhaps for others of our readership, but I meant for you, Greg.

Reply by outthere, May 24, 2014.

"Or line the birdcage or cat's litter box, or serve in the kindling process in a fireplace or pit or...!  ;-)"

Or keep my better half gainfully employed for over 20 years...

I'm with you EMark, I read the paper every morning. The e-edition just isn't the same. I can bust through a boring paper in a matter of minutes and be on to the Crossword and Sudoku. In the e-edition I have to zoom in on articles to see the text and doing the puzzles is not an option. We are old school when it comes to that. The newer generation doesn't realize what they are missing when their only news cones from online editions that only print half the story or come from places like blogs, Faux News and TMZ.

I've gotten to know a bunch or people in the newspaper business over the years and they put their heart and souls into their work and are truly under-appreciated. It goes back to to my oft used phrase "It was on the internet, it must be true ". That's how I feel about online news. If it does not come from a reliable source the integrity and validity is in question for me.

Reply by outthere, May 25, 2014.

The BBQ Shack is really starting to take shape. I finished the siding today, finished the roof, set the back wall got the sink in place and attached a header for the counter top. Liking the rustic look. Tomorrow I frame up around the sink, run the plumbing get started on framing up the caninets and counter.

Reply by outthere, May 25, 2014.


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