Letters let me know people actually give a shit about wine, so it's with joy and rapture that I print some of the responses ... good and bad. Keep 'em coming; e-mail [email protected].
Restaurant wine rules
I enjoyed your missive on the art of bringing your own wine into wine-friendly restaurants ("Drink what you like," April 4), and I have one suggestion ... if you are bringing your own wine into a restaurant, it's imperative to purchase at least one glass per person from the restaurant. Since you are lowering the check average and denying the restaurant its profit on the wine(s) that you are bringing in, the least you can do is help them out by buying something from them.
Southern regional manager, San Francisco Wine Exchange
Boca Raton, Fla.
Nice article ("The Sweet Spot," May 2). I finally had the experience of asking for an ice bucket for red wine and NOT having the waiter look at me like I just asked for my foie gras well-done. I guess it makes sense that it would happen [in California]. But I am baffled that people don't get it around here more often!
President, Mavrik Cellars
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Interesting topic ... I have tried [chilling reds]. Funny things is ... I do find reds are easier to handle if they are cooler; however, my tongue and nose seem to miss the finer dimensions (cassis, berries, smoke, leather, white pepper, etc.), so I prefer them warm. And this is coming from a guy who was a staunch white drinker. I had a Bogle Zinfandel in the cooler yesterday, popped it and poured some ... for me, it gets better as it warms ... the wine opens up and, like cheese, the flavors emerge ... akin to sipping good cognac or single-malt Scotch.
In defense of chardonnay
Did Jess Jackson [owner of Kendall Jackson] piss you off before you sat down in front of your computer ("Give us butter or give us death," June 27)? Chardonnay is like an old pair of slippers. [It's] not glitzy or glamorous like a pair of Jimmy Choos, but they sure do make your feet feel good. In this world of sensory overload, it's nice to just be comfortable for a few moments. This is not to say we should become complacent, only to suggest that however boring and mundane, even an overoaked, lifeless chardonnay has its place. But clearly in my refrigerator, not in my cellar.
Vincent A Batiato
Food and beverage director, Mattison's
In defense of the French
Patriotism is one thing, but looking to feel better about oneself and one's nation by creating a false sense of superiority over another is merely a display of ignorance ("Booze news," July 4). Particularly when you are basing that superiority on hypothetical figures and estimated projections.
The habit of "France bashing" vocally by Americans truly does little to endear you to any foreigner at all. In fact it serves to continue the international trends toward hostility to Americans whenever they leave their country. It is even less welcome in a column (by nature) destined to be "international" and serves to underscore the writer's partisan nature and remove objectivity and value from the section.
I congratulate you as being part of the problem Americans face in the global community.
Hess 2005 Chardonnay Su'skol Vineyard Napa Valley Drink this one too cold and you'll miss the fragrant, ripe pear, tropical pineapple and not-overtoasty vanilla that ooze from these drops. It's pricey, but tasty. Sw = 3. $24.
Sweetness (Sw) rating is out of 10, 10 being pure sugar. (star) rating is out of 5, 5 being wine nirvana.