Chow Town

May 25, 2013

Two wine blogs that offer more than just tasting notes

Most blogs are little more than tasting notes, and wine notes are interminably dull.

Chow Town

The daily dish on Kansas City's food and drink scene

With all due respect to all blogs, including this one. I must admit that I hardly read them.

I haven’t the time to follow them and I can’t imagine who does. That’s not to say that I don’t skim a few each week, but skimming ain’t reading anymore than a glance at a room full of paintings is a visit to an art museum.

I look for something new, something insightful, anything interesting and significant, but the fact that I only skim is an admission that I rarely see a need to even dip my toe into those shallow waters.

Moreover, I’ve never been much of a blogger. I have a website with occasional entries. This page requests my weekly participation and so far I’ve come through.

Am I suggesting that I might not in the future? No, but I never saw the need to write when I didn’t


to write, if you see my meaning.

It’s why I’ve eschewed wine reviews in general. I think tasting and writing wine notes is what a writer should do before setting fingers to keyboard, not during.

Wine notes are interminably dull, and that’s a confession from a bona fide wine geek, so I can only imagine how tortuous reading them is to a normal person.

While, most blogs are little more than tasting notes, a few offer more. Tom Wark’s

Fermentation blog

is willing to take on trade controversies; others try to provide the context to understand trends in the marketplace.

But I’ll tip my blogger’s hat to one blog: Ron Washam’s

HoseMaster of Wine

. His sentiments are front and center. “Wine Blogs Are the Attention-Barking of Lonely Poodles” reads the banner on the current offering.

Today’s blog entry ridicules and skewers the wine blogosphere, with a sideways glance at Randall Grahm’s new revealing wine labels.

Skewering is pretty much the only method Washam knows and if not wine, what then? Whether it is the snooty attitude of the wine press and its backstage pass mentality, or even merely my ilk (Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and such), we speak in exclusionary language, to give us a generous translation.

As someone who has felt the prick of his wit at least once, I think it’s justified. But one warning, his language is free and salty, gentle sentiment is nowhere to be found and his judgment is heavy handed and self righteous.

So maybe Washam’s a wine guy just like the rest of us.

Doug Frost is a Kansas City-based wine and spirits writer and consultant who for decades has happily educated the public about all things drink. He is one of only three people in the world to have earned the coveted titles of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine. He contributes a monthly wine column for The Star’s Food section.

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