Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

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ChrisBeacham
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Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #1  Postby ChrisBeacham » May 12th 2010, 5:39am

http://www.alicefeiring.com/feiringsquad/wine-cop/_98_point_wine.html
A scathing and hilarious evisceration of a Big Jay review of a Spanish 98 pointer.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #2  Postby Scott Butler » May 12th 2010, 6:10am

and long,
(ENOUGH FOR A MAGNUM XL?)

OH MY!
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Yawn....

Post #3  Postby TomHill » May 12th 2010, 6:34am

Yawn.....AliceF**ring is so....yesterday. Reading her drivel is so tiring, IMHO.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #4  Postby Bruce Leiser_owitz » May 12th 2010, 6:41am

ChrisBeacham wrote:http://www.alicefeiring.com/feiringsquad/wine-cop/_98_point_wine.html
A scathing and hilarious evisceration of a Big Jay review of a Spanish 98 pointer.


Sort of seems like low-hanging fruit, if you ask me. Very expensive, low-hanging fruit, though.

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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #5  Postby H Wallace Jr » May 12th 2010, 7:01am

Awesome. I love Alice.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #6  Postby Richard T r i m p i » May 12th 2010, 7:43am

Times like these, I miss Posner.

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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #7  Postby Al Osterheld » May 12th 2010, 7:47am

Seems remarkably lazy to me. She plays one note, yet still manages to sound atonal.

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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #8  Postby Robert.Fleming » May 12th 2010, 8:12am

H Wallace Jr wrote:Awesome. I love Alice.
+1.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #9  Postby cganzer » May 12th 2010, 8:17am

I'd seen this note too, and was trying to imagine the scene in the cellars, say, a year and a half and 3 (of the 4 it'd eventually see) new barrels in.

Picture it: the winemaker, domaine owner, consulting oenologist, perhaps a couple of friends or owners of neighboring estates all draw off the samples that have already been in 3 new oak barrels. They sniff, swirl, taste, ponder. Finally, one of them has the courage to speak up: "Well...it's *pretty* oaky..."
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #10  Postby Ken Zinns » May 12th 2010, 8:20am

Al Osterheld wrote:Seems remarkably lazy to me.

Have to say that was my take on it too. In five minutes, anyone could do the same with 90% of the tasting notes out there. Nothing in her remarks that targets much that's specific to the particular wine or review. I think she's capable of better writing but has settled for the easy pot-shots since people seem to like those.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #11  Postby Nathan Smyth » May 12th 2010, 8:38am

Al Osterheld wrote:Seems remarkably lazy to me. She plays one note, yet still manages to sound atonal.

When short-selling is legal, it's amazing how wealthy you can become by trafficking in the barn-burning bidness.

The older and more cynical I become, the more I wonder whether Rome [or, say, the library at Alexandria] burned to the ground because someone had arranged for a short contract on it.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #12  Postby G. D y e r » May 12th 2010, 8:48am

Gotta give her credit for finding the most ridiculously exaggerated wine imaginable. $750, 400% new oak, black in color, and so on. The original note is virtually a self parody (as its author). Ripe for mockery, and mock it she does!

Of course she can do better (I'm no fanboy though), but this one is impossible to pass up.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #13  Postby Cris Whetstone » May 12th 2010, 8:53am

Very low hanging fruit these days. At least she could have made it clever or funny. I don't see the value in that post other than to preach to the choir.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #14  Postby ekovitch » May 12th 2010, 9:41am

Cris Whetstone wrote:Very low hanging fruit these days. At least she could have made it clever or funny. I don't see the value in that post other than to preach to the choir.


Entertainment.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #15  Postby Brian Loring » May 12th 2010, 9:57am

The sad thing about what she did is that the wine is actually amazing. I've been lucky enough to have tried it a couple of times, and I still have a couple of bottles in my cellar. Thankfully I didn't pay $700 - I got it direct at the winery (and one bottle was gifted to me by the winemaker). And yes it's expensive, but to me, it's one of the few wines I'd ever rate 100 points. And they only make 200 cases or so a year. Think of it as the Screaming Eagle of Spain. But it's not for everyone, since it is a monster. To put it in perspective, it made a bottle of SQN Midnight Oil on the same table one night seem boring.

And it doesn't get racked 3 times into new oak. That was an error on JM's part. It does get racked once into new oak (200% new oak), but the wine actually needs it given how much other stuff is there.

Making fun of RMP and JM is easy sport, but it's unfortunate when a great wine gets unfairly disparaged in the process.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #16  Postby Nathan Smyth » May 12th 2010, 10:04am

Are these barrels in Lompoc?

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If so, is it a new facility?
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #17  Postby larry schaffer » May 12th 2010, 10:05am

Brian Loring wrote:The sad thing about what she did is that the wine is actually amazing. I've been lucky enough to have tried it a couple of times, and I still have a couple of bottles in my cellar. Thankfully I didn't pay $700 - I got it direct at the winery (and one bottle was gifted to me by the winemaker). And yes it's expensive, but to me, it's one of the few wines I'd ever rate 100 points. And they only make 200 cases or so a year. Think of it as the Screaming Eagle of Spain. But it's not for everyone, since it is a monster. To put it in perspective, it made a bottle of SQN Midnight Oil on the same table one night seem boring.

And it doesn't get racked 3 times into new oak. That was an error on JM's part. It does get racked once into new oak (200% new oak), but the wine actually needs it given how much other stuff is there.

Making fun of RMP and JM is easy sport, but it's unfortunate when a great wine gets unfairly disparaged in the process.


Brian,

How dare you actually comment on the WINE here (-:

As Tom and others have said, much ado about nothing . . .

200% new oak, eh?!?!? Is THIS where those guys got the idea?!?!? Not that there's anything 'wrong' with that - and I'm sure they're not the only one doing it - maybe one of the few that is actually ADMITTING it!

Too bad the wine's so expensive - seems like it'd be an interesting wine to try . . .

Cheers!
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #18  Postby H Wallace Jr » May 12th 2010, 10:18am

I'm sure this is what gets her goat more than anything...
"Vina Sastre is a benchmark estate in Ribera del Duero. It is committed to organic farming and biodynamic principles with the wines naturally made"...
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #19  Postby Josh Beck » May 12th 2010, 10:36am

Very effective tasting note. It tells you alot about the wine.

Ripe for mockery as well.

The mockery isn't terribly well done though. And someone should tell Alice that there's a wine region out there where pencil lead has been used as a descriptor for a while now.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #20  Postby Brian Loring » May 12th 2010, 11:18am

H Wallace Jr wrote:I'm sure this is what gets her goat more than anything...
"Vina Sastre is a benchmark estate in Ribera del Duero. It is committed to organic farming and biodynamic principles with the wines naturally made"...

Why? While the "benchmark" comment is arguable (but I happen to agree), the rest is a statement of fact. I'm not a proponent of biodynamic farming, but it seems to works for Sastre and their Pesus. And just because a wine is big and bold, it doesn't mean that there was any "spoof". If someone wants to point at the 200% new oak as "un-natural", I disagree. It may be a bit extreme, but given that DRC uses 100% new oak on Pinot Noir, I don't see that 200% on incredibly (naturally) concentrated Tempranillo is that big a deal. And certainly within the bounds of natural winemaking (IMHO).

To me, it just seems that Alice doesn't like this style of wine. Nothing new there... she can get in line behind Eric Asimov, Matt Kramer, etc.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #21  Postby Humberto Dorta » May 12th 2010, 11:28am

I knew that wine sounded familiar!
While Im all for making a mockery of Jay for personal reasons, that was just not funny. Piss poor piece of writing.
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Yup.....

Post #22  Postby TomHill » May 12th 2010, 11:30am

Brian Loring wrote:To me, it just seems that Alice doesn't like this style of wine. Nothing new there... she can get in line behind Eric Asimov, Matt Kramer, etc.


Yup, Brian......it can be organic/bio/natural made...exactly the kind of wine Alice espouses. But if it's made in the (so-called) Parker style, she's a notta gonna like it.
Plus, I suspect that she's never even tasted the wine. Which is OK...she's mocking the TN...not the wine.
I wouldn't be losing any sleep over the fact Alice doesn't like a wine you happen to have in your cellar. There are worse things in life.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #23  Postby H Wallace Jr » May 12th 2010, 11:32am

Brian Loring wrote:
H Wallace Jr wrote:I'm sure this is what gets her goat more than anything...
"Vina Sastre is a benchmark estate in Ribera del Duero. It is committed to organic farming and biodynamic principles with the wines naturally made"...

Why? While the "benchmark" comment is arguable (but I happen to agree), the rest is a statement of fact. I'm not a proponent of biodynamic farming, but it seems to works for Sastre and their Pesus. And just because a wine is big and bold, it doesn't mean that there was any "spoof". If someone wants to point at the 200% new oak as "un-natural", I disagree. It may be a bit extreme, but given that DRC uses 100% new oak on Pinot Noir, I don't see that 200% on incredibly (naturally) concentrated Tempranillo is that big a deal. And certainly within the bounds of natural winemaking (IMHO).

To me, it just seems that Alice doesn't like this style of wine. Nothing new there... she can get in line behind Eric Asimov, Matt Kramer, etc.

I won't speak for Alice, but the tone is that this level of concentration (plus gobs of 200% or 300% new oak) is unnatural (whether done "naturally" or not). This is clearly not her style, though I'd put her in the front of that line of people that don't like this style.

And yes, she is mocking the note and critic more than the wine....
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #24  Postby Frank Drew » May 12th 2010, 11:46am

This doesn't sound like a wine I'd like, but I agree that Alice Feiring was just taking a cheap shot; I think it says more about her than about Miller or Viña Sastre.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #25  Postby Jorge Henriquez » May 12th 2010, 11:49am

My question is: how did Dr. JSM actually piss her off? [scratch.gif]
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #26  Postby Brian Loring » May 12th 2010, 12:18pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:Are these barrels in Lompoc?

Image

If so, is it a new facility?

Yep! Our barrel room is large enough that we don't have to stack full barrels!
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #27  Postby C. Bowman » May 12th 2010, 12:49pm

Brian Loring wrote:
Nathan Smyth wrote:Are these barrels in Lompoc?

Image

If so, is it a new facility?

Yep! Our barrel room is large enough that we don't have to stack full barrels!

It's awesome & perfect for Fest-tivities
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #28  Postby Paul L i n » May 12th 2010, 1:09pm

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Re: Yup.....

Post #29  Postby Wes Barton » May 12th 2010, 4:04pm

TomHill wrote:
Brian Loring wrote:To me, it just seems that Alice doesn't like this style of wine. Nothing new there... she can get in line behind Eric Asimov, Matt Kramer, etc.


Yup, Brian......it can be organic/bio/natural made...exactly the kind of wine Alice espouses. But if it's made in the (so-called) Parker style, she's a notta gonna like it.
Plus, I suspect that she's never even tasted the wine. Which is OK...she's mocking the TN...not the wine.
I wouldn't be losing any sleep over the fact Alice doesn't like a wine you happen to have in your cellar. There are worse things in life.
Tom


She would have said if she'd tasted it.

Note that Josh Raynolds rated the 3 previous vintages 95 pts.

I've never read anything she's written that didn't take pot shots at Parker. She comes across as a whack job. In that LA Times ESJ article she wrote, she slammed Parker endlessly, contradicted herself, made ignorant blanket statements about CA wine, and promoted her book shamelessly (which I found unethical). (Oh, and since when is rating a wine 88 or 89 pts a "slam"?)

I share her wine preferences. It would be nice to see her drop her unhealthy Parker obsession and put some effort into seeking out the many many other CA wineries that she would like, and then actually talk about them.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #30  Postby Roberto Rogness » May 12th 2010, 4:15pm

Alice is gonna drop by here on Saturday. We've talked on the phone & exchanged a lot of e-mail but it will be fun to meet her....
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Re: Yup.....

Post #31  Postby H Wallace Jr » May 12th 2010, 4:47pm

Wes Barton wrote: She comes across as a whack job. In that LA Times ESJ article she wrote, she slammed Parker endlessly, contradicted herself, made ignorant blanket statements about CA wine, and promoted her book shamelessly (which I found unethical). (Oh, and since when is rating a wine 88 or 89 pts a "slam"?)

The LA Times article was an interesting response to something that shocked a lot of people. The ESJ spanking handed out by WA was really over the top (especially for the time). A lot of people saw it as a personal attack on ESJ, and It developed a lot of chatter on the other board-- I think she wrote about it very well, and defended a CA vintner and style she admires. Who else piped in on mainstream press?

Again- I'm a huge Alice fan, and have found her writing to have a lot more to offer than beating up the WA. Is she on the fringe? For sure, but that's part of what I like about reading her stuff.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #32  Postby Ken Zinns » May 12th 2010, 5:09pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Alice is gonna drop by here on Saturday. We've talked on the phone & exchanged a lot of e-mail but it will be fun to meet her....
I met her about 5 years ago, in Paso Robles just before HdR. Had no idea who she was and actually didn't remember meeting her at all until Eric Anderson (who was with me at the time) jogged my memory more recently. IIRC she was battling a cold or allergies at the time and didn't say much.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #33  Postby gene keenan » May 12th 2010, 5:13pm

sorry for not reading the whole thread but what a completely idiotic review by feiring
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #34  Postby Nick Ryan » May 12th 2010, 6:21pm

+1, pretty funny. Tempranillo is not meant to be treated in this way, it has an inherent rusticity that just results in a vile concoction if one tries to make a fruit-bomb out of it; the same with Grenache.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #35  Postby Roberto Rogness » May 12th 2010, 6:22pm

And Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Gagliopo.....
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Re: Yup.....

Post #36  Postby Keith Levenberg » May 12th 2010, 6:22pm

Wes Barton wrote:(Oh, and since when is rating a wine 88 or 89 pts a "slam"?)

Since certain critics figured out it was an easy way to slam something in the text but cover their ass from criticism by attaching a score that's nominally respectable but clearly designed to dissuade anyone from buying the wine.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #37  Postby Nathan Smyth » May 12th 2010, 7:29pm

Brian Loring wrote:
Nathan Smyth wrote:Are these barrels in Lompoc?

Image

If so, is it a new facility?

Yep! Our barrel room is large enough that we don't have to stack full barrels!

Dude - it looks like an aircraft hanger - I feel like I can barely see all the way to the far wall.

Does this call for quitting your day job?
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #38  Postby jon leifer » May 12th 2010, 8:01pm

Reading this thread feels like old home week, nice to see so many familiar "faces"..Won't pile on re Alice..Read her book and that was enuff for me..Just thought I wd say hello


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Re: Yup.....

Post #39  Postby P@u1_M3nk3s » May 12th 2010, 8:04pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
Wes Barton wrote:(Oh, and since when is rating a wine 88 or 89 pts a "slam"?)

Since certain critics figured out it was an easy way to slam something in the text but cover their ass from criticism by attaching a score that's nominally respectable but clearly designed to dissuade anyone from buying the wine.

+1. IIRC the review included the line "if you want to make french wines, go to France".

OOTO I'd like to try the wine A.F. dissed.
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Re: Yup.....

Post #40  Postby Cris Whetstone » May 12th 2010, 9:27pm

Wes Barton wrote:I share her wine preferences. It would be nice to see her drop her unhealthy Parker obsession and put some effort into seeking out the many many other CA wineries that she would like, and then actually talk about them.

Well said. She doesn't seem to have much to say other than she doesn't like RMP and all things related. That could be entertaining occasionally but unfortunately the writing isn't clever or novel leaving her just sounding like a angry zealot versus someone contributing to the wine writing world.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #41  Postby George Pavlov » May 12th 2010, 9:34pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Alice is gonna drop by here on Saturday. We've talked on the phone & exchanged a lot of e-mail but it will be fun to meet her....


I'll be there on Saturday with Alice, as well. Looking forward to meeting you in person, also, Roberto.

And yes, you're in for a treat - Alice is a true original.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #42  Postby Mark Larson » May 13th 2010, 6:39am

Love Love Love Alice.

Her book is fabulous and if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #43  Postby ChrisBeacham » May 13th 2010, 6:58am

Wow, lots of posts on what I thought was just a funny little bit of hyperbole and nasty ripping of a new one to BigJay!

Seems Alice is pretty controversial here with those who love her, hate her but few in-between. I think that's a good thing because the people around here don't have strong feelings about many wine critics.

[insert a snort or neener or other appropriate smiley here as I continue to be smiley challenged.]

Hey the neener worked!
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #44  Postby Nathan Smyth » May 13th 2010, 7:18am

In this day and age, it seems like you would be able to patent a proprietary yeast culture.

Of course, the patent would only last for 17 years - I guess that's why they never patented the recipe for Coca-Cola.
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Heeeeeerrrr's Alice

Post #45  Postby TomHill » May 13th 2010, 7:26am

Last edited by TomHill on May 13th 2010, 7:29am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #46  Postby H Wallace Jr » May 13th 2010, 7:28am

ChrisBeacham wrote:Wow, lots of posts on what I thought was just a funny little bit of hyperbole and nasty ripping of a new one to BigJay!

It seems like we can poke fun at BigJay, but we can't poke fun at flavor....

I think it would be more appropriate to switch the wineberserkers redirect from http://www.antiflavorwineelite.com to http://www.antisubcriberwineelite.com
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Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery: Mourvèdre and Semillon Together at Last
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Mark Larson
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #47  Postby Mark Larson » May 13th 2010, 7:35am

Recognizing this thread is about one particular criticism, I do wish those who are negative with Alice, read her book and then formulate opinions. I do believe her approach to wine will increasingly reflect the attitudes and mores of a growing percentage of consumers.
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Yup....

Post #48  Postby TomHill » May 13th 2010, 7:55am

Mark Larson wrote:Recognizing this thread is about one particular criticism, I do wish those who are negative with Alice, read her book and then formulate opinions. I do believe her approach to wine will increasingly reflect the attitudes and mores of a growing percentage of consumers.


Yup.....totally agree. I did read her book.....hence the reason I have such a negative opinion about Alice. It's not her message about "natural" wine that's
wrong, it's the self-indulgent/whiney/self-absorbed way she delivers that message. Alice "I saved the world from the Parkerization" ???? You gotta be kidding!!!
The message of "natural" (whatever the heck that means) has been delivered for yrs by the likes of PaulDraper, SteveEdmunds, and TonyCoturri in a manner
that makes the message make sense. Alice's delivery of that message is like.....scratching your fingernails down a chalkboard...for those who can relate to that.
Tom
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #49  Postby Al Osterheld » May 13th 2010, 8:27am

I've read some of her short pieces and a few interviews when she was making the circuit when her book came out. I haven't read her book. I may, but from reading some reviews I'm not sure I would enjoy it.

I don't disagree with her approach to wine, much of it resonates with me. But I'm not fond of her approach to writing about wine which, for me, focuses too much on what she doesn't like rather than what she likes. She also seems guilty of the same sort of absolutist, if you don't agree you're wrong and clearly haven't ascended to the same higher plane of wine appreciation, type of opinions she (and others) have complained about in Parker's writing. As far as the blog piece that started this thread, it's as if she woke up one day, wanted to add to her blog but either didn't have anything new to write or didn't have the time, so she takes the easy route of mocking a Jay Miller tasting note. There is a difference between writing and heckling. If JM's tasting notes represent, for her, much of what's wrong with the wine world, that particular blog piece represents, for me, much of what's wrong with wine blogs or internet blogs in general.

As far as her book, I certainly don't like the title, "The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization". First, it defines the book by a negative. Second, while she complains that producers and retailers seek and use Parker points to sell more wine, she's guilty of using Parker's fame to sell more books. Third, it's rather clear she hasn't saved the world from anything. Lastly, it makes the book sound rather personal, as much about the author as about wine. That approach can make a book fascinating or tedious depending on how one reacts to the author's psyche. I'm guessing, for me, it would be the latter.

-Al
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #50  Postby Cris Whetstone » May 13th 2010, 8:39am

Well said Tom and Al.

I haven't read her book but after reading some of her work online I have zero desire to read her book. If its anything like her articles and blogs then it sounds like a less than pleasant exercise.
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