Mail bonding: Readers have their say

This quarterly column lets you say your piece. Keep the letters coming — they’re really useful and insightful.

Ratings Rant

I’m new to reading your section, but it seems to me that your ratings for the zinfandels on 9/20/06 might be a bit generous with four out of five wines ranking in at 4 and 4 1/2 stars. Or, maybe it’s just that I’m not used to your rating system. Wouldn’t a standard rating system letting wines fall in the 80s-90s range allow for more accurate reviewing?

Michele, Atlanta

I have rather limited space, so I run mostly reviews which tell people what to buy, rather than what not to. But if a wine is spectacularly disappointing, I’ll print a negative review. I initially didn’t want ratings, but popular demand won out. So I chose the five-star system since the 100-point scale that glossy mags use ends up bunched in the 75-90 range anyway.

Enthusiasts Speak Out

I rarely find the time or the motivation to send comments on articles from any source, but what transpired yesterday was more than motivating [9/06/06]. First off, I read your editorials very often and find your candor and occasional rant to be not only quite entertaining, but also a blessed variance in the world of wine writers.

As a wine drinker, I fall perfectly into the category of Wine Enthusiast, which is a term I use every single day to explain my passion and fervor for devouring all things wine. Personally, I found your jaunts into each stereotypical segment’s attitudes when interacting with wine to be so close to some of my own previous comments that I felt like I was reading an article I myself had written. Cheers to that!

Your almost-bludgeoning attack on the Image Seekers was worth an outburst in laughter. The little ditty about your ego swelling from the inquiring minds of the Savvy Shoppers is extremely relevant to me personally and professionally. Finally, your blatant ousting of the Satisfied Sippers was just downright hilarious!

One thing that really caught my attention … was the fact that you dropped the occasional profanity. Now some people may see that as useless, and some may just laugh at it, while some may not have even noticed. I noticed and considered it to be an excellent way to put a black eye on the stuffy/placid/repetitive nature that is exuded by other wine writers. Hooray for Creative Loafing!

J.C. Milam, Vice President of World Wineries Inc., Tampa

Stop, stop … I’m blushing … OK, don’t stop.

Prego Wine

My wife recently became pregnant, and we’ve been searching without success for a decent nonalcoholic wine ever since. We sampled the Sutter Home Frémerlot and champagne, and were pretty underwhelmed. [Your] recent article on N/A wines didn’t offer much hope. Are there any that you’ve come across that taste like wine rather than fruit juice?

Ryan, Atlanta

Sadly, no, I cannot say I’ve had any other nonalcoholic wines that are both readily available and tasty.


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