Niche Wine Blogs
Veritas in Vino
Written by Alice Feiring, Veritas in Vino might
be the best blog that concentrates on “natural” wines,
variously defined by Feiring as “non-trickster” or
“made with ultra-minimal intervention.” Though Feiring
treats the subject with an urgency bordering on militant (she recently
called the ubiquitous Veuve Clicquot Champagne
“undrinkable”), her wine recommendations are frequently
terrific and always unexpected. Come here for tips on Burgundy, grower
Champagne and a slew of little-known and under-valued appellations.
Thanks to Robert M. Parker,
Jr., numbers are the most popular way to rate wine. Words, long in use
before Parker’s 100-point scale innovation, are also a fine
choice. But at Château Pétrogasm, visuals are the medium.
These reviews can be cryptic (a 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is
described with a photo of a rooster wearing a knit cap), but the fun is
in decoding the images. Take the 2005 Tenuta di Trinoro Passopisciaro,
an intense Sicilian red illustrated with a vintage shot of Sophia Loren.
We can guess that means it’s dramatic, vibrant, or maybe that it
will age well. At the least, it inspires more thought than a naked
While most wine bloggers focus on specific
bottles, Tom Wark looks at wine PR. Wark, a PR guy himself (and
executive director of the Specialty Wine Retailers Association),
ruminates on interstate wine shipping laws, restrictions on what can be
called Champagne and the curiously vague “old vines”
designation on many wine labels. He also interviews other wine
bloggers—from The New York Times’ Eric Asimov to Alice
Feiring, mentioned above.
Good Wine Under $20
While it’s hardly a unique
concept—budget wines might be the most-blogged subject in the wine
web—author Dr. Debs is remarkably willing to trek through obscure
vines in her search for the great everyday drinkers. She’s made it
a mission to try 100 different varietals, and as of mid-January 2008 she
was at number 88—Tocai Friuliano. Debs rates wines on QPR, or
quality to price ratio.
There is one great frustration in reading
about wine—trying to find it. Quaffability addresses that issue by
reviewing bottles almost exclusively purchased from Trader Joe’s.
Quite simple, quite brief and quite useful, especially if TJ’s is
the main wine game in your neighborhood.