Wine Columnist Worship

Well, worship may be too strong a word. But I have been a Wine Spectator subscriber for several years, and have really come to appreciate and look forward to Matt Kramer’s words. Sure, Jim Laube and James Suckling are enjoyable as well, but Kramer always manages to say something that leaves me thinking, “yeah, he’s totally right. I wish I’d thought to say that…”

A couple weeks ago he compared the ritual of opening a bottle of wine to that of putting a record on the turntable. He was lamenting the over-organized nature of his music collection in digital format and pointed out that just pushing a button and hearing any song he desired kind of takes away from the enjoyable process of picking out the record, perusing the liner notes and setting needle to groove (or even placing CD in tray). Kramer points out that part of what makes wine so enjoyable (beyond drinking it), is the pleasure of selecting the wine, opening the bottle, pouring that first taste, etc. It might lose something in my recap, but the column (November 15, 2006 issue) is worth reading. If nothing else, he gave words to the feeling that wine has always given me — the sense that it was so much more than just having an alcoholic beverage…

I think Kramer accomplishes something that is tough for wine columnists — he imparts knowledge without being pedantic. I come away from his words always feeling enlightened, never as if I’ve been preached to or sold to.

Check out his columns at the Oregonian here. Kramer has also published several books about wine — check them out here.

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