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Nov 19, 2017

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Wine Bitch 2
Mo' Bitches...

Address letters to:

Editor's Note: We decided to print this following "note" as is (with no corrections). Mr. Rubio's first letter can be viewed if you scroll down a bit. We also decided to reprint his original letter as is under our "edited" version so you can judge for yourself whether we misquoted him (or just couldn't understand what the hell he was talking about).

This is in response to Ms Duttons comment. Before you quote someone make sure you know how to read. I never said I berated a customer. I never even implied that my response was made to them. This is a column where individuals can vent. And here on the web where its a safe place, the venting took place. And by the way screw you for mis quoting me. Learn to read before you quote. ( Obviously a Democrat) Anyway thanks for the lecture on the restauarant business, no doubt you'll join the rest of the 50% of businesses that go under. You know so much better. I was speaking about a mentality that exists out there by the consumer, one who feels they are entitled to everything for the price of nothing. Its this mentality that lowers the quality of service. No doubt you support them. Good luck you'll need it. By the way screw you......WR

Hey, your website is really cool and funny. I'm hooked! I'm looking forward to reading more and one day getting on the Contributing Writers page even as an over-the-hill 31-year-old. I worked in NYC over the summer and felt old around a bunch of aspiring whatever-cool-to-be-at-the-moment folks. But reading your website, now I know I'm old. It's all good though because I can still use my college ID for movie tickets (even if I buy them on-line).

Atlanta, GA

Please take me off of your pathetic wine blather.

Brad Musolf
Divisional Manager
Trinchero Family Estates

Dear Darryl,

Thanks for the copy of [Wine] "X" (Vol. 5.5). There were lots of interesting articles for wine aficionados like myself.

I also read the book reviews of Al Franken's and Richard Clarke's books in the magazine. Franken is featured on the dying Air America network, which has no listeners. Clarke has been revealed as a fabricator of stories, solely designed to embarrass the current administration. What's next? A fawning movie review of "Fahrenheit 911."

Are you so well funded and/or arrogant and/or stupid to think that you can flip the bird at 1/2 of your potential subscribers (the % of people who will vote for Bush in the fall) and still be successful? You are trying to wedge a food/wine magazine into a crowded field. This is difficult enough without shooting yourself in the foot. Skip the political polemics and you have a better chance of survival. Maybe in Santa Rosa "everyone" you know is a died in the wool democrat, but in the real world, taint so.

A. Minoff
Wilmette, IL

Dear Wine X,

Your concept is right in line with the times. The market place is changing rapidly and I believe your target market is going to be the driving force of the wine business. My question is why are you reviewing and talking about the wines that you seem to choose. The majority are cheap, different from inexpensive, run of the mill, grocery store, has been wines. There are so many fantastic wines available, from every corner of the world, and your reviewing the likes of Blackstone, Bogle, Ravenswood, Hahn and Beringer. Australia has hundreds of inexpensive and fantastic wines and you are writing about Alice White and Black Swan. I understand having to pay the bills, sometimes there is no choice. But these wines are so common and worn out and in some cases never made drinkable wine it does more to hurt the industry than help. No one could possibly get excited over Santa Carolina, not when Chile is producing wines like Montes, Santa Ema and Aresti. Where are the South Africans, Australians, New Zealand's, Argentinians, Spanish, Austrian and Portuguese wines.

I am in the wine business as a wholesaler on the East coast. I had so much hope for your magazine to educate the younger consumer. I thought the concept was going to be a hit. Perhaps I'm confused as to your mission statement. I assumed it was to promote wines to a more hip, younger set. If that's the case seek some help with your choices and reviews, there are many people that are excited about the trends that would jump at the chance. If your goal is just to make a dollar, and there is nothing wrong with that, I say good luck, you are going to need it.

Lee C. Scanlon
Wilmington, North Carolina

Editor's Response: Lee, we don't choose what wines to taste and what not to. We taste whatever comes through the door. If all of these hip and exciting wineries that you mention want their wines reviewed by us, tell them to send them in. It's that simple. It as nothing to do with price.

If you look in our X Rated Wines section (on our website) you'll see that we don't just taste inexpensive wines. If you only read our wine blast then you're only getting half of the picture, for those wines are always under $15 and widely available. What's the sense of reviewing a wine if you can't find or buy it. To us, that's not a very cool or hip thing to present younger adults.

I'm not sure why, but people in the wine industry seem to harp on our wine reviews, when in fact, it's less than a 10th of what we do (our magazine). I understand that Parker and Spectator have brainwashed most in this industry to think that reviews are all that count. But with young adults, reviews are 5th or 6th on the list of why they either drink or don't drink wine. Friends is #1, family #2, etc. Wine X presents a comfortable atmosphere with wine grafted on to it. If we can get a young adult to drink wine because they see their peers in the mag doing so.... we're way ahead of trying to cram a wine review score down their throat.

Regarding your "hope" for our magazine, let me remind you that 21- to 28-year olds have added 40% to per capita wine consumption and 25% to the core wine consumer group in the U.S. since we've been targeting them these past seven years. You'd better hope that we get enough support from the wine industry (including the "hip" wineries that you mention) to keep reaching out to this demographic. Because if not, consumption will go right back to where it was before we came along. And if you think there's a glut of wine now...

Jenna Corwin
Associate Editor
Wine X Magazine

Mr. Scanlon's Response: Jenna, thanks for your response. I will most assuredly contact some of the wineries I represent and have them send you wines to review. As far as people in the industry seem to harp on reviews, it comes down to, it sells wine. Consumers still don't trust themselves, so regardless of where they get they're reviews, Parker, WS or you guys, reviews sell wine. Most folks I know in the business hate reviews, being driven by advertising dollars, and most times are inaccurate. It will just take more education. Which was my main point of concern, to review wines that in my opinion aren't worth reviewing, which is about the only knowledge your consumer base of young and non-wine savvy folks are exposed to is pointing them in the direction of inferior wines, in comparison to what is offered out there. Possibly doing more harm than good. Why are you guys not soliciting wineries to send in wines to be reviewed? I think they all understand what segment is driving the market. I would think it would sell advertising as a bonus. Thanks again for taking your time to respond.


Editor's Response: Lee, the reason so many people in the wine industry "need" reviews is because the vast majority don't know how to sell wine. The only thing they know how to do is slap a number on a bottle and push it farther down the line. That's one of the reasons why we don't use numbers. And, sadly enough, that's the main reason a lot of wineries don't send us samples. They can't understand how to use our reviews since we don't use numbers. It's the snake eating its tail.

We've been around for seven years. If wineries are going to send us samples, they will. If not, their loss. I know that sounds arrogant, but the only thing that'll happen if they send us their wines is they'll get more exposure to the fastest growing wine demo in this country.

Jenna Corwin

Dear Publisher,

I can't believe the adolescent book review contained in the most recent issue of Wine X (volume 5.5). I originally subscribed to your magazine intending to share the fun wine reviews with my younger wait staff -- witty, original reviews with a Gen X slant adding an edge to staff tastings and wine dialog. Now, I open the issue and see you review two liberal biased books. Is this the New York Times? Please. Beyond that, they are reviewed by a mindless teenager (Dawn Yun) with no grasp of facts or current events. "Be afraid, very afraid" and "If only they had listened" is grade school yearbook committee caliber.

Cancel my subscription to Wine X. It's too bad you made the decision to market your magazine exclusively to the juvenile delinquent set and ruin the good thing you had going. If you continue to publish angry-at-their-parents juveniles like Dawn Yun, you'll be rendered non-credible to the silent majority.

Rick Munroe
Munroe Restaurants Inc.
Sarasota, FL 34232

I'm really a huge fan of the magazine. It's dead on in its approach. I'm a thirty year old woman that feels like she's crashing an AARP psych-up every time I go to an industry tasting. I'm the wine director for the top specialty food store in the Northwest, and I feel your frustration. I recently canceled the Wine Spectator seller's subscription that we had set up through my predecessor (a 55+ year old man, oddly enough). The wine industry in this town is a frelling bore, and I've been trying to seduce some new, young blood. So please email me any info/pamphlets/etc. that you can. I would love to get the word out.

And in response to the restaurant owner (Wolfgang Rubio) that berated a customer for not understanding restaurant mark-ups: I've worked in the industry my whole life, and your response is a cop out. "Then cook at home," Rubio said. Screw you, the complainer was right. Restaurants charge what they do because they don't sell enough wine. Glass prices are high to cover the cost of the spoilage. Bottle prices are high to cover the cost of storage. Now let me address the giant pink freakin' elephant in the room -- why not lower prices and move the product? People like Rubio are why people like me don't order wine out, without knowing to whom I'm giving my hard earned dough. And I'm a sommelier of ten years. So don't tell me. And don't dismiss legit criticism as ignorance.

Maggie Dutton, C.W.E.
DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine
Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA

I'm in the wine marketing business in Portugal and just found out about your magazine. I'm 25, and i've been working in this business for about three years. I would like to congratulate your work. It's really what the world needs to get new people into wine.

Best Regards,
Miguel Buccellato

Based on your article about Naomi Brilliant, I picked up Roshambo Winery and now distribute it in Idaho. Your article is valuable feed for my potential Roshambo consumers/retailers.

Dodds Hayden

Just a note to say I enjoy your weekly email blast. I look forward to seeing it in my inbox every week. I'm also going to subscribe to your magazine. I get Wine Spectator for free and, though they have some good features, it's frequently worth exactly what I pay for it. They could use a dose of your attitude, which to me is similar to mine -- neither wine nor life should be taken too seriously or over analyzed, simply enjoyed. As a musician, I enjoy your, God forbid, slightly risqué (what will the neighbors say?!) sense of humor, which they [Wine Spectator] also sorely lacks. Can't wait to get my first issue.

Jerry Westermann

It's getting to the point where I can't afford a dinner at my local steak house because the wine is too expensive. For example: the Palm West in Manhattan. Great place, great steaks. Want to have a glass of cab with it? Forget it, it's too exhorbitant! So you call and find out their corkage fee is an astronomical $25. What?! Don't allow guests to bring their own wine then. It's an insult. $10 or $15 you can live with and still not harbor ill feelings towards the restaurant. It's a shame.


This site cracks me up. Consumers seem to know much better than restaurateurs about the markup of product. I'm a General Manager. I recently had a guest, who was an educated professional, complain about the pricing of wine. Ranting on and on about purchasing the wine at Sam's club for far less. If you people don't like the price of dining out then cook the meals and pour the bottles yourself. He expected me to offer him a discount because he didn't like the price. To all of you "experts" out there. Perhaps we should discuss the markups in the medical profession, in the law profession, in the automobile profession, in the computer profession. I don't see people coming into your establishments and being given a discount for your services. Yeah, I don't like the price on that root canal, doc, so I am going to tell you the proper price I should be paying for your services. How about this: if you don't like the service, then don't buy it. It's as easy as that. I am appalled at the stupidity out there. Such a double standard. Thanks but no thanks for the comments. Leave the business to folks who know how to run it and take care of your own markups. Ridiculous and ignorant...and cheap.

Wolfgang Rubio

Oringinal Letter: This site cracks me. Consumers all seem to know much better than restaurantuers about the markup of product. I am a General Manager. I recently had a guest complain about the pricing of wine who was an educated professional. Ranting on and on about purchasing the wine at Sams club for far less. If you people don't like the price of dining out then cook the meals and pour the bottles yourself. He expected me to offer him a discount because he didn't like the price. To all of you "experts" out there. Perhaps we should discuss the markups in the Medical profession, in the Law profession, in the automobile profession, in the Computer profession. I don't see people coming into your establishments and being given a discount for your services. Yeah I don't like the price on that Root Canal Doc so I am going to tell you the proper price I should be paying for your services. How about this if you don't like the service, then don't buy it. It's as easy as that. I am apalled at the stupidity out there. Such a double standard. Thanks but no thanks for the comments. Leave the business to folks who know how to run it and take care of your own markups. Ridiculous and Ignorant...and cheap.

I LOVE THIS MAGAZINE! It's about time the wine industry began to realize that the 25-35 age group is making a noticable dent in wine comsuption.

Javier Garza
Marriott International Hotels, Resorts & Suites
Austin, TX

Re: Wine X.T.V.

Coming from the old guy (36), keep softening the edges of this stuffy old wine business and keep it fun and simple. Your website nails it.

Mark Ellis

I absolutely LOVE your magazine! I'm fairly new to this business and your magazine has taught me so much!

Jessica Bautista
Grove Street Winery

WOW! What a great site. As a student doing my Masters in Wine Law, I stumbled acrossed your site and was really really drawn to the input and comments. Wine here in Australia is facing quality vs mass production. Ask any small winery and they're fading away against the giants. Yet so is the unique character of our wines.

Dont believe want the label always says. Its been bulked up and added to in so many ways. Stick to the small guys and you'll have a winner... no matter What Country.


I discovered your website today. It's a breath of fresh air. Being 24 years old in the wine industry can be frustrating. I'm glad I found your site and just wanted to let you know that I really like what you guys are doing.

Macx Butcher

Re: Screwcaps vs. Cork

The wine industry cares, it's just too disfunctional, judgemental, hyperactive (not to mention mercenary) to act in a timely manner. By the end of 2005, 90 percent of New Zealand's wines will be in Stelvin. By 2008, 60 percent of Aussie wines will be in Stelvin. Americans are just starting to get it but are afraid of their own customers, and France is medieval and, dare I say it, arrogant... but it's all starting to happen. A smart person would start a cork museum!


Love the layouts. Thanks for making Wine X readable without copious amounts of white space. I'm sick and tired of the seas of white assuming that none of us read anymore. I'll take short sentences and clipped paragraphs, but give me some damn text please. I still love to spend some time with words. Oh, and the tasty guys in the pictures are nice too!

Thanks for the great stories and wine entertainment. You get me smiling every week, which isn't easy these days.

Ann M. Hale

Re: Newsweek Article January 8, 2004

Glut of grapes? People buying less expensive wine? Like NOW the media catches on to what we already saw in Wine X?!

Jennifer A. Sanborn
Arcadia, WI

Mr. Roberts,

I just wanted to extend my thanks and appreciation for the wonderful things you're doing in the wine world for young people. I'm 23, and have spent the last two and a half years in the wine business, managing a wine bar as well as a wine store in Burlington, Vermont, and most recently a rep for a local distributor. My favorite customer is the young (or old) novice drinker who entrusts me to help them begin their exploration of the magnificent and vast wealth of wines. I envy all of you who get to do this on a daily basis. Thanks again, I will be a reader for life!

Drew Robinson

I've read so many articles that state that the 18-34 age group are media savvy and will take reference more from a magazine than existing wine consumers. As soon as the Australian wine industry realises that there is a major segment, especially here in Australia that they're leaving behind, they may start to 'jump on board'. Our demographic is the age where life preferences are made, and if they can't get us now, where's the hope in the future.

Emily Anderson Adelaide, SA

I really appreciate the approach you guys have. I've found many a great wine using your magazine as a guide that I would've never been exposed to. My everyday drinking wine is a gem you pointed me towards (Terra Rosa Valle Central cab). I look forward to whatever advice you guys offer and enjoy searching out the obscure wines you recommend. Keep up the good work!

Mt. Laurel, NJ

Re: Wine Reviews

Not only are they the funniest things I've ever read, but you are right on target and helped me out at the holiday season.


My bitch is with the way the U.S. wine industry has taken itself to market for so many years. All the publications promoting wine as a lifestyle drink has systemically shut out a major portion of the our population. Even you are missing the mark by billing your publication as 20-something rag. There are many of us beyond our 20s who see what a great impact your approach can have on the future of the world, i.e. peace and happiness. Perhaps we will have to settle just with happiness for now.

A good friend just turned me on to your movement. I love what you are doing. With the wine industry awash in good and sometimes great juice someone had to bridge the gap between the past wine world and the future. You are doing so with ass-kicking style. You have obviously gained credibility with the new wine drinker which gives us new hope for the future of this wonderful health food.

Wine is proof that God wanted us to live well and be happy.

Keep it up.

Morris Caudle

Take me away from this hell you've created. Yellowtail? When you start reviewing wines like Yellowtail it's time for me to say goodbye to you. F_ck off!!!

Jon Gerber
Regional Sales Manager
Prestige Wine Cellars Inc.


Congratulations on your magazine! I live and work in Portugal (related to the wine industry) where the wine mentalities are still working in a very, very old way. I´m 32 years old, and I want to develop a wine marketing strategy here for Generation X. Until I found your magazine people used to think that I was out of my mind. Now i just show them your website.

Jorge Bizarro

What a great idea! I just heard of your magazine and was browsing the online issues so I had to write. I'm a wine drinker, thinker, collector, etc. in California -- was raised on pabst blue ribbon and maker's mark bourbon in Ohio. I'm also a Ph.D. student who sits on the verge of leaving academia for winemaking. Anyway, I like the take you guys have on things and believe that the pomp and circumstance surrounding the U.S. wine culture is not only unfounded but, as you say, intimidating to a vast population of consummate consumers of wine.

Andrew Hock

Usually I am extra careful when heaping praise on someone, for there is always the danger that he or she might think that I am just sucking up to her or him. However, in the case of Wine X Magazine I can easily drop my caution, since I want nothing from you but accept my thanks: I have at last found a magazine that helps to address a younger audience in wine matters. I am in the process of convincing one of the leading Swiss wine merchants to help younger people enter the fascinating world of wine.

In Switzerland, like elsewhere, we have the phenomenon that many young people are afraid of wine for fear that they could be humiliated and look utterly unsophisticated not to say outright stupid.

I have downloaded various articles form Wine X Magazine and presented it to said merchant to prove that it is possible to show younger people that wine is about enjoying life, about friendship, about discovery - simply fun!

Wish me luck in convincing the merchant to adopt a new attitude to younger (potential) wine drinkers and to help them overcome their fears.

Thanks and kind regards from Switzerland.

Martin Gheczy
Phoenix Communications


AMEN BROTHER! I'm 35 now (but think I'm 25 grin and I first started drinking wine when I was about 23. I was a promotion director for a radio station and there was a small wine shop down the street. I showed up to pitch them on giving me a case of champagne for promotional value as a prize (you could do that in Florida grin and instead met a guy who was in his mid 20's and totally into wine - the shop's assistant manager, Tim Varan. As far as I'm concerned, the wine industry should kiss this guy's ass, because he's 100% responsible for the fact that I probably spend $1500+ a year on wine! Why? Because he took the time to explain it to me, made it fun and, more than anything, let me taste and try things. And he did this in the coolest ways: with tastings like "Cheap Wine and Junk Food" (I never knew how great riesling was with Vietnamese spring rolls), "The Great Wine and Pizza Challenge," and "Zins and BBQ." Tim cared enough to not look down on me because I could only spend 12 bucks on a bottle, and he let me learn at MY pace - it was okay with him that I was only interested in white wines for 2 or 3 years. Now I drink about 60 or 70% red.

What the wine industry needs is more writing like your magazine, and more guys like Tim, who now has his own place - obviously his philosophy works, he's been successful and getting bigger for six years now - who can get young people to try wine in ordinary situations, with everyday food and to understand that it's an everyday drink. Rock on and keep taking the message to whoever will listen!

Melissa A. Richards

Just a note for that jerk Jack Collins who decided to dis "A Night to Remember" without obviously knowing anything about it. Marvin Shanken's Night to Remember is not about the wine, or about the food, or even about the cigars. It's about 300 people (heavier hitters than buddy Jack, here) who come together once a year to raise money for CaP CURE, the research organization looking for a cure for prostate cancer. This year's event was the eleventh, and it raised a half million dollars.

Hey, Jack - your chances are one in two. Still sound frivolous? Get a life.

Wilma Dull

Dear Wine X,

My local fish wrap (which also prints Kramer, Matt's pick's) has an alleged wine column that alternates weekly between Matt and Katherine. The wine industry/scene educator this week suggested that it would be really "cool" to have too many wines and not enough time (I'm not making this up) and proceeded to set the already intimidated wine buying public back four decades with her riveting interviews of some local wine collectors. Katherine interviewed the "Grand Commander Emeritus" of the Oregon Wine Brotherhood (I can just imagine what the secret handshake is) that claims it has 144 members and that even couples are racing to join up. Next was a group billed as even more exclusive called "A Night to Remember" and this is a direct quote, "We don't tell who comes to these, and we don't discuss what we drink. Usually they're wines that rate no less than 95 on a 100-point scale". What a load of snobby ass crap that is. These people covet wine like some people do their neighbors wife, and actually writing about it in a local rag or Wine Spunktator is asinine. Wine X, keep kicking their collective snobbish asses, I know I do.

Wine Bitch Alumni,
Jack Collins
Wine Director
Lamb's Market Place Thriftway Portland OR.

I attended the World Wine Market event at Fort Mason over the weekend and had a blast at "Club Wine X." The new generation has arrived...finally! What a breath of fresh air in a rather stuffy industry. To see wine reviews with adjectives such as "phat"... I'm sold! I've been waiting for a mag like yours for years! I thought I was the only one in the wine industry that even knew who Missy Elliott was! Congrats on a job well done and I'm looking forward to my subscription!

Trace Nunes Bacar
Vineyard Owner

Dear Darryl,

I just finished reading your article about Washington wines. What a hoot! Your assessment of The Green was perfect (as well as the wines). I thoroughly enjoy reading your articles. There are very few publications who take Gen X wine geeks like myself seriously (though I don't want to be taken too seriously. Wine is fun, after all!). If the wine biz wants to get out of the economic slump, they should put some focus on my generation -- we're the untapped market! Keep writing and I'll keep reading!

Jeanie Inglis-Chowanietz
Business Manager
Washington Vintners, LLC

I just found your site. It's what I hoped existed but didn't believe it was possible. Superb! A wine magazine that's fun and not the usual snobby crap.


Wine X:

"I haven't checked out 'mosh pit' in a while but was both saddened and pleased to read "Marketing Wine In The New Millennium." It's sad that you still have to bang the same drum today that you were back in 1996. It's sad that these mofo still don't seem to 'get' what's a pretty simple but very potent argument. On the other hand, I was happy to see that you're still trying to get the message across, however hard it may sometimes seem. It'll be a sad day for everybody involved if people don't get their heads out of their asses so they can listen to what you have to say. A generation or two will miss out on the fun of drinking and talking about wine, and producers will be left awash in juice. I know that on one level you're just trying to market your mag, but at least it's being done in a way that may help avert what could be a nasty train wreck for the wine industry."

Rich Withington

I love Wine X. It speaks to me and my generation.




Thanks for the only wine publication that rocks!

Per Styregård, Stockholm


I've got an idea. Not that I expect y'all to change anything. But here it is: I find myself wondering if I'll ever see these X-rated wines for sale anywhere. Sometimes it's obvious. Rosemount. Other times, Chateau Potelle, I'm not sure. And, of course, you have subs everywhere in the USA and probably beyond too. And there's no way to convey if it's available in my town (Chicago). But I do think there may be a shortcut. What if next to the wine you reported the case production count. It's a sort of short-hand account to 'whether I'm likely to find it in my town.' I also know that finding production counts can be tricky sometimes, but wineries generally ARE willing to tell you. I know it's extra work and of only dubious value and may confuse some subs, but I think it might be helpful once folks learn what you mean by "X Fat Bastard Shiraz, 150,000 cases."

Anyway, rock on. And thanks for another treat of a newsletter.

Nick Perdiew
American Clubs, LLC

Wine X Replies: Thanks for the email. Noting case production would be a logistical nightmare. You'd be surprised how hard it is for some companies to even include suggested retail price with their wines. However, we're now offering all XX and XXX wines through our wine club. So if you can't find it locally you can get it through the club.

Happy New Year and I wish extended success to Wine X magazine. Thank you very much for the wine blast. I saw Bin 555 on the latest list -- and I couldn't agree more with your review. I, coincidentally, had one for the first time in a while last night. It's always nice to come back to 555 after a while, no matter how major it is!

Best regards
Cyna Bosworth

Wine X,

Your last issue was great, and with it, I'll have you know, I've won a few more converts in the land of beer known as Milwaukee. It's possible that they're listening to me because I was promoted to the rank of Sergeant a short time ago (yeaaaaah), but I'd like to think that they're really taken with your mag! Thanks for the blasts, and I look forward to another chat with corky! Your friend in Milwaukee...

Sgt. Jeffrey Cook
Milwaukee PD

I think I'm in love with this magazine. You guys rock.

Dana Richards

You guys rock!

Diana Horowitz

Hey Darryl:

Don't you think it's about time that the wine industry embraced what you (and others) have been saying for years? Jeez, when I saw the agenda for "Wine Vision" I had to laugh. We've been arguing for years that wineries needed to get off their self-serving, ultra-premium butts and start selling wine to real people. Remember the Wine Marketing Act that went down to defeat (thanks Gallo and other big wineries...even Fetzer, where I worked at the time)? We should've known then that big wineries would never go along with general promotion.

Glad to see you haven't changed your message over the years.


Hey folks,

Just a note to let you know that the email blast is looked forward to every week here at the station house! Through the blast I've found several other wine converts. Or could it be because I'm now their sergeant? I look forward to getting the latest issue. Thanks for your efforts on behalf of all of the new wine drinkers in the Milwaukee Police Department.

Jeff Cook
Milwaukee WI

Well, if you print this in your weekly e-mail blast, you'll regain some credibility. I find it the ultimate conflict of interest when a periodical that reviews a product also offers the same products for sale. It's one thing when ego-inflated, overly-biased rags like Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast or the Advocate offer a club, but a magazine with the clout you've established for yourselves by staying true to your mission sells out in such a way, it makes me wonder if we're all doomed as wine consumers to have our reviews subject to what will make the periodical the most money, as opposed to one person's subjective view of a wine printed to help the consumer find wines he or she will enjoy, and avoid those they wouldn't enjoy.

Christoher Sagadin

Editor's Reply: Well, Christopher, if you'd care to check out the X Rated Wine Club you'll see that WE do not sell the wine, North Coast Wine Group does, which we have no financial interest in whatsoever. Unlike Wine Spectator or Parker or the others, we don't wish to review small production wines that aren't available. What's the point? So we partnered with a company that carries most of the small production wines that we review (or has access to them) so that you, the reader, can easily buy them. We don't receive a commission on the sales, nor do we benefit financially in this partnership. It's an added value for our readers, just like personal library is on our website. And I believe THAT is the clout you're referring to.

Darryl Roberts

Dear Darryl,

Recently I read a presentation of yours outlining wine with regards to Generation X. Many of the stats provided really woke me up, and I suddenly found myself quite excited about the future prospects for wine in our country (grim as they may presently be). I'd like to get involved. I have no doubt that we collectively can convert this awesome group of people to wine consumers. Best wishes for success in all your wine marketing efforts.

Best Regards,
Andrea Pecota White
Robert Pecota Winery

I finally got around to perusing an issue of Wine X, and I had so much fun reading it that I had to write. The magazine is a real breath of fresh air in a too-stuffy industry. Loved the piece on the Willamette Valley, too. It's great to get an overall feeling for the area, not just the appellation. You guys must have a blast at work every day - I'm envious!


Washington State requires the asinine alcohol warning label in any hotel room with a minibar, for crying out loud. I told the state liquor control board that instead of saying pregnant women shouldn't drink [because of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome] why not say: "Alcoholic Women Shouldn't Get Pregnant"?

Ronald Holden
Founder & President
France In Your Glass

Sophia Schweitzer's article on Burgundian Appellations was an enormous yellow rescue raft in the churning sea of French wine labels! I've recently found the courage to stray across the globe from California to France (in wine consumption), and Sophia's detailed breakdown of their appellation system is a lifesaver! Thanks a million!

Mary Catherine Korman, Richmond, VA

I enjoyed Mr. Holden's quote concerning alcoholic women getting pregnant and another warning struck me, "The Surgeon General has determined that Warnings may be hazzardous to your health." I'd also like to wish Mr. Priestley good health soon. I recommend much wine to lift his spirits and ease his suffering.

Christopher Sagadin

RE: Weekly Email Blast

I just wanted you to know that when I open my computer in the morning and there's an ungodly number of wanted and unwanted e-mails, that I always save yours until last, just knowing it'll make me smile before plowing into the rest of my day.

Gustavo Thrace Winery

When I print out the BLAST every week, my squad mates fight over it like it was the coupon section at an old timers home! We here at the Milwaukee Police Department need a magazine like yours to keep some levity to stave off the many everyday horrors we face on the job. Truly, your wit makes for some good conversation while we go about our jobs, in particular the debate wether corky is a real woman, and how does one get a date with her! You have even inspired a group of us to go "wine hunting" once a week to find some of the wines you feature. This little tradition has brought so much fun to us we look forward to the blast even more. Thanks in advance for looking into my subscription and know that there are some in the beer capitol of the us who prefer a sassy shiraz to Miller!

Jeff Cook
MPD Dist #3

Wine X:

You kick ass for trying to make wine more approachable for younger people. I'm 23 and, having been in the service industry for seven years, have been enjoying and learning about wine the whole time. It's a great thing. I'm writing a speech for a class trying to get everyone into wine and came across the website during research. Now I'm a subscriber. Bob Blumer's interview with Jason Priestley rocked, and I hope you don't mind but I'm closing my speech with your compelling quote about palates [Palates are like assholes, everyone's got one.]. With full attribution, of course.

Natalie Fischer
University of Texas, Austin

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