Trashing the trashy Wine Spectator has become the easy sport of wine writers, electronic or not. Yet, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. The “silver lining” of The Wine Spectator is easy to find. All you have to do is look for the monthly column of Matt Kramer. How such a reasonable, thoughtful and open-minded voice continues to exist on the pages of the Spectator is something not easily explained. While I keep up my subscription to the “Speculator” out of obligation, I confess the first thing I do when I get my new edition is to flip the pages until I get to Matt Kramer’s column, which is an island of intelligence in the Spectator sea of hype and misinformation.
Matt offers that rare combination of intelligent wine commentary mixed with good writing - something hard to come by and a recipe missing from most of the pages of The Wine Spectator. To experience the creativity and wine savvy of Mr. Kramer, you can read almost any column he has written, but there is a tremendous example of his sensitivity and clarity in the June 15th issue of the Spectator.
In his column titled “Terroir Matters”, Kramer distills the complicated concept of terroir down to an idea that any wine lover can wrap their arms around. Never have I seen anyone more eloquently and simply communicate this essential concept to those seeking to understand the beauty of wines driven by vineyards rather than technique.
As there is a good possibility that you missed Matt’s “Terroir Matters” piece on your headlong rush to get to the top pointy wines at the back of this issue, I can only encourage you to dig out your copy of the June 15th “Speculator” again and take a second to understand the flavors and feeling of terroir, so thoughtfully presented by Mr. Kramer.