Google+

Alice in Wonderland

alicefeiring She’s a rabble rouser and contrarian who was tossed off the Robert Parker Forum. Sorry, I always get that wrong, I mean the Mark Squires Forum. Tried and convicted by Mr. Squires for the ultimate sin: asking questions - Alice Feiring is persona non grata at eRobertParker.com.

For those who have met Alice Feiring in person this image of her as someone who needs to be banned from Parker’s, crap, I mean Squire’s Forum is hard to reconcile with the reality of the woman herself.

Alice floats into a room like the dancer she is and like the wines she loves. Diminutive with an explosion of long, wavy red hair, she seduces all comers with an inviting mixture of confidence and shyness. Soon she charms her audience into actually listening to what she has to say, which is a lot. Alice’s delicate voice is one of the few beacons of light for wine producers dedicated to making wines of a place, or, as she calls them natural wines.

Wines that have a sense of place are an endangered species and Alice is out to prevent them from disappearing from the earth. Putting her natural shyness aside she has become a veritable Woman of La Mancha as she swings her sword at the corporate windmills of modern winemaking: cultured yeasts, new oak, over-ripe grapes and the long list of additives and manipulations available to today’s winemakers.

This Christmas there are few more important gifts that you could give your wine loving friends than Alice’s book, The Battle for Wine and Love or How I Saved the World from Parkerization. Alice’s voice may seem small compared to the bloated wines, points and writers at The Wine Spectator and The Wine Advocate, but her message is more meaningful and honest. With no other agenda than what she believes, Alice writes about wines made by the most passionate of winemakers for the most passionate of wine drinkers. While conformity of taste is the message of so many wine publications, Alice celebrates the diversity of the wine world.

Alice, like the wines she loves and the winemakers who make them, is not for everyone, but for those whose minds and palates are open to the experience she is the most important American wine writer I can think of as what she is fighting to preserve is so valuable.

It may be too late to save the world from Parkerization, but for those who care, through Alice’s looking glass they’ll discover a wonderland of wines.