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Bruce Hayes

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FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Bruce Hayes » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:09 pm

As I said, FYI. Not really sure why I am telling you guys (and gals) this, but, after almost 18 years (wow) together, the WS and I have called it quits. The root cause, although there were many, is being cited as the usual "irreconcilible differences", which basically translates as, when I first started subscribing in December of 1988 (wow, again), it was a magazine about wine and now, well, now, I don't know what the hell the magazine is about.

However, I do know this: it isn't about me.

So, there you have it. I have several large boxes of back issues stored in my basement which I, in all probability, will never read. With the exchange (I live in Ontario), the magazine really wasn't worth it for me.

I can get all the wine info I need from this and other (sorry Robin) web-based forums.

As the old saying goes, "Today is the first day of the rest of my life."

So long Marvin. The first dozen years were great. The last half dozen were just plain strange.

Thank you for listening, oh, I mean, reading. :D
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Bob Henrick

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Bob Henrick » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:13 pm

Bruce, lessons are learned at our own rate. I subscribed for about 6 years way back when it was more of a newspaper style publication. It started that way without the slick paper and all the advertising. The advertising and slick paper is what caused me to drift away. I am sure that you are going to soon learn that you are better off without them.
Bob Henrick
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Bill Hooper

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Bill Hooper » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:27 pm

I get it free through work (whether I like it or not), and it STILL isn't worth it.


-Bill
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Remo Perriello

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Remo Perriello » Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:14 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:I get it free through work (whether I like it or not), and it STILL isn't worth it.


-Bill


Bruce, thanks for sharing. I am sure you will feel a lot better when you get your final issue...

Bill, I give away my copies of WS to my customers... I have a sign that reads, "Complimentary copy, please take..." :lol:
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Bill Hooper

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Bill Hooper » Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:23 pm

Nicely done, except you run the risk of them asking you for Top 100 wines. yuck!




Prost!
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Remo Perriello

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Remo Perriello » Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:05 am

LOL Bill, I almost hit my year mark with my startup Wine Shop and have yet to have someone ask for a rated wine.

My store is quite small, in its first stages, planning on expanding if things work out well. Which leads to a more hand sell and personal touch. This may be one reason I havent be asked about ratings... It's funny though, I sometimes catch myself telling my customers about the ratings, but most don't really care...

However, I am trying to cope with the size questions... "Do you have anything smaller?", "Do you have anything bigger?", "How about pint sizes?" "How about that bottle, in a magmum?" , "Do you have any Gallo 4 L?"

... ARGH!!!
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:20 am

Thanks for this emotional moment Bruce. I gave up three months ago, donated some copies to the drop-in centre (!!??) and now read it in 5 minutes at the local winestore. Have not been to the website in months!
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Ian Sutton

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All wine mags and I are kaput...

by Ian Sutton » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:04 am

Are there ANY good wine mags out there? It seems most are appealing to those new to the hobby, or who like the image, but don't have time to form their own judgements, or who just like pretty pictures of beaming winemakers in sunny vineyards alongside equally superficial fawning prose.

Decanter has declined badly, Wine Magazine has been through turmoil and whilst showing some interesting signs recently, still has some dreadful stuff in there. I picked up WS off the shelf in a UK bookstore a couple of months ago, browsed for a minute, put it back. It confirmed my suspicions about the magazine. Winestate in Oz has a couple of good writers on Wine History (Velmai Henkell?) and technical (Richard Gawel), alongside less interesting columns and a fatally flawed panel review system. Gambero Rosso do a big magazine on cheaper wines, but I only really bought it to develop my Italian reading skills!

Maybe there's a good one out there, but I'm a little doubtful.

Books however, plenty of good ones out there.

regards

Ian
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Dale Williams

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Re: All wine mags and I are kaput...

by Dale Williams » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:27 am

Ian Sutton wrote:Are there ANY good wine mags out there?


I gave up on WS years ago, but then Zachys gave a free subscription to some customers for a year. I glanced through it each time, but other than maybe Matt Kramer and occasionally the food column, I can't say there was much that caught my eye. But that's just me- maybe if you were a total newbie to a featured region it might inform, or if you were interested in visiting. In any case, when freebie ran out I didn't take advantage of many discounted offers.

I also got a freebie of Wine Enthusiast for a while. Fun for free, I wouldn't subscribe.I occasionally pick up Decanter if I need reading for a train ride after an offline. Nothing has drawn me to subscribe. In both cases I average one interesting article per issue.

So now I don't actually subscribe to any wine magazine. I do get two subscription newsletters (Claude Kolm's Fine Wine Review and John Gilman's View from the Cellar) that I think provide great value.
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Mike B.

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Re: All wine mags and I are kaput...

by Mike B. » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:52 am

My wife bought me subscriptions to both Wine Enthusiast and Wine Access for my birthday earlier this year.

Enthusiast is OK, certainly better than WS. But it's suffers somewhat from the same affliction as Spectator - too little wine, too much high society B.S. At least Enthusiast doesn't have the insufferable James Suckling.

I reached my breaking point with Spectator when one of their columnists wrote about a speech Matt Kramer gave on biodynamism. It was a little too much navel gazing for me.

Wine Access is a Canadian publication and I love it. The focus is mostly on, get this, wine! What a novel concept! Better yet, it highlights Canadian wineries and wines, which are sadly absent from WS and WE.
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Bill Hooper

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Bill Hooper » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:32 pm

Remo Perriello wrote:LOL Bill, I almost hit my year mark with my startup Wine Shop and have yet to have someone ask for a rated wine.

My store is quite small, in its first stages, planning on expanding if things work out well. Which leads to a more hand sell and personal touch.



Sounds like a great shop, we need more retailers like you -Best of luck to you!

Bill
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JoePerry

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by JoePerry » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:03 am

No use? I owe my life to the WS

I once passed out in a friend's cellar after too much Port and covered myself with back issues of WS for warmth (true story). Without those glossy oversized pages I might not be here now...
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JoePerry

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Re: All wine mags and I are kaput...

by JoePerry » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:06 am

Ian Sutton wrote:Are there ANY good wine mags out there?


Though not strictly wine, the Art of Eating has great articles (thanks, Thor).

I used to like The Underground Wine Journal, but I haven't read it in years.
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Doug Surplus

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Doug Surplus » Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:17 pm

JoePerry wrote:No use? I owe my life to the WS

I once passed out in a friend's cellar after too much Port and covered myself with back issues of WS for warmth (true story). Without those glossy oversized pages I might not be here now...


That wasn't too much port - more like, just enough!
Doug

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Carlo

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Carlo » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:18 pm

The only use I have for WS is to sell our wine by its rating.
Anything negitive only hurts the wine bizz in a whole(U S wineries).Were a small comunity that competes with beer so that`s the giant we face.
I know I`m not presenting this right .
Bad ratings maybe hurt all of the wineries and their artisans.

Do they rate Bud and Coors..?

By the way Parker rated our Syrah 93 points :D
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James Roscoe

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by James Roscoe » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:18 pm

Doug Surplus wrote:
JoePerry wrote:No use? I owe my life to the WS

I once passed out in a friend's cellar after too much Port and covered myself with back issues of WS for warmth (true story). Without those glossy oversized pages I might not be here now...


That wasn't too much port - more like, just enough!


Too much port is when you see the little white light and you never come back.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Ian Sutton » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:27 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Too much port is when you see the little white light and you never come back.

Port? I thought that was the dentists?
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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by James Roscoe » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:31 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
James Roscoe wrote:Too much port is when you see the little white light and you never come back.

Port? I thought that was the dentists?


Now that I think about it my dentist's breath smells as if he has been drinking port. Does he know Joe?
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Lou Kessler

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Lou Kessler » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:40 pm

JoePerry wrote:No use? I owe my life to the WS

I once passed out in a friend's cellar after too much Port and covered myself with back issues of WS for warmth (true story). Without those glossy oversized pages I might not be here now...


That's good enough to have many people UNSUBSCIBE! I'm thinking about it now.
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Lou Kessler

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Lou Kessler » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:44 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:
JoePerry wrote:No use? I owe my life to the WS

I once passed out in a friend's cellar after too much Port and covered myself with back issues of WS for warmth (true story). Without those glossy oversized pages I might not be here now...


That's good enough to have many people UNSUBSCIBE! I'm thinking about it now.


Spelling, I got so angry at The Speculator Spelling= U N S U B S C R I B E
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Paul Winalski

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Paul Winalski » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:57 pm

I confess it's been a long time since I read an issue of the Wine Spectator.

Last time I looked, the magazine might better have been titled "Winestyles of the Rich and Famous". Frankly, I could give a damn what rich and famous people are doing or eating or shmoozing in California's wine country.

I wouldn't even stock this rag in my bathroom (the paper is non-absorbant).

-Paul W.
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JoePerry

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by JoePerry » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:21 am

James Roscoe wrote:
Doug Surplus wrote:
JoePerry wrote:No use? I owe my life to the WS

I once passed out in a friend's cellar after too much Port and covered myself with back issues of WS for warmth (true story). Without those glossy oversized pages I might not be here now...


That wasn't too much port - more like, just enough!


Too much port is when you see the little white light and you never come back.


I've been there. A bottle of 63 Martinez Port, Deco "Port", 82 Noval LBV, Argueso PX, and some single malt after a night of normal wines.

Ask Tim Tanigawa about "Godzilla"; I think he's still cleaning up.



I'm like Rasputin now... totally immune.
Last edited by JoePerry on Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by JoePerry » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:28 am

Lou Kessler wrote:
JoePerry wrote:No use? I owe my life to the WS

I once passed out in a friend's cellar after too much Port and covered myself with back issues of WS for warmth (true story). Without those glossy oversized pages I might not be here now...


That's good enough to have many people UNSUBSCIBE! I'm thinking about it now.


How very inhospitable of you. :shock:

What will I cover myself with when I pass out in your cellar after Cassoulet?
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Covert

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Re: FYI: The Wine Spectator and I are kaput!!

by Covert » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:59 am

Is it the magazine the problem or just that wine geeks evolve beyond the point where there is value in it for them? In other words, how is the subscription rate doing: growing or declining? There are a lot of lamebrains out there, don’t forget. Have some noblesse oblige.

There is value in everything, if you look. I guess the mag is too glossy to substitute for toilet paper, but I have recently been finding James Laube’s comments hilarious and even waiting for issues just to see what besotted things he will say next so that I can post goofs on them. I also think it provides ballast for the Whole Foods Store cult phenomenon in the American zeitgeist. And I have learned that the trees killed for the rag’s distribution were especially grown for such purposes and do not deplete the overall forestation, so you don’t have to be concerned about that. Landfill areas, potential developmental damage to newbies and our declining world reputation are concerns, however.

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