My next column focuses on Gourmet magazine, so picked up the latest copy on the newstand.
Many of us trace our food & wine roots back to Gourmet magazine; 35-40 yrs ago in my case. It, over the yrs, has had some of the best wine writing around. Great writers like Gerald Asher, on of the best in the biz. Always a joy to read. Alas, he seems to be relegated these days to a minor role of providing wine recomendations and seldom has a full-length article.
Over the yrs, Gourmet became a little stodgy and I'd just thumb thru it for Asher's articles. Lately, under Ruth Reichl, it's been toned up quite a bit. Maybe a bit too glitzy w/ ads for BMW's and Bali bras. But it still, from time to time, has some pretty good writing.
This latest edition (April 2006) is no exception. There is a very well done article by David Lynch on the red wines of Northern Italy, particularly the Alto Adige...one of my favorite areas. It emphasizes the winemaker's renewed focus on the native varieties like Lagrein, Schiava, Toreldego, and the like. Very well-done, informative article; worth reading.
Ruth Reichl has just come out w/ a new book.."History In A Glass: 60 yrs of Wine Writing from Gourmet"; featuring some of the best (in her opinion) articles/columns on wine ov er the yrs. It's a terrific read. Some of the articles I recall from my formative yrs, some are new to me.
Particularly interesting are the columns by Frank Schoonmaker from the '40's. Despite what some might have you believe, I did NOT follow the Calif wine industry from the very start. His writings offer a wonderful insight to this era when the Calif wine industry was recovering from the abominations of Prohibition. Some of his comments are remarkably prescient.
Anyway, a book worth picking and reading.