If you have ever spent time in an Irish pub, you quickly learned that there's truth in the stereotype that the Irish are first-rate conversationalists.
In today's featured Web link, I offer evidence that it's not just draughts of black Guinness that set the Irish talking. Winewatch, the Website of Wine Ireland Magazine, makes it clear that a glass of wine will serve as well.
Although it offers only a taste of the print magazine's contents and apparently remains partly under construction (links to "Tasting Notes" and "About Us," for example, yield only "This page will be updated shortly"), the sample articles featured here are readable and interesting ... much like the (idealized) conversation in an Irish pub.
The home page features only a table of contents for the magazine's current issue, but to bite into some heartier stuff, try the links to "This Issue" and "Archive" in the left-hand column under "Current Features." There you'll find about eight substantive excerpts from recent articles. A sampling:
Writing about buying Bordeaux "en primeur" - ordering the wine at presumably attractive prices two years before its release - Master of Wine Martin Moran offers a skeptical view. "... those of us who view wine as a drink rather than an investment vehicle realise that unless someone else is paying we'll never drink good claret again," he writes. "In recent times a new form of wine buyer has developed. The collecter who doesn't drink yet avidly reads Robert Parker or Clive Coates. It makes me want to scream, 'Get a life!'"
In another excerpt, writer Jacinta Delahaye illuminates food-and-wine matching by reporting on a chilly evening's tasting of Pinot Noir with Boeuf Bourguignon. "The wine acted as a second sauce to the rich succulent casserole," she wrote of Marimar Torres Pinot Noir, fashioning one of those simple phrases that says much with a few words.
Other articles currently online include a dissertation on tasting wine, focusing on the importance of smell; some hints on picnic wines; an interview with Australian wine maker Wolf Blass and a favorable review of Australia's modest Jacob's Creek wines; and a humorous analysis of the various types of young wine drinker ("The Wine Dreamer" and "The Wine Romantic") in Dublin's wine bars.
In another article, writer Tom Doorley urges another look at white wines, fretting, "What is it about the contemporary Irish wine drinker and the white stuff? White wines are dismissed out of hand, glossed over, occasionally consumed as a kind of purgatorial interlude before the celestial relief of red. But, by and large, they are not loved, discussed, contemplated, studied or sought out."
Although the magazine is written for an Irish audience, its appeal is international. If you stop by for a short visit, you may find it turns into a longer one, leaving you thirsting for more.
You'll find Winewatch, the Website of Wine Ireland Magazine, at
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Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.