There’s been a recent dust up between the wine writers at the NY Post and the NY Times, all over restaurant wine lists. Eater National published a great summary of the back-and-forth, and it’s worth a read. Of course, this debate has been raging for quite some time out on the
BWest Coast. The Connoisseur’s Guide to Wine and SF Chronicle’s Jon Bonné duked it out a few months ago.
Anyhow, for those of you who haven’t followed along, here’s my distilled version of the NYC-based debate:
Steve Cuozzo, NY Post (aka, Mr. Wilson): Fellow citizens, I am aghast that a Greek restaurant would only serve Greek wines. I’m not familiar with these wines, and the ones I’ve had are crap. I want my Bordeaux. And why are some sommeliers in Brooklyn stocking their list with small producers from obscure areas? Side note: why do they have to be all hippie-dippie “natural wines?” I repeat: I want my Bordeaux. [Scowls. Shakes fist.]
Eric Asimov, NY Times (aka, Voice of Reason): [Enters, stage right] Whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s no need to bash these wine lists just because you personally don’t like Greek wines or “natural” wines. Look, I like going to weddings and having a choice between chicken and salmon, but that doesn’t mean I want those to be my only choices every time I go out to dinner. Let’s embrace the fact that we live in a city that has all different types of wine lists — some safe and conventional, some a bit more adventurous. And, PS, there is a growing cadre of wine professionals at restaurants dedicated to answering questions and guiding guests through even the most obscure lists. Kick back, chat em up, have some fun. May the schwartz be with you. [starts walking away]
Cuozzo: Hey so that thing I said about Greek wines at Greek restaurants? Let’s put that aside. What I really wanted to say is that natural wines are crap. I hate them. HATE them. Damn hippies. [Shakes fist] Will this get me another mention in the Times? Pretty please?
[Asimov shakes his head, keeps walking off stage]
Off stage voice: Mr. Cuozo, your 15 minutes are now up.