A couple of name ideas for Il Cane Pazzo [“Name games,” Restaurantarama, January 6, 2009]: Fortuna (“luck”) Mangia! (“eat!”) Felicita (“happiness”).
This most recent article [“Sour grapes,” The Working Pour, January 6, 2009] is a “Dis” service to the Virginia Wine Industry, and an insult to thousands of consumers of Norton.
Wine is a personal thing and what counts is palate, experimentation and pocketbook. Not Mr. Beard’s biased opinion. I like Petit Verdot, but I know “Vinfera” wine drinkers who do not care for it. Norton is not one of my favorite grapes, but I do know people who like it. I would not insult the palates of either group. I probably have tasted a Norton as bad as J. Tobias Beard describes, but I have also tasted some that are pleasant and drinkable. Even if I thought some of his descriptive notes, I would not write them.
I have been in the wine industry longer than Tobias is years old. If Mr. Beard thinks that only Vinifera is “good enough for making wine” then he is the epitome of a wine snob, and an uneducated one at that.
I just can’t think of too many wine makers who continue to make wine that doesn’t sell. So no matter who is telling Mr. Beard its “loathsome stuff” there must be something that many people enjoy, like the grapey nose…
I think he owes Jennifer McCloud, the other 20 Virginia Wine makers who produce Norton, the Virginia consumers who buy it, and all those people in Missouri who drink Norton like water, an apology.