Wine Columns for the Week of January 17, 2007

After the devastation suffered by Californian orange and lemon farmers this winter, it's ironic how many of this week's food columns are citrus-centered. Unfortunately for editors, the gods have very little sympathy for lead times. It's much harder to pin down a theme for the wine columns. (Maybe glibness of prose?) There are just as many European features (ausleses and first-growth Bordeaux) as ones set in the new world (Australian cabs and New Zealand pinot noir). And for every raving write-up of a "lush, fruity red", there's another devoted to "bracing, zippy" whites.

Paul Gregutt might have picked up on a trend with his compelling case for lower-alcohol vintages. But as it so happens, his pick of the week (a Gruner Veltliner) was roundly dismissed as so "5 minutes ago" by wine experts polled in the SF Chronicle. Cyrus wine director Jim Rollston's haughty put-down: "Gruner Veltliner is still a great wine, but it's had its moment." Ouch.