Wine Columns for the Week of December 8th, 2006

Perhaps taking the dictum of Christmas as a time for reflection a little too seriously, wine writers decided this week that instead of all writing about the conifers and tinsel, they'd rather just not write at all. Many newspapers feature a single, perfunctory gift guide (Chicago Tribune, Miami Times, NY Times) plugging dire goods like oenological neckwear. Most of those actually talking about wine give us nothing more than a lonely Wine of the Week column (LA Times, Detroit News, Denver Post). The straggling remnants of sparkling wine and wine pairing pieces ($140 Taittinger with hot dogs, anyone?) have also limped somewhat painfully into print.

With such a shortage of decent wine articles, I've scrabbled together journalistic highlights like wine as disinfectant, gossip about Dan Ackroyd's forthcoming line of moderately-priced wines, and a piece in the Washington Post that's too local to be of any relevance (I'm including it anyway because they earned my goodwill with my favourite headline of the week: "Shabu-Shabu? The Pot Thickens.").

Anyway, for wine coverage, skip straight down to the SF Chronicle. W. Blake Grey's Bargain Wine column dallies as dangerously as ever with the line between charming irreverence and excruciating cringe-inducement. Other than that, Jerry Shriver files an informative wine travel article; Michael Lonsford reports briefly on a visit to a Piedmont winery; there's a nice Gaiter/Brecher piece in the WSJ; and there's one from the AP about young French drinkers.

And that's it.