Wine Columns for the Week of March 7, 2007

In what must count as one of the oddest career moves ever, Malcolm McLaren, notorious as the Sex Pistols' manager, actually began his working life as a trainee wine taster at George Sandeman. McLaren proves a fine writer too, contributing a gem to yesterday's NYT Magazine in which he paints a portrait of Blueface, his appallingly (and hilariously) misogynistic ex-general wine instructor. It's heady stuff: cheap Bordeaux are women in need of being put in their place, a young Burgundy from Morey-St.-Denis is a virgin ready for ravishing, and a particularly august Hermitage displays a "truly heroic, masculine body."

After such indelicate prose, all the week's other articles seem just a bit dry. There are myriad tributes to the late Gallo patriarch, as well as extensive coverage of New Zealand Pinot Noir in both the Seattle Times and SF Chronicle.

Over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Gil Kulers argues that Two-Buck Chuck can beat a $175 bottle of Stag's Leap -- given the right company and context. He even displays an admirable magnanimity in admitting to enjoying a bottle of almond-flavored non-vintage sparkling wine.

What would old Blueface make of that?