Wine Columns for Week of May 9

After April's provocations and prevarications, wine writers this week settled down to the sanguine task of wine writing. Mostly, they looked at bargain reds: southern Rhone varietals in the Seattle Times, Merlot in the Detroit News, Tempranillo in the SF Chronicle, and cheap Bordeaux in the WSJ. In the Miami Herald, Fred Tasker found an unexpected angle for his column by considering the merits of wines from Brazil. There's a similarly offbeat story in the Washington Post, where the Page/Dornendorf duo wax lyrical about Virginian wines "fit for a queen."

The most evocative piece of the week belongs to Jancis Robinson, whose SF Chronicle guide to Burgundy wine tasting paints an evocative picture of a noirish world - all backstreets, murky passageways and clandestine trapdoors.