The Most Underrated Wine Magazine?
I think it’s three things that make for a great wine publication: 1) Captivating Reviews of wine, 2) consistently wonderful writing, 3) Timely Articles.
Based on this formula I think there really isn’t any question that Wine & Spirits Magazine is the most underrated wine magazine out there.
The reviews of wine are worth the subscription. Yes, they use a 100 point rating system which is overseen by Josh Greene. But it’s the write up that goes along with the rating that makes the reviews special. For example, check out this review of the 2001 Dry Creek Valley Lily Hill Estate Zinfandel
Scott and Lynn Adams farm these 85-year-old vines on a hillside above their caves in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley (the vineyard used to be owned by the Meeker family). Mike Dashe helps with the blend (from eight blocks of zin and one of petite sirah), and in the tradition of great, old-vine Dry Creek Valley zins, this wine manages to be both potent and elegant at once. The power comes in lively black fruit and lasting earthiness along with fresh scents of rose and rosemary. The elegance grows out of the structure, the clear delineation of flavor, neither overripe nor contrived. A beautiful seared-steak wine, this has a zest best enjoyed in its youth.
It’s got a lot packed in there, but most of all it puts the wine in context, something you rarely see in other reviews. Most of the Wine & Spirit reviews are like this.
As for the quality of the writing, I have two words for you: Rod Smith. Rod has been producing some of the best and most deeply researched articles on wine for the past decade. One article this year on the work going on to further delineate the terroir of Russian River Valley was the kind of thing that should show up in any wine publication but rarely does.
Wine & Spirits isn’t talked about as much as the Spectator or Parker…But it should be.