Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #101  Postby Lewis Dawson » May 14th 2010, 10:34pm

DCowell wrote:This is one of the more interesting threads in a while as people are criticizing Feiring for defining herself by what she does not like - exactly what this board has done from the start!

Irony is beautiful.

LOL... there is a lot of truth in that observation.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #102  Postby Rick Gregory » May 15th 2010, 1:25pm

You guys slay me... for most of the last year people here ripped JM mercilessly and cheered on people like Posner. You lamented Posner's loss.... and then you rip someone who rips JM as mean? As arrogant? As a twit?

Pot: "Hey kettle!?"
Kettle: "Yeah?"
Pot: "You're black!"
Kettle: "Um.... "
Dang Rick, I think that's right
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #103  Postby Roberto Rogness » May 15th 2010, 1:34pm

Alice was just here and was sweet as could be....
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #104  Postby Wes Barton » May 15th 2010, 5:10pm

Rick Gregory wrote:You guys slay me... for most of the last year people here ripped JM mercilessly and cheered on people like Posner. You lamented Posner's loss.... and then you rip someone who rips JM as mean? As arrogant? As a twit?

Pot: "Hey kettle!?"
Kettle: "Yeah?"
Pot: "You're black!"
Kettle: "Um.... "


Who said she was mean?

If anything, the fact that most of her critics here share her wine preferences and think JM is a joke should men something.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #105  Postby Lyle Fass » May 15th 2010, 5:25pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Alice was just here and was sweet as could be....


The misconceptions about Alice are laughable. She is very sweet, passionate, opinionated and knows what she likes. Odds are the people who criticize her in this thread have never read her book, read her columns or met her. If you did, especially the 3rd one, your tune would change.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #106  Postby Lyle Fass » May 15th 2010, 5:26pm

Wes Barton wrote:
Rick Gregory wrote:You guys slay me... for most of the last year people here ripped JM mercilessly and cheered on people like Posner. You lamented Posner's loss.... and then you rip someone who rips JM as mean? As arrogant? As a twit?

Pot: "Hey kettle!?"
Kettle: "Yeah?"
Pot: "You're black!"
Kettle: "Um.... "


should men something.


Freudian slip?
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #107  Postby Ken Zinns » May 15th 2010, 6:17pm

Lyle Fass wrote:
Roberto Rogness wrote:Alice was just here and was sweet as could be....


The misconceptions about Alice are laughable. She is very sweet, passionate, opinionated and knows what she likes. Odds are the people who criticize her in this thread have never read her book, read her columns or met her. If you did, especially the 3rd one, your tune would change.
I can't speak for anyone else who'd contributed to this thread, but from my point of view, your statement is entirely irrelevant. The criticism I posted was of her writing, not of her personality or anything else about her. Whether she is sweet, passionate, or whatever in person has zero impact on my opinion about what she's written.

I think you'll find that most people who have posted on this thread have mentioned that they have indeed read at least some of her writing, if not her book (I've read several columns she's written but not her book). And I share Wes' feelings that it's unfortunate that I haven't cared for most of her writings that I've read, since my wine preferences seem much closer to hers than to what Parker and Miller seem to like - not having ever subscribed to Wine Advocate, I've only read their reviews here and there, but obviously it's not hard to figure out their preferences. If she is successful in getting more recognition for many of the wines she's mentioned (ESJ, etc.), that's great, but it doesn't mean I have to enjoy her writing - and for the most part, I haven't.
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Well...

Post #108  Postby TomHill » May 15th 2010, 6:51pm

Lyle Fass wrote:
Roberto Rogness wrote:Alice was just here and was sweet as could be....


The misconceptions about Alice are laughable. She is very sweet, passionate, opinionated and knows what she likes. Odds are the people who criticize her in this thread have never read her book, read her columns or met her. If you did, especially the 3rd one, your tune would change.


Well...read her book, read any number of her newspaper articles, and have met her (well...been in her presence, anyway). She moderated a panel at the SantaFe W&C Fiesta on "Natural
Winemaking" or some such topic. Sweet??? I couldn't tell if that was the case or not. She seemed way in over her head and had the same preachy/whiney/bitchy/self-promotional demeanor that I got from her book and other writings. She made any number of statements that were factually wrong. She had served w/ the other wines her mystery wine that was designed to illustrate how
bad/evil spoofulated wines are. Actually, many of the people in the audience liked the YellowTail Shiraz and I thought it showed well in the group of other wines presented.
Sorry, Lyle...my tune wasn't changed.

So.....Roberto...did you steer Her Sweetness over to your Coturri stash??? Those are wines she must really love!!!
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #109  Postby M. Dildine » May 15th 2010, 6:54pm

Rick Gregory wrote:You guys slay me... for most of the last year people here ripped JM mercilessly and cheered on people like Posner. You lamented Posner's loss.... and then you rip someone who rips JM as mean? As arrogant? As a twit?


I plead guilty on the "twit." Innocent on the other charges.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #110  Postby Roberto Rogness » May 15th 2010, 7:04pm

She found the Coturri, Pepe, Gravner and more on her own AND, she thought my Idea of having Peter Cargasacchi on the panel at the Natural Wines events this week was a hoot.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #111  Postby Al Osterheld » May 15th 2010, 8:18pm

You guys slay me... for most of the last year people here ripped JM mercilessly and cheered on people like Posner. You lamented Posner's loss.... and then you rip someone who rips JM as mean? As arrogant? As a twit?

You know, Rick, that's a pretty gross generalization given the large number of people who have posted in this thread. Doesn't describe me nor many of the people I know who have posted in this thread. Perhaps you could point out who has ripped JM mercilessly and then ripped AF as mean? I'm guessing you'll be hard pressed to come up with much of a list, but here's your opportunity to prove me wrong.

The misconceptions about Alice are laughable. She is very sweet, passionate, opinionated and knows what she likes. Odds are the people who criticize her in this thread have never read her book, read her columns or met her. If you did, especially the 3rd one, your tune would change.

Lyle, I'm rather sure she is passsionate, opinionated, and knows what she likes. Don't know about sweet because I certainly don't know her. I have read some of her columns, think I've read more of her writing than Jay Miller's. I'm also pretty sure my tastes are closer to hers than to JM's. But that doesn't mean I always have to agree with what she writes. I also find it quite ironic that someone who has built her reputation in some significant measure by criticizing other wine writers should be so sensitive to criticism.

-Al
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #112  Postby Lyle Fass » May 16th 2010, 9:28am

I guess its just a difference of opinion. Maybe I'm biased, but don't think so. She fills a niche. Yes it can be a little persnickity, but that's her style and its gotten her far.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #113  Postby c fu » May 16th 2010, 9:37am

DCowell wrote:This is one of the more interesting threads in a while as people are criticizing Feiring for defining herself by what she does not like - exactly what this board has done from the start!

Irony is beautiful.


I dont' think anyone cares what she likes and doesn't like. It's the matter of uninspired and a complete lack of creativity in her delivery of what she likes and doesn't like.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #114  Postby c fu » May 16th 2010, 9:38am

G. D y e r wrote:
The reality is she is not all that thick skinned. She's quick to dish criticism, often in broad strokes, but takes it personally if it comes back at her.


she'd fit right in! :P
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #115  Postby George Pavlov » May 16th 2010, 2:09pm

I've been silent for the most part up until now, but this is just too much.

Doesn't anyone see the irony here that those very characteristics which everyone seems to find so unappealing about Alice are the very ones which they tend to exhibit, often rather egregiously, in their criticisms of her?

At the end of the day, Alice is a writer, and a wine writer, and sometimes a critic. And critics are sometimes critical. That's why they're called critics! I know that most main-stream journalism has replaced critics with 'reviewers,' but I think we still need the occasional critic.

I've read her book, various articles published in a variety of publications (including the New York Times, Time, Wall Street Journal Magazine), and probably a couple dozen blog postings. And yes, I happen to know her personally and consider her a good friend.

The fact of the matter is, most of her work DOES talk about what she likes - while not bashing anyone - or takes an investigative tone. The problem is, it is usually only the confrontational, incendiary stuff that gets peoples' attention, and consequently sells books, creates controversy, and creates the ILLUSION that that's all there is to Alice's work.

Has anyone read her recent Champagne article in Wall Street Journal Magazine? The recent Modern Love Columns in the New York Times, or any of her recent blog postings? Does anyone know that she's working on another book which will espouse the positive side of her philosophy and tell the story of the natural wine movement?

Doesn't anyone see the irony here? This silly little blog post - (which, if you know Alice, is clearly just poking fun at the review and Jay, who is not even mentioned by name, BTW) - generated 115 responses on this board?

How many responses, for example, did the rather open-hearted, laudatory posting - about 6 or 9 months ago, I think - about Nikolaihof's wines generate?

Honestly, how many books would Alice have sold if it were instead entitled "Alice Feiring's Positive Manifesto about Natural Wine"? To some extent - and I suspect this idea was not lost on her editor and agent - she made a name for herself and achieved some of her (in my opinion sincerely earned) notoriety precisely BECAUSE she took on such a worthy opponent.

When I first heard her name, I didn't know who Alice Feiring was, but thought that whoever she was, she must have some serious stones taking on Robert Parker, right? And, as many of us are well aware, this IS God's work, and somebody ought to do it!

Haven't y'all heard the cliché about what you're supposed to do on your first day in prison? You find the toughest guy in the yard, then proceed to rip him a new *sshole!
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #116  Postby M. Dildine » May 16th 2010, 2:20pm

Nice commentary George and some valid points. I've read a bit of Alice's work - honestly I thought she was a very young lady on the make with more ambition than perspective.

From her work, I was thinking she might be in her early 30s. She's not. While she certainly has "stones", I'd love to see more genuine perspective from a lady with her life experience.

I'm sympathetic to some of her themes. But not her style and approach.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #117  Postby George Pavlov » May 16th 2010, 2:38pm

M. Dildine wrote:Nice commentary George and some valid points. I've read a bit of Alice's work - honestly I thought she was a very young lady on the make with more ambition than perspective.

From her work, I was thinking she might be in her early 30s. She's not. While she certainly has "stones", I'd love to see more genuine perspective from a lady with her life experience.

I'm sympathetic to some of her themes. But not her style and approach.


I think we will just continue to see more and more good stuff from Alice. Believe me, she DOES know what's going on, does have a very broad range of experience, and DOES have very firm convictions in her opinions.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #118  Postby George Pavlov » May 16th 2010, 3:07pm

If you have an open mind (or think you do) and 10 minutes, read this - for me, a more accurate glimpse of Alice the person (from NYT's Modern Love):

http://www.alicefeiring.com/articles/000223.html
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #119  Postby GregT » May 16th 2010, 3:41pm

George - you can't be serious. I tried to have an open mind and read a little bit of that dreck.

"buzzed on old Italian wine and the kind of emotional spark I hadn’t felt with a man in way too long"

WTF??? Are you kidding me? Am I supposed to read Oprah next? I couldn't finish the piece. Complete crap.

As far as her taking on the biggest guy - right. She knew nobody cared about her name so she cashed in on his, figuring that people in the wine business might know who Parker is. Immediately put her own commentary in second place and her obsession with him in first place. There are plenty of wine writers, male and female, who can state their respective cases w/out using someone else's name or trying to bask in someone else's glow.

I've read enough of her to know that I don't care to read any more - I'm not going to learn anything, which removes one reason to read, and I'm not going to find the occasional well-turned phrase, which removes another reason, and I'm not going to find some deliciously wicked gossip, which removes another. So I'm left with no reason to read her.

Even if she came up with the same message time and time again, if she were to do it with some panache, it would be fine. And yes I've met her. And I've read Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Rita Mae Brown, so I'm not entirely averse to chick lit.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #120  Postby George Pavlov » May 16th 2010, 3:56pm

Greg,

It is a column about 'love' written in a major metropolitan newspaper; I don't think you're the 'target' demographic, if you know what I mean.

My point is that there is more to Alice's work that everyone seems to be aware of.

BTW, I thought Oprah Winfrey was a talk show host (and literary taste-maker of the hoi polloi) - not aware that she was an author herself...?

Nice to know you got through the first paragraph, at least.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #121  Postby Wes Barton » May 16th 2010, 4:01pm

George Pavlov wrote:I think we will just continue to see more and more good stuff from Alice. Believe me, she DOES know what's going on, does have a very broad range of experience, and DOES have very firm convictions in her opinions.


There are two general criticisms of her here:

1) Her negative/sensationalist approach. You and her other friends/defenders acknowledge and justify this. Taking on a giant is fine, when justified, even noble. But remember, this board exists because a large number of people had the stones to take on Parker.

2) The other issue is her large number of factual errors. None of you have touched on this. She didn't address it either - a good number were spelled out. Why not?

If she were just a powerful voice in the blogosphere and wine forums, that would be fine. This is a world of discussion, where errors can be debated and corrected. She would be very welcome if she wanted to participate here. But, in presenting herself as an authority, while making so many errors, is what's so troublesome. People believe and propagate those errors, which doesn't do the wine world any good.

If she takes her position more seriously and does more thorough research and fact checking before publishing her next book, then it would be a good thing, I think we'd all agree.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #122  Postby George Pavlov » May 16th 2010, 4:15pm

You know, this reminds me of a conversation I had with Alice in Austria.

Basically - how do you get a lot of people to respond to your blog entry? Make a simple factual error.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #123  Postby c fu » May 16th 2010, 4:48pm

George Pavlov wrote:You know, this reminds me of a conversation I had with Alice in Austria.

Basically - how do you get a lot of people to respond to your blog entry? Make a lot of factual errors.


i corrected it
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #124  Postby Marlene L. Rossman » May 16th 2010, 4:59pm

Anyone know Alice's wine background? She seemed to come on the NY wine scene in out of nowhere. When I left Manhattan for La La Land in 2002 she was not around the wine scene, to my knowledge. Was she a somm, did she take wine courses or just self-taught like RMP? Whatever else you say about her, she sure knows how to get publicity. I do not like her style and especially do not like her factual errors. But she sure got everyone going for at least three pages!!!
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #125  Postby Roberto Rogness » May 16th 2010, 5:05pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Feiring

"ALICE FEIRING is a James Beard Foundation Award–winning journalist whose blog, In Vino Veritas, was named one of the seven best by Food & Wine. Formerly the wine/travel columnist for Time, she writes for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Condé Nast Traveler, and Gourmet, among many others. She lives in New York City."

"An article Feiring wrote for The Upgrader on Men.Style.com, online site of GQ and Details, titled "The Ten Most Overrated Wines in the World", which listed Bordeaux Garagistes, Australian Shiraz, Martinborough Sauvignon blanc, Super-Tuscans, Clos de Vougeot, Long Island wine, Albariño, Screaming Eagle, Sea Smoke Pinot noir and Chilean Cabernet, chiefly drew response from defenders of Long Island wine."
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #126  Postby Marlene L. Rossman » May 16th 2010, 6:25pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Feiring

"ALICE FEIRING is a James Beard Foundation Award–winning journalist whose blog, In Vino Veritas, was named one of the seven best by Food & Wine. Formerly the wine/travel columnist for Time, she writes for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Condé Nast Traveler, and Gourmet, among many others. She lives in New York City."

"An article Feiring wrote for The Upgrader on Men.Style.com, online site of GQ and Details, titled "The Ten Most Overrated Wines in the World", which listed Bordeaux Garagistes, Australian Shiraz, Martinborough Sauvignon blanc, Super-Tuscans, Clos de Vougeot, Long Island wine, Albariño, Screaming Eagle, Sea Smoke Pinot noir and Chilean Cabernet, chiefly drew response from defenders of Long Island wine."


Roberto, that was not the question I asked. I was referring to her wine ed/training, not her CV.
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Hmmmm...

Post #127  Postby TomHill » May 16th 2010, 7:27pm

George Pavlov wrote:You know, this reminds me of a conversation I had with Alice in Austria.
Basically - how do you get a lot of people to respond to your blog entry? Make a simple factual error.


And you're supposed to give a writer like this credibility??? So how exactly do you know when you read her stuff
what is "correct" and what is "incorrect" to achieve a response??
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #128  Postby George Pavlov » May 16th 2010, 8:12pm

My comment was tongue-in-cheek. It was not meant to imply, by any stretch of the imagination, that she would ever intentionally post factual errata in order to achieve a response - I'm quite certain that she would never do such a thing.

Fact of the matter is, errors happen, especially on something as perfunctory as a blog posting. Get over it.

Yes, certain kinds of errors can be more problematic than others depending on the context, and perhaps her publisher should take that into greater consideration in the next go-around (that's what editors are for, after all, right?), but usually the response to such errors far outweighs their actual significance.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #129  Postby Wes Barton » May 16th 2010, 10:04pm

Mary Baker wrote:I read her book, and was utterly dismayed by the number of gross errors and misrepresentations. And I had actually looked forward to reading the book. See this discussion for full details. The full book review is post #15.

Some excerpts:
  • Feiring rolls her luggage off the plane in Paso Robles, and before she has left the tarmac she mentions controlling winemakers and Clark Smith at Vinovation in Sonoma—a controversial man and a controversial firm that promote making wine by the numbers, a concept that riles more than a few winemakers in Paso Robles. Feiring apparently visits only one winery, which she describes as a megacommerical, ultramodern winery that uses acid additions, tannin additions, wood chips, enzymes, and pretty much everything Feiring considers evil. And then . . . apparently . . . she gets back on the plane and leaves. She then visits UC Davis, where she learns more about topics of which she disapproves.
  • On one page she says, “sustainable agriculture is based on chemical farming,” which is categorically untrue.
  • “Modern wine folk like fast ferments—a week, maybe two weeks at most,” she says. Which kind of fermentation? Which modern wine folk? Everyone? We are all pretty much under the age of 60, as it gets harder and harder to move barrels around with age. Why do winemakers prefer faster fermentation? Is she aware that many California productions frequently ferment for six months or more, if you include malolactic conversions and finishing those last few points of primary? Does she even understand the properties of fermentation well enough to comment?
  • Among the evils of modern wine processes, she includes fining with gelatin, or as she calls it, “finishing.” But she doesn’t mention that in France, as elsewhere in Europe, the use of bull’s blood, eggs, milk and Irish moss have been used as finishing agents for centuries. Nor does she mention that gelatin is produced from bones and is completely natural.
  • Feiring loves “authentic” old wood tuns, and continually disparages wineries that have brought in “new, small barriques”. She also adores thick, black mold growing on the cellar walls and surfaces and considers it a sign of an “authentic” wine cave. But there is no mention of brettanomyces in the book, and no mention of anisoles infecting the wineries and barrels. At all.
  • Regarding a 1987 Tondonia, “[Parker] said the wine had ‘early maturity,’ meaning it got old before its time.” But the Wine Advocate indicator ‘early maturity’ means the wine is in a stage of early maturity. This error invalidates her criticisms of Parker’s views on this wine, and shows a gross ignorance of her nemesis’ scoring system.
  • In the next to last chapter, “My Date with Bob,” Feiring gets all prickly when Parker simply won’t converge to her point of view. Parker points out that more wine is actually being made naturally today, and that there are many more organic and biodynamic vineyards than when he began reviewing wine. But Feiring will have none of that, referring back to the Paso Robles winery that claimed on its website all grapes were hand-harvested and handled as little as possible, but according to Feiring then corrupts their production with tannins and acids, as if this is proof that all Paso Robles wineries, and by extension the entire New World, are liars and cheats.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #130  Postby GregT » May 17th 2010, 6:14am

Marlene - I don't know her educational history but as I recall from her book, in very general terms, she was liked wine and one day fell under the spell of Joe Dressner, who taught her how wine was supposed to be. Then Kermit Lynch and then she met guys like Joly in France. Thus armed, she set out to save the world.

Again, that's probably over simplifying, but the overall impression I got was not that it was a journey of education, but becoming a member of a religious order.

I don't hold against her the fact that she didn't go thru a certification program. The best tasters I know and the most knowledgeable people I know in the business have never gone through those. And that makes sense because there's no real reason to if you are curious and open minded. But such a person is generally not a crusader, which requires one to close off the willingness to entertain alternatives.

Problem is, it also requires one to stop learning since facts which don't fit an existing paradigm are explained away or disallowed. How else does one create and hold the egocentric and grandiose vision that one is saving the world for one's god, or saving it from Parker?
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Actually...

Post #131  Postby TomHill » May 17th 2010, 6:34am

George Pavlov wrote:If you have an open mind (or think you do) and 10 minutes, read this - for me, a more accurate glimpse of Alice the person (from NYT's Modern Love):
http://www.alicefeiring.com/articles/000223.html


Actually, I found this a rather amusing & entertaining read. Just like "Alice the person", I read "Alice the wine writer" more for amusement & entertainment
value than for actually learning something, I guess.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #132  Postby Humberto Dorta » May 17th 2010, 6:56am

Its funny to me. At first many of us were being critical solely of the Jay spoof. I have not read anything else she has written, and I have no intention to, but the spoof was lacking in originality and seriously lacking in hilarity. Then she opens herself up to personal attacks with her little line about sex discrimination.
I am grateful to her, though, because this thread has been very entertaining.
[snort.gif]
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #133  Postby Nathan Smyth » May 17th 2010, 7:13am

George Pavlov wrote:It is a column about 'love' written in a major metropolitan newspaper; I don't think you're the 'target' demographic, if you know what I mean.

Wes Barton wrote:2) The other issue is her large number of factual errors. None of you have touched on this. She didn't address it either - a good number were spelled out. Why not?

"I'm pretty good with words, but I'm not so good with things. I have had a lifelong struggle with things. And the less I am the one responsible for dealing with them, the better off everybody is."

- Representative Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts

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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #134  Postby Loren Sonkin » May 17th 2010, 7:44am

I have never met Alice, but I did read her book and many of her writings. I enjoy them very much. She is a very good writer IMO. She is also even better a self promotion. Since that is how she puts food (and wine) on the table, I am not going to condemn her for it. I didn't like the title of her book, but I doubt it would have sold 10% of the copies without it. I find it amusing that she called a couple of times to let Roberto know she would be in the store. I am sure she knew that Roberto would post that info on a BB. More promotion. Again, don't get me wrong. She must do that to survive. The world is not going out off its way to find more wine writers. As for the review, I think this was a quick fluff piece. i can't imagine she ever thought it would generate all this attention, which I am sure she is delighted about. It was clearly so far to the other side of her admittedly skewed tastes to be a caricature of what wine is and should be priced at. That doesn't mean others won't feel differently about it. She knows what she likes and writes about it. As I said, I wish she would not use Parker or Miller's name to help make her name. But, in her world, it does seem to be working out well for her, so I doubt she will stop anytime soon.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #135  Postby Nathan Smyth » May 17th 2010, 7:50am

Loren Sonkin wrote:As I said, I wish she would not use Parker or Miller's name to help make her name. But, in her world, it does seem to be working out well for her, so I doubt she will stop anytime soon.

In her world, there is no such thing as bad publicity - there is only expediency.

BTW, her world has been waging this pogrom against Parker for at least a decade now.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #136  Postby Tim Burnett » May 17th 2010, 7:53am

I think Lyle Fass’s posts speak to a narrow but central beef I have – I have no doubt discussing wine with Alice Feiring would be different in person than reading, and that’s part of what I take issue with. Her writings seem transparently a shtick or put-on persona. I also have no doubt that this persona has taken her far, as in father than her content could have this quickly.

But while her tastes might continue to be niche (though we’ll see how far the pendulum swings), her style might well not stay as such. In internet-driven media, clicks and page views trump all, and it’s frankly easier to be successful by stirring up trouble, and making bunch of errors while doing it.

Why bother slaving to develop a following like Robinson, Broadbent and Parker did (I really wish I wouldn’t have been like 5 when he was catching on), when you can simply be really brash?

While he seems like a nice enough guy, I’m not a fan of Harvey Steinman’s writing or reviews. But I’d rather read him everyday of the week than read bunch of other writers bicker with each other’s wine tastes, as well as each other in general. Unfortunately, unless wine lovers prove a completely different animal to the rest of the population, it’s probably going to become common whether or not Alice Feiring writes as such.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #137  Postby Richard T r i m p i » May 17th 2010, 8:44am

I wish her writing was way less about her, and way more about positively promoting the wines, winemaking, winemakers, vineyard management and people who share the direction of her passion. Many are uncelebrated and deserving of recognition. Honestly, enough with the insults and flailing at the RMP empire, as snarkily irresistable as it can be. Perhaps she could motivate people to take her message to the next level? Unless the goal is to simply battle over wine styles, it might be more productive to look at things in terms of "us and them" and not predominantly "us vs. them".

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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #138  Postby Nathan Smyth » May 17th 2010, 8:53am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:Unless the goal is to simply battle over wine styles, it might be more productive to look at things in terms of "us and them" and not predominantly "us vs. them".

The concept of productivity isn't even on the radar for that crowd.

You'd have more luck trying to herd cats than in convincing them to do something productive with their time.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #139  Postby Keith Levenberg » May 17th 2010, 9:33am

In the bullet-point list of alleged "factual errors" posted by Mary Baker (who has a longstanding beef with Alice) I see only one item (the "early maturity" bit), perhaps two items at most, that can genuinely be called factual errors. The rest are just disagreements.

George, thank you for the reality check, but I'm afraid it will fall on a lot of deaf ears. A lot of people just have this prejudice against Alice and her work and for whatever reason just cannot take anything she says at face value. I mean, really, the notion that stopping by Roberto's shop was an act of self-promotion? Come on. Be serious.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #140  Postby Lyle Fass » May 17th 2010, 9:55am

Keith Levenberg wrote:In the bullet-point list of alleged "factual errors" posted by Mary Baker (who has a longstanding beef with Alice) I see only one item (the "early maturity" bit), perhaps two items at most, that can genuinely be called factual errors. The rest are just disagreements.

George, thank you for the reality check, but I'm afraid it will fall on a lot of deaf ears. A lot of people just have this prejudice against Alice and her work and for whatever reason just cannot take anything she says at face value. I mean, really, the notion that stopping by Roberto's shop was an act of self-promotion? Come on. Be serious.


Hating for hating sake. Alice could cure cancer and these same people would still hate her. It is what is and is pointless to continually debate. All this thread shows is some people like her as a person, others dont, some people like here writing, others don't, and probably got her some more book sale and exposure. Go Alice!
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #141  Postby Lyle Fass » May 17th 2010, 9:59am

By the way the plumber piece, I had never read before, I thought it was wonderful, but odds are something like that will fall on deaf ears here or get dismissed by someone who read the first line and considered it dreck. Too bad. Losing our humanity day by day......
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #142  Postby Roberto Rogness » May 17th 2010, 10:10am

She and I have been talking by e-mail for MANY years but never met face to face. So, when an opportunity arose, she e-mailed me to ask if I would be around during a window of time she had during her visit for LA's Natural Wines Week (which in itself is richly deserving of a thread here). Quite normal behavior that MANY people on this board have also done.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #143  Postby H Wallace Jr » May 17th 2010, 10:34am

Keith Levenberg wrote:In the bullet-point list of alleged "factual errors" posted by Mary Baker (who has a longstanding beef with Alice) I see only one item (the "early maturity" bit), perhaps two items at most, that can genuinely be called factual errors. The rest are just disagreements.

I was trying to figure out what the factual errors were as well... Perhaps some generalization...
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #144  Postby George Pavlov » May 17th 2010, 11:52am

Keith Levenberg wrote:In the bullet-point list of alleged "factual errors" posted by Mary Baker (who has a longstanding beef with Alice) I see only one item (the "early maturity" bit), perhaps two items at most, that can genuinely be called factual errors. The rest are just disagreements.


Thanks, Keith. Exactly.

And as much as I do sincerely appreciate all the interesting commentary from everyone, I'm signing off - 144 posts is my limit.

See you all next time.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #145  Postby Robert.Fleming » May 17th 2010, 12:49pm

Nathan Smyth wrote: pogrom against Parker
A bit hyperbolic, wouldn't you say?
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #146  Postby Wes Barton » May 17th 2010, 5:39pm

"California wine? Down the drain."
http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/05 ... e-feiring5
In this article she writes off all CA wine as undrinkable. Must be before she discovered the one lone holdout..?
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #147  Postby M. Dildine » May 17th 2010, 5:41pm

Wes Barton wrote:"California wine? Down the drain."
http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/05 ... e-feiring5
In this article she writes off all CA wine as undrinkable. Must be before she discovered the one lone holdout..?


A bit hyperbolic, wouldn't you say?
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #148  Postby Keith Levenberg » May 17th 2010, 6:01pm

Wes Barton wrote:"California wine? Down the drain."
http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/05 ... e-feiring5
In this article she writes off all CA wine as undrinkable. Must be before she discovered the one lone holdout..?

Did you read the article?
in the article you didn't read, Alice Feiring wrote:Two tables down, Napa winemaker Cathy Corison stood flanked by decanters and bottles. Her '03 Kronos was shockingly elegant. Her 1996 cabernet wore its gorgeous herbs unapologetically, with vibrancy. The wines weighed in at a miraculous 13.6% alcohol, compared with a more typical 14.9% and beyond. I asked her how she managed this remarkable feat, and she answered: "I don't make wine from prunes. I don't make Las Vegas showgirls."

Forever the cynic, I asked if she had perhaps reduced the alcohol with reverse osmosis. Her response was something along the line of: On a cold day in hell, I would. She has never followed the fashion; she has stayed true to her mission. There aren't many like her around.

Around the aisle from her stood a grinning Mike Dashe. I heard he recently made a wine so un-Californian he was at risk of deportation. It was made in a manner worthy of the French natural wine movement: organic, no added yeasts or trickery, no wood influence. It was a zinfandel with structure and earth and lightness. It also had a color that a famous wine critic might call "feeble."

"I can't show this to critics," Dashe said. "They'd be offended." It was delicious.
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #149  Postby Wes Barton » May 17th 2010, 7:06pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:Did you read the article?


What a paradox. So it's okay to make absolutist derogatory statements about a broad grouping of wine regions, if you contradict yourself with a couple of exceptions at the end of the article?

- "Today's California wines are overblown, over-alcoholed, over-oaked, overpriced and over-manipulated."

- "When I first stopped drinking the Left Coast, it was because I was offended by the overuse of wood, boring flavors and lack of structure."

Again, her attitude seems to be one to make these broad generalizations. It seems she'd rather make these assumptions, then believe them, than explore and find the wines she'd like.

You don't think what she said about those two wineries comes across as sophomoric? She actually asked if a CA wine, that didn't taste overripe, was de-alc'd? She seemed to have never heard of Corison or Dashe before, instead stumbling upon them at an event in New York.

And though she cites 2000 as the time CA wines changed (but lacks the insight to note it stemmed from the '97 vintage), and praises CA wines from the '70s, it's okay for her to call wines that are still like those of the '70s "un-Californian"? Really?
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Re: Moral: Don't piss off Alice Feiring!

Post #150  Postby Jorge Henriquez » May 17th 2010, 7:14pm

But take heart, Golden State, you're not alone in making what I consider to be undrinkable wine. About 90% of the rest of mondo del vino has been similarly corrupted.


Shoot, guess Germany makes corrupted plonk too. [cry.gif]
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