Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

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I read it, and enjoyed it. Chris Freeman, in particular.

Someone remind me never to bring wine to Scott Manlin, lest I ‘embarrass’ myself… [whistle.gif]

Wilfred, you are everywhere, man!

Ha Ha… it was the context… I swapped out the Usseglio “classique” for a Cuvee de Mon Aieul… it was all good…

“'These guys don’t drink Austrian wines. For them, it’s Burgundy or Bordeaux.” Phil had thought about bringing a Pinot Gris from Alois Kracher, the late, great Austrian winemaker, saying, “The wine screams terroir for $16 a bottle.” Why didn’t he bring it? Phil shrugged. “Not in this crowd.’”

One of the saddest things I have EVER read on a wine board.

Also not entirely true… I have been drinking Austrian wines (thanks to my good friend Klaus Puck) since 98… love Austrian Riesling and Gruner Veltliner… though for me, they are more summery or “fish” and “poultry” wines…

Well, that certainly does not represent someone’s finest hour; the question is whose? Ms. Teague’s? Manlin’s? the others’? or all of the above?

A couple things come to mind:

Is Ms Teague not wine savvy? She sure does many wine articles, but each one reads like her first, or second.

If Mr Manlin were to leave Chicago, would the lights go out on Ms Teague’s future wine articles? It seems he is her ‘go to’ subject, when she needs to go to.

Other than that it was a fun read. Mr Freeman should sign up here. newhere


With all due respect to Scott and Wilfred, this article reinforces the stereotype of the stuffy wine collector. I mean a guest brings a pair of not just highly regarded but quite expensive wines, and one is embarrassing and the other is cooking wine? It might be one thing to suggest they aren’t an ideal fit given the more mature wines being poured and the apparent narrow spectrum of appreciation of the crowd. But the way it’s phrased by Teague (and maybe that is a non-trivial point), it comes across as rather pretentious and insulting.

In fairness, the generosity in sharing that is shown is laudable. It’s just a bit disheartening that folks can’t appreciate wines based on their individual merits.

Guys, let’s try to remember…it’s ALL subjective AND relative. grouphug

Although this particular line did catch my eye:

In fact, I’ve had good wines for under $15, although according to Dan Posner, a wine merchant in White Plains, New York, they couldn’t have been good, not at that price. A good wine costs $20 to $100 a bottle, said Dan. And a great wine? “Over $100,” he opined.

One of my greatest wine memories is a $15 white from Spain that Josh Raynolds brought to my home when I lived in NYC and we all tasted it blind. It was stunning. I said “This proves one doesn’t need to spend a fortune for a fine bottle of wine.” Anyone can pick a great First Growth; it takes a special quality to find a gem that’s not famous or expensive.

I think in a group setting almost ALL wines should be served blind at first, so there is no pre-judgment like this. Assumably, each person brings a wine that TRULY is good, though, at least to their own preferences.

Interesting article. I do agree that great wines help to put wines in context.

The Huet, however, can be a great wine although 06 is not the vintage. 02 or 05 are both great wines that will age wonderfully and for my tastes, compete with the best Burgundies of a comprable vintage.


A fun article. And it points out something that has in many ways turned me away from most offlines and wine gatherings in general: More often than not, it’s about the price of the wine, not the quality of the wine. The Huet that Lettie brought is, in my mind, every bit as great a bottle as anything else on the table that night. But it was pushed aside, mainly because it’s a $30 wine, not $300. Or the Pichler, though a relatively expensive wine, is well under $100, so it can’t possibly be considered worthy of “greatness” in the company of so many $500-1000 bottles. A good article, interesting, but also a bit sad in a way.

Yes. Never has a description been more apt than " Chris, the amateur".

"Great wine is something else altogether. Great wine is produced in small quantities and commands big prices, especially in the much-hyped vintages. Great wine can only be experienced once in a while. But, as great wine only gets more and more expensive and good wine gets cheaper and cheaper, I’ve been wondering lately if greatness is overrated. "

I stopped at that point.

It’s a good thing you did; it only got worse after that.

Someone needs to send you guys to Huet Reeducation Camp.

…or that Mr. Freeman has the palate of a yak.

Double Amen.