Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

Wednesday Bonanza: New York Times Dining and Wine Section

Hello dear readers, who I love enormously. 

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time to delve into our favorite newspaper food section, today’s NY Times Dining and Wine section, and see what we can find. Some Wednesdays, there’s not one thing in there that piques my interest, but today’s section was lousy with interesting reads.

First up, a gossipy piece on New York’s chef scene and the use of Twitter and Facebook as outlets for both promotion and flame wars, called “If You Can’t Take the Heat, Don’t Read Me on Twitter.”  It details how chefs are going online to confront customers, rival chefs, suppliers, critics, and sometimes, their own bosses. Fun stuff, this!

Then there’s our old friend, Mark Bittman, with his weekly video and recipe, and this week he shows us how to make Creamy Polenta with Parmesan and Sausage.  I love this guy more and more each week.  Anything you can both explain and make look easy in a 3-minute video is something I’m going to try.  Scroll down to the bottom left of the article for the video.

Then there’s a piece called “Try the Red: Napa Learns to Sell,” on the predicament in Napa:  oversupply of wine and backed up inventory. In 2009, sales of wine $25 and over dropped 30% nationwide, and Cali wine shipments fell for the first time in 16 years, which means that much of the 2010 harvest will have nowhere to go. The crisis has meant a changing attitude towards marketing and sales among some, such as an increased focus on direct-to-consumer sales, but what’s way more interesting to me, a conscious effort to adopt and use social media as a marketing platform to alleviate the glut. 

(A funny story:  Mike Grgich, founder of Grgich Hills Estate, for years insisted on handwritten accounting. But, according to the article, “No more. At 87, Mr. Grgich recently bellowed to his staff: ‘We have to upgrade everything! Get me Facebook and Twitter!’”  Right on, Mr. Grgich!)

And in Eric Asimov’s New Zealand Youths With Promise,” 20 New Zealand Pinot Noirs are tasted and rated. He discusses the profusion of styles, from “sleek and graceful, light and elegant,“ to “big, dense and concentrated.”  The tasting panel is thus left with the impression that NZ Pinot Noir is still trying to “find itself,” to use some old 70’s lingo I had lying around.

Lots of good stuff there today, check it out.

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About The Author

Kimberly Houston


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