Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, July 23, 2010

Spurned Varietal Tells Wine Writer to Go to Hell

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 6:17 PM

click to enlarge The man (right) who fell out of love with Pinot.
  • The man (right) who fell out of love with Pinot.
Our favorite morsels from the blogs.

The blogosphere is a cruel place. That must've occurred to local wine writer W. Blake Gray earlier this week, after the response to his clever piss-off post about falling out of like with Pinot Noir.

Gray, you see, finds New World and other iterations of the varietal overblown and flabby. At his Gray Market Report Monday, he framed his overness with Pinot ― cleverly ― in the form of a Dear John letter, written from the POV of a disenchanted lover.


I admit I encouraged you to come to California and spend more time with me. And New Zealand. And Tasmania. And Hungary. And Italy. Somewhere along the way, though, I think you lost touch with who you are. I think what went wrong is that you met Cabernet ― maybe in Yarra Valley, maybe in Carneros, and you wanted to be just like him. But that's not you, my dear. At least, it shouldn't be.
Like we said: clever. But remember: There are always people cleverer than you lurking in blogdom. Always.

On Tuesday, California Pinot Noir responded, or at least, a blogger named "Capinotnoir" did.

She (or he?) addressed her own letter to Gray:

You say that "travel has ruined me" like travel changing me is something new. Over 500 years ago, I traveled north, not all that far really. There I was planted, and people tried to make me into what I was back at home in Burgundy. They couldn't. I was different there. I was less ripe, I had less color. So they picked me earlier, oftentimes took away my color completely, blended me with another grape or two, and put bubbles in me. They made me into Champagne. And you love me there. You are fine with those changes that travel brought to me. -- But when I moved to California, and the same types of things happened to me, except that I was more ripe instead of less ripe, I was darker in color instead of lighter in color, I was bigger instead of leaner, you say I have lost touch with who I am. But this is who I am, and who I always was. I have always reflected the place more than others. You used to love that about me, you used to know that. But now you've forgotten and left me because of this. I'm not different, you are.
Then Capinotnoir, obviously stung by Gray's charges that she'd become flabby in Cali, flung the hurt right back: "Next time you're tempted to tell me to lose weight ― take a look at this picture before you talk." Needless to say, Gray (above, in burgundy polo) looked a tad, er, doughy.

Now that shit stings.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Contact me at

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"