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« Doldrums | Main | In response to Reader »

August 11, 2006



I've enjoyed your comments about food, wine and restaurants, and I have even learned a lot. But your arrogance of late has been too much. Frank Bruni is fine--he isn't a superb food writer (and he certainly isn't a superb writer), but then neither are you. You can disagree with his ratings, which I also usually find inflated, but recognize some humility, please.

To name but one example when you wrote from the ass rather than the head, you once commented that stemless glasses are clearly inferior. Unfortunately, several recent wine tastings would disagree with you--studies have shown (shockingly) that the shape of a wine glass is immaterial to taste. Wine takes time to open up, but the shape of the glass doesn't really affect the amount of time.

The studies have not swayed me: I still use my fine stem ware, and I still use bordeaux glasses for bordeaux, montrachet for montrachet, etc., but the studies have taught me that my preference is likely more related to image than substance. So if someone likes the look and feel of a stemless glass, s/he is no less of a wine connoisseur.

You are neither a food nor wine god; so be humble when critiquing others.


Dear Reader,

Thanks for your comment. As far as Frank and my arrogance, you are indeed correct. As I wrote the post I knew I was being way too catty but couldn’t help myself; boring summer day with little inspiration and I allowed my boredom to turn on Frank, to no good outcome. I apologize.

As far as Riedel O series stemware goes, I do not critique the shape, I critique the fact that they force the heat of your hand in proximity with the juice, and no matter how many studies are done, being someone who likes both whites and reds a little cooler than room temp and far cooler than body temp, I must stand behind my feelings that they have no place in a serious wine program.

Thanks for keeping me in line. Maybe with Robuchon now open there will be more exciting stuff to think about, hey August is almost over.



Ricardo Rabago

Hello Augieland:

If interested Organically Speaking a Seattle base website has released a conversation with Michael Pollan podcast (audio conversation). Interesting tidbits on farmers markets, CSAs, and more!

Some Podcast Show Note Questions:

Q) Why the price difference between conventional food and organic and how do we go about bringing down organic food prices?

Q) How can small local organic farmers remain local in a capitalistic system?

Q) What is the "Food Web" you briefly touch on in your book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.

All the best,

Holistic Conversations for a Sustainable World Who Share Your Passion for:

* high quality organic food
* natural, sustainable lifestyle
* ecology
* holistic health


Response to "Reader":

Oh, piffle. I could not prevent the wry grin on my face when reading your reply. Gosh; Augieland is sometimes... human?? Immediate crucifixion is obviously called for!

Quite the contrary to your charges of arrogance, etc., I deeply appreciate seeing the human side of any writer. All of us are; yourself evidently excluded; and a pretence of perfection, perpetual humility, and utter objectivity is a crock.

Augieland allows us a highly unusual intimate view of his thought processes- the occasional human silliness and all. It is not only refreshing; it is a far closer approach to- TRUTH - than, oh, 95% of writers in any field ever achieve.

I would hate to lose those intimate peeks.

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