More Reader Hate Mail

Maybe it’s something in the zeitgeist, but I seem to be receiving more hate mail lately. Much of it is short and simple (“You’re an idiot!”). Some readers write to complain that they went out of their way to look for a wine I recommended only to find it wasn’t available. I sympathize with these, and am flattered that they were inspired to make the effort after reading my columns. Some are just a little off the edge, like this one I received several weeks ago after my travel article on Oregon’s Willamette Valley was published in The Washington Post Travel section. The email and my reply are below.

Dave McIntyre is a good writer, and showed his skills in the above captioned article. We learned about the cities, roads, wineries, restaurants , horse tours and an aviation museum…very interesting…

However, THERE WAS NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE QUALITY OR OPINIONS OR RATINGS OF THE WINES!!! is Dave a complete idiot? Is the Post totally devoid of editors ? I was visiting from California and am an accomplished wine traveler! Having been to many if the best wine regions in the world, but never to Oregon, I was eagerly looking forward to gaining some knowledge for a trip there….but alas, I have concluded that either your readers or your editors are pretty much ignorant about wine ….this kind of useless crap would never be written in California publications

My West coast superiority complex Is well in tact!

After many good chuckles and eye-rolls, I replied, with just a little bit of chest-thumping:

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my recent piece in The Washington Post’s Travel section about visiting Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country. I remind you that this was a travel piece, about innovations in the winery experience for tourists visiting that region. I did mention several other wineries worth visiting, even though they do not have newfangled facilities – this was a wine writer’s way of endorsing these wineries and their wines while keeping the article’s focus on travel.

Evidently you missed my regular Wednesday Wine column that focused on two wineries I visited during my recent stay in Willamette. Here is a link.

I hope after reading this that you will have a better opinion of The Washington Post and its wine coverage. I have been cited by Meininger’s Wine International and Worth magazine as among the most influential U.S. wine writers today. Far from being ignorant about wine, my James Beard Award-winning editors at The Post are very keen on keeping me from becoming too esoteric and straying from useful, factual writing about the interesting stories in wine today. I hope you will continue to check each Wednesday to enjoy our weekly wine coverage – perhaps that will appeal more to your wine lover’s perspective.

Wishing you all the best in wine and life,

Dave McIntyre

I never heard from him again. Maybe he’s wandering the Willamette.

About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (
This entry was posted in Oregon, Rants, Uncategorized, Washington Post and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to More Reader Hate Mail

  1. Allen Clark says:

    Ah, the job is not all wine and roses, is it? At least there’s the wine.

  2. Ben P. says:

    I remember one of Dave’s pieces in the Post a few years ago about tasting in a mushroom cave in France, and I have to admit, I enjoyed the part about the mushrooms as much as the part about the wine! I appreciate a bit of color and background to go with the wine – I consider it a pairing.

    As for Oregon, my husband and I did a bit of a mini-honeymoon up in Willamette over Memorial Day weekend. By our own standards, we’re also very accomplished California wine travelers, and the only disappointment I had about your Willamette pieces was that they were published too late to be of any benefit to us!

    Outside of that small criticism, we enjoyed our experience touring around the valley and tasting wines. We were told by several places that we were lucky to be traveling through on Memorial weekend – apparently, that and Labor Day weekend are the only two many wineries are open to the public. We tasted some great stuff, and came back with a case of wines that ranged in price from $3/bottle to $50 and up. We also tasted in barns and barrel rooms with growers and wine makers. And to top it all off, we managed to get our noses out of our glasses for long enough to take in the countryside, and even enjoy Portland for a night or two.

    I mention this because I wonder if Dave’s critic was directing frustration at him over an experience that was unexpected and possibly disappointing by California, or other, standards. Granted, we had a great time because we did a lot of research both on-line and in print (even though we’re millennials – ha!), but it seems as though this reader may have been a little over-reliant on WaPo, and Dave. Perhaps he or she should have considered reading something from media that is based in Salem, Washington, rather than Washington, DC. After all, my partner and I managed to have a great time despite that we traveled before Dave published his Oregon pieces in the late summer/early fall.

  3. Loved your article on the Mothervine- edpecially the cousins in tow & mother of the bride comments! 🙂 Being from Pink Hill ( Duplin Cty) originally and having returned after an almost 40 year absence with my Yankee husband to care for my elderly parents ( this ensures annual renewal of his green card), we are launching a super premium juice company of Muscadines: there are over 300 cultivars. Our FB page, Carolina Wild Juice, has almost 3k likes w/o a product on the shelf yet!!! Our blend combines the cultivars with the highest polyphenols with just enough of the sweeter ones to bring smiles to the lips of the newly initiated or fond memories from the lips of the confirmed.

    We make the pilgrimage to Manteo often both because of that gnarly beauty and the island’s intrinsic one. Who doesn’t love OBX?

    Therefore, we are relieved to read about the future plans for conservation. We have never stopped our car, more of a slow passing prayer of homage, but we are versed in its health benefits. I will contact John IV to see about getting our parents together over a glass since they will clearly outlive us! 😉 My mom has chosen 140 as a good age…so much for second childhood, that’s a Whole other life!!!!

    Your closing imagery of time from a glass was Pulitzer level and gave us both goosebumps! I think you could safely run this piece in the travel section! 😉 We are all time travelers, both reverent and irreverent.

Join the Discussion!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s