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