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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 

Wednesday Food Links

In the Boston Globe Stephen Meuse has a look at the documentary 'Mondovino' - a look at winemaker both from the artisanal side and the commercials, noting the stark differences in both sides. The winemakers are the focus of this movie, not a sideshow. The filmmakers are not without their biases in the film however, a Meuse notes:
It's clear that Nossiter's sympathies lie with the artisanal winemakers, whom he portrays as a kind of endangered species driven to the verge of extinction by global capitalism and professional arbiters of taste. We meet Battista and Lina Columbu, an elderly couple patiently engaged in the reclamation of an ancient varietal on a rugged hillside in Sardinia. "It's an ethical commitment," says Battista Columbu, his face as weathered and rugged as the landscape.

In their rustic dignity, the Columbus are offered as a reproach to the likes of Napa aristocrat Robert Mondavi -- whose PR staff insists he cannot be photographed from the side where a small Band-Aid may be visible. His son Michael is with him. Others singled out for a thorough skewering include winemaker-to-the-world Michel Rolland, the powerful Maryland-based critic Robert M. Parker Jr., and Wine Spectator staff writer James Suckling. Each -- with the exception of Parker, who appears merely naive -- acts and speaks like a caricature, making the filmmaker's task easier than it might have been. Why, one wonders, don't they have the good sense to just shut up?
Elsewhere, David Shaw in the LA Times discusses the topic of being the "wine guy". When you go out with friends or family, there are times when you might be the one who has to make the choice on wine that night...a terrifying prospect for some. In the NY Times, Monica Bhide looks at a new craze in India...eating out. Bill Daley of the Chicago Tribune has a look at Illinois' claim to Horseradish fame...perhaps not the most stimulating subject, but an interesting history of the subject.