Last week in my review of Vine, I made a comment about the restaurant's wine list regarding origin and diversity:
The menu, room and list all look to California for inspiration, but all three would do well to take a big step beyond the West Coast. With 400 wines on the list, I'd like to see more variation in origin rather than a few nods toward the Old World in a sea of California wines.
It appears my generalization was incorrect. I got an email from Chris Reid, Vine's sommelier, which corrected me. He took the time to break down the wine list and found this:
Total counts by percentage are... California 37%, non-California domestic 12%, imported wine is 55%! The majority is IMPORT.
Obviously, I should have paid more attention. My methodology was horribly flawed, and revealed one of my shortcomings: I tend to pay more attention to one part of a wine list than others: full-bodied whites. That's no justification for the misinformation printed in the review, and to Reid and Vine I apologize. There's no excuse for generalizations like this that misinform the public - I am fully aware of the impact a review can have, and I take the responsibility seriously.
With that said, it was difficult for me to find a white wine at Vine that I really wanted to drink. That's partly because of my own tastes, something I usually try to keep under wraps in a review. But it's one of my restaurant peeves when the list is so heavy on Californian chardonnays and has nothing French, or the few French chardonnays on the list are prohibitively expensive (as is the case at Vine). I'd like to see restaurants that specialize in wine give as much space to French and Italian whites (beyond pinot grigios) as they do to California whites.
It's true that Vine has some serious geographic variety, offering wines from India, South Africa, Argentina and beyond. I never had the pleasure of speaking with Reid during my visits, and if I had, perhaps he could have directed me to a wine I could get excited about. As it is, I am very sorry for the error.
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