(NM) We switch to English.
„Nachgefragt at drunkenmonday“ proudly presents Mark Squires, a well known and well respected reviewer of Robert Parkers „The wine advocate„. Today, Mark covers the wines from Portugal (the dry ones), Israel, Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania. He is also in charge of the Wine Bulletin Board housed on eRobertParker.com. We are more than honored to have his personal 2 cents about wine and life on Drunkenmonday, consolidated in 12 questions and statements below in the blog post. But first, here is a short summary of Marks curriculum vitae, taken from erobertparker.com:
Mark Squires was a lawyer in Philadelphia, class of ’78, although he does not practice much any more. He began traveling extensively in France in 1981. At the time, the only wines he drank were things like Bolla Soave and Mouton Cadet, which he thought was the good stuff (as opposed to favorites like Mateus Rosé). French sommeliers were not satisfied with this state of affairs, needless to say, and insisted that he drink their good wines with their good food. He agreed. In no time at all, hobby turned to obsession.
Mark, formerly the forum leader on Prodigy’s Wine Forum, has been teaching wine courses for over fifteen years, and published numerous articles in various magazines and papers, but his main output became electronic around 1995 when he began his own website. After a few years, he added a popular Bulletin Board, which is now housed on eRobertParker.com. His website attracted international attention, both among readers and other media outlets. Mark sometimes gives and organize wine seminars for local organizations and individuals, and has acted as an expert wine consultant in a variety of matters and circumstances. He has been reviewing wines professionally for approximately a decade, and his reviews have been cited in major publications.
In 2006, he was assigned to cover Portugal’s dry wines by Robert Parker for the Wine Advocate. Mark says that it is still work, but a very different type of work. When he had the pleasure of spending a night in June, 2006 at the home of Jorge Moreira, the highly regarded Poeira winemaker, in order to faciliate wine visits in the Douro, the next morning, around 9:15 a.m., Jorge said, „Time to go to work,“ and brought out several bottles to taste. Mark replied, „This isn’t work. The people who have to harvest wine in the Douro–THAT’S work.“
Beginning in 2007, Mark was assigned to cover Israel, and in 2008 he began covering Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania.
Here we go: Marks answers as usual in bold.
1.) Drink more Vinhos Verdes. The region has been revitalized. There are some terrific wines here.
2.) Armageddon Scenario: My last bottle of wine would be tossed in the trash as an empty with all the others while I focused on more important things than wine.
3.) My first WoW-wine was a ’78 Arnoux Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots. Around that time, there were several things that acted as a group to impress me include ’79 Mouton, ‘75 Chateau Latour and 1979 Mondavi Reserve Cabernet.
4.) I had the most evil hangover after drinking a large group of Ports.
5.) The most stupid prejudice of wine is that it is necessary to spend ridiculous amounts of money to get fine wine. There is just so much good wine made at rational prices these days. It is almost hilarious watching people try to justify spending jaw dropping amounts of money on rare wines. At a certain point, you pay for hype and hysteria, not the wine.
6.) Without any wine I would now be rich and thin. I might also be more productive and do something meaningful with my life, like fix global warming.
7.) Winegimmick I could not live without any more: the leverpull from Screwpull-Le Creuset. If nothing else, the eject function makes life very simple.
8.) Wine and driving is a no-go.
9.) I would love to drink one glass of wine too much with Marisa Tomei. Hopefully, this is self-explanatory.
10.) Emerging regions should get much more attention. The prejudices and preconceptions people have are amazing. How do you explain someone who focuses obsessively on the Loire but won’t try an Assyrtiko or a Moschofilero? Or someone who thinks Washington State is great but can’t be bothered to try an Israeli Cabernet. Or someone who loves Spain, but can’t name a table wine from Portugal.
11.) Burgundy is totally overrated. Well, ok, some of them are pretty good. But it seems I spend a lot of time at tastings with people going oohhh, aaahhh, it’s a Chambertin, while I’m wondering why in the world anyone would be paying $175 for that. The same folks won’t even try a Touriga Nacional from Dão or a Xinomavro from Northern Greece.
12.) A wine blog in general is only as good as the methodology put into it and the hard work applied to it. Opinions are easy to state, harder to back up.
Well, thank you so much for your very honest and detailed answers, Mark. Our last guest of „Drunkemonday asks“ was Markus Stolz, a German living in Athen and a real Greek wine enthusiast! We are glad to see people raving about the smaller and unregarded wine regions of the world. There is so much to discover out there, which even Marisa Tomei doesn’t know about. 😉 We need more „open palates“ and less hype and hysteria. Thanks again Mark!
Nachgefragt @drunkenmonday.de ist eine wöchentliche Serie des Drunkenmonday Weinblogs für die 13 mehr oder minder ernste, aber unterhaltsame Fragen/Aussagen an bekannte, minder bekannte oder unbekannte Menschen aus dem Weinbusiness geschickt werden, mit der Bitte, dies in ganzen Wörtern, Sätzen oder Prosa auszufüllen. Quasi gezwungene Interaktivität. 😉