ENTHUSIAST'S CORNER


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Thousands of Wines at Your Fingertips

Our new searchable data base makes it easy for anyone to select the perfect bottle—and our savvy editors located all over the world stand behind every review.

Making heads or tails out of the world of wines can be a daunting task—what to buy, where to buy it and how to get the best bang for your buck. In an ideal world, purveyors of fine wine would allow you to sample any bottle of wine you'd like in their stores before you decide to purchase. A car dealer will hand over the keys for a test drive, and your deli man will give you a slice of cheese before you buy a pound…but ask your wine merchant to pull a cork on a specific bottle you want to taste, and he will show you the door. Anyone who does otherwise will have a tough time staying in business.

In lieu of sampling every wine your heart desires, might I recommend our intrepid staff of Wine Enthusiast editors? For every issue, this distinguished group blind-tastes hundreds of wines. And now, for the first time, the total breadth of their experience is available at no charge through a spectacular new service on our Winemag.com website, the world's foremost searchable data base. Thousands of wine ratings are available at your fingertips with just the click of a mouse—and you can customize your search in countless ways. Visit www.winemag.com and click on "Buying Guide" (or www.wineenthusiast.com, click on "Wine Enthusiast Magazine" and then "Buying Guide") and see for yourself.

Accumulating and tasting thousands of wines is a Herculean task, so I'd like to introduce the palates behind the ratings: Our tasting director, Mark Mazur, is most responsible for creating the technical aspects of our Online Buying Guide and upgrading our tasting program. During a tenure at Zachy's Wine & Liquor and now, for the magazine, Mark has tasted thousands of wines, while refining his ability to communicate his impressions. Joseph Czerwinski, our senior editor, has been a serious wine collector and journalist for more than ten years. His recent article, "Cabernet Hits the High Notes," (Nov. 1, 2000) was a benchmark article on the incredible '97 vintage for California Cabernets. Tim Moriarty, our managing editor, joins us following a ten-year stint with Chocolatier magazine; Tim's keen palate can discern the difference between bittersweets from El Rey and Valrhona, not to mention the chocolate notes in a fine rich Cabernet Sauvignon.

Steve Heimoff, our West Coast editor, has been writing for Wine Enthusiast for over eight years and provides hundreds of tasting notes. Living in the Bay Area has given Steve the chance to visit wineries, join tasting societies and study close-up the history and production of wine. Up the coast, Paul Gregutt is our Northwest editor and columnist. Paul, based in Seattle, is the author of Northwest Wines. Roger Voss, our European editor, lives in Bordeaux and distinguished himself as a respected wine journalist, writing on the subject for Decanter and Wine Magazine in the U.K. before joining Wine Enthusiast three years ago.

Having tasted with this stellar group, I am continually astounded by their consistency, depth of experience, and the care that goes into their analysis. They provide the best source of wine intelligence anywhere. Spend a minute on our new searchable data base on www.winemag.com and I'm sure you will agree.

· · ·

With this first issue of 2001, you will begin to see some changes in the graphic design of the magazine. We've always been proud of how clean, vibrant and readable The Wine Enthusiast has been, but we're always striving, not only to improve, but to be on the cutting edge. This issue also marks our report on the first harvest of the century; enjoy these mini epics of turbulent weather and shifting tactics in the world's most important wine regions. In addition, you'll find Roger Voss' evaluation of the vintage Ports of the 1990s, a great decade well worth the attention; a vertical tasting of Dolce late-harvest wines; and a closer look at Chile and its winemakers.

Cheers!

-Adam M. Strum

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