I'm glad that you continue to publish Jack Lauterback's biweekly column Punch Drunk (“Uncorked Masses,” Food & Drink, March 2). It's rather hard work being a pompous wine snob (keeping a pinkie finger constantly raised is harder than it looks!), and it's nice to relax and read Jack's salt-of-the-earth, thoughtful cultural critiques every week.
I congratulate him as an effective provocateur, and I agree with him on one point: The world of wine is bloated with pretension and fatuous pundits spewing absurd, adjective-laden prose that occasionally makes me consider swearing off wine altogether for a more blue-collar beverage. And please don't ask me to even begin a defense of what goes on in the name of wine at these festivals.
However, what kills me here is the lazy, blanket dismissal of anyone who bothers to care at all about wine or food (but “winos are cool though,” mind you — boorish drunkenness is a virtue!), and this is printed on the page following your restaurant review of an Italian restaurant, in which wine isn't even mentioned (perhaps they don't often drink wine in Italy?). If Style is a publication that at all cares about food and wine, then it's pretty sad that this is the only “intelligent” discourse that it can contribute on this matter. Is wine such an insignificant element of the overall dining experience that it barely merits a passing mention in many of your reviews (if at all), even when it makes up a large portion of restaurants' revenues?
Now, if you don't mind, I have some aggressive glass swirling to get back to.