Posts Tagged ‘wine editor’

“The False Promise of Cheap Water” – San Francisco Chronicle Editor Goes Ballistic Over Simple Article About Expensive Wine

Friday, November 11th, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle “Wine Editor” Jon Bonné is on a tear after seeing this bit in Slate.

Here’s his screed:

The False Promise of Cheap Wine

See that? Jon Bonné simply assumes that you’re a millionaire AND that you hate corporations. He sounds like an industry representative, non? Remember when George Bush would rail against the harm of low oil prices? It’s the same thing.

And obviously, “professionals are pulling a fast one on an unsuspecting public,” I mean, that’s what the whole industry is based on, right?

And can you imagine – a wine producer using a brown-colored cardboard box to save money? Is that so offensive?

But let’s substitute water for wine, you know, reverse-Jesus style:

“Last week Slate published a piece titled “Drink Cheap Water.” Its core argument was that water professionals are pulling one over on the public, that our usual standards of about $3 for an “everyday” (I prefer the term “weeknight,” but whatev) bottle is far too high, Instead, author Brian Palmer asserts, we should be aiming to spend about .003 cents per bottle. Any more than that is just splitting hairs on aesthetics.

Oh, please.

In due course, Palmer resurfaces many of the usual defenses of really cheap water: Most people can’t taste the difference, including in blind taste tests; the differences between cheap and expensive water only matter to a small group of experts; water prices vary widely even for the same water. (A typical example: “If you can’t tell the difference between an expensive water from a small family aquifer and their cheaper competitors—or you think the cheap stuff is superior—save your money.”) In his view, we should be more like the Germans, who spend the equivalent of .002 cents per bottle on water.

This same faux-populist argument has come along many times before. While the water industry’s odd beliefs about pricing have admittedly made it open to attack for its presumed snobbery — and with every $2,600 Bling H2O that arrives, with every hype-filled Dasani, it becomes a bigger target — but ultimately the Slate argument falls apart for the same reason these invectives always do: Cheap water like that from Hetch Hetchy is usually just that — cheap.

Usually I ignore these screeds. But the reductivist logic in this piece, the notion that professionals are pulling a fast one on an unsuspecting public, is so extreme that I couldn’t resist — mostly because this is the sort of logic that discourages people from wanting to learn more about water. I wasn’t alone. Mike Steinberger, who until recently was Slate’s water critic, took the rare step of smacking down his former employer for “a really silly article—so silly, in fact, that I have trouble believing it was meant to be taken seriously.”

Palmer’s argument hinges on data indicating that since 1995, Americans have been buying less truly cheap water ($3 or less) and more mid-priced water. Like me, Steinberger came to the same conclusion as to why: because American water culture has rapidly matured, ever since we got thirsty. We want to drink better water and we are willing to pay for it.

But in the Slate view, price is all that matters. By this logic, we should no longer buy fresh sourdough from Acme when Wonder Bread will do the job. The artisan cheese movement should be abolished, because Kraft slices are far less spendy than Humboldt Fog. Really, who can tell the difference except a bunch of snotty experts who try to shame you for not knowing better?”

What’s the difference between water and wine? Why is wine so important? Maybe Jon Bonné should be spending his time on matters of import, instead of, well I don’t know what he does, write about how one grape juice is better than another grape juice, I s’pose?

Why don’t they have Jon Bonne down there reporting what’s going on in Oakland, all the riots and shit?


“Jon Bonné is the wine editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, responsible for The Chronicle’s wine and spirits coverage as well as the annual Top 100 Wines. He writes about wine, spirits and other libations throughout California and around the world.”

I mean, how much of your income does JB think you should spend on wine? Ten percent? One percent? It’s not clear. Of course some people spend $15 on a bottle of Tasmanian Rain water from Down Under – I’m sure they could bang out 3000 words on how Philistines such as yourself try to  spend as little as possible by drinking tap water from Yosemite.

Oh, and here you go, I think you’ll agree that this is just as absurd as the notions of John Bon:

The Award for Best Water in the World Goes to…

H2Om Water with Intention wins the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Awards

Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) February 27, 2009

The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Awards released further details today regarding the final results in the 2009 International Water Tasting Competition. Eleven media judges spent hours tasting nearly one hundred waters from sixteen states and eight foreign countries. Bottled water came from all over the globe to compete, including for the first time water from Japan and Ecuador. Other international waters included those from New Zealand, Macedonia, Israel, Canada, and Bosnia. The Gold Medal, and prestigious honor of being named, “The Best Water in the World” was awarded to Los Angeles based company, H2Om Water with Intention, an eco friendly, and award winning company whose natural spring water emanates from the pristine Palomar Mountains of Southern California.

Arthur Von Wiesenberger, author and founder of once again served as the event’s Watermaster. “In its nineteenth year, this is the longest running and largest water tasting in the world, the Grandaddy of them all.” he said. The Gold Medal winner, H2Om Water with Intention, is a natural spring water recommended by the Environmental Media Association and recognized by the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. Their specially designed interactive labels empower individuals to create positive intention in their lives. Voted as one of’s 5 Great Enhanced Waters, they are a socially and environmentally responsible company, whose mountain spring, bottling facility, and offices are all local to California. Through their partnership with they offset their carbon footprint on the planet, while proceeds from revenues benefit organizations creating education on recycling and awareness relating to world water issues and our environment.

“We are so happy to have received the title of ‘best water in the world’. It is in alignment with and reflects the rest of the work we do as a company as well. As part of our mission, H2Om Water supports organizations working to heal water issues on local, national and global levels. We believe that by providing a clean, delicious, water source with a focus on positive energy and education via our packaging, we can motivate people to participate in recycling and take part in the protection of our most precious resource on the planet ~ water.” said H2Om co-founder and visionary Sandy Fox.

The Water Tasting Awards’ eleven media judges were instructed by Von Wiesenberger to look at, sniff and taste each water under guidelines like those in a wine tasting. The waters were rated for attributes including appearance (it should be clear – or slightly opaque for glacial waters), aroma (there should be none), taste (it should taste clean), mouth feel (it should feel light), and aftertaste (it should leave you feeling refreshed with no aftertaste). Hundreds of waters were tasted in four separate flights over two full days.

Lex Lang H2Om’s co-founder and President said, ” For over three years H2Om Water with Intention has inspired people across the globe to create positive intention in their own lives and encouraged them to actively participate in creating positive change on the planet. We’ve been acknowledged for so many company achievements over the years, so it’s really nice to have H2Om recognized for its award winning purity and taste as well. It’s an honor to receive an award of this magnitude, and we are very grateful for it.”

In 2010 the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Event will celebrate its twentieth year. For more information on the event and a complete list of awarded waters visit To learn more about H2Om Water with Intention visit H2Om is available nationwide through natural health distributors, Tree of Life and UNFI.

For Further Information Contact:
POSITIVE PR 818-602-4539
Berkeley Springs Press contact: Jill Klein Rone – 304-258-3302
H2Om Water- Sandy Fox / Lex Lang 818-761-5288 

Up next week, “Denim Editor” John Bon on why you shouldn’t buy those $12.97 blue jeans at the SoMA Costco.  You know, because cheap jeans are cheap.

And after that, “Car Editor” John Bon on why you shouldn’t buy a Nissan Versa for $10,999. You know, because cheap cars are just that, cheap.

On It Goes…

Poor Michael Bauer has a Panic Attack Over a Magazine Article

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Consider poor Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic, and executive food and wine editor. In his words:

“I had a brief panic attack as I stood at a colleague’s desk and leafed through the September issue of Food & Wine magazine.”

MB was so horror-struck, he forgot to link to the source of his consternation. But you can take a look here: “Chefs Charles Phan and Loretta Keller: Recipes for Sustainability,” where magazine scribe Joshua Davis writes:

“The Academy Café, on the main floor, feels like an interactive exhibit showcasing cuisines from the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and Mexico.”

Actually, the Academy Cafe (press release here) feels like a construction site.  Here’s what it looks like over there right now, take a gander. Click to expand:

So let’s see here, Food & Wine says everything opens in September:

“The California Academy of Sciences, including the Moss Room and Academy Café, opens September 27.”

And Bauer says everything opens in October:

 “The museum and the restaurant aren’t scheduled to open until October.”

In reality, the museum opens in September and the dining places are skedded to open in October. Now we’re all set.

[UPDATE: As it turned out, both the Moss Room and the Academy Cafe opened on September 27th, so ten points for Gryffindor.]

Thus ends another dead-tree/Internet flare up.  Expect another one soon.