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by Fred McMillin
for July 2000


A Wall Street ... Love Story



" They fell in love with wine (and each other) 25 years ago and now live with their two daughters, Media and Zoe, in New York City, where they haunt wine shops in search of good values."

Book jacket
The Wall Street Journal Guide to Wine
Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher


Haughty They're Not

Winemaker: "The juice went into French Never oak barrels, custom-toasted to caramelize the neutral sugars that..."

Gaiter & Brecher: "You don't need to understand all that rigmarole. [Just remember], even a great winemaker can't make great wine from so-so grapes."

Dessert Wines
"If you see something on the label about the sugar, or "Brix," at harvest, that's usually a good sign, because the winery is telling you this is a wine made from superrich, sweet grapes. and don't say you don't like dessert wines until you've tried some good ones." ...Gaiter and Brecher


Short and Sweet

Bill Flick  
The couple pack about all the wine scoop you can get into 300 pages...principles and specific winning wines. Examples:

"BOOM! That was the sound of Merlot exploding onto the American scene a few years ago...Our best of tasting was a rich, classy Merlot at $19 which could have held its own against far more expensive bottles, made by Bill Frick." (pictured) [For more about Frick's tricks see Winedays of Aug. 20, 1997 and Oct. 11, l999.]

Zinfandel - "If anyone sets the standard for Zinfandel, it's Ridge...classic." [See these Ridge Winedays—"The Draper Caper", Oct. 15, 1999 and "Lytton Springs Sings, June 22, 2000.]


Love Story

On June 4, 1973, it was love at first sight. Dorothy and John each were starting their first journalism job at the Miami Herald, and have been together ever since. Neither came from a family that served wine with their meals, so they shared the joy of "starting at the bottom," drinking and learning about inexpensive wines. Five years later they began taking notes and saving labels. The volume is sprinkled with warm, but instructional, recollections. E.g., at the Kitchen Witch, John always had Sauvignon Blanc with the Chicken Tarragon. [Jess Jackson, Kendall-Jackson's dynamic founder, once told me that was one of his favorite pairings, too.]


Just the Facts

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Wine
Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher (husband and wife)
Broadway Books, New York, a division of Random House
Their Day Jobs—At the Journal, Dorothy covers issues involving race, and John is editor of Page One.
ISBN 0-7679-0389-7 (hc)



Here are some more of the couple's recommended wines, and related articles in past WineDays. Try the current release.

Pinot Gris—King Estate, Oregon
(WineDay, March 10, 1997, "A No-Frills Pinot")

White Zinfandel—Beringer Vineyards
(WineDay Jan. 10, 2000, "Confessions")

Ice Wine—Inniskillin Vidal, Oak aged dessert wine, "almost takes your breath away."
(WineDay June 23, 2000, "No Way Jose")

Beaujolais - "We think Beaujolais is one of the world's great wine bargains"
(WineDay, May 23, 2000, "Hooray for Gamay", about B & G Beaujolais Villages)

Cabernet Sauvignon—"Wine people consider Beaulieu's Georges de Latour Private Reserve among the greatest wines ever made in California." (The Private Reserve led the charge in WineDay's selecting Beaulieu as the "California Winery of the 20th Century", Feb. 4, 2000)

Just like Dorothy and John, another happily married couple assisted with this article: Joe and Judith Lorentz.


This page created July 2000