BusinessLifestyle June, 10th 2015 by

Adios Wine Lists


Adios Wine Lists
(Originally published in Spanish in Diario Sur)

AJ Linn

There are people who will collect anything, even stupid items that have no economic or sentimental value such as pencils, old magazines or mobile phones. My only collectibles are sherry copitas bearing some sort of engraving or design, and I have 400 of them amassed over many years. Each one tells a story.

A friend collects restaurant wine lists, and when we had lunch the other day he mentioned that he has noticed a transformation. These days they have less wines and more non-wine items like craft beer, non-alcoholic drinks, and the sort of teas that are becoming fashionable to accompany food with.

We could be seeing the dying days of the classical wine list, not such a bad thing as many top restaurants compete with each other to include the greatest number of wines. Many lists have been drastically cut, and thankfully wines that were intended to show how clever the sommelier was, like those from Cyprus, India or China, while they may be very good, are rarely ordered by diners intent on a gourmet occasion.

Before long the wine waiter, if indeed he is still around, will offer us the drinks list rather than the wine list.

I know of at least one well-known New York location that has cut its selection of Spanish red wines from ten different bodegas to four. But these four include eight Special Reservas of Castillo Ygay dating back to 1959, and twelve Vega Sicilia Únicos from 1960. Wine lovers can have a great time comparing vintages of the same bodega, but the losers are of course the smaller wineries that have always had to fight to get their wines listed at all.


AJ Linn

Andrew Linn left England 40 years ago to relocate to Spain, having been involved in businesses such as wine shipping and publishing. He currently writes regularly and professionally on wine, food, flamenco, and the Spanish way of life for various publications, and has a regular column in a Spanish newspaper. Andrew is involved in charity work relating to abandoned and mistreated animals.

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