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April 2000

Grape Vine

Wine X, a magazine and Web site

Unfortunately, wine-drinkers have been given a bad rap — often labeled as snobby people with too much money and time on their hands. Wine X, a magazine and Web site located at, has been working since 1998 to dispel stereotypes and bring the nectar of the gods to everyone. Editor Darryl Roberts started the publication because he believed an entire section of the population, between the ages of 23 and 34, had a lot of money to spend and needed some encouragement to spend it on wine. Roberts opted to do away with the inflated writing and intimidating language of more traditional wine publications. Under the heading “X-rated Wines,” you’ll find the most descriptive wine reviews around, rated on a scale of one to three Xs. Cleverly-worded descriptions lend humor to the occasion of learning about wine. Of a Napa Valley Chardonnay the site states: “A freshly showered extrovert at a nudist camp — powder-fresh and fun fun fun!” and of a Gewürztraminer: “The Ice Capades in India — tart, tight and rather spicy. One triple toe loop from XXX.” Tips for serving good food are a must in any wine magazine, but you won’t find any complicated gourmet talk here. Bob Blumer, a.k.a. “the surreal gourmet” instructs on how to cook a meal on a car engine, and just how many miles one must drive to prepare lemongrass shrimp. One article titled “Isn’t it Ironic,” shares the secret of “ironing the classic American snack” — a grilled cheese sandwich browned with your iron set on “linen.” All suggestions include the appropriate wine and background music. An educational section informs both those who are already wine connoisseurs and those just beginning to discover the joys of the juice. If you’re stumped about which red goes with that Velveeta on toast, visit Wine X for a recommendation from regular people who enjoy wine, and sharing their knowledge.

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