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Charles Blackstone
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Thanks for deleting the comment thread. I've been fortunate to have dined in a number of restaurants over the years at which Belinda Chang has been wine director, and I've always found her lists--and the selections they contain to which she, personally, or her well-trained staff has pointed me--to have contained some of the most exciting, unusual, and perfectly-chosen wines I've ever had, many of which I can recall quite vividly to this day. She selects not for the novice and not for the Spectator, not for the penurious and not for the princely, but somehow manages to be everyone's sommelier, and that's only part of her genius. She's also an innovator, and a number of approaches she pioneered can still be seen on by-the-glass lists here in Chicago (and in other cities' wine bars that have poached them since). I'm disappointed you failed to contextualize your grievances with any specifics about Belinda's accomplishments, which makes for a rather distorted picture. Left out of this breezy, bloggy overview is that the Modern's Belinda Chang has a wine philosophy and approach unlike any other practicing today. Her techniques are refreshing, engaging, evincing a passion for her craft, dedication to her customers, and lifelong commitment to her field--above all, vastly successful. I can't say that I can describe many other restaurants' wine lists or their wine directors quite the same way. But don't take it from me, merely an interested consumer: I think Belinda's recent Beard nomination aptly and elegantly sums up her career contributions to the industry, and to the lives of her vast array of loyal dining patrons across the country, if not, by now, the world: outstanding wine service.
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2011 on Drinking on 53rd Street at The Feiring Line
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Apr 1, 2011