Back in the very first days of the Wine Rambler, when we couldn't reasonably expect anyone to want to read what we had to say, we started a little series reporting on german online wine merchants. This ran to three or four issues, and in none of them did we mince our words about the pros and cons of the places we featured. Pinard de Picard, one of our most frequent and important sources, and one that we do think highly of, especially had to take it on the chin. Would a revised reissue maybe be in order? But there is not one word of our original review that we should or honestly could change. So that's the thinking-over done. But there is one point we'd like to make: Pinard de Picard has wonderful hand-drawn graphics to illustrate their wines, which they and artist Susanne Lehen-Friedrich have graciously allowed us to use, and which now grace this Wine Rambler reissue. Enjoy.
(1) Pinard de Picard
Product range: Just Europe. Comprehensive on German Riesling and the South of France, solid selection from the rest of France, Italy, Spain and Austria.
Pricing: Steepish, but not outrageous.
Wine prose: Ah yes. Magnificently overblown and barely reined in by German syntax, choice adjectives of exquisite praise line up to assault the esteemed customers (...and just about insult their intelligence). It's a little universe of its own, really, peopled by likeably rugged winemakers with attractive daughters who offer their heart's blood in bottles for ridiculously little money. PdP's style would lend itself to a great deal of travesty, if only it weren't already a parody of itself. The picture captions alone are little gems of unintended humour. An hour of browsing, shaking your head, and in the end ordering a few bottles nonetheless will be an hour well spent.
Upsides: Impeccable service, and - for all the hyperventilating praise - no real let-downs in the program.
Downsides: Since even affordable-range wines are described as pure manna from heaven, and upscale ones as tasting like god's bodily fluids, there's no way to deduce from the description what any wine will actually be like in style. And one other thing - a bad case of Parker hypocrisy: Wines ignored or rated poorly by wine gurus are "too pure, fresh and avantgardistic for the simplistic taste of the journalists...", while highly rates ones, well: "94 Parker Points for just 12 €. Get it! Get it! Get it right now!"
All graphics: (c) Susanne Lehnen-Friedrich, all rights reserved