Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, the Wall Street Journal's wine writers, announced this weekend via their weekly column that they are departing from their post after 12 years with the paper. No word yet has come through as to why the two are leaving, or as to what their future plans are. From a footnote in this week's "Tastings" column:
This is our 579th—and last—"Tastings" column. The past 12 years—a full case!—have been a joy, not because of the wine but because we had an opportunity to meet so many of you, both in person and virtually. Thank you.
While this comes as something of a surprise, news that the two had been let go first broke a few weeks ago via a Facebook update from fellow wine writer Alice Feiring, that was then amended a few hours later. No replacement for the duo has been announced yet, and in a year that has seen many major newspapers scaling back their food writing, or axing positions entirely, one may not be announced. The WSJ is, after all, one of the big publications that started a wine club this year-- this may be the paper's answer to providing their readers with wine coverage, going forward.
Gaiter and Brecher met while working in the newsroom of the Miami Herald in 1973. After teaming up, the two wrote about wine in an unfussed, budget-conscious style reflected in their rating system for wines: "Yech", "OK", "Good", "Very Good", "Delicious" to "Delicious!". In a sense, their style and focus is very much in check with the way that food writing has trended over the past decade. The two have authoured several books together, and have remained very active lately, so one can only assume that their work will find a new home, whether via a paper or their own media outlet.
Here's a recent video of the duo, discussing how to pick the right wine for a dinner party: