The Squires Paradox

Unfortunately your registration at Mark Squires’ Bulletin Board on did not meet our membership requirements. Therefore your registration was deleted. Sorry, Mark Squires’ Bulletin Board on team.

The above message was sent to me the other day, about four hours after I tried to register for the Mark Squires’ Bulletin Board. I didn’t really want to join the Mark Squires’ Bulletin Board. After all, Squires doesn’t seem to like the natural-wine-loving kind. He already booted two of my favorite wine bloggers, Alice and Lyle. I only wanted to read a post by Mark Fornatale, who works for Skurnik (an importer). He had written about recent managerial changes at one of my favorite wineries, Borgogno: the prince of modern-style Barbaresco, Giorgio Rivetti of La Spinetta, he reported, would be revising vinification practices at the winery. I had been alerted to the post by Franco, who, upon reading Mark’s report, promptly contacted Borgogno’s new owner, Oscar Farinetti, and asked him point-blank if he would allow Giorgio to modify the style. Oscar answered via SMS (entrepreneur Farinetti is the creator of Eataly in Turin):

    Borgogno has no need for any changes in the cellar. As far as Rivetti is concerned, he will play no internal role. He will give us a hand with exports. The following is Borgogno’s corporate strategy: no change in the cellar or in winemaking [and] elimination of wines not internally produce… Borgogno will continue to produce [its wines] using the classic method. (translation mine, see the Franco’s post in Italian with quote from Squires BB in English).

Thank goodness Franco was able to clear things up: to lose Borgogno to the realm of homogeneous modern-style wine would be a tragedy.

Groucho Marx
(above, left) once said famously, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Squires would not have me as a member so I guess I can’t refuse membership. But why did Squires refuse me membership? On paper I met all the “requirements.” Did he see Alice and Lyle on my blog roll? did he visit and browse disapprovingly through my blog? (You can’t register with a gmail account so I used my email.)

I wonder what the great logician Bertrand Russell (left), discoverer of “Russell’s paradox”, would have said about Groucho’s paradox. Russell recognized that self-reference “lies at the heart of paradox.” Groucho’s self-referential line is a not-so classic but very funny example of Russell’s paradox: “I refuse to join the set that would have me as a member of that set,” Russell might have joked. I would have liked to join the club of bloggers who had joined Squires BB and then were booted. But Squires wouldn’t even let me on in the first place. I guess I’ll never know what I’m missing. But who can see the logic in that? Sorry, Mark Squires.

14 thoughts on “The Squires Paradox

  1. I think the Squires has modified his rules and now supposedly no bloggers are allowed. Seems as if he has had some legal advice on the matter. No? And about the Borgogno, I would love Franco to say yay or nay, but to my palate, Borgogno has already changed and tweaked their vinification to a more techno approach, so Mr. Eataly is safe in saying that no changes will me made.

  2. So why not kick off Sharon Bowman, Martin Barz, Francois Audouze otr anybody who has any sort of professional association with wine . . .or Mike Pobega etc. There are tons of people who post on that board who have blogs. Not that I have anything against these people but if you gonna invoke a policy shouldn’t it be a blanket policy. What a hypocrite. Easily the most intense censorship on wine boards I can imagine.

  3. Alice -I think you the differences you see in the Borgogno wines are more related to viticulture than cellar technique. Better vineyard nutrition leads to brighter, fruiter wines from grapes that arrive in the cellar healthier and richer in nitrogen.

  4. Alice and dear friends, in my opinion Borgogno’s Barolo has not changed in any significant way. Mr. Eataly, Oscar Farinetti, can easily affirm and promise that no changes will me made, but in recent years, in my opinion, the wines are still the same, very reserved and “locked” when young, not so expressive like other Barolos. Barolo Borgogno needs a lot of time in the shadows and silence of a good cellar. I think that the new owner, who loves classic Barolo, will wait longer than in recent years for release the wines so as to allow them to reach a good level when the wines arrive on the market. But they are and I hope will remain classic Barolo, to taste and drink after ten years minimum and to commit to the eternity, so as to defy the Time… Many apologies for my very poor and funny very basic English: I’m only an English beginner…

  5. Very bizarre. God and those with god-complexes work in mysterious ways. But I learned about your site through this so at least the episode served some purpose! Looking forward to reading more…

  6. Lyle, I see mention of my name so I will respond.
    I am selling nada.

    When I had my site up on the sig line, I too was asked to remove it.

    Just FYI
    Have a good day. :)

  7. Ah well, I asked on Lyle’s blog how Jeremy got spotted, but that was before I read this entry. So, it remains a mystery.

    My signature, which was for my Web site, which hawks my independent writing life, had to be removed too. I wrote a few words about the Grand Wizard in my last book and have always supposed that was the reason for my signature removal–never asked why, never cared to ask, because I am sure the answer would have made my blood pressure rise.

    The site doesn’t raise much interest in me anymore, as, in fact, is the case between most wine forum sites and me. I suppose the novelty of arguing over subjective opinions has worn off; that, and how tiring it can become to listen only to those who know all the answers…

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