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Berkeley's Kermit Lynch Featured in NYT Magazine

Berkeley wine importer and connoisseur Kermit Lynch received prominent exposure today in a New York Times Sunday magazine interview. His San Pablo Avenue shop is within six blocks of the Albany border.

The Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant shop at 1603 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. Patch file photo
The Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant shop at 1603 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. Patch file photo
Among the 20 most emailed New York Times articles Sunday was an interview with wine merchant Kermit Lynch, whose Berkeley shop on San Pablo Avenue is half a mile from Albany.

The article and interview by Daniel Duane in the paper's Sunday Magazine says that Lynch is "finally having his day" and that "the Kermit Lynch way is finally in fashion." 

The article posits that Lynch, whose eponymous wine shop is located at 1603 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley, is enjoying newfound regard in a shift of the pendulum in wine tastes from the more processed, heavy-oak flavors of California wines promoted by influential wine writer Robert Parker, giving way to Lynch's emphasis on more natural wines representing a broad spectrum of varietals based on their specific localities, especially those of Europe.

The article's title on the newspaper's web site, "Kermit Lynch, Terroirist," may have been chosen in part because of the provocative association of "terrorist" and "terroirist," the latter referring to Lynch's focus on terrior, a French term used in the wine industry to refer to the local environment where the grapes are grown.

Although Lynch stopped selling American wines 30 years ago, he told the Times that he's enjoying some recent California wines and may add them to his offerings.

"Right here in Berkeley, I found a great winemaker, Steve Edmunds, working with Rhone varietals," Lynch said. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised – I eat better in Berkeley than I do in France these days. My son now works for me, too, and he's been talking about California wineries dropping the heavy-oak, heavy-alcohol style. He wants me to consider adding some to our portfolio, and I've given him the green light to scout around."

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