Vinography Goes All British On Us (Alder Yarrow Joins Team Jancis At

Vinted on October 18, 2011 binned in wine news

[ Editor’s note: No, you’re not losing your mind (well, not that I can tell anyway) – the following was originally posted here yesterday, but I was mistakenly a day early in reporting it (and the authors of the press release politely requested that I take it down and re-post today to coincide with the official release, to which I of course agreed immediately). So some of you may, in fact, have read this before. This was just a dumb-ass mistake on my part, and one for which I’ve already apologized profusely to many people and promised copious rounds of beers to them as compensation.  Sorry also to you for any confusion this might have caused. Anyway – get back to your drinking. ]

This week, a press release will be going out on the Global Interwebs (I got a sneak peek at it last week) announcing that Alder Yarrow, founder of (which by all accounts was the first English language wine blog ever published) will officially join Team Jancis as a columnist at (the excellent)

To the tape:

“The choice of Yarrow to help expand Robinson’s coverage of the American wine culture reflects the vibrancy of the wine blogging world, her appreciation of the growing universe of online wine voices and Yarrow’s impressive body of work and unique insights on American wine. Yarrow’s ‘Alder on America’ column will debut at on Wednesday, October 19 when he explores the impact of Robert Parker’s retreat from reviewing California wine and the appointment of Antonio Galloni as the Wine Advocate’s new California correspondent.”

Aside from the fact that it looks like Alder’s first column is covering news that we in America would at this point officially consider “old” (sorry… couldn’t resist…), I’m ecstatic for Alder, who I consider a friend and with whom I confirmed that this is an actual, honest-to-goodness paying gig (I expect to pry more details out of him over several beers the next time I’m on the Left Coast). Given the focus and seriousness with which Alder plies his blogging craft, it’s a natural fit for Jancis’ team, and I see this as a bit of wine-blogging-spiritual-equivalent to another friend of mine, the keenly analytically-minded Jeff Lefevere, taking his talents to And of course (you knew this was coming), it’s further validation of the future of quality wine writing coming from the best of the cast of characters in the wine blogosphere.

Best of luck on the new gig, Alder!






  • Alder Yarrow

    Thanks for the coverage Dude. My first piece for Jancis isn't an announcement that Galloni is taking over for Parker in California, it's coverage of what Galloni is actually saying about California and whether or not it makes for big changes 'round here. Check it out tomorrow and then let me know if you think it's "old" news.

    • 1WineDude

      Just a poorish attempt at humor (or, for your new boss, humour!) on my part, Alder. I would tell you to lighten up but after my snafu yesterday, I deserve it ;). I expect your column will rock it even if your 1st topic was the repeal of Prohibition, bro.

      • Alder Yarrow

        There you go letting the cat out of the bag again. My SECOND topic was going to be the repeal of Prohibition. Now I KNOW you have it in for me ;-)

        • 1WineDude

          Alder, my spies have ways. And they are even smaller than I am, which makes them very difficult to detect…

        • Tim

          Funny and a Big Congrats and now I have a better reason for visiting her site ;-) Whilst tasting I say Cheers to you!

          • 1WineDude

            Cheers, Tim!

  • Evan Dawson

    Joe – Here is another domino in the series of events that you and I have discussed on this blog; I'm talking about the gradual but seemingly inevitable acquisition of top blogging talent by traditional media. You and I agreed that it makes sense, and yet it has been slow to unfold. Do you see this as a sign that things are changing? Or is this an outlier? No, I don't expect a rash of new hirings in the next week, but I wonder if it's a small indicator.

    Regardless, nice news for Alder, and I look forward to reading his work.

    • Alder Yarrow


      Thanks for the kind words. It's important (to me, and for accuracy's sake) that this isn't an "acquisition" in the sense that Vinography isn't going anywhere. But perhaps that's not the way you meant it. I've just been hired to write a monthly column.

      While I haven't followed your conversation with Joe, I completely agree with you about the inevitable need for larger, more established media presences to re-aggregate all the audiences that have fractured across the endlessly spreading blogosphere and niche media outlets. All the eyeballs are slowly going away, and for those that are advertising-driven business models, they need those eyeballs back to survive.

      One of the reasons this may be slower than we might anticipate probably has to do with the fact that the publishing industry, with notable exceptions, is heavily stone age in terms of understanding and dealing with internet technology.

      Also the downward pressure on advertising CPM rates makes audience re-aggregation by acquisition an increasingly low ROI proposition for the acquiring company.

      Adrianna got out at exactly the right time.

      • Alder Yarrow

        Er, that would be Arianna. Too fast on the draw.

        • 1WineDude

          Alder – astute observations and I suspect correct ones! As for the name mistake, iPhone auto-correct claims yet another victim? ;)

      • Evan Dawson

        Alder – My thoughts were that we'd eventually see a combination of developments on this front. The first would be larger media acquiring entire blogs and bringing those blogs under their umbrella. The second, more likely, is what we see with you and Jancis: A writer being hired to add content in which they specialize. To continue the analogy, ESPN hired some sports writers full-time; others are paid to contribute but continue to write for their local papers.

    • 1WineDude

      Evan – I am not sure yet, actually. I think for now it is largely an indicator that traditional outlets are turning to the blog world to tap new talent primarily for their on-line presences. I actually have a similar thing in the works right now (more to come once/if we reach contract stage), so we might be adding my name to the list relatively soon. But largely these are not gigs that pay serious bills, they are credibility builders though.

  • Marlene Rossman

    Alder certainly deserves the post! However, I find Jancis' condescension intolerable. Her comment,"I have long admired his work, which I find refreshing, thoughtful, objective and unusually literate" intimates "unusually literate for an American." I have long disliked the woman and her near-total dismissal of American wines as inferior,
    Nonetheless, mazel tov, Alder!

    • 1WineDude

      Marlene – I would not read too much into that quote from Jancis; knowing her (and I do not know her well, but probably do know her well-enough to speculate here) she is commenting there on the state of writing in the wine world, especially online, which has its bright spots for sure but could hardly be categorized as stellar generally (one can make the same argument for wine writing in print of course and for blogging in general for any topic, not just wine).

    • Alder Yarrow

      Marlene, if I called you unusually beautiful, would it be condescending to someone else?

    • @tairanniew

      Marlene, as someone who knows Jancis (a little) and based mainly in London, I can tell you that she is probably the biggest advocate for US wines in Europe! When her husband opened his first restaurant in London, there was an explicit aim to promote US wines. If you search through her tasting notes, you will also see admiration and scores for US wines that rivals what she gives for any of the greats in Europe. If you touch base with Paul Draper and Randall Grahm (who both know her well), they will tell you that she is strict but fair to all wine producers in the world.

  • Marlene Rossman

    Joe, I respectfully disagree with you.

    • 1WineDude

      Marlene – respectful disagreement is always encouraged here! :).

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