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Going Pro | 1 Wine Dude - Page 3

Posts Filed Under going pro

How To Become A Wine (Whatever)

Vinted on May 13, 2014 binned in going pro, wine appreciation

I try (but don’t always manage – I claim SAHD status!) to answer just about every piece of email that gets sent over to 1WD HQ. Usually these messages are of the “I found some older wine in a relative’s basement and I’m not sure what to do with it,” or “what wine should I buy for [ insert occasion here ]” varieties, but lately I’ve been receiving a disproportionate amount of requests asking “how can I become a wine [ taster / certified-type-person / critic / whatever ].” I’m guessing this volume had something to do with me spilling the beans on how I’m now able to pursue my dream job professionally, and a few folks starting to wonder if doing something along similar lines is possible for them, too.

Those latter emails I’ve yet to answer (apologies if one of them is yours!), mostly because the topic is so complex that I’ve had trouble trying to determine where it’d best to begin when writing about it. Really, it’s almost like asking “why drink wine?” – the answers depend on both where you’re starting, and where you want to end up.

So here’s my attempt at answering those too-long-neglected requests, in the hopes that it will be helpful to at least a handful of you lushes intrepid wine-loving folk.

Let’s assume for the sake of simplicity that you’re asking because you want to end up somewhere professional (sommelier / writer / critic / beverage director / whatever) with this, in which case my first inclination is to tell you not to bother…

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More Fool Me (April 2014 Wine.Answers.com Article Roundup)

Vinted on April 29, 2014 binned in going pro

Just as I didn’t give in to temptation last month, in April I resisted the siren-song lure of creating a forced holiday wine pairing (in this case, for April Fools Day – I thought about suggesting actual terrible wines to use to fool dinner party guests, but it seemed… mean…). There was also Easter, of course, but I spend much less time drinking on Easter than I do hiding Easter eggs these days.  Anyway, I opted instead to try my humble hand at wine industry parody at the expense of The Wine Advocate. I figured a few people would chuckle over it .

More fool me, apparently.

Seems (a lot of) you (really) liked it, based on the website numbers, which suggest that about two-thirds of the entire U.S. wine biz tuned in for that joke. Seriously, don’t you people have better things to do with your time? And aren’t we sick and tired of putting Parker at the butt end of our jokes?

The answers, apparently, are No, and No, respectively.

No parodies today (unless you happen to think that my normal writing style is a parody of good wine writing), but since April is drawing to a close it’s time to wrap up the Wine.Answers.com articles from the last few weeks…

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Two Years Before The Masthead (Reflections On Becoming A Professional Wine Writer)

Vinted on April 22, 2014 binned in going pro

“You should write about being a professional wine writer.”

That’s the advice I got recently from a close friend, after we’d somehow gotten on the topic of picking writing topics. “Why the f*ck would anybody want to read that?” was my response, to which I added, “I’m not even a professional wine writer.”

My friend’s response: “oh, really? Say, what do you get paid to do nowadays?” (the “, dumbass” ending was, apparently, implied, and was further underscored by my realization that content about changing careers was exactly the sort of stuff I’d been finding such compelling reading on finance blogs lately.

To which my only (sheepish) answer was, “uhmm… writing and talking about wine…?” (you know you’re f*cked when you express a statement as a question).

The realization that I make my living (the bill-paying part, anyway) primarily by writing about wine – which by definition now makes me a professional wine writer – was apparently obvious to everyone else but me, presumably because I was too busy trying to make a living as a professional wine writer to notice (please feel free to insert the implied “, dumbass!”).

But facts are facts, and those are the facts. I’m officially two years into Going Pro in the wine biz, two years since I bid the Corporate America day job life adieu and finally took the leap into the freelance world (itself taking place a good two years or so after initially planned), Two Years Before The (1WineDude) Mast(head). And so… how has it been? What’s it like?

It’s pretty f*cking awesome!…

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Getting Screwy For Spring (Talking Corkscrews In Publix Grape Magazine Spring 2014)

Vinted on April 8, 2014 binned in going pro

If you’ve ever wanted to introduce a misbehaving corkscrew to the business end of a firearm (I think anyone who’s ever snapped a cork in half when opening a bottle can identify with this feeling), then you’re not actually too far off from one of that tool’s original uses.

That corkscrews may have derived from implements used to pull unspent musket material from rile barrels is just one of the fascinating tidbits I picked up in researching my latest piece for PUBLIX Grape Magazine, titled “The Art of the Corkscrew,” which is appearing in their Spring 2014 issue.

Yes, Spring. Yes, really. I know that most of you who are, like me, on the East Coast (or are reading this from the northern Midwest U.S.) have probably, after this hellish Winter season, ceased believing in the memory of Spring, and chalked its flowers, rain showers, and warm, Sunny days up to a vague, pre-ice-age fantasy. But I can assure you that it has, in fact, actually and for-real arrived. Sort of. I think.

Anyway, if you’re in the PUBLIX sphere of shopping, you can pick up a printed copy of the issue for free (or subscribe for delivery), and get your geek hat on to learn a few surprising things about one of the world’s only tools that’s essentially designed to open one and only one product (a fact that, in and of itself, puts the wine world into a kind of odd, anachronistic light, doesn’t it?), along with all kinds of other interesting wine-and-drinks-and-food-related content. My article also includes a guide to the most common corkscrew types, along with hints on how to best use them (which you, of course, don’t need, because you’re a way-cool bad-ass who’s never, ever, not-even-once ripped a cork in half when trying to open a bottle of vino… yeah… right…).

Cheers!

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