It’s hard for me to believe, but since I started my gig as the Answers.com wine dude in the Spring I’ve penned 100 articles for the category (yes, it’s a paying gig; no, I’m not part of their recently announced guest blogger program).
So far, it’s been… well, great, actually.
I’ve been able to find a perfect outlet for product/accessory reviews and wine book reviews on Wine.Answers.com, as well as a means to offer beginner-style advice that otherwise here on 1WD might get flamed to a black, ashy crisp suitable for high-tasted barrel staves by you geeky people (and I love you for that!).
And so today I write not just as a round-up of some of the December 2013 Answers.com wine articles, but find myself reflecting on the past 100 articles and the several months I’ve spent authoring content for gig that are now under my thick black Santa-style Christmas belt. The short version of that reflection is that I’m enjoying the hell out of it, and as far as freelancing “day jobs” go, this one is rockin’ like Dokken (do they have a Christmas album?).
Anyway… here are a few of the December 2013 entries for you to peruse before your holiday libations have you too drunk to read any more…
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This week, instead of reviewing a wine, I’m going to give you a review of wine’s role in our lives, as drinkers, and in the lives of those who toil their own land to produce it.
I recently worked my way through a review copy of a comic (sorry, sorry, graphic novel!) about wine. And no, it’s not Drops Of God – though that’s a damn good yarn of a tale in its own right (and, incidentally, I’ve heard is one of the most influential “critics” in the Asian wine market, with wines that are mentioned within its pages subsequently selling at a breakneck clip).
No, this is a decidedly more mundane tale, and one that’s true to life (and a true story).
In The Initiates, French comic artist/author Etienne Davodeau decides to (sort of) swap roles with Loire Valley wine producer Richard Leroy. The idea is that Davodeau will introduce Leroy to the world of comic creation, working him through the process from idea to print, while Leroy shows him the equivalent process at his small Montbenault estate, from vineyard to glass. Along the way, they taste through some of France’s standard-bearer wines to develop Davodeau’s appreciation of vino.
The result is The Initiates (NBM publishing, about $25), a work that’s not unlike a complex, small-production wine: at turns boring and beautiful, revolting and revelatory…
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Today, a quick-hit to tell you that my friend Evan Dawson’s recently-released book Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes just took home the award for “International Wine Book of the Year”at the 2012 Louis Roederer Wine Writing Awards.
I am personally thrilled for Evan, who is having a banner year in 2012 as he kicks ass and takes names across the wine writing spectrum. Evan is the kind of writer whose works make the rest of the on-line wine media world look good.
I’d offer you more thoughts on Evan’s first printed work, but as I’m quoted in it and am clearly biased all I can tell you is that it’s a decidedly well-written humanist take on the stories behind the Finger Lakes wine region. For more non-review thoughts on the book, check out my, well, non-review from a little over a year ago.
Congrats to Evan on such a well-deserved win – my friend, you’re making us proud!