Posts Filed Under wine publications
image: Publix Grape Magazine
Supposedly, it is Spring. Here in the Philly area, however, we jumped from sub-40F evenings directly to sunny, 80+F afternoons and something like 12,000% humidity. So, Summer decided to crash the party early.
A serendipitous time, therefore, is upon us during which to tell you of my contribution to the Summer 2015 edition of PUBLIX’s Grape Magazine (to which many of you can subscribe for free, by the way).
I contributed quite a bit of uncredited content to that one (much of it in the form of wine/food pairing write-ups). I also penned the In Focus section, this time focusing on the dreaded topic of boxed wines. Why this amazing little form of alternative wine packaging is still widely derided is beyond me, as we’re long past the point of the juice inside of those bag-in-boxes being sub-par. Granted, fine wine-ing it’s not, and admittedly it’s not the easiest task on earth to find a boxed wine that over-delivers on quality, but it certainly is easier finding a fairly-priced, tasty, and totally drinkable boxed wine than ever before.
During the In Focus piece, we get into the history of the boxed wine format, as well as explore some of the technology behind the bag-in-box packaging, which in a geeky way I have always found fascinating. You can check it out by subscribing at http://www.publix.com/clubs-programs/publications/publix-grape-magazine .
Cheers – and stay cool!
I’m not sure that we need any more proof that I am an idiot workaholic, but last week a wine magazine hit the newsstands in Italy with yet more evidence in support of that.
During a (very) busy late Spring, I was contacted by my friend and co-judge in the 2013 Argentina Wine Awards, the Milan-born Alessandro Torcoli, who is the managing director of Civilta del bere. The pages of Cdb (loosely translated as “Culture of drink”) have been gracing the hands of wine and food lovers in Italy since 1974.
Alessandro wanted to know if I’d pen a feature for Cdb on the wine scene in America. “Which wine scene in America?” was my initial response, to which he more-or-less replied “all of them.” Capturing the trends and current happenings of all of the most important wine regions in the U.S. just seemed a challenge too cool to turn down, so I said yes. A crap-ton of work then ensued (I am over 40 now, so the chances that I will someday learn not to accept these workloads is probably approaching zero).
The finished article is now available (in Italian, of course, thanks to Alessandro’s translation), and it looks great (hopefully the text lives up to the presentation!). What was probably the most difficult part of the assignment was coming up with a list of thirty wines that I thought served as both an introduction to American wine, and as a faithful representation of American wine trends overall.
That part was… well, “ridiculously hard” seems somewhat appropriate. For sh*ts and giggles, I’m presenting the final list of those selected wines below. It’s certainly California/Pacific NW-heavy, but when you consider the fact that those regions account for well over 90% of all of the wine produced in the U.S., any other approach would’ve been totally disingenuous to the spirit of the article. I am quite sure that I will piss off no small number of the wine world with these selections, and most criticism that I failed to include wine/region/trend such-and-such will no doubt have some justifications. Against my better judgment, I have included short blurbs on why I choose the wines that I did.
As always, I welcome your flaming comments!
Read the rest of this stuff »
My feature on the wines of the Greek isle of Crete is now available in the August 2014 issue of SOMM Journal.
That twenty-two word sentence belies what has to be one of the longest paths to seeing something published that I’ve ever had to walk.
Not that the folks at SOMM Journal / Tasting Panel were difficult to deal with; far from it (they have been a pleasure to work with, actually). And I loved getting to know the folks from Crete (and I was doubly-lucky in that I got to work with them this year in helping them present their wines and discuss their island’s native varieties at stops in both NYC and D.C.). It was everything that happened in-between and en route to working with those folks that required this article to be resurrected, phoenix-like.
Let’s just say this was not a quick route to publication, and I learned a valuable lesson in tenacity by pursuing this one. I was prepared to indulge myself in a litany recounting of the simple 4,422-step process constituting the in-between and en route, but I’ll spare you (you’re welcome).
The Cliff Notes version: I was originally “on assignment” with the Crete article for Sommelier Journal, after agreeing the concept with the then head honcho of the mag, during the 2012 Drink Local Wine conference (held that year in Colorado). Except about a year later, that that mag suddenly folded. Happily, Tasting Panel mag took it over, re-branded it as SOMM Journal, and was interested in the story…
Alright, so I lied about sparing you the litany.
Anyway, my Cretan sojourn bore additional tasty content fruit, by way of an interview with one of the island’s next-generation wine family members, and some thoughts for the Answers.com gig on three Cretan producers who are doing cool stuff.
The new SOMM Journal issue is worth checking out just for the map of Crete that Tasting Panel deputy editor Jonathan Cristaldi put together to include with my piece (see inset pic, which I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing, because it’s oozing with awesome).