Posts Filed Under wine publications
Tom Wark recently asked me to chime in for an article he was considering for his blog, on the topic of whether or not interest in wine blogs was waning. I offered my views, some of which are quoted in his thoughtfully-considered piece.
Alive, though maybe not totally well (image: Grape Collective)
As to whether or not I agree with
Tom (my bad – see comments) those that might consider that wine blogging has “died without a funeral,” I think we first have to ask ourselves if wine blogging is inherently different from other niche blogging topics. If we accept that it isn’t (in the same way that, say, DVRs aren’t inherently different from one another – they all basically do the same thing at the core, which is record broadcast video media), then Tom is also asking if niche blogging is dead.
To which I would say, No, it’s not dead.
This is the kind of question that gets posed periodically (go ahead, search it) when we see dynamic informal institutions, like online communities, do what they do, which is change (wait, you really expected this stuff to stay static forever? duuuuuude…. wtf?!??).
We shouldn’t mistake community maturation and the movement of engagement discussions from blog comments to Facebook, Instagram, etc., as a lack of interest in the sharing amateur content about wine (which is what blogs inherently are about – sharing info and opinions). Just because one outlet (longer form blog posts) isn’t as popular as another (image-centric, short updates on larger social media platforms) doesn’t mean that people no longer care about the core thing: sharing wine online.
They do care. A lot. There is no lack of interest in sharing content about wine (to wit: see just about any recent stat from Vintank on online wine mentions). And where that content is being shared, influence and money (in terms of what people who read and participate in those updates and discussion will buy) will often follow (though, maddeningly, in ways that are difficult to track, but that’s not the fault of the platforms themselves).
Anyway, if wine blogging is actually dead, then someone forgot to send that memo to Grape Collective, you also recently quoted me in dear-gawd-TMI-bro! fashion when they interviewed me for their “SpeakEasy interview series with influential bloggers.”
“I’m not dead yet! I think I’ll go for a walk!”
image: Publix Grape
Just a quick hit to let you know that the Winter 2015 edition of Publix Grape Magazine should soon be available (if not already), and that I’ve once again penned the In Focus section (as well as some other items in that issue).
This time, In Focus focuses on screwtop closures, with some insights from irrepressible Bonny Doon winemaker Randall Grahm. It gets into the background history of both cork and screwcap closures, and that research, for me, was always the most fun part of that Grape Mag gig.
I write “was” because, alas, Winter 2015 is the last printed edition of Grape, which will be moving to an online/email publication titled Publix Wine Program. As they say in Jolly Ol’ England, I’ve not heard a dickie bird about whether or not I will a part of that new program, and I’ve no details on if/how the traditional Grape content will be changing, apart from what’s been published publicly on the Publix website (sorry!).
I’ll miss the gig; it was a blast. And it had some seriously sweet food porn photos in it, too. I find at these moments, it’s best to look back with gratitude on having been a part of the experience for so long, and having the opportunity to work with such professional people. And to drink sparkling wine… lots and lots of sparkling wine…
image: PUBLIX Grape Magazine
Summer’s almost over. Yeah, I said it. Yeah, it’s mildly depressing. Yeah, it’s a good excuse to drink.
For those of you within the mailing address sphere of supermarket chain PUBLIX, you can find my latest contribution to their wine-focused magazine, Grape, in the soon-to-be-released Fall 2015 issue.
Therein, among other things, we revisit the impacts of barrel aging on wine (not all oak is the enemy, folks), as well as on beer, with some quotes from wine luminaries such as Master Somm Evan Goldstein, who is one of the few wine people for whom I’d consider taking a bullet (hopefully, we never have to test that promise…).
You can subscribe to PUBLIX Grape Magazine for the low, low price of $0.00, for those of you who live in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama. Which is probably those of you who have been wanting Summer to end for the last two months already.
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!