I think traditional American wine-writing may have totally jumped the shark.
Yeah, I am actually going there. And yeah, it will probably take around 1100 words.
You see, last week marked my (extremely) long-overdue second contribution to Nomad Editions’ iPad wine magazine, Uncorked. The long-overdue part is entirely my fault – things have been busy, as in senator-on-the-campaign-trail-trying-to-hide-his-mistresses-from-the-press level busy, enough so to keep me from contributing weekly.
The Uncorked story is titled “My Andean Adventure: One wine dude’s search for the soul of South American wine” and it’s core topic is more-or-less my bout with the Chilean version of Montezuma’s Revenge (you know the title isn’t mine, because I would have called it “Joe’s Colon Vs. The Diabolically Banal South American Budget Wines” or something similarly tasteless), and includes photos of mine as well, taken on a camera that costs less than $200, and so marks one of the few times that I’ve also been a contributing photographer (cue eye-rolling from any serious photographer reading this). You’ll have to subscribe to read the article, but at less than $1 per month for a weekly wine mag that includes regular contributors like Tom Johnson (of Louisville Juice) and sommelier / award-winning author Courtney Cochran, you’d have to be a pretty hard-ass cheapskate wine lover to pass it up.
The thing that got me musing about wine writing jumping the shark was that my first draft of the Andean wine travels article was rejected summarily by Uncorked’s editor, (writer and winemaker) Stephen Yafa. Stephen’s words from the Editor’s Note of last week’s issue:
“When Joe Roberts sent in his article on wine-touring in Chile and Argentina, the piece was wrong for all the right reasons. It was objective, balanced and unemotional. It wasn’t Uncorked, or Joe.”
Stephen is an excellent editor, and like all good editors he has knack for being right…
Read the rest of this stuff »
I know I’m risking turning this blog into a South American wine coverage outlet recently (and there are at least two more posts yet to come from my recent jaunt there). BUT…
Just in case you’re not yet sick of hearing about the wines and wine-related stories I encountered in Chile and Argentina (or if you’re looking for a sort-of Cliff Notes version), I’ve got a featured article running up at PalatePress.com (with corresponding wine reviews) focusing on the off-the-beaten-path, outside-of-the-bargain-bin gems I found during my S. American travels (and travails).
The article also makes me feel good, mostly because it (hopefully?) resets the counter on keeping the “contributing” part of my “contributing editor” title at Palate Press. Anyway… here’s a run-down of the vinous S. American gems reviewed at PalatePress.com as part of the article:
Nomad Editions Uncorked might not be the first iPad-designed electronic wine magazine to hit the virtual iStore shelves (that distinction belongs to the relatively-expensive-when-it-comes-to-these-things $4-a-pop publication By The Grape, whose first issue seems obsessively preoccupied with Jancis Robinson), but as far as I’m aware it’s the first one to mention dog’s sniffing each other’s butts.
I contributed an article to Uncorked’s “Sedimental Journies” section for the May 6, 2011 preview issue of Uncorked, titled “Sippin’ And Sniffin’ With Fido (Wine tips from a true connoisseur: your mutt)” which you can now check out for free (I didn’t write that title, by the way – you can tell because it doesn’t explicitly mention doggie butt-sniffing). You can subscribe via iTunes for $0.99 a month, which seems a reasonable price to me (but hey, look who’s talking, I don’t even own an iPad). I think what’s supposed to happen now is that you read the article, then write to the editor to tell him how talented and good-looking I am (and we’re both comfortable enough with each other that we can lie that way, right?)…
The publication of Uncorked comes at a timely moment for me, since I am currently in the processes of helping to rehabilitate Brunello, our recently-rescued, ridiculously-oversized, pitifully-anxious Cane Corso / Doberman mix. Anyway, for those of you playing along at home, things on the rehab front are going… well, okay…
Read the rest of this stuff »