And you thought I was already there, didn’t you? About being a cretin, I mean.
This week, I head out (yes, again) on the road, this time bound for the Greek island of Crete, a trip that’s been in the making in some way/shape/form with www.allaboutgreekwine.com since 2010 (we last discussed it when I visited with them in Santorini almost precisely two years ago).
The interesting thing about this trip, in the Going Pro side of things, is that in some ways I’m “on assignment,” having preliminarily agreed with Sommelier Journal to pen a regional overview piece on Crete for their 2013 publication schedule.
I am hoping in no small part that my eventual appearance in a wine glossy will show that I’m not anti-wine-glossy (though I am anti-douchebaggery) and will help to temper what seems to be unhealthily strong reactions from other wine glossy staff whenever I mention the words “wine glossy” on these virtual pages, to the point where the critical mention significantly outshines the actual focus of the article (hey, weren’t we talking about somebody’s wine here, anyway?). The message, I think, being twofold:…
1) It’s okay to criticize practices in a medium that you love, provided that you’re trying to change things for the better (otherwise it’s called “bitching”) as well as ruffling the occasional wine-soaked feathers in the process. The assumption here, of course, is that the wine world and its coverage needs changing, which I recognize as a sentiment with which that not all wine glossies are going to agree, but it is one that the majority of people reading this will. As Seth Godin is fond of saying, if no one is angry with you then you’re probably not really changing anything, are you?
2) Wine glossy staff need to get over themselves sometimes – everybody takes criticism (with the possible exception of Chuck Norris). Hell, this is how screwed up things can be in the wine biz: even I’m “big” enough in that sphere to have pissed off some people and taken some critical heat – so the big wine glossies really ought to expect that kind of criticism, but not all of them accept it gracefully when it appears. Sort the bitching from the critiques, and you end up with nuggets of gold for improving what you do. Critically assessing one another (and ourselves) it’s part of how we improve and adapt wine coverage for the folks who actually pay their hard-earned cash to drink the stuff. This assumes of course that you want to improve what you do for people in the first place!
While I’ll probably be saving the meat of that Crete journey for SJ (and spending a good deal of time wondering how we’ll manage to mold my… er… unorthodox writing style with their typically more measured approach), I will certainly be reporting/tweeting/reviewing wines from the sojourn, so stay tuned!