Articles Tagged goodgrape.com
“You have a tall task — on two fronts.”
Those were the words my friend and consigliere Jeff Lefevere (who has got to be the most talented blogger currently not blogging) had for me when I asked him for advice in interviewing movie icon Francis Ford Coppola about his Sonoma wine endeavors.
“Coppola is near icon, and has been oft-interviewed,” Jeff pointed out, before quickly adding, “More importantly, how do you talk a little wine without coming off sounding like a shill who is reading from the press release?”
That last part is something that plagues writers covering any area. Even if you pull out all of the stops and interviewing chops, some people will simply give you charming marketing spiel, the equivalent of the stuff you could get from their website About pages only in certified from-the-horse’s-mouth quotation form.
So for my Wined Down / Playboy.com interview with Coppola, I decided to take Jeff’s advice and try to get inside of Coppola’s head a little bit, even going so far as to link our conversation back to a PB interview that he did around forty years ago (for more on that one, see Playboy’s 50 Years of the Playboy Interview collection). I suppose it worked to some extent, since in the course of it he reveals that he’s working on a new screenplay, and even the publicists on his side didn’t know about that. More likely I just got lucky.
Anyway… we talk wine, of course, focusing on his work in Sonoma (look, Coppola’s Rubicon/Inglenook stuff is an awesome story line, but as Jeff insightfully pointed out, it’s been oft-told), his love of Bordeaux, how he looks back on previous interviews and the iconic characters that he’s created, and whether or not he was trying to tell the wine cognoscenti to f*ck off by moving his movie memorabilia and shop out of Napa.
Okay, this is the part where you head over to PB and check it out!
I’m crazy excited to tell you that I will soon be authoring a freelance wine column on Playboy.com.
So now you have some legitimacy behind the “I’m just going there for the articles, honey!” excuse (you’re welcome!).
The folks behind Playboy.com reached out to me many moons ago, and the whole thing has been even many more moons in the making, so I’m thrilled to be able to get started – and humbled and honored by the opportunity to work with such an amazing brand. I don’t know how long this gig will last, and the column doesn’t have an official name yet (please shout out your ideas in the comments – I’ve got a feeling those will be very entertaining!), but we have some great ideas for content, which naturally will be exploring the more sensual sides of wine.
Now, I’ve never featured beautiful nude women on 1WineDude.com (though I’ve come close!), but I suppose you could say that there’s a bit of “spiritual alignment” in my writing style and the serious-but-accessible-and-slightly-irreverent take on the subject of wine that Playboy.com was looking for. To me, it’s a bit like Forbes.com bringing on Jeff Lefevre’s smart, analytical writing style, or how the populist, grounded voice of Vinography’s Alder Yarrow fits in so well with JancisRobinson.com. So you can add one more name to the list of home-grown wine bloggers being tapped by long-standing on-line brands.
There are a few things you probably should know about this Playboy.com gig…
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And I mean that in the best possible way, which is to say that it’s not the same “holy crap!” that I exclaim when our recently-acquired rescue “dog” (dog is in quotes because he’s closer in size to a small horse) dumps on our carpet every other day.
No, this is the kind of “holy crap!” that’s shorthand for “OMG that is so f*cking AWESOME! A++++,” the kind of feeling the wiseguys in Goodfellas had when they thought that Tommy DeVito was getting made (now that I think about it, I really hope that this doesn’t actually turn out the same way as it did for Tommy…).
Anyway, my reaction, which carries my typical levels of subtlety (i.e., all the subtlety of an cheesy action flick in which someone drives an eighteen-wheeler full of nitro glycerin off of the Grand Canyon) is in response to the news that my friend (and one of the most insightful people that I’ve ever met), Jeff Lefevere, the voice behind GoodGrape.com, is now writing the wine column for the Forbes.com blog.
Another friend of mine (I like making friends), Steve Heimoff, blogged about this happening yesterday, and when commenting on Steve’s well-thought-out post it occurred to me that Jeff’s new stint stands as reminder of how powerful social media tools are when wielded by talented and powerful enough hands. They can land you at Forbes – not a bad neighborhood, people!
Jeff’s writing style is about as perfect a chocolate-meets-peanut-butter match for Forbes.com as anyone could reasonably hope, and while I’m sure he doesn’t need it, I’m offering up all of the support and positive-good-vibes I can muster for him in his new endeavor. I’m pretty sure the Forbes.com readership is gonna love him, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Jeff takes things from here – not just as a friend, but as a fan.
Earlier this week, the talented writer Jeff Lefevere (I’ll stop short of calling him “stunningly handsome”) – mastermind behind the excellent blog GoodGrape.com and contributor to other wine writing fare such as Mutineer Magazine – published his 2009 Best of Wine Online Awards Pt. I.
Jeff named 1WineDude.com Best Wine Blog in the Consumer category for 2009, here’s what he had to say about our little virtual space in the wine blog-o-world:
“Joe Roberts at 1WineDude (http://www.1winedude.com). I pay close attention to traffic for top wine blogs and Joe has ascended into the very upper echelon in 2009. Traffic is one thing, but the really impressive thing about Joe’s blog is he has grown his site free of agenda and with an engagement-oriented, populace-style approach that isn’t replicated by other top bloggers. Plus, he does frequently laugh out loud funny posts. Named top wine blog by FoodBuzz and mentioned in Forbes this year, Joe is one to watch.”
Thanks, bro! I’ve got no idea what he’s on about regarding the mention by Forbes (I can confirm that I am not yet among the 500 richest men in the world).
I’m touched and humbled to be part of the lineup that Jeff has mentioned for his 2009 nods, the list is chock full of awesome online wine writing and all of his mentions are well worth your time (if you’re not already a frequent reader of the bloggers he mentions). The nodto 1WineDude.com is particularly fulfilling for me, because Jeff possesses a keen mind and an even keener pen, and his award-winning blog writing has been an inspiration for me for the last few years. I just hope that I can continue to fool smart people like Jeff… live up to the high expectations that folks like Jeff have for little blogs like mine!
Jeff has added a Part II as well, in which he goes beyond the wine blog-o-world to highlight his take on other bests in the wine industry at large for 2009. It’s an even more compelling list than Part I, and includes Jeff’s best wine / winery of the year – check it out.