Articles Tagged jancis robinson
In part of his coverage/promotion of wine blogger Alder Yarrow’s new gig as part of Team Jancis over at JancisRobinson.com, wine blogger Tom Wark rightly points out that it’s almost paradoxically at once significant and also a natural, balladromic bit of evolution to have an established wine personality tap into the blog-o-world when seeking to add more wine writing talent to their publications.
Tom also claimed that “we are living in the Golden Age of Wine Writing and the Golden Age of Wine Writing Talent.”
I read those words during the same period of time that I was making way through a review copy of long-time wine scribe Gerald Asher’s new collection of writings, A Vineyard In My Glass (not literally at the same exact time, of course, I’m not Thomas Jefferson, so I’m not reading eight books simultaneously while also dictating correspondences and cataloging in detail how many of my goats died from frost exposure last Winter while slaking my thirst with Scuppernong , or whatever), and I can tell you that just about every page of Asher’s collection screams out (in a polite, congenial British scream, of course) that Tom is way off base in his claim. I say this with mad respect for Tom, of course, but…
Sorry, bro. We are not even close to being in a golden age of wine writing talent – unless you extend that Age’s starting point back far enough to include the writings of Asher and Hugh Johnson; because in terms of plying the craft of writing and applying the focused, dedicated talent of it to the world of wine, those two writers have NO modern equal.
If you’re reading this and you haven’t sampled the writings of those two stalwarts, then you need to do so with all speed. If you’re reading this and you fancy yourself a wine writer, I’m willing to bet a case of DRC that you couldn’t go toe-to-toe in terms of writing skills with either one of those gentlemen, even on your best day…
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[ Editor’s note: No, you’re not losing your mind (well, not that I can tell anyway) – the following was originally posted here yesterday, but I was mistakenly a day early in reporting it (and the authors of the press release politely requested that I take it down and re-post today to coincide with the official release, to which I of course agreed immediately). So some of you may, in fact, have read this before. This was just a dumb-ass mistake on my part, and one for which I’ve already apologized profusely to many people and promised copious rounds of beers to them as compensation. Sorry also to you for any confusion this might have caused. Anyway – get back to your drinking. ]
This week, a press release will be going out on the Global Interwebs (I got a sneak peek at it last week) announcing that Alder Yarrow, founder of Vinography.com (which by all accounts was the first English language wine blog ever published) will officially join Team Jancis as a columnist at (the excellent) JancisRobinson.com.
To the tape:
“The choice of Yarrow to help expand Robinson’s coverage of the American wine culture reflects the vibrancy of the wine blogging world, her appreciation of the growing universe of online wine voices and Yarrow’s impressive body of work and unique insights on American wine. Yarrow’s ‘Alder on America’ column will debut at JancisRobinson.com on Wednesday, October 19 when he explores the impact of Robert Parker’s retreat from reviewing California wine and the appointment of Antonio Galloni as the Wine Advocate’s new California correspondent.”
Aside from the fact that it looks like Alder’s first column is covering news that we in America would at this point officially consider “old” (sorry… couldn’t resist…), I’m ecstatic for Alder, who I consider a friend and with whom I confirmed that this is an actual, honest-to-goodness paying gig (I expect to pry more details out of him over several beers the next time I’m on the Left Coast). Given the focus and seriousness with which Alder plies his blogging craft, it’s a natural fit for Jancis’ team, and I see this as a bit of wine-blogging-spiritual-equivalent to another friend of mine, the keenly analytically-minded Jeff Lefevere, taking his talents to Forbes.com. And of course (you knew this was coming), it’s further validation of the future of quality wine writing coming from the best of the cast of characters in the wine blogosphere.
Best of luck on the new gig, Alder!
If you love wine, you can do something that costs $0.00 and almost certainly will up your wine appreciation and wine tasting I.Q. score varios puntos. Namely, start a wine blog.
Right now. It will take you less than ten minutes. Go to wordpress.com and create a blog, and your first post can be as simple as “hey, I really think I dig wine, and I want to talk about it.”
You shouldn’t expect anyone to read it yet, but that’s not the point. The point is to journal your own personal journey with wine.
I can feel the collective groan of WineSpectator.com forum members, other wine bloggers, and print media at the suggestion that every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and Bacchus start churning out their own personal impressions on the wines that they try and how it affects their lives.
And I’m here today to tell those people to go shove it.
Start a wine blog, and piss all of them off. Do it because it will help you learn about wine, because it will help you share some of your wine experiences with your friends, because it will encourage you to taste more and more wine and get to know your own wine preferences better.
But most of all, do it because it’s good for the wine industry if you start blogging about wine, because the positives of every additional ounce added to the volume of the current wine media sea change far, far outweigh the potential negatives. More on that in a minute.
You will hear from many that you shouldn’t, of course, for a large variety of reasons. So let’s just call bullsh*t on just about every one of the reasons right now…
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For those of you who’ve missed (what will certainly seem like) the last several thousand posts here on 1WineDude.com, I recently spoke at the 2010 Wines of Portugal International Conference as a panelist on the topic of how the Internet and Social Media are impacting the world of wine and how that will impact the Portuguese wine industry.
Among my fellow panelists was the talented Neal Martin, who writes for eRobertParker.com covering Bordeaux. In some ways, Neal proved the counterbalance to the messages being offered by me and the other panelists, in that he has a rather skeptical approach to the power of social media in the wine world. During the course of the panel, Neal raised several points about social media’s place in the context of wine criticism that I and the other panelists did not address directly – not because we’re without opinion on those points, but because we felt they weren’t relevant to the topic of how wine producers (the largest contingent of our panel audience) could leverage the power of social media online to help their business.
In my case, it certainly did NOT mean that I agreed with those points, as will become clear to anyone in the course of reading this article, in which I will address what I took as the primary (or, if not primary, at least relatively important) points raised or hinted at by Neal about social media’s place in wine criticism – and try to refute them.
I should note that I enjoy Neal’s company, respect his work, and marvel at his writing abilities. But I found many of his views on social media so profoundly off-base that I felt they needed comment. It’s not that Neal sees no value in social media, but I got the impression that his view is looking backward, not forward – and thinking ahead is absolutely key in understanding what social media can do for you, and the place that it is very likely to take in the future in terms of wine criticism.
Let’s take a look at the contrarian views that are all too often espoused when applying social media to wine, and go from there. I’ve grouped them below roughly in a group of three, and summarized each as a hypothetical quite or argument. It’s worth noting that I’m not quoting anyone in particular but am paraphrasing and, while it might be tempting to anoint someone like Neal as a sort of dark arts saint of an anti-social-media satanic church, life is rarely that simple and it’s certainly not my intention here.
In this case, Neal’s comments during our panel were simply the catalyst for a sort of… manifesto that took shape in my (twisted) mind. The kind of thing you’re compelled to write because you have to (and because you’re a bit tired of preaching the same gospel over and over, and would like to have a handy place to keep it so you can refer others to it again… and again… and again…). I will warn you, it’s long and probably not appropriately “scannable” for blog reading, but f–k it I’m posting it anyway.
As always, your comments / criticisms / points / love / hate are all welcome!…
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