Last week, I had the pleasure of being the guest on WineBizRadio, the great Sonoma-based wine business radio program with which most of you savvy readers will already be familiar.
I always enjoy riffing with show hosts Kaz and Randy, and I had a fantastic time discussing the recent Wine Writers Symposium (Facebook fan page), Premiere Napa Valley, and “the-wine-life-in-general” (by which I mean wine writing and, more specifically, the inability to make a decent living wage while writing about wine). Except for that “my voice always sounds more nasally and higher pitched when I hear it on the radio” thing.
Anyway, I thought it would be a fun way to wrap up the coverage on the Wine Writers Symposium and the craziness of PNV (although I’m sure it’s not actually getting wrapped up totally… I’ve got tons I could talk about from those events…).
As an added bonus, in this episode of WBR Kaz-The-Wise explains how any wine blogger can quickly make money, provided they’re not too concerned about ethics. :-)
Enjoy (embedded below)…
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Alternative title: “What I Learned (So Far) At the 2010 Professional Wine Writers Symposium in Napa”
- Symposium Chairperson and Wines & Vines editor Jim Gordon, may, in fact, be the sweetest and most patient person on the planet (there remains one more day of symposium activities in which to properly test this theory).
- The amount of downtime built into the entire week of Symposium activities is approximately 47 seconds.
- The amount of raw talent and brain power among the symposium attendees is staggering, but is immediately doubled in terms of IQ points the moment that AbleGrape.com founder, Yahoo search pioneer, and twitter search guru Doug Cook walks into the room.
- When you read aloud (over a loudspeaker) a tasting note that you’ve written in which you compare a glass of Syrah to an uncomfortable satin thong, you will piss off famed author, wine educator, and television personality Karen MacNeil [ Editor’s note: this was recently substantiated via personal experience. ]
- Both Eric Asimov and Steve Heimoff are practical, warm and charming in person (meaning that I have lost at least two bets and the week isn’t even over yet).
- Harlan wines will be poured judiciously at Symposium after-hours gatherings, but only when I am not available that evening to attend any of them.
- Journalism jobs, freelance writing gigs, and book deals net you more money than Amazon.com affiliate fees. But not much more.
- If you take the ethical standards of critical writing / wine review writing, combine them in number, double that number, square the result, and divide by 0.0002, you will arrive at roughly the number of ethical violations that I might have inadvertently committed. Before lunch. On day one.
- When Alder Yarrow uses the term “folks at our level” and you realize that he is talking about wine blog writing and is including you, you have to suppress the urge of performing a double-head-fake and then blushing.
- If you are serious about wine writing, then you should get serious about attending the Symposium in 2011.
Today I’ll be starting my week-long Napa excursion (the itinerary of which I’d hoped to have posted today, but since all those West Coast hippies are so damn laid back, as of the time of this writing my schedule still isn’t totally finalized… if I’d been dealing with uptight, anally-retentive East Coast types I would have had this all nailed down within 15 minute intervals weeks ago).
This got me thinking about Napa Cabernet, of which I plan to have tasted so much by the time I leave Napa that I will probably need emergency dental work to deal with the teeth stains as soon as I land back in Philly.
And since I’m heading out there for a writers symposium, it got me thinking about the origin of “Napa Cabernet” – not in terms of the wine, but in terms of the words. I’m a sucker for words and I own more than my fair share of dictionaries and etymological resources. I’m geeky that way.
You’d think that this would be pretty easy, right? A bit of Google searching, or a trip to the handy-dandy unabridged dictionary, and we’d be all set, right? Surely there isn’t much to the origin of such words, the kind that are so nearly ubiquitous that they instantly call up various mental and sensory images for wine lovers worldwide, right?
Not so fast, Buck-O. As it turns out, the etymology of both “Napa” and “Cabernet” is far from being etched indelibly in stone…
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