Making a Wine Writer’s Wish Come True
Over at WineSearcher.com (which has transformed itself into an amazingly good source of wine commentary and news) Tim Atkins, MW has issued his Wine Wish List for 2014. I can’t take him to task on any of the wishes. However, I can grant him his Wish #6:
“There will be a change in emphasis by wine writers. We will move away from our role as exclusive purveyors of scores and tasting notes, used by the wine trade to market wines but not necessarily to inform consumers, and dedicate ourselves to telling the stories behind the labels, visiting vineyards and talking to producers rather than just tapping words and numbers into a computer.”
Well I can’t really grant it, but I can assure Tim that his wish has already come true.
The fact is there is a plethora of wine writing these days published in a variety of sources that goes well beyond he simple listing of tasting notes and scores. In fact the vast majority of words devoted to wine go beyond the wine review. The major wine publications alone have long offered their readers and still do loads of commentary, winemaker profiles, vintage profiles, regional profiles as well as solid opinion. Here I’m thinking of The Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits Magazine, The World of Fine Wine, Decanter, and the list goes on and on.
The fact that these magazines also offer reviews is just gravy for well-read wine lovers. But it should be noted that a very large number of wine drinkers like and want reviews. And they want a comprehensive number of them too.
But beyond the major Wine publications you can also look to the major daily newspapers including the New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The LA Times, The Chicago Times and numerous UK journals that offer far more than just reviews.
Then there are the online sources, like the one you published your Wish List in or Palate Press or the numerous wine blogs where wine reviews are not the norm, but rather commentary is the norm.
I think too often flash blinds us to the reality of the scene in front of us. Wine Reviews and numbers and the kind of attention paid to those reviewers whose opinion has been so important to so many may keep us from realizing that these kinds of accumulations of 1000′s of reviews and newsletters devoted to reviews are the really the exception and not the rule.
Tim, your wish has been granted. There is more commentary, profiles and stories lifting the curtain on estates and winemakers than you can shake a stick at.
Now, let’s work on your Wishes #1 – #5