The Most Influential Wine Writers

The Most Influential Wine Writers

In gathering responses for the 2018 American Wine Writer Survey, the question of writers’ most important influences was of great interest to me. I have my own ideas of which writers are most important to this era’s wine writing, as well as my own most important influences. But I wanted to underhand to whom today’s writers look to for inspiration. The wordcloud you see here represents the people named by American Wine Writer Survey-takers as influential as well as their…

Dec 4, 2018

How Wine Writers See the World—In Graph and Chart

How Wine Writers See the World—In Graph and Chart

I love wine writers. I have since I first started to get to know them when I began working with them as a publicist back in the day. I didn’t know what to expect of them at first. But they turned out to often be very intelligent, curious, dedicated, interesting people. I was and am fascinated at how they dig so deep into what often seems like a banal subject. The best of them were writers and reporters first, with wine…

Nov 30, 2018

Freedom and Egalitarianism in American Wine

Freedom and Egalitarianism in American Wine

The San Francisco Chronicle’s excellent young wine editor, Esther Mobley, engages in some really interesting speculation this week. In response to Katherine Cole’s excellent survey of how some wine labelling regulations have and are changing in the U.S. published in SevenFifty Daily, Mobley asks the following question: “Will this emulation of Europe at some point endanger our distinctively American spirit of experimentation when it comes to planting vineyards?” What Esther is asking is will wine labelling regulations in the U.S….

Nov 28, 2018

The Ugly Truth About Wine Retailers

The Ugly Truth About Wine Retailers

Among the rarest of things is finding a person in business or politics who is willing to publicly tell the truth, even if it reveals something ugly about them and their industry. Usually, the person doesn’t realize the ugliness of their statement. I think that was the case with Veronica Litton, general manager and partner of the one-location Virginia Philip Wine, Spirits & Academy in Florida. In commenting on the possibility of Florida opening to wine shipments from out-of-state wine…

Nov 27, 2018

On 14 Years Writing and The Art of Being a Wine Blogging Bomber

On 14 Years Writing and The Art of Being a Wine Blogging Bomber

When I was 14 years old (1977), I was enduring my last year of junior high school at Sinaloa Jr. High in Novato, California. I remember a few things about that year. The things that stand out most is being suspended for a week of school for having been the ringleader of an expedition to San Francisco’s Chinatown where I and two others conspirators procured a collection of small smoke bombs, which were subsequently unleashed on a somewhat entertained collection…