25 Years of Substance Over Style
Wine & Spirits Magazine announced that with its Fall 2007 edition arriving on newsstands at the end of this month it will celebrate 25 years of publishing.
Of all the consumer wine magazines out there, Wine & Spirits is the least flashy. However, it’s also among the best. Next to most of the other tabloid sized wine magazines, W&S with its regular size almost looks outclassed next to its competitors. Yet, what you’ve always gotten with W&S is great editorial! These are the folks who scoop of James Bear Awards for their writing.
The magazine has also gained an outstanding reputation among folks in and around the wine industry for a number of things they’ve done.
Their annual wine restaurant poll is always very closely looked over by wineries to see who is selling the most to restaurants. I once worked with a winery who every year partly evaluated their success by seeing how far up the rankings their Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc placed in the W& Spirits Restaurant Poll.
Each year W&S releases their "Wineries of the Year" awards that are always very thoughtful, never obvious and are a coveted reward for wineries.
At roughly 75,000 in circulation W&S is not a huge publication. But I’d hazard to guess that its readership is among the best informed and savvy of the wine drinking population. The publisher, Josh Greene, prides himself on putting out issues that "focus more on the substance of wine than on style." That’s not talk. It is the case.
Wine publishing is not an easy business. It’s a real niche market that will never produce a hugely circulated magazine. Advertising is always a bit of a struggle to come by, regardless of the quality demographics of the wine magazine readers. And there is always a good deal of education that must be stuck into stories along with reportage in order to assure that the casual reader, who is important, isn’t turned off by the language and minutia of wine. You’ve got to figure that if you’ve stayed around for 25 years then you are doing something right to overcome these hurdles.
Congrats to W&S Magazine.