I can not begin to explain how angry, upset and bitter I’m made by the news that Richard Cartiere has died. At 51, Rich was among the top true wine journalists in America, and a friend who never failed in always being honest, forthright, and filled with conviction.
I didn’t know of his condition. He never mentioned it in our regular and many conversations. I spoke with him only a few days ago about playing Golf and promising not to laugh at each other.
Rich was guy who never let me get away with anything. I’ll never forget calling him years ago to pitch a story idea for his Wine Market Report newsletter and his response: "Tom, for God sake please tell me you can do better than that. Now try again and get it right this time because the story you are trying to pitch is a great one, but you should really do it justice."
Rich made me think, smile, and laugh and made me better at what I do.
And I’m so pissed he’s gone I can barely control my anger. It’s beyond unfair and my reaction suggests I’m entirely unsuited to growing older because I have no patience for its consequences.
Rich was so good at breaking news and identifying substantial trends in the wine industry. By every measure he was outstanding at what he did. And to boot he had a rare integrity. At one point in our relationship Rich found himself in a position where he was forced to write a story in a trade publication that would end up making me look like shit in front of the entire industry. He was not in control of the situation but was nonetheless obligated to participate in it. He called me and told me, "Tom I’m about to screw you and there’s nothing I or you can do about it so be prepared!" The person who should have made that call had no intention of warning me. And Rich had no obligation to do so. But he did.
Rich made my participation in the wine industry much more satisfying and knowing him and spending time talking with him as we did regularly made my world far more interesting and satisfying.
This news of his death just wrong, in every way. I’m terribly sorry for his partner Richard and all his friends.