A New Mutiny

Another new beverage magazine has been introduced and this new one has something of the flare that Wine X exuded. Mutineer Magazine is produced out of Southern California and looks to appeal to a younger drinker with more on their mind that terroir and mailing lists. Like the now retired Wine X, MM strikes a rebel pose and is looking to unmask wine and other adult beverages.

MM comes with a pretty substantial on-line presence to augment the bi-monthly publication schedule. A blog that is very nicely written and interesting inhabits their website along with teasers of what’s in the magazine, profiles of their staff and a discussion forum.

"By taking our content and putting in into the context of a relatable
ideas, the Mutineer Magazine will revolutionize the way wine and other
libations are presented to young adults and readers in general. The
beverage content is presented within the context of other subjects more
familiar to the mainstream including music, film, fashion, and modern
popular culture."

This was the approach taken by Wine X Magazine, a publication I believe had substantial impact on the wine industry—though not so much on the wine drinker.
MM will start distributing to youngsters on the west coast for a cost of $10 per year and spread out from there. Let’s hope they spread far and wide.


22 Responses

  1. Thomas Pellechia - August 5, 2008

    I’m always wary when the word “revolutionize” rears its head.
    It often shows itself for what it is: hyperbolic spin to promote seemingly chic but often self-absorbed literature.
    Sorry. I’m jaded after all the years of revolutions I’ve attended.

  2. Morton Leslie - August 5, 2008

    In order to be revolutionary in any area whether it be technology or art you really have to have some degree of expertise and experience. At the least, you have to know what you are rebelling against. I found this missing in my dealings with Wine X. To me they were amateurs.

  3. Tom Wark - August 5, 2008

    Not sure what you mean by “amateurs”. Darryl Roberts, who founded and published Wine X, was far from an amateur when it comes to understanding wine and the wine industry. The magazine never took off like he hoped it would. So maybe he was lacking in that area. But he knows wine.

  4. Thomas Pellechia - August 5, 2008

    I don’t know what Mort was referring to, but I can say without doubt that quite a number of people who “know wine,” know what they think of wine, but quite a few of them know wine.
    At the risk of revisiting the subject of objectivity and subjectivity, the former is a way of knowing a product; the latter is a way of knowing what you like or dislike about a product.
    To know wine, you need objective knowledge.
    Most of wine writing to consumers is written as subjective. No problem if that’s what they are selling. But when mags try to sell subjectivity as otherwise, it’s grating.

  5. Thomas Pellechia - August 5, 2008

    Oops. Let me recast: “but quite a few of them don’t know wine.”
    Also, to know wine, you should have at least some knowledge of the rest of the world outside California! There is a world outside Ca…really 😉

  6. Tom Wark - August 5, 2008

    My experience with Darryl Roberts is that he is one of the people who KNOW wine, not just a person who has an opinion on wine.

  7. Steve Heimoff - August 5, 2008

    Hi Tom, I always thought Wine X pandered to young people. “This Syrah is like Darryl Hannah in a Victoria’s Secret bikini on a bear rug.” How do you think that Wine X “had substantial impact on the wine industry”? I didn’t see any at all.

  8. Morton Leslie - August 5, 2008

    I know wine, but anyone putting me in charge of a publication would be an idiot. My opinion on Wine X comes from what I read and what my employees told me about their experiences with the rag. In reading the publication I could not see anything different other than it had less substance than others, and a focus on superficial elements of style. Secondly, according to my employees and others in the industry the mag’s office was disorganized and Roberts personnally, was rude enough, often enough, (to my employees) to discourage their support of any requests. Perhaps if the rag had something truly different to offer the arrogance might be earned, but in this case it wasn’t, it was just unprofessional. Apparently, readers agreed at least on substance.

  9. Tom Wark - August 5, 2008

    I see it exactly in the way you see that it you saw it pandering to young people: in the way it described wines.
    After Darryl started reviewing wines in this fashion I saw many others begin to use this style of reviewing much more frequently. I saw reviews look to movies, music and pop culture for analogy and metaphor. I saw wine begin to be placed much more often in broader cultural context.

  10. Tom Wark - August 5, 2008

    Assuming for the sake of argument that all you have to say about Darryl Roberts, his office and his attitude is true, this still does not address whether or not he “KNOWS” wine. It merely speaks to his disposition and sales ability.

  11. Thomas Pellechia - August 5, 2008

    I’m all for bringing wine to the people. What makes me crazy is bringing the people to a dumbed down version of communication through pop culture.
    It simply weakens rather than strengthens discourse and it might even lessen the ability to think for oneself.

  12. Jack at F&B - August 5, 2008

    Wine X would have succeeded if 9-year-olds were allowed to drink. Sad when you aim at twenty-somethings, but your content appeals to pre-teens instead.
    And Tom, I’m with Steve; I didn’t see that Wine X had any impact on the wine industry. If it had, wouldn’t Marvin have published a competitor?
    But here we have Muntineer filled with factoids like, “It helps to think of wine like a condiment. Like ketchup makes french fries taste better, wine makes food taste better.”
    After glancing through the first issue, I can’t help but thinking that Beverage Lite should be the subtitle.

  13. Tom Wark - August 5, 2008

    I think we may all be on the verge here of applying our legitimately elitist view and appreciation of wine to a vehicle that addresses those that have no interest in wine beyond entertainment purposes.

  14. Morton Leslie - August 5, 2008

    Assume everything I say is wrong. Darrell Corti knows wine more than anyone breathing on this planet, but he would be a complete amateur and probably a failure at publishing. (And he would likely be a little blunt with some of us.) I just don’t understand what exactly was so earth shaking or professional about Wine X? Maybe the solution isn’t dumbing down wine, maybe that is the problem.
    Jack, “Beverage Lite,” what a perfect description of my reaction to it as well. Left my mark. Will not return.

  15. Mick Sandsturn - August 5, 2008

    I received a copy of Mutineer Magazine at my wine shop, and I think it is a breath of fresh air. Wine Spectator is a Luxury Travel Magazine full or worthless tasting notes. Mutineer Magazine is the first wine magazine I’ve gotten sucked into and read, I’ve read it from cover to cover, and while there is definitely room for improvement, this seems really promising and I’m excited to see where this goes!

  16. Thomas Pellechia - August 5, 2008

    Maybe an elitism is showing up here, but do you believe that creating an alternate language such as the nonsense that Wine X tried isn’t inverse elitism? It’s just labeled cool instead of elite!
    So one crowd describes wine with imagery of fields and flowers; the other uses movie and TV themes. What’s the difference?

  17. Tom Wark - August 5, 2008

    It’s a scary thought, but the difference might be that more people respond to movies and tv themes than imaginary fields of flowers.

  18. Arthur - August 5, 2008

    “Bringing the wine to the people” and “demystifying wine” too often ends up as simply dumbing the subject down.
    No wonder so many wines being made today are uninteresting, or over the top, one-dimentional, or whatever other criticisms are levelled against them.
    I understant that you have to “sell” your product to an audience, but that should not invlove “selling out” the essence of the thing.
    Wine is something that demands a little work from the enthusiast. It is the enthusiast (and their tastes and understandning) that must come to the wine and not vice versa.

  19. Thomas Pellechia - August 5, 2008

    It’s a scary thought, but the difference might be that more people respond to movies and tv themes than imaginary fields of flowers.”
    Yes, scary, and maybe sadly true, but no less exclusive or elitist.

  20. Mark Fisher - August 6, 2008

    I’m afraid I’d have to side with those who question Wine X Magazine’s impact. But my opinion may be colored by my limited interaction with the magazine, from which I came away with the distinct impression Wine X thought it was cool to be rude, and confused irreverence with silliness. Their concept never resonated here in the heartland — even with the younger audience they purported to be chasing.

  21. Brian W - August 6, 2008

    I have to agree with the first comment from Thomas P. about “self absorbed literature” as well as the comments about dumbed down info.
    I read the issue pictured here because there were a lot of topics of interest to me, but in the end there was very little substance, some inaccuracies, and a handful of typos.
    I really like the idea of an irreverant, hip, beverage and culture magazine. I thought WineX did a nice job with that, even though they may not have pleased the wine world, it was a well put together culture/lifestyle magazine. As for MM, it did seem self-absorbed and, although it’s trying to be hip and approachable, it seemed a little arrogant, which is probably worse than being snobby.
    I’ll check out the website and hopefully the magazine comes around, it’s a niche that I’d like to see filled.

  22. Drew - August 7, 2008

    I’m happy to have found a magazine that can look past the numbers when it comes to a good wine. I want to know about the wine and the people who make it and with this publication, I can finally feel that connection. I saw this magazine at my local wine shop and after reading the introduction from Mr. Kropf and skimming over the piece on the Willamette Valley, I was hooked and subscribed as soon as I got home. Also a very real and interesting piece from a Soldier in Iraq. Well done, and thanks MM!

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