ZesterDaily.com and the Dictates of the Gods

Zester What would you do if you were a wine and food enthusiast and due to a dictate by the Gods, you were only allowed to read one publication to satisfy your enthusiasm for food and drink? No more scanning blogs. No more waiting for the various food and wine print pubs with their dwindling pages to arrive in your mailbox. Just one publication to satisfy your craving for all things food and drink?

Personally, I'm nearly convinced that I'd abandon my various food and wine literary needs to a brand new on-line format called "Zester Daily: The Culture of Food & Wine."

Launched in August 2009 and the brainchild of former LA Times writer Corrie Brown and former Wine & Spirits Magazine editor Patrick Comiskey, ZesterDaily.com has been jumping on to my radar over and over and over these past few months. Scanning its various articles this morning, I finally figured out what it was that's drawn me back to its digital page over and over: The talent.

If you look around ZesterDaily.com you'll immediately notice that the folks writing the stories are in large part very experienced journalists. This means they know better than most what makes for a good and compelling story. It also means they know how write compact, meaningful sentences and paragraphs that turn into compact and meaningful stories, a talent most often not on display in the world of blogs and on-line media (just because there is endless room to publish on the Internet doesn't mean you should use endless words).

Consider this lineup: Corrie Brown—LA Times, Patrick Comiskey—Wine & Spirits Magazine, Elin McCoy—Bloomberg, Louisa Kasdon—MFK Fisher Prize winning writer, Virginie Boone—Writer/Reporter for Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Martha Shulman—Cookbook Author and NYT Columnist, Jordan MacKay—Wine & Spirits Editor for SF's 7×7 Magazine. And this is just tiny taste of the talent that has gravitated toward ZesterDaily.com. High Quality!

Furthermore, there is something very "smart" about the contributions to ZesterDaily. I can't lay my fingers on it exactly, but I'm pretty sure it has to do with the writers injecting themselves into the stories they write in what seems to be only the tiniest of ways, but with just enough personality to give the impression they are writing about something they really care about, rather than something they've been assigned to cover.

Founder Brown describes her ambitions this way: "The goal is to create a national and, ultimately, an international
network of contributors writing about all aspects of food and wine from
every corner of the world."

That works for me.

It is said that the birth of blogs and social networks has turned the focus on "user-generated" content. It has also been said the easy publishing format of the blog as allowed "citizen journalists" to jump into the media fray and redefine journalism and communications. All true. But let's face it, quality journalism and fine writing often isn't a part of what the users are generating or what the citizens are journaling. This is why ZesterDaily.com is important. It's providing both in a format that we all must admit is changing media.

So, now that I have my one food & drink publication to tide me over for eternity, all I need is a dictate from the Gods. Bring it on.


6 Responses

  1. Ron Washam, HMW - January 20, 2010

    Why this is fantastic news! We used to only have amateurs pretending to be professionals on PalatePress, now we have professionals pretending to be amateurs on ZesterDaily! The cycle is complete! I can retire.
    All my troubles seemed so far away
    Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
    Oh I believe in ZesterDaily.
    Guess what, suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be.

  2. Arthur - January 20, 2010

    I feel like an oracle….

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  4. 1WineDude - January 23, 2010

    http://PalatePress.com for out of work writing pros?

  5. David Honig - January 26, 2010

    Palate Press contributors are professional writers, wine professionals, and ameteurs in both fields. We screen and edit content, not resumes.
    Contributors to date have included professional writers:
    Dan Berger, a well-recognized professional wine writer.
    W. R. Tish, Editor in Chief of Palate Press, a wine professional and professional writer. He was Editor of Wine Enthusiast for 10 years.
    Joe Pollack, the food and wine writer for decades at the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
    Howard Hewitt, long-time reporter with the Indianapolis Star, and syndicated wine writer.
    Becky Sue Epstein, author of The American Lighthouse Cookbook, and Senior Editor, Wine & Spirits for Intermezzo Magazine, the national lifestyle publication.
    Viviane Bauquet Farre, whose recipes have appeared in Bon Appetit, Vegetarian Times, and Saveur.
    Wine professionals:
    Craig Camp, general manager of Cornerstone Cellars.
    Josh Hermsmeyer, owner of Capozzi Winery.
    Andrew Barrow, member of the prestigious UK based Circle of Wine Writers and WSET Diploma holder.
    And I will put the wine-science writing of Tom Mansell and Arthur J. Przebinda up against anybody, anywhere.
    There are many more, including the ubiquitous 1WineDude. We really don’t care how much he’s been paid in the past for his writing. He makes us, and our readers, smile, while informing them. And Meg Houston Maker, Executive Editor, whose writing compares favorably to anything ever printed in a wine magazine.
    http://PalatePress.com for great writing. Period.

  6. 1WineDude - January 26, 2010

    I need to clarify something – I’ve only ever been paid in wine. And compliments.
    Actually, just compliments, since the wine comes without strings attached.
    Ah, forget it…

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