Top 10 Wine Stories Needing to be Written
You would think that with the proliferation of wine blogs, wine publications, daily newspapers wine coverage, publicists working in and around the wine industry and all the magazines that indulge in wine and wine country-related content, that there would not be any more story angles left to explore where wine is concerned.
Not true. Here are some story angles and plots that, if well packaged and well-pitched, I’m betting an editor somewhere would jump at.
The Best Views in Wine Country
And it doesn’t matter which wine country, either. The fact is, part of he allure of Wine Country is the unique set of vistas it provides. Plus, “Top 10” lists are easy story angles. Another plus, its a subjective approach to story telling, making it an easier story to accomplish.
Best Food & Wine Tasting Room Experiences
In Napa and Sonoma, at least, more and more wineries are going beyond crackers at the tasting bar and sitting guests down to do intensive explorations of food and wine pairing. This story is rich in possibilities. It’s about food and wine pairing, travel and the personalities of the chefs creating the pairings.
Politicians and their Wine
Usually this story is told by pointing to “Celebrities and Their Wines”. But that’s old. This time of year, election time, a much more intriguing story would be a chronicle of the politicians that make wines in addition to making laws. Those wine loving lawmakers are out there. Plus, it’s a chance for the writer to explore alcohol control policy from the perspective of the person responsible for making the law as well as producing the substance of the law.
Evolution of a Grape
One of the most fascinating parts of Jancis Robinson’s new book, “Wine Grapes”, is the emphasis she places on how some grapes come into existence via breeding or happenstance. Taking one grape and exploring its creation would appeal to an editor that wanted to provide their audience with the exploration of a seeming mystery, with a story about the romance of wine, and with a science story.
Alternatives to 100
The 100 point rating system gets all the attention. But what are the alternatives to ranking on a 100 point scale and what are the benefits and drawbacks of the alternative rating schemes? I like this story pitch because it provides the writer with the opportunity to explore controversy, it is a focus on “experts”, yet at the same time it is decidedly a consumer-pointed topic.
The Economic Value of 100
Perhaps this question has been explored in economic journals, but I don’t recall it being looked at in the popular media. It relates in a way t0 the story angle above, but has much more of an investigative character to it. What is the value of receiving 100 points for a wine by a critic? Does it provide a foundation for raising prices, and if so, by how much? Does it have an impact on the performance of other wines in a wineries’ line-up? If so, How much? There is math, theory, practical experience and money at the heart of this story. It could be a compelling read.
Dirt Cheap Wine Country
It’s a counter intuitive wine country travel story—and probably difficult to write. But it could provide a fantastic counterpoint to the luxury-oriented wine stories that proliferate. Is there a way to “DO” wine country dirt cheap? From cheap hotels and cheap food to no-cost tasting room?
The Role of the Cartoon in Making Wine Snobbish
Wine has now and has long had a problem of being associated with snobs and the wealthy. I’m reminded of this every time I see a cartoon that uses wine’s reputation as being the drink of the rich to make whatever point it’s trying to make. Though this article is probably a tad academic in nature, it would be fascinating to read an analysis of how cartoons have reinforced the snob factor in wine.
A History of the Repugnant in Wine
I’ve never hidden the fact that when it comes to wine reviews my favorites are the ones that try to describe truly repugnant wines. They are often hilarious bits of prose. You don’t see the 55 point rating and an accompanying review in wine publications the way you used to. Occasionally, but rarely. However, 20 years ago you did. A story focusing on what these written reviews look like, the writers that wrote them and the impact they have would be fascinating and fun.
Political Wine Power
Occasionally, one sees reference to the politically powerful in the realm of wine when there is a story on some sort of wine related legislation. But I can’t recall an article that simply examined where the political power centers are in the world of wine. Lobbyists? Associations? Individuals? Who wields the most power when it comes to wine and wine policy. This one needs to be written.