A New FERMENTATION and a Promise

It’s pretty clear at this point that I’m incapable of looking at something then not saying something about it. This affliction can’t be addressed through medication. It’s something I’ve known for some time now that I just have to give in to the compulsion.

And that’s what I’ve done for the past 17 years and through 3,500 posts here at Fermentation.

It’s my intent to continue to do this at a new subscription-based newsletter/website version of Fermentation hosted by Substack that will launch Wednesday, January 19.

My decision to move Fermentation to a subscription model that generates revenue is one I’ve considered now for a good six months or more. The conundrum was this: Under the free access, blogging model Fermentation has operated with for the past 17 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to gather a good-sized audience of primarily wine-trade readers. This has been my aim, having no interest in writing for consumers who require content providers with a different disposition than mine.

But under the coming subscription model, that good-sized readership will be reduced considerably…at least for a time. So, chalk up my hesitancy to monetize Fermentation to a question of ego satisfaction. I like an audience. It makes for more urgent creative juices.

Clearly, I’ve overcome the pull of my ego. I believe services and products ought to demonstrate a proven value to consumers. When they do and when I profit from access to those products and services, I’m willing to pay a fair price for them. After 17 years, I believe I’ve proven the value of this effort to examine the wine industry and its connection to culture, society, politics, and the media. So, I’m now asking a fair price for access to this service.

There are two different ways to subscribe to Fermentation at Substack. Those desiring access to all posts, all content, to the commenting function, to the comments of others, to new Zoom Briefings and reports will subscribe via a monthly or annual fee. Those who want access only to occasional “free posts” can subscribe with nothing more than an email address.

Each new article or post will arrive in your email box and can be read there. The archive of posts will be kept at the Fermentation Substack site. As for this blog site, it will remain in place and accessible to all, but will no longer be updated.

So, here’s my pitch for your support through subscriptions:

I will continue to tell you what I see. I will continue to bring a unique perspective to my interpretation of what I see. I will continue to identify the methods and purpose of those in the industry seeking control over producers, retailers, and consumers. I will continue to explore the connection between the wine and alcohol industry to the broader culture, society, and politics. I Will work to build a community among subscribers. Moreover, I don’t believe there is any other commentator working today that can deliver on these promises. Plus, it’s all for just $10 per month.

Thank you for reading Fermentation. I hope you’ll come with me to its new incarnation.


Posted In: Personal, Wine Media


11 Responses

  1. Bruce susel - January 17, 2022

    Well, I bit my tongue, but noticed an unannounced monetized link a bit ago, attempting to sell a winemakers book on Amazon. A pity that you did not disclose in the article that you were profiting from the sale. FWIW

  2. Tom Wark - January 17, 2022

    Bruce, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. Can you clarify?

  3. Bruce susel - January 17, 2022

    A bit ago you were speaking about a winemaker, and suggested purchasing his book. You provided a link to Amazon, which was monetized. Perhaps I was mistaken, but it seems that someone was aligned to get an affiliate commission from the sale via the link. If Im wrong, sorry.

    I do wish you the best, even though I am not aligned with your views.

    I am of the opposite camp, harvesting ABIRA to a multi state distributor in hopes of unifying the independent retailer under a national umbrella, something never accomplished. Miles to go before we sleep.

  4. Tom Wark - January 17, 2022


    I think you are mistaken. i’ve never monetized a link at Fermentation in 17 years and 3,500 posts. Best…Tom…

  5. Bruce susel - January 17, 2022

    Again apologies, you may delete


  6. George Ronay - January 17, 2022

    Hello Tom:
    Have always enjoyed the blog, but having just retired (YAY!!! – should have done it 30 years ago), I’m happy to continue with the free posts and just not be able to comment – or read the comments. I think you provide a worthy service to the industry and I think you’ll be surprised at the response – hopefully in a good way! Best Wishes!!

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