A notable portion of which have simply got it wrong when it comes to wine writing. They believe in their own abilities far too much, they are jealous of others far too often, and the goals they set for themselves are unrealistic at best and ridiculous at worst. One changes the wine world by accident, my friends. Blogging, as I think we have seen, is an incidental force.
So where am I going with this? Well, let me just get something on the table before I lose your attention. Some grand percentage of what we do, what I do, is bullshit. That is not a typo. It’s bullshit, I tell you. We ostensibly write about wine, but very few of us manage to do that with any efficacy. What we do do, and generally do well, is write about ourselves.
That’s crazy talk, Dal Piaz has lost it, right? Well, no.
Photo courtesy Mullenkedheim via Flickr/CC
So you don’t write tasting notes you say, you write stories and essays? So what. That may be an even more personally influenced group of writers. I mean, what subject do you write about? A randomly selected group of representative wineries or, let me guess, your favorite wineries making your favorite wines? Most of us, myself included, go into a project with firm convictions, and most of us choose projects that tend to confirm those prejudices. After all, very few lovers of natural wine are saying good things about industrial wine and bad things about natural wine!
So what, you say, you’re doing what you love and you even have an audience. Congratulations, seriously. Let me be clear here, I am not saying that you are not a wine writer, nor am I saying that our work is not valuable. What I am saying is that we, wine writers as a group, new media, old media and media yet to come, need to stop taking ourselves so damn seriously. I am fortunate to be in the position that I am in, but I am equally fortunate to truly love what I do
One of the facets of my job is that I get to write about wines that I might otherwise not have been introduced to. Being a man of modest age and significant curiosity, I know I have a lot to learn and that I can learn from just about anybody. So I go about my job, sometimes thinking to myself what a drag it is to be at this large industrial complex that claims to make wine! And then something gets said, or a bottle gets poured, or a vista appears that allows me to alter, perhaps imperceptibly at first, the trajectory of my course through wine as I know it.
I have for too long considered myself part of the wine world first and a writer second, but it is the job of the writer to make it interesting, educational, entertaining and amusing. Embellishment can be a tool, though more commonly today that place is filled by the photo and infographic.