Much has discussion been brewing this past two weeks around the announced demise of Wine X Magazine. For those who are unfamiliar with the rag, it was going to be the wine magazine For a New Generation. Full of attitude, super hip, and dedicated to talking about wine in ways that GenX-ers and GenY-ers would understand. Frequent references to sex, celebrities, and pop-culture pervaded the magazine and its tasting notes which were scored on an "x," xxx," and "xxx-rated" basis.
In a somewhat bitter lament as part of the announcement of its closing, founder Darryl Roberts blamed the wine industry itself for the magazine's failure: ""There's a lot of talk within the wine industry about marketing to young adults. New wines have been created, new wine divisions have been formed by large wine companies, all with the idea of targeting young adults. Yet they give us absolutely no support." Presumably, Roberts means that none of them paid to advertise in his pages.
Ordinarily I wouldn't find this topic worth commenting on except for the fact that amidst all the coverage of this magazine's extinction no one seems to be pointing out what I though would be obvious: the real reason the magazine failed was because it wasn't any good.
I wonder how many of the folks out there in the media pontificating on what the failure of Wine-X might mean in the face of current theories about the millenials and their media consumption have actually ever picked up a copy of the magazine and read it? The writing ranged from good to mediocre to just plain bad, the photography and design of the magazine was lousy, and their operations seemed erratic to the point of not even being able to publish the magazine at a predictably regular interval, let alone managing to populate the pages with regular columns and contributors. And don't get me started on their wine reviews, which for all their cheeky pop-culture descriptors which at times could be quite funny, were essentially useless to the consumer (my recollection is that they never provided prices for the wines).
I say, good riddance. Someone will eventually figure out how to write a good magazine for the youngest generation of wine consumers, or perhaps blogs will provide all that is needed by this perpetually online generation.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune