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02.17.2010

What Wine Writers Talk About

Those of you who also follow my twitter feed (see the little tab on the left hand side of my home page) will know that I'm spending the week at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. This is my fifth year attending the Symposium, and my fourth year as a speaker.

Tomorrow I lead a panel discussion featuring Steve Heimoff, Patrick Comiskey, Doug Cook, and Joe Roberts about the role of New Media in wine writing. But for the past two days I've been experiencing the symposium as a participant, which means hanging out with a lot of people who are actually good enough at writing about wine to get paid for it.

You can take a look at the Symposium web site if you're curious as to the agenda for the conference. And I'll be writing about it more here on Vinography (and tweeting live).

Get a bunch of wine writers together in one place (doesn't happen hardly ever), lubricate them up with some wine, and you get all sorts of conversations. The finer points of pizza dough. Which berries are relevant to describing wine and which ones are just pretentious. Martial arts. Who do wine writers serve -- readers, consumers, the wine industry? Are wine writers part of the wine industry or not? Are there things you shouldn't ask winemakers about? Is the wine industry going to ever recover? The perception of acidity versus the actual acidity, and what happens to wine over time. The bad eggs in the blogging world that PR folks love to hate. Which Napa Cabernets have the best aging potential. Whether or not it has been proven definitively that high alcohol wines don't age. Do the wine magazines have any integrity? What is SEO and why the hell should wine writers care? Is there a revolution going on here? Where are we all going and why are we in this handbasket?

More to come in cogent form when I can steal a few moments away to collect my thoughts. And when this wine glass in my hand is finally empty.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.