Well, I wasn’t about to go announcing this anytime soon, but as some recent blog posts have spilled the beans, I should probably make it official. I will be serving as a speaker and moderator for the next Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, which will take place at the Meadowood Resort in Napa Valley on February 20th – 23rd, 2007. I will be joining Karen McNeil and Jerry Shriver as moderators for the three day event, and will be joining a group of extremely distinguished speakers the likes of Eric Asimov, Dan Berger, Michael Bauer, Anthony Dias Blue, Elin McCoy, and more.
Needless to say, I was honored to be asked to participate in this event as something more than a participant. I certainly enjoyed myself last year, and learned a lot about many aspects of the wine writing profession that a blogger would never encounter. Tom Wark and several others have made much of my inclusion as a speaker on a list of names made up of some of the top wine writers in the country. I want to avoid all comparison with these folks, who are much more accomplished as writers and much more knowledgeable about wine than I. I do think that Tom and others have latched on to the correct significance of my inclusion. Blogs are now a major force in wine writing no matter how you look at it, and I’m certainly someone who can talk about where they’ve been and where they are going.
Some of the more interesting conversations at the Symposium last year had to do with the changing nature of the craft and the future of wine writing. My selection as moderator and some initial session planning indicates that these topics will be more front-and-center in this year’s Symposium. I look forward to bringing my perspectives and experience as a blogger to bear on the discussion, as well as the more professional understanding of Internet trends that my day job requires.
I’d like to encourage anyone who is serious about wine writing to attend. Attendance is open to “published editorial wine writers, wine/food writers, wine/travel writers, and editors.” It’s not clear whether just having a blog qualifies you, but having a high quality one might.
I’ll be blogging from the Symposium again this year so those who prefer to observe from their armchairs can do so with ease.