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You Already Drink Like a Sommelier. Now Read Like One. Free.

NOTE: This is not a standard blog entry, and it has a slightly promotional quality to it. You have been warned.

It’s not every day that you get to witness a magazine being born, but I remember the first conversation I had with David Vogels, a soft-spoken, well-dressed man who was attending the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers for the first time. He shared with me his dream of starting a wine magazine targeted at Sommeliers.

Over the course of the next year or two, I got to see his dream come to life, in the form of Sommelier Journal, which is now going strong as the leading trade publication for Sommeliers in the United States. The magazine just won a double medal in the Folio: Eddy Awards, which are essentially the Oscars when it comes to magazine publishing.

More important than medals, the magazine contains really great content, from profiles of wine lists at top restaurants around the country, to in-depth coverage of the world’s wine regions, to witty commentary.

There are some important disclosures to share here. I’m on the editorial board of Sommelier Journal. It’s an unpaid position, and I have no financial stake in the magazine, but I have been paid to write for them, and will likely be paid to do so again.

The reason I’m writing this post is that the magazine has decided to offer an entire free issue to anyone who wants to check it out online, so I thought I’d suggest you take a look. You can page through the January 2011 issue from cover to cover. If you ever get asked for a username and password, the username is info@sommelierjournal.com and the password is sneakpeek.

I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, you consider subscribing.