Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Words, numbers and wine: My week published elsewhere

Regular readers know that I write columns online for Palate Press and Wine Review Online. Palate Press runs me once a month; Wine Review Online, every four weeks.

This is the first time since I've been doing the Palate Press column that the two have aligned, and it will be the same next month too. The convergence is so pressurizing that I will escape beneath the Pacific Ocean, only resurfacing when the columns separate. (You probably think I'm kidding.)

My column for Palate Press this month is a call to wine lovers everywhere to change the way we refer to acidity. Language matters, and American consumers have said that "crisp and tangy with distinct acidity" is a negative. At 2.5 pH (which would totally kick ass in my online pH roundup), Coca-Cola is far more acidic than wine, but you don't see their advertising geniuses mentioning it: Coke is "the pause that refreshes" and sells by the bazillions. I have a similar suggestion, thanks to some bilingual French vintners. Read it here.

A portion of the ceiling at Contucci. Read the WRO story for the details.
For Wine Review Online, I visited one of the most interesting wine cellars I've ever seen, a 500-year-old winery directly beneath the town square in Montepulciano, Italy where the wine is made by candlelight. Wine just doesn't get any more Old World than that. Read the story here.

Finally, while I'm best known for writing for ordinary wine consumers -- if I'm not best known for the red spectacles -- I also write for trade publications. Usually I don't link to such articles here because they're not general-interest enough, but I think most readers will find my article about Portuguese wines for Beverage Media Journal interesting. What was a wakeup call for me was that, while wine media (including me) have been touting Portuguese table wines for a while now, the numbers suggest that most Americans haven't been paying as much attention as we'd hope, given the quality and price of the wines. Beverage Media Journal goes to wine buyers across the country; I love writing for it because it's a real chance to reach gatekeepers. Read the article here.

So you can see I'm more than just a pretty face in red spectacles! If you know any publication editors who need stories about wine, drop me/them a line. Will write for cash.

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1 comment:

DAPZ said...

Could not agree more on your point on the word acidity. i was recently during line up describing an Aussie Riesling to the servers. A young server (who's not very knowledgeable about wine) made a face of disgust when I said the wine was really high in acid.
It was kind of a wake up call for me and I've been trying to describe wines as bright or refreshing ever since. It's very hard not to say it; but I'm getting used to it. Sometimes I tell the servers the wine is high in acid, but explain what acidity does with food pairing, and ask them not to say high acid to guests. It's a work in progress, it's hard to get rid of old habits, but I'm surely onboard.