Popping The Cork
Welcome to WineDiarist.com. True to my contrarian instincts, I finally decided to launch a blog after seeing a few articles claiming that blogging was becoming passé on account of Facebook and Twitter. The tide goes out, I take the plunge….
As readers of my Slate column know, I am not exactly short on opinions, and having a blog will give me another outlet in which to comment on issues and debates that are roiling the wine world at any given moment (the food world, too). I also intend to use this soapbox to supplement my column—to write follow-up items to articles or to expand on points that I have made in them. In addition, I plan to post tasting notes here. It’s rare that I drink a wine without jotting down my impressions, and I’ve filled up more than a few notebooks over the years. Periodically, my wife has asked what purpose was being served by these notes—a fair question, since most of them went unused. With WineDiarist.com, I now have a place to publish them, and she no longer has reason to ask that question. The value of tasting notes is a contentious issue, and in a forthcoming entry, I will offer some thoughts on the topic.
You will notice advertisements on the page. Having given the issue much thought, I’ve decided that WineDiarist.com will carry ads except from wineries or companies that own them. As a full-time journalist, I realistically cannot write just for kicks, and having a source of revenue for the site will hopefully enable me to devote the kind of time and effort to it that I want. Advertising is a fraught subject in wine journalism. There is no doubt that it can create potential conflicts of interest. But compromising situations can arise in all sorts of ways. The trustworthiness of any journalistic enterprise ultimately hinges on the integrity of the person or people producing the journalism. In the eight years that I have been writing about wine for Slate, I think I have shown myself to be an independent and reliable critic, and those same qualities will be on display here.
The site isn’t entirely complete yet—I still have a few features to add—but the day after Groundhog Day struck me as an auspicious launch date, so here goes. I hope you’ll enjoy WineDiarist.com, and I welcome any feedback you might wish to offer.