November 11 2010
When I was approached by the the Financial Times online arm to write for the digital supplement to their monthly luxury magazine, How to Spend it, I was ambivalent.
You see, it was no less than our vinous US forefather, Thomas Jefferson, who said, “In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.”
In terms of my principle, I’m decidedly against the section of the wine world that treats wine with a certain luxury preciousness. In terms of my taste, I like good wine, most of which is categorized in the “luxury” category of pricing.
You can see how this is a conundrum, right?
As I vacillated, my wife, a smart woman, said to me, “How to spend it? Are they talking about money or time?” Ah, bingo. She also said, “THE Financial Times? Of course you write for them. Don’t be an idiot,” but that’s beside the point.
As I thought about what she said, she’s right: There are two types of currency in our world—time AND money and I don’t have to necessarily focus on the aspect of the wine world that has to do with a lot of money, I could simply talk about how to spend time related to wine—what’s new and interesting, what to read, what to watch, and what to pay attention to for those who have the patience for wine and invest their time accordingly.
So, my first piece was this week. I made it through with just some light editing—my editor cleaned up a couple of my writing quirks—colloquialisms that don’t play internationally, my penchant for writing really verbose sentences that act as paragraphs, and my proclivity for coherent, but nonetheless tangential non sequiturs. She even ran with my headline suggestion!
I pretty much have free rein to write as often as I would like. For now it’ll probably be once a month, though I may ramp that up to twice monthly. And, of course, I will now name drop Jancis Robinson as, “My colleague Jancis.” I kid, I kid ...
Doubtful this piece will be anything insightful or revelatory for most of you, the .5% of the wine world who are really interested in “shop talk” about the more business-oriented aspects of the biz, mostly here in the US. However, it should be of interest to an international audience who is less caught up in the day-to-day of the online wine scene.