Not that long ago, I entertained a weekly wine column in a Sunday newspaper. This blog somehow picks up where the column got nipped in the bud.
Off and On Again
In 2001, I happily started off entertaining a weekly wine column in a Maltese newspaper with a first tongue-in-cheek article (much ado about Antoinette’s breast, really). Two years later, I signed off wishing my readers would find another platform, another wine writer, good or bad. After all, even the worst wine writer is still writing about wine. Right?
Well, no! It just takes one glance at the feeble contributions of some wine specialists in the Maltese press today to make me change my mind. After all, along the way I got to know you, the readers. You are not ‘ordinary drinkers’, that is for sure, but enthusiasts at some level or another. Ordinary drinkers never read wine columns; it is not necessary.
I drive a car, but I never read the RMF motoring magazine. I watch television, but I never read the Cable Guide. The thing itself is quite enough. For ordinary wine drinkers, wine itself is quite enough. However, wine enthusiasts read and when do they deserve proper copy!
I said then I did not set out to become one of the favoured few wine critics who are lucky enough or clever enough or connected enough to gain their entire living from wine writing.
In this respect nothing has changed. I will not give outburst to self-aggrandising swollen-headedness, nor will I try to empty supermarkets with a touch of the keypad that drives this modest blog (not that I can or wish to do so).
Unlike others in Malta, very well do I know that, here on this pebble in the Med especially, wine writers do not matter that much. In fact, anyone in the trade is every bit a s important, and word of mouth rather more so.
It would be foolish to think that wine journalism operates like nicotine. It does not create dependency. Neither are the few enlightened consumers that do read about wine on the verge of a revolt. At best a few wine buyers do let the press substantiate them.
A little superficial knowledge as (mis)represented in advertorials may hurt. For those troubled readers I readily prescribe a solid wine course.