Keeping wine fun

Just a brief post tonight. It’s about keeping wine fun.

I started out drinking wine in earnest back in 1993. It quickly became a hobby, a passion, a source of fun and pleasure.

I want it to stay that way, even though I make my living from communicating about it.

I think the perspective of people who drink wine to enjoy it is tremendously important, and as a wine communicator it is something I must not lose.

I see many people in the wine business lose this fun. It’s really sad. I want to keep it.

6 comments to Keeping wine fun

  • keith prothero

    I would also quickly lose it if I had to drink as many awful tannic young wines as you lot do.:)

  • That’s why I would never want do wine professionally, too much risk of burnout. Exception: I would not mind having a half hectare and MAKING wine. Though it would not be a profession really. I’m working on it.

  • I think the people who have the toughest job are the ones selling it, especially down at the most commercial end of the spectrum.

  • Chris Foulkes

    Jamie, i am one of those at the sharp end, as i have been for 30 odd years….I love wine, and am as excited by it now as i have ever been…Now work for Waitrose.but i love to see the smile on faces when a selection has gone right….I also belong to a local Wine group, would you be up to giving us a tasting next year… a good budget…..

  • Simon T

    I guess it’s relative Jamie in the sense that, yes my job (I work for a large business that sells wines that we could collectively call ‘commercial’) is not sexy in comparison to the winemaker for Petrus, Grange or whatever, yet to my mind is significantly sexier than the person from Nestle who walks into Tesco pretending to be exciting about selling branded cat food.
    I guess it depends on what you mean by ‘tough’ ;
    Is it tough because ;
    A) It’s tight margins, high pressure high stakes poker whereby peoples jobs depend on you making a go of it with your customer.
    B) It’s not the wine that you like to drink

    If the latter then I guess we are back to the 2-tier wine market piece whereby 98% of the wine bought and sold in the UK is not that which appears in these pages. In that sense, it’s not a bad place to be at all. Your Vega Sicilia excitement is similar (relatively speaking) to a 50 something couple who go to their local neighbourhood restaurant and enjoy a nice bottle of Brand USA/Australian Shz/Cab with their Carvery – not to your/my tastes perhaps, but it’s bought as a wine, consumed as a wine and guess what it is a bloody wine !

    I’m a consumer so I can drink what I choose to buy – Giving other consumer’s the wine they like when they like it could never be that bad a job !?

  • Paolo

    This post rings a bell with me. 7 years ago I made a change in direction and took quite a pay cut to start a career in wine as it was something I loved.

    I ended up in the sales side of the wine business, but at the very top end rather than the commercial end.

    I truly enjoyed my first few years but it has now got to the point where I have disconnected with the reason I started in this industry. In my role, wine has become merely a name and a string of numbers. I deal with wine as a commodity and that saddens me.

    There are plenty of people in my part of the wine business who revel in the commodification of wine but they all seem to be people who wanted to be hedge fund managers but lacked the ability.

    I have been lucky enough to taste some truly fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime wines (latour 61 will never be forgotten) but those chances are few and far between and I cannot afford to buy the wines that I deal in.

    As you say Jamie, I think I need re-connect with why I got into this industry in the first place. It certainly wasn’t in order to persuade someone that Lafite 2009 would be a good addition to their investment portfolio…

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