How to get started as a wine writer

Book coverIf being a wine writer is all about ‘tasting vast quantities of wine’, why isn’t everyone doing it? Because as Geoff Adams (wine writer, wine author and Greek wine specialist) explains eruditely in his chapter on Wine Journalism within the new book Specialist Journalism (Routledge, £21.99): ‘it can be difficult to commission a sufficient amount of work within this speciality alone to make a good living’. But if that hasn’t put you off, then how do you go about becoming a wine writer?

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If you spend the average fiver on a bottle what do you get?

money£5.03 is the average-spend on a bottle of supermarket wine. And with the recession predicted to carry on until goodness knows when that amount isn’t likely to increase any time soon - unless our Chancellor of the Exchequer decides to put up alcohol excise duty yet again. And he might - but until that time comes what exactly does an average-priced bottle of wine taste like?

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Sausages and mash for autumn

sausages and mashAutumn has started. Falling leaves and falling temperatures means a diet of comfort food is now required. A good pork sausage, a bottle of red wine and an extremely large dollop of creamy mashed potato should do the trick.

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What's new in wineboxes and wine pouches

Mountain Edge casksIf you really like a certain wine, rather than buying it in single cork-stoppered bottles why not get in larger two, three or four bottle-sized amounts available in boxes and pouches?

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Wine classes

school signTerm is starting for the children, and in a few weeks time it’ll be the adults’ turn. Evening classes begin in September and it’s not all about beginner’s French. Wine tasting is still being offered by many local education authorities and if you’re lucky the course will be taught by a wine tutor who is knowledgeable and understands you’ll be nervous when you first arrive.

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Barbecue whites

Barbecue man with womenBarbecued red meat and robustly-flavoured red wines are well matched. But where are we white wine drinkers in this mass of red? The lighter tasting flavours of white wines go well with barbecued fish, chicken, vegetable kebabs and salads.

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Barbecue reds

barbecue manBarbecues and delicate wines don't go together. To compete with the rich smells and flavours of barbecued food you need a wine that tastes of berry fruit and chocolate. So what's needed are robustly-flavoured reds.

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Wine for koftas

cous cousWine and food matching theory suggests matching red wine with red meat and white wine with vegetarian dishes. But North African and Turkish-inspired dishes are neither quite all meat or vegetable, and so they match both red and white wines equally well.

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Starting on Twitter

the earthTwitter is a way for a large bunch of people to talk to one another online. And, just as in the real world, shared interests bring them together. So wine nerds, I mean enthusiasts, interact with others of like mind who want to know what wine matches certain foods and who’s got the best deal down Boston High Street. That’s Boston Lincolnshire as well as Boston Massachusetts.

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What do nettles have to do with astronomy?

astronomyBiodynamics is a new buzz-word in wine. The 450-plus biodynamic wine producers across the world – including such well-known names as Milton Vineyards of New Zealand and Romanee Conti of Burgundy – believe they must do more than just grow organically to make wine in a truly sustainable manner. Only by putting back into the soil everything nature produces, and I mean everything, do they believe vines can grow and wine be made in harmony with the earth’s rhythms.

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