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Wine Writing

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#1 hollywood

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 10:15 PM

In The Oxford Companion to Wine the reader is advised that "A book on wine is less often now a literary work than a work of instruction or, increasingly, a buyer's guide." Later, we are told, "By the 1990s .... [a]n increasing proportion of the words written about wine resembled shopping lists rather than literature, and there were signs, from book publishers at least, that wine writing was likely to become an increasingly specialist activity." What do you see in the future of wine writing, realizing that you play a signifcant role in creating this future? Is the literature of wine dead?
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#2 Jancis Robinson

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 04:59 AM

Haven't I answered a Q from you already?

Interesting question. Not sure I know the A. I know what I'd like to see: more discursive writing like Kermit LYnch's Adventures on the Wine Route and, I suppose, my Confessions.

But I suspect their sales are a fraction of those of the big standard references, of which I hope the Oxfrod Companion and World Atlas of Wine are two. Not sure there's an enormous future for the smaller regionally specialist books, useful as they are.

The internet must have an effect on how much people are prepared to spend on reference books.

Trouble with buying guides is how often they go out of date, PUblishers' lead times are usually inconveniently long for our frenetic, impatient age.

I think there are signs in the UK anyway of wine journalism moving on from shopping lists. Hooray.