Tongue-in-cheek wine journalism

Although my job is to manage and solve complex problems, I appreciate simplicity in most things (in everything). Wine is not simple: it is a result of science, engineering, powers of nature, and taste. There are over 10 000 different grape variants, hundreds (maybe thousands) of different winegrowing regions with different soil and climate, and millions of nuances to making wine. So if you want to master wine, it is quite a journey to learn everything. Wine Folly, however, makes it as easy as it can get. And you will have fun while you study.

Wine Folly is a wine blog and book written by sommelier Madeline Puckette. All of her articles summarize quite large topics, contain pictures and infographics, and use storytelling as a tool, keeping the reader engaged from start to finish. Madeline also has a tongue-in-cheek style of humor in her texts, that give a friendly edge to the topic. The information shared on Wine Folly  is a bit black and white (not in the context of colour but with facts), however the high level of simplification is what makes the information easy to consume. So if you want to learn about a specific type of wine or grape quickly, Wine Folly is the perfect place to gather those nuggets of information that help you know what you are drinking. I wouldn’t start arguing about the facts with a specialist though, as the high level of generalization also means that the statements in the book do not take into account exceptions. For example, the book states that there are only three grape varieties allowed in Champagne. In truth, there are seven, but four of them are very rare.

I ordered the book to M for his birthday. Its rich with colour and pictures, which I love, and information is easy to find. It contains information on science related to wine, taste profiles for wine regions and grape varieties and deep dives into accessories. Madeline has really applied her graphic design skills into the visualization in the book. You don’t have to read long, dry descriptions, but rather explore pictures of taste wheels and other informative illustrations.  It was not very expensive for a wine book, and is a suitable read for anyone.

What I particularly like about this book is that there is no snobbery, just enjoyment and fun of discovering wine. It’s kind of feel-good wine book, a rare one of its kind.

The Wine Folly can be ordered from internet bookstores for about 200kr

xx Soile

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Wine Folly has a nice graphic design
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Taste wheels for grape varieties
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How to open a bottle

Blogs I Like

I just read a fun post the other day in a wine blog that I occasionally follow. It was about (wine) bloggers being narcissists and, well, assholes. Why? Because we think that among the millions of winecurious in the world, WE have something original to say (narcissist) and that by not going all out on social media about our thoughts we would be depriving the world of our greatness (asshole). I laughed when reading, but hey, perhaps its a bit true. However, without all us narcissists (not saying we are not nice people as well) there would be a lot less to read about. I am not sure how much original things I have to say (deep down I must think I do), but I do love some of the other blogs out there, and I am happy that these people have valued their own voice enough to distribute it worldwide. Here is a list of some of my favorite reads:

For sure, I have something original to say. Let me just have a few sips of this wine and I will tell you all about it..
For sure, I have something original to say. Let me just have a few sips of this wine and I will tell you all about it..
Wine Anorak is a blog by British wine journalist Jamie Goode. He writes many posts and reviews on smaller wines and wineries. The kind of less known houses I am usually interested in. When we have travelled in some wine regions, we have checked out what wines Jamie has reviewed from the area and booked visits. It’s perhaps a similar taste that has drawn us to Jamie’s blog, so perhaps it’s not for all. However, that’s what discovering wine is (mostly) about, learning what you like and how to differentiate between different wines in that category. At least this aspect is important to me.

If you are on the market to learn more about wine, Wine Folly is a fun site to follow. They often do posts about production methods, different grape varieties and the “science” of wine. The explanations are made simple (perfect for me) and complicated language is left out. It is a bit like wine for dummies, but what else do you need? Why say something complicated when you can just make it simple.

My third recommendation would be the Reverse Wine Snob. It’s a blog by Jon Thorsen, a fellow wine consumer and enthusiast. Like me, Jon has no special training in wine, no tasting superpowers, he just loves wine and does not want to rob a bank to be able to drink it. Jon reviews only wines that cost less than 20$ and gives good tips in what to look for if you want to make finds in your local supermarket. Perhaps the selection he reviews is not what we have here in our local monopoly, but I still get some good ideas on what to pay attention to.

I am also fond of other blogs, like Please Bring Me My Wine and Talk-A-Vino. They are witty and genuine and in general feelgood wine reviews and thoughts about wine. Not too commercial, just a few narcissists people like me (perhaps slightly more professional), sharing their vision about the fermented grape. I am yet to find local Swedish wine blogs that I like, but perhaps I have just not been looking that hard (tips welcome).

All in all, I love blogs and I really like writing one myself. Even though blogging has become a career to some, text and photos are as professional as in magazines, it still feels more like you are listening to a real person (than someone with a marketing agenda). My career is somewhere else (I work in procurement, I call it my adult job), but I hope these casual “Sunday writes” are at least entertaining and can give some tips and ideas on your route to wine discovery.