To be a better writer, I’ve always thought that you need to be an avid reader. So, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time of late reading books written by some of my favorite wine writers — people like Terry Thiese, Jamie Goode, Hugh Johnson and Eric Asimov. I’ve also been obsessively listening to I’ll Drink to That! a podcast by Levi Dalton that is fantastic. He sits down with some of the best and brightest in the wine world and they talk about a wide array of topics — everything from living in Champagne to counterfeit wines to opening a wine shop to online wine writing. I really can’t recommend it enough if you’re a wine geek.
All of this reading and listening has, perhaps not surprisingly, led to a great deal of thinking on my part — thinking about the present and future of this site. Thinking that inspired me to bring back our “5 Questions with…” series earlier this week, actually.
There was a time when this website was nothing more than me — and just me — writing about the local wines I was tasting and drinking. There wasn’t an “editorial direction” and the idea of an editorial calendar was preposterous. Blogs didn’t (and mostly don’t) operate like that. It was a deeply personal outlet back then.
But the site grew. More and more people started reading it, and I soon realized that to produce the kind of website that I myself would want to come read, I needed help. Fast forward a couple years and we have a staff of more than a dozen advocates for ‘local’ sharing their passion and finds with you. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve created, together, but I don’t want to just continue doing what we’re doing. That would be like drinking the same wine for the rest of your life — and who wants to do that?
As my wife will tell you, I’m a guy with a million ideas and nowhere near enough follow-through. The time crunch of a day job and a family is partly to blame, but it goes beyond that. I only want to do things here on the New York Cork Report that you, our readers, will enjoy and want.
I have had long talks and email exchanges with Evan and other members of the editorial board about the future of this site and what sorts of content we should be producing. We talk about creating vintage charts — charts that are more than just a grid with letters or numbers by including details about the growing seasons and commentary from growers and winemakers. We also talk about writing shorter, less-geeky stories that remind us that wine is supposed to be fun — things like “Top 5 <INSERT CATEGORY>” slideshows. Do we bring back our “Local with Local” wine and food pairing series with local chefs? How can we get non-writers interested in our #TasteNY Twitter-based virtual tastings?
And those are just a few of the things we talk about.
Many of you have been reading this site for many months or even years. You’ve seen the site progress in many ways over that time, but probably regress in others. I thank you for sticking with us through it all — and now I have a favor to ask.
I want your help in directing the future of the New York Cork Report.
I don’t remember the last time I directly asked for comments on a post — but today is that day. What do you want more of? Less of? If you’ve ever thought to yourself “I really wish the NYCR team would do XYZ” we want to know. Do you want restaurant features and reviews, or should we stick to our current formula? More spirits information, or less? You tell us.
I won’t say that every request will be fulfilled, but I can promise you that every bit of feedback is appreciated and will be taken to heart.