>Last night I attended a workshop at the Sacramento Press headquarters that specifically addressed writing about wine. For anyone who isn’t aware, I have been guest writing a weekly relationship piece for the website for a few weeks now. I also posted a few pieces about the Sacramento Kings arena issue and my very FIRST article with them was about (drum roll please) my current obsession: Wine…more specifically, the Old Sugar Mill.
Anyway, all of that to say, I attended this workshop for two reasons: the first was to get certificated as a community contributor for the website. They have to meet you in person and check your ID before they will do that. Second, if I am going to write about wine, I want to do it in an intelligent manner…so I went. I really enjoyed the workshop. It was taught by former Sacramento Bee food and entertainment writer Rick Kushman, who is quite the little wine expert.
He talked about wine, his love for wine, his credentials to teach and write about wine and what we need to know to write an informative and readable wine piece. Notice I didn’t say an “intelligent, educated or anything else that has to do with being a wine expert” piece. Rick addressed several of my concerns when writing about wine.
The first, and might I add largest concern was that I am not an expert. I only started drinking wine 4-5 years ago and only added red wine to my pallet a year or so ago. So who wants to hear what I have to say? Well, maybe people just like me. Maybe people who are me 2 years ago who want to get into wine but don’t know where to start.
The second thing he addressed was that the “lingo” isn’t what people want to hear. There is only a small population of people who even speak that language so trying to tailor your writing to them is a waste. Write to the masses.
The best piece of advice Rick gave us was to remember that writing about wine is fun. He said that everyone who currently covers wine is angry and boring. He doesn’t know WHY, but they are. Wine is fun, it is relaxing and it is meant to be social and enjoyable. So write about it that way.
I can’t wait to draft my first real story! Now I just need to go have an experience to write about!