Pliny the Elder, the Roman author, was a fan of wines from the Rhône Valley. Something he wrote nearly 2,000 years ago struck winemaker Pierre Gaillard, a student of wine history, as a tip for finding something almost incredible today: unused Grand Cru-level terroir in the heart of French wine country.
I’d fallen in love with studying art history in high school and regretted, throughout college, that I’d chosen a different—seemingly more practical—route (at the time studying journalism still seemed like a splendid idea). Wine reminded me that I use my brain best when the subject concerns beauty.
The pipeline has dried up. Five or six years ago, almost any casual wine enthusiast could launch a WordPress or Blogger blog, write a post about each new wine he drank—from the plonk to the good stuff—and wait for wine samples to come pouring in.
Two weeks ago I returned home from The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, held at the Meadowood Napa in St. Helena the week prior to Premiere Napa Valley. I’m still not sure what I was doing there, but no one kicked me out and I sure wasn’t going to say anything.